Newsletters, articles and events for Kitchener-Waterloo's Peace and Social Justice activists
KWPeace is a website to link the many Peace and Social Justice organizations in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, and the Waterloo Region townships. KWPeace tries to provide a comprehensive calendar of events.
What can we do about climate change as a community, as leaders, and as individuals? Given the United Nations’ “Code Red for Humanity,” it’s difficult to not feel hopeless. But together we can build resilience and gain momentum to achieve our climate goals. Join us online with people from our region to discuss how climate, food, and community are interrelated.
Mark your calendar for either: Tuesday, 30 November 2021, 7:00pm – 9:30pm; or Saturday, 4 December 2021, 7:00pm – 9:30pm
We’ll begin by watching Eating Our Way to Extinction, a film featuring leading scientists, physicians, and academics that explores how our global food system contributes to some of the major issues of our day: climate breakdown, environmental racism, and food access inequality.
The voices from Brazil are particularly compelling in the film. One man making a living from clearing the rainforest says, “You can’t tell us what to do!” and an indigenous woman says, “We don’t consider ourselves as owning the forest, rather we are a part of nature, a part of it.”
We are pleased to have Gerard Wedderburn-Bisshop, one of the documentary’s scientists, available for Q&A. Wedderburn-Bisshop is a former Principal Scientist with Queensland Government Natural Resources in Australia, and a member of Climate CoLab at MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence. We have invited local political leaders from Waterloo Region and Wellington County to join us in the discussion.
November 29 Is United Nations Day Of Solidarity With The Palestinian People
On Saturday, 27 November 2021 come to Waterloo Square at 11:00am to call on the Canadian government to send a Special Envoy to Palestine-Israel to investigate the treatment of Palestinian children subjected to Israeli military arrest and detention.
Palestinian children growing up in the Occupied Palestinian Territories live under Israeli military occupation. Their day-to-day reality includes home and school demolitions, water rationing, the loss of family land, checkpoints and military gates, night raids, detentions, and imprisonment. It’s time for Canada to stand up for Palestinian children’s rights.
In 2018 a group of Canadian Members of Parliament went to Palestine to see the situation of Palestinians living under Israeli military rule. One of the recommendations of the group upon their return was that the Government of Canada sends a Special Envoy to investigate the situation of Palestinians living under Israeli military rule. Today we are renewing that call.
As part of a network dedicated to pursuing human rights in the Middle East, we are inviting you to help us renew that call and ask the Special Envoy to specifically look into the treatment of Palestinian children being arrested, harassed, and often tortured.
Please join us at Waterloo Square in Uptown Waterloo for this Public Witness Event to learn more about the practice the Israeli soldiers arresting and putting Palestinian children in Israeli detention.
For many years now Group Nine Amnesty International (Kitchener-Waterloo) has actively participated in Write for Rights on Human Rights Day December 10. We have joined with Amnesty International’s seven million supporters around the world in a letter-writing blitz calling on governments to respect the rights of selected individuals at risk. We have had many successes over the years including the release of political prisoners, the ending of torture in specific cases and in bringing human rights offenders to justice.
This year while human rights abuses continue worldwide, COVID-19 again makes an in-person event impossible.
In spite of that constraint, last year together we took over 300 actions in our “Ten Days for Human Rights” at-home campaign.
This year, we hope you join us again to produce a mountain of letters and sign online actions to let governments know that we are still watching, and send messages of support and encouragement to those who are in the front lines of the struggle for human rights.
Here is the Group Nine Write for Rights 2021 letter writing plan:
Ten Days for Human Rights!!!
There are two ways in which you can participate in the letter and card actions:
by sending individual actions yourself (by post and/or online) at your cost,
by collecting all your letters and cards for us to send by bulk mail at our cost. We will also have some in-person outdoor photo opportunities for sharing messages of support on social media and a small group indoor socially distanced card- making gathering (more on that separately).
Each day from Dec 1 to 10, Group 9 will send you an email giving background information on one case, a sample letter, a link for an online action, and a suggestion for a supportive action (usually a card) that you can take. We will repeat this each day for 10 days to cover all the cases.
Option 1 – If you are sending individual actions:
Each day, participants will complete and mail the letter and card – as well as getting their “bubbles” to do the same. Please keep a record of the number of cards, letters and online actions sent for each case (including cc’s).
On December 11th, we will send out an email to everyone asking each of you to send in the number and type of actions you and your bubble have completed for each case.
Option 2 – If you would prefer to have your letters and cards included in a Group Nine bulk mailing:
Collect your letters and cards during the ten days so that you can make one delivery. Please do not use an envelope for each letter or card. Rather, fold your letter once and write the name of the recipient and country on the outside. Do the same on the outside of the card. Put them all in one large envelope or wrap with a rubber band and include a slip with your name so that we can keep a record. Mary and David will provide a drop-off box at their front door in Waterloo from Dec 10 to Dec 15. They will quarantine the letters, organize them by recipient and then mail them in bulk.
