May Day Rally – 3pm Sunday, 1 May 2022 at the Waterloo Region Courthouse

May 1 | Kitchener-Waterloo Rally | 1:00pm
What: Kitchener-Waterloo Rally
When: 3:00pm – 6:00pm on Sunday, 1 May 2022 iCal
Where: Waterloo Region Courthouse
Location: 85 Frederick Street, Kitchener, Ontario Map
More info: Workers First | The Ontario Federation of Labour

It’s time for a $20 minimum wage, decent work, affordable housing, paid sick days, well-funded public services, livable income support for all, climate justice, and an end to racism and oppression. Join us!

The Council of Canadians writes:

There will be an Ontario Provincial Election on 2 June 2022. The Council of Canadians, along with a wide range of other community groups, are joining with the Ontario Federation of Labour for a day of action calling for a $20 minimum wage, decent work, affordable housing, well-funded public services, livable income support for all, livable income supports, and climate justice! There will be speakers, food trucks, tables and information from our Chapter and others, and we expect that participants from London and Guelph may also join our event. If you live in Kitchener-Conestoga, Kitchener-Hespeler, or Cambridge, you might want to particularly encourage friends, family and neighbours to join you to hear about the programs and initiatives we need to expect our next government to provide, such as significantly improving funding to our public healthcare and education systems in Ontario, as well as a return to valuing and safeguarding our environmental greenspaces, waterways, groundwater and precious farmland.

You’ll find more information about the Kitchener Waterloo Rally at Kitchener-Waterloo Rally & Carnival of Resistance. If you have friends and family in other parts of Ontario, you may want to share the link with them, so that they could participate in rallies that will be held near them as this is a province-wide event.

I hope you’ll come out and say hi to us at our table, enjoy the spring weather, and get to know others in our community.

Marilyn

For information on current issues and actions of local and national interest, see Kitchener-Waterloo Council of Canadians on Facebook.

For the foreseeable future, KW CofC will meet online using Zoom, the third Wednesday of every other month from 7 to 9pm. A reminder with agenda will be sent several days ahead.

E-mail: kw.cofc@gmail.com (KW Council of Canadians)

Protest The Bulldozing Of Encampments, 1pm on Sun 28 Nov 2021 at Charles & Stirling

Sunday November 28, 2021 at 1pm: PROTEST THE BULLDOZING OF ENCAMPMENTS | At the corner of Charles St. E & Stirling Ave! | 1. Bring a sign that speaks your heart! | "Stop criminalizing homelessness" | "Reallocate the police budget into life-giving services" | "Shelters are full: over 400 sleep rough" | "We want a compassionate community" | "Does this solve homelessness?" | 2. Bring a donation (only tents, sleeping bags, or cash). | Donations will be given to a nonprofit, working with unhoused people. | On Friday November 26, Waterloo Regional Bylaw, together with police, bulldozed the shelters of unhoused people living at Charles & Stirling. | Please wear a mask and respect social distancing (alternate paragraphs in black or white lettering on an orange background with an image of a powershovel destroying shelters)

Sunday November 28, 2021 at 1pm:

PROTEST THE BULLDOZING OF ENCAMPMENTS

At the corner of Charles St. E & Stirling Ave!

  1. Bring a sign that speaks your heart!
    “Stop criminalizing homelessness”
    “Reallocate the police budget into life-giving services”
    “Shelters are full: over 400 sleep rough”
    “We want a compassionate community”
    “Does this solve homelessness?”
  2. (image of the bucket of a power shovel over sleeping bags and other shelter material)

  3. Bring a donation (only tents, sleeping bags, or cash).

Donations will be given to a nonprofit, working with unhoused people.

On Friday November 26, Waterloo Regional Bylaw, together with police, bulldozed the shelters of unhoused people living at Charles & Stirling.

Please wear a mask and respect social distancing.

Stand Up For Palestinian Children’s Rights: Waterloo Square, 11am Saturday 27 November 2021

November 29 Is United Nations Day Of Solidarity With The Palestinian People

Arabic Federation flag (black, white, green horizontal stripes with a red equilateral triangle with one edge along the hoist side) 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.

If you have any questions please contact:

Kathy Bergen
bergenkathy@gmail.com

Group 9 Amnesty International (Waterloo Region) Write for Rights campaign starting December 1, 2021

Write For Rights -- Amnesty International
Amnesty International — Write For Rights
Dear Group Nine Human Rights Supporters,

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:

  1. by sending individual actions yourself (by post and/or online) at your cost,
  2. 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.

