War, Peace and Remembrance

What you can do | Peace groups and organizations

war-no-more-10If we love our kids, the least we can do is give some serious thought to peace, greed and violence. It’s the biggest single issue affecting our future. Bigger even than climate change, which is likely to cause many wars, if we don’t act sensibly.

What does “Remembrance Day” mean to you? Is it still about remembering the horrors of war — preventing it from happening again? Or has it become the opposite, a celebration of military might, the ‘glory’ of war? If it’s not about “never again”, then what? Does it fan the flames of nationalism, militarism — the kind that starts wars, not ends them?

In the age of climate disruption, food and resource shortages, can we rise to the challenge and keep the peace? This Monday, will you be wearing a red poppy or white? Will you take a few minutes to think and act for peace?


Beyond Remembrance Day

  • war-no-more-11The Insidious Propaganda Surrounding The Poppy — “Refusing to wear a poppy is not to be unpatriotic or disrespectful of the far too many young working class men that our blood-soaked ruling class have used as cannon fodder throughout the nation’s history. Refusing to wear a poppy is to refuse to be a pawn in their game.” — Huffington Post
  • The poppy has become a symbol of racism — I will never wear one again — “Yes … all our lively media and sports personalities and politicians, are at it again. They’re flaunting their silly poppies once more to show their super-correctness in the face of history, as ignorant or forgetful as ever that their tired fashion accessory was inspired by a poem which urged the soldiers of the Great War of 1914-18 to go on killing and slaughtering.” — The Independent
  • The fine line between remembrance and hypocrisy — “I think we betray the soldiers we’re trying to honour when we treat violence as if it were the most important thing in the world. And let’s face it: as a culture, we do this perpetually. The recent slayings in Paris — though desperately sad and worthy of the world’s attention — are an example of how mortal conflict commands our attention; each time it happens, there’s risk that it will crowd out other, less primeval threats, like global warming. Climate change poses a much, much bigger threat to our existence than terrorism but it doesn’t grab us with the urgency we connect to bombings and gunshots.” — Hamilton Spectator
  • war-no-more-12-cartoonRemembrance Day is an annual ritual of nauseating hypocrisy — “There is an insidious side to this annual ritual, one that has taken on the mantle of a national shibboleth. It is that at bottom the trumpets, monuments, and fanfare are not designed to mourn the dead but instead to glorify the nature of their deaths and, by extension, extol the virtues of militarism and the nation’s martial might.” — Huffington Post
  • Trudeau, other leaders warn of dangers of nationalism at armistice commemoration — “When people feel their institutions can’t protect them, they look for easy answers in populism, in nationalism, in closing borders, in shutting down trade, in xenophobia.” … “There is a general sense and desire among many countries, including Canada to do whatever is possible to sustain the institutions of the international order and practical, multilateral co-operation. And so you see that in Canada, you see that in Germany,” — CTV News


war-no-more-13-fingersWhat you can do

Peace does not mean inaction, nor the avoidance of conflict. If we love our children, let’s work together to build peace in our homes, our communities, our world…

  • Propaganda & fake news — Immunize yourself as best you can. Not unlike some of the worst dictators in history, today’s corporations and governments don’t hesitate using propaganda to manipulate us. Learn to see through it — immunize yourself. Guardian | Wikipedia (more) | Google | Critical thinking (more) | Information literacy (more)
  • Conflict resolution — Brush up on your conflict resolution skills. Peace starts at home, at your workplace, in your community. Google | Wikipedia (more) | Peacemaking | Peacebuilding | Peace | Search for courses near you.
  • Nonviolence — Peace is not just the absence of war. We need to use the power we have, but in peaceful ways. Learn and practice nonviolence.
  • Live frugally and sustainably — Don’t fall for fairytales of greed, craving, endless economic growth. Sustainable living (moreSimple living
  • Peace Groups — It’s hard to work for peace alone. Join and participate in peace groups and organizations, listed in the next section. Your membership and support is vital.
  • Peace & Conflict Studies — Want to dig deeper? Go back to school for Peace & Conflict Studies. Part-time or full-time. It probably won’t make you a million, but it may just save the world. Peace studies programmes in Canada
  • More: Top ten things you can do to promote peace: Google search


Peace Groups & Organizations in Canada

Fine Art: War and peace (Honorable Mention)

Don’t want to repeat the horrors of wars, past and present? Please join and support the peace groups and organizations of your choosing:

  • Veterans for Peace “Exposing the true costs of militarism and war, since 1985” (USA) — VeteransforPeace.org

war-no-more-10Films, Videos, Books

Learn more


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“We’re one finger away from peace.” — Rather than blaming others, can we change our own attitude?

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“We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can’t bomb it into peace.” — Michael Franti

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”Learn and speak up for peace. The more of us who do, the more it will happen.”

war-no-more-17-monument

“Is it possible that we’re being manipulated by our emotions? Like when we watch major league sports… it feels great to be part of the team. Except for here, it’s far from fun and games. In our shrinking world, is war obsolete? Nationalism, ecocide, genocide… who is the real ‘enemy’? Arms industry profiteering? Fear itself?   List of US wars | Canada wars | Addicted to War

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“Does it respect the dead, to choose a path to perpetual war? How can we be the greatest nation on Earth? By leading to peace… ”

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“War, or civilization. Which will it be?”

Beauty lies in yourself.

“Peace rests in yourself. Find this one place in your heart — so you can return anytime, if needed.” — Simon Matzinger

Author: Peter Blanchard

Founder and coordinator.

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