If you would like to make a contribution towards postage costs for the bulk mailing, please send an e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org
We know that this is much more lonely work than coming out to Seven Shores Café to write letters together and socialize over coffee and delicious treats, but we hope that you will involve your “bubble” in creating a mountain of cards and letters for Ten Days for Human Rights!!!
We’ll keep you posted about our possible in-person events via separate emails.
Your first case letter will arrive on December 1.
Thank you for your support for human rights!
David and Margaret for Group 9
Group Nine is the local chapter of Amnesty International Canada in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. We normally meet at 7:30 pm on the first Tuesday of every month in *Room 4224 (The Fretz Seminar Room) at Conrad Grebel College*, University of Waterloo (140 Westmount Road North, Waterloo N2L 3G6). Please confirm by email or on our Facebook page..
This conference examines the what, why, and how of contemplative education — a model of education that helps develop a spirit of unity in diversity. What is contemplative education? What can we learn from other disciplines that are using it? How can educators use it in their classrooms?
SHEN has a draft proposal that requires your contribution. The proposal is a culmination of years of convening and writing. It brings together the research and ideas of prior SHEN presenters and conference participants. The proposal will be shared with education stakeholders to generate greater knowledge about these ideas so that they can be integrated in educational curricula worldwide.
Join us at this year’s conference where you will:
Learn what contemplative education is and the important role that it plays in depolarizing our world
Be heard and have your ideas considered for incorporating into the proposal
Build a lasting network with like-minded people from around the globe
Gain exposure as a contributing changemaker and open doors for professional opportunities
Be an associate of the proposal’s journey to policy change
Contemplative education can change lives! We would love for you to journey with us and contribute to needed change! We need you to tell us what works with the proposal, and how we can strengthen it. This is a working conference comprised of four online sessions. While we will miss seeing you in person, we are thrilled that this online forum allows people from across the globe to join!
Saturday, September 26 (10:00am – 12:30pm, EDT)
Introduction to the Spiritual Heritage Education Network (SHEN)
Sharing of SHEN’s work over the past 20 years’ contemplative education
The proposal to re-envision and redesign education
Sunday, October 4 (10:00am – 12:30pm, EDT)
What is holistic science?
The convergence of metaphysics, scripture, and modern science
Saturday, October 10 (10:00am – 12:30pm, EDT)
Why contemplative education?
What does it help us see and learn that we can’t from traditional education models?
How do we get there?
Examples of contemplative education from the past and present. How does it inform our work?
Sunday, October 18 (10:00am – 12:30pm, EDT)
Overview of conference working sessions to date and next steps for the proposal
Integrating contemplative education in educational models worldwide and implications for public policy
What: War is Not Essential – Kitchener-Waterloo When: Thursday, 11 June 2020 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm Where: In front of office of the Hon. Bardish Chagger, MP for Waterloo Location: 100 Regina Street South, Waterloo, Ontario Map Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1322887947904895/
In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada has lifted the moratorium on issuing arms exports for weapons destined for Saudi Arabia, and Light Armoured Vehicles (LAVs) continue to be manufactured in London, Ontario under the label of an essential service.
Saudi Arabia has used these LAVs to suppress peaceful protests and there is mounting evidence that Canadian-made LAVs are being deployed in the war in Yemen. Canadian arms exports just don’t line up with Canada’s legal commitment under the Arms Trade Treaty or a feminist foreign policy. Ending arms exports doesn’t have to mean the loss of good jobs. As we confront the twin crises of COVID-19 and climate change, the call for conversion of arms industries to socially useful production must be loud and clear.
Join us on June 11th for a day of action to #StopArmingSaudi.
If you are in or near Kitchener-Waterloo, you can join a physically-distant protest outside MP for Waterloo Bardish Chagger’s constituency office (360-100 Regina St. South, Waterloo). Please respect public health directives, maintain physical distancing and wear masks.
No matter where you are, you can join us for a simultaneous virtual protest to show your solidarity and hear from speakers on the ground and at the forefront of the movement to #StopArmingSaudi.
If you can’t join the virtual protest, take part in the day of action on social media:
Share your opposition and call on Canada to #StopArmingSaudi. Tag General Dynamics Land Systems, Justin Trudeau and François-Philippe Champagne, along with your own Member of Parliament (find them at https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en/addresses) to ask them to take action now.
This day of action is jointly organized by: KW Peace, Labour Against the Arms Trade, People for Peace London, Council of Canadians London Chapter, Amnesty International Canada, Amnistie Internationale Canada, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, Canadian Voices of Women for Peace, Peace Brigades International Canada, Oxfam Canada, World Beyond War and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
We as the KW community will peacefully march in solidarity for the lives lost to police brutality, institutionalized racism and hatred. People of all races and backgrounds will come together to show our solidarity against anti-blackness and injustice.
Selam Debs, Carla Beharry, ACB KW & with the support of Black Lives Matter – Waterloo Region bring to you KW Solidarity March for Black Lives Matter
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3RD 5PM- MEET in front of Victoria Park, Kitchener (Gaukel & Joseph- one block from Victoria ion station)
Please read all below COVID-19 precautions and guidelines that must be followed to participate in this march
ALL social distancing measures will be in place – MASKS ARE MANDATORY. Please bring your own sanitizer, signs and masks.