Email groupnine9@gmail.com for the drop off address and directions.

If you would like to make a contribution towards postage costs for the bulk mailing, please send an e-transfer to groupnine9@gmail.com

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..

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmnestyInternationalGroup9/

Website: https://www.amnesty.ca

E-mail: groupnine9@gmail.com

KW Solidarity March for #BlackLivesMatter: 5pm on Wed, 3 June 2020 at Victoria Park, Kitchener

What: KW Solidarity March for Black Lives Matter
When: Wednesday, 3 June 2020 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Where: Victoria Park, Kitchener, Ontario
Location: Joseph St. and Gaukel St. Map
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/584661392432523

Regis Korchinski-Paquet (illustration)
Justice for George (illustrtion of Geroge Floyd surrounded by a wreath of flowers)
Community leaders Selam Debs, Carla Beharry, Aaron Francis, ACB KW & with the support of Black Lives Matter – Waterloo Region bring to you KW Solidarity March for Black Lives Matter.

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)

SAFTEY INFORMATION:
-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

We will have more information soon

KEEP VISITING KW Solidarity March for Black Lives Matter FOR UP TO DATE DETAILS

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT PLEASE:

-DONATE MASKS, WATER, GARBAGE BAGS
-FIRST AID VOLUNTEERS
-VOLUNTEERS- AS MANY HANDS AS POSSIBLE
-LEGAL SUPPORT
-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

KEEP VISITING KW Solidarity March for Black Lives Matter FOR UP TO DATE DETAILS

DM Selam Debs OR Carla Beharry WITH ANY QUESTIONS.

PLEASE show kindness and respect with your questions as we are in a state of grieving right now. Only extend questions specific to how you can support.

You can also find updates on our IG’s @selamdebs & @carla.beharry

MORE details to come.

KWPeace Spring 2020 Potluck Dinner Meeting: Thursday 12 March 2020

New Date: Due to many other events on the 19th, the KWPeace Spring 2020 Potluck Dinner Meeting will be held on 12 March 2020 at 6:00pm in the Civic Hub

Potluck dinnerHello again KWPeace Groups organizers! The poll has spoken and the most popular date for the KWPeace Spring 2020 Potluck Dinner Meeting is Thursday 19 12 March 2020.

It turns out the Civic Hub is very popular, and there are already two other groups using the space on that date and time (Hello, Extinction Rebellion and KW Our Time!) Hopefully we can all share the space together (and have increased participation in the potluck), but I’ve indicated on the Civic Hub booking request that our alternate date would be Thursday 12 March 2020. So, keep both dates open for the moment!

The Spring 2020 Potluck Dinner Meeting is just before the summer festival season begins. I know some groups are already busy planning their events for the summer, so this is a great time to let us all know so we’re not booking the same dates and we’re able to attend each others’ events.

Vegetables on a plate in the shape of a Peace sign
Peace
What: KWPeace Spring 2020 Potluck Dinner Meeting
When: Thursday 12 March 2020 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Where: Civic Hub Waterloo Region
Location: 23 Water Street North, Kitchener, Ontario Map

To enter the Civic Hub at the doors on Duke Street; press the buzzer for Social Development Centre Waterloo Region to summon the doorkeeper.

And although the time for the actual meeting is 6:00pm to 8:00pm, there’s setup at 5:30pm and cleanup from 8:00pm to 8:30pm. Setup and cleanup assistance is greatly appreciated!

See you all at the Civic Hub!
–Bob.

POSTPONED: 2020 UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination — Cross Cultures

POSTPONED: The Cross Cultures UN Day will be rescheduled for a later date

Gehan Sabry writes:

due to the current situation, I am putting the event on hold, and hoping to re-schedule as soon as the corona virus pandemic subsides, at which time we hope that you will consider attending

take care

Gehan

Silent/Silenced | Niemoller's poem "In Germany, the Nazis came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist..."

Open Invitation

Come join us and be part of our TWENTIETH annual commemoration of the

UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL DAY for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Saturday 21 March 2020
A full day public event noon to evening at Kitchener City Hall

Discrimination requires dialogue and education.

We do not limit the day to racism.

We invite presentations that address any forms of discrimination.

