by Matthew Behrens
This past week has provided Canadians with a series of warm and fuzzies that, like most of this nation’s mythology, were built on self-congratulatory lies. From the breathless and ankle-deep CBC and CTV interviews with former prime minister Jean Chretien to the Globe and Mail’s front-page shout out to that most disingenuous of foreign ministers, Bill Graham, the occasion was the 10th anniversary of the 2003 escalation of the 23-year war against the people of Iraq.
Conscience Canada hopes some members and supporters will take the time to share their stories of conscience and nonviolence. We hope to be able to use some of them in our next newsletter, coming out in September. For more details, contact <email@example.com> or see our most recent newsletter, posted on this site.
One great source for such stories is a new book, Crossing the Line: Nonviolent Resisters Speak Out for Peace .
You can learn more below.->
‘Crossing the Line‘ tells stories of dedication to nonviolence, civil disobedience
John Dear S.J. http://ncronline.org/authors/john-dear-sj | Feb. 26, 2013 On the Road to Peace
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Going to prison for nonviolent civil disobedience against American war-making does wonders to clarify one’s relationship with the U.S. government. I highly recommend it. When I reflect back on my life, it seems I have been preparing for civil disobedience, facing jail or trial, or undergoing probation regularly for 30 years. I’m mainly engaged in writing, speaking and teaching peace to build up the anti-war/global peace movement, but periodic civil disobedience and nonviolent protest have become for me a way of life. Along the way, one meets the best people.
Volume two of Rosalie Riegle’s massive oral history project, Crossing the Line: Nonviolent Resisters Speak Out for Peace (Cascade Books, 2013), makes me realize I’m not alone. This massive collection of interviews with U.S. anti-war resisters (along with Doing Time for Peace, which I reviewed last month) provides an unprecedented historical record of nonviolent resistance over the last five decades and shows how many of us have quietly given our lives to resisting American war-making and practicing nonviolence.
READ MORE at this link: http://ncronline.org/node/46131/
If you send an online Peace Tax Return through this website, you will have the option of sending a letter to cabinet Ministers and others who are responsible for tax policy, including recognition of conscientious objection to military taxation.
Your letter will automatically be sent to the Ministers of Finance and Revenue, and to the Prime Minister and Opposition leaders, as well as Alex Atamanenko, the MP who is supporting conscientious objection to military taxation through his private members bill.
You can always find out who the ministers and critics are through the Parliamentary website. We encourage you to send letters by mail if possible, as these generally carry more weight than letters sent by email.
Due to computer problems, we may have lost some messages sent to Conscience Canada in recent months. If you have not gotten a reply, please try again to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Review by Koozma J. Tarasoff, 23 July 2012
Ian McKay and Jamie Swift. Warrior Nation: Rebranding Canada in an Age of Anxiety. Toronto, Ontario: Between The Lines, 2012. 362 pp. i-xiii. ISBN: 978-1-926662-77-0. Includes bibliographical references and index. $24.95. Also issued in electronic format.
On June 14, 2012, I attended the second of 3 book launch presentations in Ottawa. 50 people came to hear two scholars discuss Canada’s future, sponsored by Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Council of Canadians, Workers History Museum, Citizens for Public Justice, and Octopus Books.
Their topic was Canada’s democracy and how the current Conservative Government has been attempting to rebrand the country from a peaceful one to a militaristic one.
Below is a letter recently submitted by Conscience Canada board member Eric Unger to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance:
Dear Mr Harper, Mr Flaherty, and Mr Bruinooge,
As the violent and tragic events unfold in Syria, I am reminded again of the
results of instructing men in the ways of killing. Can we learn anything
from these events? It is quite possible, and even logical, to expect that
some day, unless we carefully consider and learn from them today, such
horrific events will take place within our own borders. As military experts
provide overseas instruction and guidance in how to interrogate, torture,
and kill fellow human beings, only the blind cannot see that the results of
our labours may someday return to haunt us, perhaps repaying us many times
over. And who will take the responsibility for such short-sightedness?
For this reason, I ask you to read the attached note. This is a personal
plea, but others hold similar points of view. It is the hope of Conscience
Canada that you, now occupying a majority government would quickly enact
into law a PEACE TAX FUND so that those of us who are opposed to the concept
that stronger armies bring a swifter peace may designate, for the sake of
our consciences, our hard-earned tax dollars toward more peaceful
I apologize for the length of the attachment, but that may serve to
demonstrate the sincerity of my plea. It is within your power to enact such
a bill, now! (more…)
Board member Jan Slakov introduces a recent article by former soldier Trevor Greene:
“Some time ago I heard an interview with Trevor Greene, an interview that moved me to tears, about how he had reached a point of forgiveness following the terrible axe attack that nearly killed him.
Oddly enough, I think there is quite a profound connection between COs (like me) and soldiers. Maybe it is partly that both groups put a lot on the line in support of what they believe in. Certainly, although I would never encourage someone to join the military, for me and others in Conscience Canada, it is vitally important that our work not be seen as dismissive of the sacrifices made by soldiers.
All this to say that I am so very delighted that the democracy Trevor Greene wants to defend seems to be the same one I too want to defend.”
From one battlefield to another
By Trevor Green
(Published in the Toronto Star, Saturday, May 12 2012)
Every generation updates and renews the values that make us who we are. I once found it hard to truly understand what those in my grandfather’s generation meant when they spoke of making the ultimate sacrifice in wartime to allow their loved ones back home to live in a democracy.
Until, that is, I myself almost lost it all in a remote village in Afghanistan on behalf of the values that make us Canadian, values that I now see as under threat not by a foreign force, but by a domestic one. (more…)
Board member Eric Unger wrote:
I have forwarded the truth dig video (of the American war veterans throwing their medals toward the highly secured building where NATO representatives are presently meeting) to Stephen Harper and Barack Obama, along with the following note.
I am deeply impressed by the courage shown by these military/former military people. May their courage motivate others to join in their efforts to put an end to war. (more…)