Perpectives On Peace: Where’s the Peace and Justice? was held on Saturday, 27 October 2018 at Kitchener City Hall.
The video is ©2018 by Laurel L. Russwurm and released under a Creative Commons Attribution Only (CC BY) license.
Perpectives On Peace: Where’s the Peace and Justice? was held on Saturday, 27 October 2018 at Kitchener City Hall.
The video is ©2018 by Laurel L. Russwurm and released under a Creative Commons Attribution Only (CC BY) license.
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!
Photo cropped from Oz Cole-Arnal and Nadine, © 2015 by Laurel L. Russwurm, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Only (CC BY) 2.0 license.
On Saturday, 27 October 2018 KW Peace held the second Perspectives on Peace symposium. Lunch was provided at no cost thanks to the generosity and work of Kitchener Food Not Bombs.
Photos copyright © 2018 by Laurel L. Russwurm, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
Slides of The Climate and Environmental Impacts of the Canadian Military copyright © 2018 by Tamara Lorincz used by permission.
Are you an organizer for a Waterloo Region group that advocates for Peace, Nonviolence, or one of the many faces of Social Justice? Please join us at the Fall 2018 KWPeace Potluck Meeting.
The primary item on the agenda is this year’s Perspectives On Peace. This year we’re planning to serve lunch courtesy of Kitchener Food Not Bombs and we have special guest speaker Tamara Lorincz to talk about Canada’s new defence and foreign policies and the environmental and social impacts such as climate, military spending, &c.
If you have any particular items you’d like to discuss please let Mo Markham know at email@example.com
The meeting is also a potluck dinner, so bring something to share if you can. Past contributions have included salads, entrées, snacks, and desserts. Some will be vegetarian and vegan dishes.
What: Fall 2018 KWPeace Potluck Meeting
When: Thursday 4 October 2018 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Where: Peace and Justice Room, Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church
Location: 57 Stirling Avenue North, Kitchener, Ontario Map
See you at the potluck meeting!
It’s time we held another information sharing and planning meeting, and have some wonderful potluck food.
Every few months the organizers of many different peace, social justice, environmental, political, and spiritual organizations from Waterloo Region come together to share what they’re doing in the community, invite each other to participate, and possibly collaborate on new ventures. Everyone is invited! It’s a potluck meeting, so bring some food or a beverage to share, and enjoy all the different dishes others have brought. The food is mostly vegetarian, some vegan, some gluten-free.
Many thanks to our hosts at the Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church for letting us use the Peace and Justice room again!
Please send brief updates and upcoming events to Mo at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can include them in the minutes of the meeting. Thanks!
Hello CPT and seekers of justice and peace Friends, Several weeks ago there was a rally that PEGIDA, a right wing Islamophobic group held in London, and our group People for Peace was there to counter their message. The turnout was better than expected and we outnumbered the above group, and were mostly successful in drowning out their hateful rhetoric. Having to plan at short notice, we did experience a number of situations during the rally which could have been managed in a more positive way.
PEGIDA was not happy with us however, and are now coming back with a vengeance on August 26, and they are courting other right wing groups to come with them, as listed in the announcement below, for another rally on the steps of London’s city hall. There have also been vitriolic comments aimed at individuals within our group, threats, and that too, is concerning. We support our Muslim community and want to communicate a message of welcome, and “Speaking Peace”. We feel an urgent need for an even larger peaceful presence, and are planning a two to three hour “Nonviolence Training” to be held either on Friday evening or early Saturday morning, prior to the event. We are still working out details and it depends too, on who may be coming from a distance. We are prepared to offer accommodations as needed. There are already offers for car pooling from a distance.
Please let me know whether you can come, when, what your needs will be, and whether you can help with the “Nonviolence Training”. As we find out who is coming and when, I will provide more details as we plan for this event. Please plan to bring your singing voices, justice and peace signs, banners, rainbows, bubbles, balloons etc, to make it a colourful event!
In peace and solidarity,
Esther Kern <email@example.com>
There are several groups in and around London (PEGIDA, JDL. Proud Boys, Sons of Odin, biker groups such as Hell’s Angels etc.), all xenophobic groups spewing hate who are gathering to try to spread their messages of intolerance and Islamophobia. People for Peace London calls on all Londoners to join us for a peaceful, non violent, inclusive, diverse counter rally:
Saturday August 26, 10:30 am.
London, in front of or near City Hall at Dufferin and Wellington (note: this location may change, and we may gather earlier in Victoria Park to prepare ourselves). We will dispel the myths that the hate groups promote, educate the public and stand together in unity against their violent messages. Please bring drums, rattles, stories of inclusion, poetry and your love for humanity.
Please share the Facebook event and watch that page for updates:
People for Peace, London Ontario
CBC News Posted: Mar 21, 2017 7:00 AM ET
(Note: CBC does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external links.)
An all-day event at Kitchener City Hall Tuesday is meant to open the discussion on racism in Waterloo region.
The event marks the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and is organized by the editor of the local website Cross Cultures, Gehan Sabry.