Confirmed so far:

  • Two international award winning special needs theatre productions coming to Kitchener

    It gives me great pride to include two international theatre productions — one from Egypt and one from the Sharjah (United Arab Emirates) who include a cast of special needs individuals allowing them to flourish and share their incredible talents — the productions are internationally acclaimed, they are award winners and have been honoured by many entities including the UN, professionals in the field from Europe and many others.

    (sign language and English subtitles provided)

  • Anti racism in education

  • Anti racism and Yoga meditation

  • KADAPUL

    55 minute film followed by an interactive discussion

    It is more than just a film. It is a medium and the impact of cinema that we can ascertain positive mindsets especially towards women. It deals with the real identity of women — through trials and tribulations — we still stand strong and powerful. It is a true validation to self. It is a movement of mindset — that defines beauty.

    Be it Puri (Odisha) or North America — the problems and the movement is the same.

Sponsor if you can !

Your assistance in connecting me with people who wish to be involved would be greatly appreciated!

  • Panelist on specific topic
  • speaker on specific topic
  • Cultural, ethic, artistic presentation, visual art show, music, instrument, group dance during the evening’s Peace Concert
  • Showcase your talent, skill, culture
  • Promote your organization / business
  • Have an information table
  • There is also an opportunity to sponsor in the printed program

And so much to come… stay tuned

Please contact Gehan Sabry if you wish to be part of the day’s events: crosscultures@bellnet.ca, founder, editor, publisher of Cross Cultures Magazine

Promoting mutual respect since 1991 as well as a radio show Cross Cultures on CKWR 98.5 FM, the local community radio station that has celebrated 46 years on the air !

2020 UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination — Cross Cultures

Civic Hub – 2nd Small Groups Summit hosted by @SPCofKW

Dear All,

It has been a year since our initial mobilization around the idea of a Civic Hub. A number of us continued meeting throughout the 2018 and worked on grants, connections and the first vision statement: A home, a landmark, accessible to everyone interested in civic and grassroots groups to showcase what is being done in the community, to allow groups to support each other, recruit, communicate and build credibility and capacity for advocacy and delivery of services to the community.

The number of small groups and organizations interested in the initiative is growing. A number of projects bringing together ethnocultural groups in Waterloo Region in 2018 testified that common, affordable space is a foundation for communication, collaboration and growth for many groups who feel isolated, under-resourced and in constant competition for supports.

However, there is little understanding of the core work that civic groups and small non-profits do in Waterloo Region.

We can learn together with other non-profit networks who want to create hubs for their sectors, such as WR Environmental Network and WR Arts Council.

Our strength is in our diversity and our common vision.

On January 21st 2019, we will gather again to share updates and brainstorm ideas about the next steps in creation of a Civic Hub.


6pm at SDC Office Map
in St John Church,
23 Water St North in Kitchener
Entrance and doorbell on Duke St.

RSVP by January 15th. Please get in touch if you need more information or have ideas/comments to share before the 21st.

Wishing you only the best to come in 2019.
Warmest Holiday Regards,
Aleksandra Petrovic

Executive Director
Social Development Centre Waterloo Region
23 Water St. North, Kitchener ON, N2H 5A4
(entrance and doorbell on Duke Street)
Phone: 519-579-3800

Your Voice and Your Donation Count!
Give for A Better Common Future

We will gather again in the New Year! | Social Development Centre Waterloo Region office reopens on January 2nd 2018 (people sitting in a discussion group with notetakers in the background)

Trudy Beaulne, Executive Director of the Social Development Centre, has passed away

Trudy Beaulne
Trudy Beaulne in January 2016
I am very sorry to hear that Trudy Beaulne has passed away.

Trudy was the Executive Director of the Social Development Centre, a community leader, and a dear friend.

I first met Trudy at Connect with TransitionsKW, SPCKW and Leadnow where she spoke passionately about community involvement. We met again during the election of 2015, when she invited me to the New Hamburg debate and several educational opportunities for candidates hosted by the Social Planning Council of KW. Our paths crossed again and again at social justice events, when Trudy was speaking at the Basic Income consultation, and when I was invited to speak on election reform at a meeting of ALIVe.

Most recently Trudy joined KWPeace at our potluck in the spring. As a result of that meeting, Trudy started to work with some KWPeace groups on setting up a community hub, intended to provide meeting space and to provide guidance in getting funding for community groups.

Trudy was an inspiration to me, and taught me much about social justice. I will miss her.

