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.
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
Hello again KWPeace Groups organizers! The poll has spoken and the most popular date for the KWPeace Spring 2020 Potluck Dinner Meeting is Thursday 19 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.
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!
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,
Social Development Centre Waterloo Region
23 Water St. North, Kitchener ON, N2H 5A4
(entrance and doorbell on Duke Street)
I was visiting my oldest son Bill and his partner Darlene when I heard the awful news of the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I felt gut-punched and burst into tears. With so much hatred in the world, with the “othering” of all God’s vulnerable — Jews, blacks, women, Muslims, immigrants, LGBTQ — reaching new heights of murderous invective and hate as the wave of neo-Fascism arising throughout the western democracies, this attack in Squirrel Hill struck me exceedingly close to home. I am an ex-American from Western Pennsylvania, roughly an hour by auto to Pittsburgh, yet the emotions involve a deeper gut-wrenching connection than the thirty-mile jaunt by car to that city. In the years of graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh (1970-1975) my wife and two boys lived in the Greenfield neighbourhood, immediately bordering Squirrel Hill, within easy walking distance. We would often walk and browse the shops in that lovely neighborhood, enjoy kosher baked goods, hearing yiddish that we could not understand but always welcomed by residents Jew and Gentile alike. Our landlord Ezra Stein, a practicing Jew, was gentle, kindly and fair with his rental charge. I remember fondly how he quickly repaired a broken pipe, working to get the job done quickly so that our newborn Brad could be warmed as soon as possible upon his arrival from the hospital. My academic mentor was Dr. Seymour Drescher, renowned scholar on abolition of the slave trade(s), who, with his wife Ruth, also practice their Jewish faith. Since that time we have become friends and colleagues. Add to that my doctoral thesis, the relationship between French Catholicism and the right-wing, horribly anti-Semitic Action Française, brought me deeply in touch with the so-called “Christian” legacy of anti-Judaism from the medieval pogroms to Hitler’s Final Solution. During my research in France I met Joel Blatt, another brother of Jewish background, and we remain in touch to this very day. So I cry out in outrage and have shed many tears against this murderous rampage in Squirrel Hill, beyond principle alone. It has grinded my very viscera.
Yes, I celebrate not only those Jewish brothers and sisters of Squirrel Hill who, instead of seeking even “appropriate” retribution have marshalled their forces collectively, in that locus and in my own Waterloo Region, along with Muslims, LBGTQ folk, a grand variety of faiths, including us “Christians”, to cry out NO MORE” to simple “eye for eye & tooth for tooth” but like the prophets of old have railed against evil (such as the hate fascism of Donald Trump, et. al., including his minions in our own land). Yet even louder have they embodied a massive solidarity in vigils that say, our collective voice of non-violent courage will stand tall against such fascist rebirth.
Chiefly though I call out to my fellow “followers” of the “Way” to remember the demands of their baptism to embody that ancient formula (Galatians 3:28) — “There is no longer Jew or Greek (Gentile), …slave or free,… male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” This text does not squash these separate identities into some kind of neutral category, but rather affirms that the character of each is embraced with fullness and acceptance, something that those vigils in my two countries (the U.S. and Canada) affirmed loudly. Yet vigils are not enough! We must daily find ways to roll back the encroaching fascism exploding in our midst, liberated into open violence by “hate” regimes, whether in France, Germany, the United States and Canada. We must, as my dear friend Rabbi David Levy chanted in Hebrew over against the attack on the poor in those Days of Action over two decades ago (Isaiah 58:6-7a): “Is this not the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice,… to let the oppressed go free…? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your houses?”, embody this daily. Our baptism is our pledge to stand tall and massively against any and all attacks on all who are “othered” and victimized in our society.
The Squirrel Hill violence reminds us yet again of the long history of our marginalized and murdered Jewish sisters and brothers. The Hitler ovens are not just past history. They lurk as hidden beasts, beginning to pounce again. And, of course, we who are Lutheran bear a heavier load of need to repentance, which means much more than the easy escape of a cheap confession of guilt. That Greek word of metanoia means “to turn one’s life around.” So, in our baptism we promise to embody this radical stance against “the Powers” and for the vulnerable. And, lest we forget, the one in whose name we were watered is Yeshua bar Miriam & Joseph, a Jew!