In the past year, there has been a lot of talk about racism in the region and Sabry hopes this event — now in its 16th year — will help kickstart more dialogue about the issue.
“There is racism,” Sabry said.
“Sometimes it’s more obvious and to the surface,” she added. “We’re hoping that people, through understanding each other, that there will be less of the unknown and treat each other as human beings instead of labelling and stereotyping and being leery of other people because they just don’t understand them.”
The day will include several speakers, presentations, booths, music and discussions. The morning and early afternoon is largely for high school students, but the public is encouraged to take part in events starting at 2 p.m.
One of those talks will be by the organization Bridges to Belonging. Executive director Cameron Dearlove said that group is known for helping people with developmental disabilities or mental health issues, but he says they help anyone who struggles to build a full life in the community.
He said their message will be about how we need to see each other as people first.
“Everybody, whether you have a disability or not, has gifts, has talents, has passions,” he said. “If people aren’t sharing those, that’s our job to help people uncover those and find the places where they can share those and build their life within the community.”
This year’s theme is Our Home On Native Land, and Sabry said it’s important because we need to remember “we are all guests of the Indigenous people of this Turtle Island.”
Sabry, who is Muslim, said she hopes people will come, listen and then go back to their communities and talk about the issues.
“I’m hoping people will be encouraged to share this information with others: Their family, their friends, their colleagues. And that we can promote better feelings amongst us, more peace, more respect, mutual respect,” she said.
Tuesday, 21 March 2017, 8:45am to 8:45pm
Rotunda, Kitchener City Hall
(even by Skype – that can be arranged)
annual commemoration of the
in our 16th year
a FREE public event
Elder Jean Becker
dignitaries bringing greetings
theme for this year:
Inspector Mike Haffner
Mike Haffner is the WRPS Executive Officer to the Chief and is there on behalf of the Chief – will give acknowledgement of our indigenous peoples land
Kristin Little is an extremely valuable civilian member of our police service. She is an Open Source Analyst with the Hate Crime and Extremism Investigative Team. She monitors social media for 15 different police services in Ontario. She will be talking about hate crimes and the different types, hate incidents, why people commit hate crimes, types of extremism and the importance of reporting hate crimes
Narsiesse a First Nation writer, director, and filmmaker will open up about THE WINEMAKER film series and discuss some elements of the film’s origins that cover many of his passions, including First Nation mythos. Narsiesse will show phase one of THE WINEMAKER film series, then will share various artwork created by artists from around the world, who were inspired by THE WINEMAKER imagery and many of its First Nation themes and symbols. An interactive discussion and an opportunity to speak with Narsiesse and other members of THE WINEMAKER cast follows
Home To Me & Outsiders
two lovely music videos done my First Nations, Metis and Inuit students in Canada followed by group discussion(led by Marianna Worth & Tammy Webster)
Islamic School of Cambridge & others
to include all students signing
Bring your own lunch
schools usually attend from the morning till approximately 2:00pm when they need to return to their respective schools
however . . . students are welcome to stay and attend .. but at their own responsibility or accompanied by their own adults
2:00pm – 7:00pm
we continue with
more speakers & interactive dialogue
discrimination against “other”
the emerging / surfacing biases and fear of unknowns
A social worker and mother of three from London Ontario
As a social worker she has worked with many marginalized and traumatized individuals, families and communities and began her work in Palestine after Operation ‘Cast Lead’ and saw through photos and direct accounts of the horror and devastation inflicted by Israel on Gaza. Wendy is a member of the steering committee of Canada Boat to Gaza, a representative at Freedom Flotilla Coalition and on the Media team for the Women’s Boat to Gaza. Wendy recently returned from Barcelona, Spain, Ajaccio, Corsica and Messina, Sicily where she participated in the sailing of the Zaytouna
Dr. Richard Walsh
A retired professor of psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University, where he specialized in community psychology and in the history, philosophy, and ethics of psychology. He is the lead author of the 2014 book, A Critical History and Philosophy of Psychology, published by Cambridge University Press. In 1999 he received Laurier’s outstanding teaching award.
Richard is an active member of a local faith community; he sings in its choir and in Inshallah, the local interfaith choir
Richard was the Green Party candidate for Waterloo in the 2015 federal election. He serves as critic for mental health in the Green Party of Canada Shadow Cabinet. He is also the critic for poverty reduction in the Green Party of Ontario Shadow Cabinet
Locally, he is a founding member of the Alliance Against Poverty
Cameron Dearlove – executive director
Carmen Sutherland – community relations
“Bridges to Belonging ‘s vision for “a Waterloo Region where everyone belongs- where we value meaningful relationships, honour choices and dreams, and celebrate the uniqueness of each person”. How do we get there? How does inclusion and belonging interact, and how are they different? How can you build bridges to belonging in your community?”