–Bob Jonkman

In The News

Trudy Beaulne’s Funeral

Visitation: 10:00am to 2:00pm, Friday 12 January 2018
Sharing Memories: 2:00pm, Friday 12 January 2018
Where: Henry Walser Funeral Home
Location: 507 Frederick Street, Kitchener Map
Phone: +1-519-749-8467

Cropped from Aleksandra Petrovic Graonic & Trudy Beaulne (Social Development Centre of Waterloo Region), © 2017 copyright by Laurel L. Russwurm and used under permission of a CC BYCreative Commons — Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Stop Deportation of Issam al-Yamani

Hello friends of Palestine in KW and area,

A lot going on right now, here in Canada.

  1. This urgent action came in today from Canadian Friends of Sabeel. Mr ISSAM AL-YAMANI, a Palestinian-Canadian activist in Mississauga, is about to be deported. LETTERS NEEDED BY FRI AUG 4 if possible. At this link Action: Letters of support requested for Issam Al Yamani, facing deportation threat from Canada you will find more information and a sample letter. Issam has lived peacefully in Canada since 1985, and has no country to return to. Here is a letter I wrote today to Ministers Goodale and Hussen. Please act today.

    From: Eleanor Grant <eleanor7000@gmail.com>
    Date: Thu, Aug 3, 2017 at 12:58 PM
    Subject: Stop Deportation of Issam al-Yamani
    To: Goodale.R@parl.gc.ca, Hussen.A@parl.gc.ca
    Cc: Clement.T@parl.gc.ca, Rempel.M@parl.gc.ca, Mulcair.T@parl.gc.ca, matthew.dube@parl.gc.ca, Kwan.J@parl.gc.ca, Virani.A@parl.gc.ca, Chagger.B@parl.gc.ca

    To the Honourable Ahmed Hussen and Ralph Goodale, Ministers of Immigration and Public Safety:

    Re the deportation order against Mr Issam al-Yamani

    Please grant Ministerial Relief from deportation to this man, who has lived peacefully in Canada for more than 30 years.

    And please review his case and reinstate his permanent resident status.

    I draw your attention to this informative letter from the Ontario Civil Liberties Association:

    http://ocla.ca/letter-canadas-record-regarding-the-civil-rights-of-mr-issam-al-yamani/

    In addition to the facts mentioned in the letter, I would add that the PFLP was not a banned group in Canada until 2003, long after Mr Al-Yamani ceased association with it; and that Mr Al-Yamani would become stateless if deported to Lebanon, where he was born a refugee.

    Mr Al-Yamani has no national home but Canada and he has been an exemplary Canadian resident and family man.

    I urge you to let him stay in Canada and to drop all threats against him.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Eleanor Grant
    Waterloo Ont

    cc Opposition critics Tony Clement, Michelle Rempel, Tom Mulcair, Matthew Dube, Jenny Kwan

    cc Arif Virani MP cc Bardish Chagger MP

    I made 2 small mistakes in the recipient list cc line:

    1. Instead of Arif Virani MP I meant to cc it to Omar Alghabra, who is Issam’s own MP.
    2. The address for Matt Dube (NDP critic for Public Safety) should be matthew.dube@parl.gc.ca .

    You will of course want to change Bardish Chagger to your MP if you don’t live in Waterloo.

  2. You may also be interested to hear that Canadian-Israeli journalist DAVID SHEEN is facing a defamation lawsuit by an unsavoury Israeli general. David does exceptional work making known in the West the increasingly racist culture happening in Israel at present; I heard him speak at U Waterloo in 2015. Canadian Journalists for Free Expression is asking the Cdn govt to get involved:

    Defamation suit against Israeli-Canadian journalist David Sheen must be dismissed – CJFE | Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

    As yet they have not requested mass support.

  3. If you’ve been following the case of HASSAN DIAB, the Lebanese-Canadian professor being detained in France on flimsy charges – his supporters are requesting financial support for his mounting legal costs:

    Justice for Hassan Diab | Bring Hassan Home!

    Click on How You Can Help.

  4. Lastly, close to home in London Ont, an assortment of Islamophobic hate groups are getting a foothold. I heard today that a Christian Peacemaker Teams group in Kitchener has been asked to support a Speak Peace rally in London on Aug 26 at one of these hate events. To attend, some training in nonviolence is required – the training will take place in London on Aug 25 and 26. IF YOU THINK YOU WOULD LIKE TO TAKE PART IN THIS TRAINING AND THE RALLY, I will put you in touch with Esther of CPT in Kitchener.

Thank You for all you do to be a light in these times.

Eleanor Grant
on Twitter @eleanor70001