We will march for Ahmaud Arbery, Breanna Taylor, George Floyd, Regis Korchinski-Paquet & all those before who’s names we know and those names we do not know of.
This is a peaceful march and protest to raise awareness of the lives lost in violence, to show our solidarity for the families and communities most impacted, to express that as the KW community WE are NOT just “not racist”- WE are active ANTI-RACISTS and to stand with the grieving Black folks right here in KW and the surrounding areas. We are saying unapologetically BLACK LIVES MATTER.
Because SILENCE = VIOLENCE. LET’S BRING THIS COMMUNITY TOGETHER AS WE SAY LOUDLY & PEACEFULLY “WE STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH GEORGE. BLACK LIVES MATTER.”
We will meet in front of Victoria Park at 5pm on Wednesday.
*Victoria Park, Kitchener (Gaukel & Joseph- one block from Victoria ion station)
-If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home and tune in through the FB live streamed from Black Lives Matter – Waterloo Region with Carla Beharry
-You MUST wear a mask. Please wear one that covers your nose and mouth
-Maintain social distancing of 2 meters from each other throughout the march
-March in groups of 5 or less
Maintain a distance of 6 feet between each group
-Plan ahead for essential needs, care and supplies
We will also be sharing the March on Facebook live facilitated by Carla Beharry from the Black Lives Matter – Waterloo Region page
-DONATE MASKS, WATER, GARBAGE BAGS
-FIRST AID VOLUNTEERS
-VOLUNTEERS- AS MANY HANDS AS POSSIBLE
-create signs (ie. Black Lives Matter, I stand in solidarity with George, Silence= Violence, KW in Solidarity with Black lives, Enough is Enough etc)
-Support local Black initiatives – We will have a list available soon
I just wanted to let you know that the community suppers that used to be held at St Mark’s church on Wednesday evenings are now being held on Thursday evenings at Trillium Lutheran Church, 22 Willow Street, Waterloo, Ontario Map, phone 519‑886‑1880. (Trillium used be called St John’s Lutheran church.) It is fully accessible. The church is open on Thursday afternoons from 3:30 p.m. and dinner is served at 5:45 p.m. The Community Ministry Chaplain, Rev Susan Cole, is there between 3:30 and 7:00 p.m.
Bill 66 was introduced in the Ontario legislature just before the Christmas holidays. The short timeframe for discussion and consultation makes me think the legislators are trying to pass it before people have a chance to understand its effects. It is an omnibus bill, affecting dozens of different pieces of Ontario laws and regulations, many items of which are hidden behind indirect references, and all of which are to be voted on en masse. Omnibus bills tend to carry deleterious clauses which would never stand on their own, but which get passed only because of some other items in the same bill that are perceived to be more beneficial than the rest of the bill is bad.
Many groups joined together to provide information on Bill 66, and to make a concerted effort to bring our dissatisfaction to local municipal and provincial leaders. I made twodelegations to Woolwich Township Council urging them to pass a resolution to reject Bill 66 and to pledge that if passed, not to use this legislation to bypass the environmental regulations currently in place. Woolwich did pass a resolution, but stopped short of adding the pledge not to use it.
Bill 66 is a direct affront to the citizens of Ontario. Doug Ford made a pledge in May 2018 that the Green Belt areas would be not be subject to development. Now that Doug Ford is Premier of the Government of Ontario, I expect that pledge to be honoured.
Bill 66 affects existing laws and regulations at many Ministries, not just the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. It detrimentally affects the protections for workers in many separate regulations, detrimentally affects the protections for children in childcare, detrimentally affects seniors and patients in long-term care, and detrimentally affects consumers protections from wireless carriers. This is not an exhaustive list.
Bill 66 detrimentally affects environmental regulations more than any other. Under Schedule 10 municipalities no longer have to follow the regulations under the Clean Water Act, Great Lakes Protection Act, Greenbelt Act, Lake Simcoe Protection Act, and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, among many others.
Ontario and its municipalities have experienced the greatest prosperity in the last ten years, without needing to circumvent the environmental protections put in place by previous Conservative and Liberal governments. Removing these protections now will pit one municipality against another — if one municipality allows development in a protected area, it creates pollution for all the downwind and downstream neighbours, both in that municipality as well as surrouding municipalities. There will be increased infrastructure costs for those municipalities that receive the extra traffic from the development, but none of the anticipated revenue. Bill 66 is not something municipalities have asked for for, nor is it something municipalities need.
Speculators may have purchased land in the currently protected areas. Just having Bill 66 on the table has affected land values. Currently permitted uses for protected areas will become unaffordable, and the pressure on local governments to bypass environmental protections will be great. I’m happy to see many municipalities have passed resolutions rejecting Bill 66.
The citizens of Ontario are clear: Bill 66, with all its recissions of existing laws, must not be passed. I hope the elected representatives in the Legislature will fulfill their mandate and represent their constituents’ demands to reject Bill 66.