Current president of the Afghan Association of Waterloo Region, Wasai was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and for over 22 years has served with numerous non-profit organizations, here in Canada and overseas and has been living in Kitchener for the past 14 years
The Laurier Friendship Dinners brought forty Laurier students, fourteen Syrian newcomer families and 40 community members together for a series of celebratory, welcoming dinners in the fall of 2016. Come and listen to a group of students, Syrian newcomers and community members share what they learned about refugee realities and building cross cultural friendships through this initiative in which students and community members collaborated through family visits, menu planning, grocery shopping, cooking Syrian feasts and celebrating together
Syrian refugees — newcomers — integration
…the existing homelessness & poverty
the concerns of a community split between prioritizing:
Resolutions passed by the Green Party at last year’s Special General Meeting.
Dimitri Lascaris is a lawyer, activist and journalist. He is the former justice critic in the shadow cabinet of the Green Party of Canada. In 2012, he was named by Canadian Lawyer Magazine as one of the 25 most influential lawyers in Canada, and in 2013, Canadian Business Magazine named him one of the 50 most influential persons in Canadian business. He is currently a board member and correspondent of The Real News Network, based in Baltimore, Maryland.
Dimitri will discuss the disconnect between Canadian public opinion and the Canadian government’s unqualified support for the government of Israel.The International Court of Justice has held unanimously that Israel’s settlements constitute a grave breach of international law. Virtually the entire international community, including Canada’s government, agrees with this assessment. Yet the Canadian government continues to support Israel lavishly. A new poll leaves no doubt that Canadians do not agree with its government’s approach to Israel. Why does this disconnect exist?
Good Hearted Women Singers
Mino Ode Kwewak N’gamowak (Good Hearted Women Singers) are an Indigenous and non-Indigenous women’s drum circle following the teachings of Community Elder Jean Becker and led by Songkeeper, Kelly Laurila. Our outreach and singing in public has much to do with building positive relations with Settler peoples. Although Canada is in a process of reconciliation, colonization and assimilation policies still permeate the lives of many Indigenous peoples today. In addition the water, mother earth and our environment need everyone’s help. We believe that building relationships with one another can help us understand one another and work towards the good of all peoples.
Songs our drum circle will sing:
I am from Ontario and grew up along the mazina’iga-ziibi/Missinihe-ziibi (Credit River) and the springs of the Naadaw-zaaga-ziibi (Nottawasaga River). As far as I know my ancestors are of Irish and English decent. I have relatives from Pimicikamak Cree Nation, known as Cross Lake, and other connections to the original people of Turtle Island. My given name is Kip Matthew Carpenter.
The first time he met Mino Ode Kwewak N’gamowak it was a true honour to offer a poetic blessing to these Good Hearted Women. Having been born on Turtle Island it is deeply humbling for him to be able to express support in anyway possible for the international day to end racism. Much of his time has been spent in what is now known as Ontario and if there is ever a chance such as this to express and pray for more progress or healing, it is with deep gratitude he offers much more than his words. He will and does listen. He hopes semaa will keep him strong as he offers this same blessing again to all today. Acknowledging this land was taken in broken treaties, his support to the best of his ability is freely offered, he currently lives in Guelph and his given name is Kip Carpenter.
G’chi miigewetch, Kip
followed by the
and the visual artists extravaganza …
Brenda Lewis is a professional musician – Jazz Soul & Roots vocalist, publicist and human rights advocate, longtime Guelph resident she was most recently featured in The Jazz Room’s celebrated concert series in Uptown Waterloo, and currently performs with some of Canada’s finest musicians, including Margaret Stowe, Tony Quarrington, Jeff Bird, John Zadro and Gayle Ackroyd in this region, Toronto and across Ontario in acclaimed venues and festivals. Her CDs have been played on CBC, BBC and Jazz.FM and her new jazz release “Far & Near” (her third) is quickly garnering critical praise
Rhythms in Steel have been playing for about 3 years as a six piece acoustic Steelband in Waterloo Region. Band members include
The band’s repertoire has a Caribbean flavour of reggae, soca, calypso and folk songs of the Caribbean. They perform at Parties, Churches, Retirement homes, Schools, Community Festivals and Fundraising Events for Charities.
by students from the African UBUNTU kids club
Acoustic Steel is a six member acoustic steel band. The musicians are:
The band started playing together seven years ago and play a diverse selection of songs suited to the unique sound of the Steel drum and rhythms of the Caribbean. Events at which the band has been invited to play include
Community Festivals, Charitable Fundraising Events, Weddings, private parties and Corporate functions
one of the regular participants over the years will be performing as a three piece this year
This is always a work in progress … it grows as you:
please feel free to call or email me to participate
Community building through playing games. Bring a game or play one of ours.
Admission is free
Wednesday 15 March 2017 7:00pm
Queen Street Commons Cafe
43 Queen St. S., Kitchener Map
Come join us for an evening traditional board games such as Chess, Checkers, and Monopoly.
Special feature: KWPeace member Isaiah has developed an educational game that explores and makes accessible the complex relationship between environmental limits, climate change and various conflicts within and between societies. He’s happy to present this game to our group — Come out, and be one of the first people to play!