Oakville event with Professor Metta Spencer, Sept. 24th

September 4, 2008

If you live in the GTA, please consider attending this event:

When: Wednesday, September 24, 2008, 7 PM

Who: Oakville Community Centre for Peace, Ecology and Human Rights (OCCPEHR)

What: Peace Public Forum on the Struggle for Peace & Democracy in Russia with Professor Metta Spencer

Where: St. Jude’s Anglican Church, 160 William Street, Oakville

Link/Phone: www.oakvillepeacecentre.org / (905) 849-5501


Peace and Friendship Gathering – Friday,August 22 to Sunday, August 24, 2008 – Chiefswood Park, Ohsweken, Six Nations Territory

August 7, 2008

Peace and Friendship Gathering

Friday, August 22 to Sunday, August 24, 2008

Chiefswood Park, Ohsweken, Six Nations Territory

The third weekend in August will witness a historic gathering of the people of Six Nations and their allies from across Ontario and Turtle Island. From Friday, August 22 to Sunday, August 24, hundreds of people will gather at Chiefswood Park in the town of Ohsweken, Six Nations territory for a three day festival of friendship and solidarity.

The vision for this event was inspired from the work that has been accomplished by the people of Six Nations in the spirit of the Great Law of Peace and the good minds that have been tireless in moving this vision forward. Many have lent their voice, strength and support to building greater awareness, understanding, friendship and solidarity between our peoples. The Peace and Friendship Gathering will facilitate the opportunity for all of us to learn, be inspired, and gather a greater understanding and respect of the relationships that indigenous and non-indigenous people have.

The primary focus of the festival will be a series of workshops, talks and presentations related to indigenous sovereignty, environmental politics and issues of anti-racism and social justice. In addition to talks and workshops, we will also be holding a series of cultural events including live music performances, dances and film screenings. Park facilities will be open for people to play sports, swim, watch open-air films, camp overnight and otherwise enjoy a child-friendly, drug and alcohol free weekend of fun and learning.

We welcome everybody who comes in peace and friendship to this event.

The event is being organized by a grassroots committee of Six Nations residents and non-native supporters. It is being hosted by the Haudenosaunee Men’s Council of the Grand River.

For more information, please e-mail peaceandfriendshipgathering@gmail.com

http://solidarityfestival.wordpress.com


A message to Toronto by Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba

August 6, 2008

Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba has sent a special message to Toronto by video for the opening of an exhibition of photographs from Hiroshima and Nagasaki and drawings by atom bomb survivors that opens today inside Toronto City Hall at 5:30 and runs until August 11. The exhibition will be opened by the Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow. Phyllis Creighton is the MC. The Toronto
Hiroshima-Nagasaki commemoration will take place at the Toronto City Hall Peace Garden August 9 at 6:30 pm.


A MESSAGE TO TORONTO BY HIROSHIMA MAYOR TADATOSHI AKIBA:

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am more than happy to send this message to Toronto, an important ally in the struggle against nuclear weapons.

I am aware that Toronto holds a ceremony every year to commemorate Hiroshima Day, and I thank Mayor Miller, a Mayor for Peace, for his support in maintaining this tradition.

I want to thank Setsuko and James Thurlow who have been instrumental in the Toronto commemoration from the beginning. And I thank the people of Toronto for your ongoing support and concern.

Setsuko has been a vital presence for decades, one of the few A-bomb survivors with the ability and devotion to travel throughout Canada and the U.S. to communicate the horror of the atomic bombings and Hiroshima’s message that it must never happen again.

James has worked closely with Hiroshima since the 1970s to build and reinforce the relationship between Hiroshima and Toronto. He has spearheaded A-bomb exhibitions, essay contests and the transfer of our peace flame to your Peace Garden.

The Thurlows, the City of Toronto and many of you have been doing more than your duty but the danger is still with us. In fact, it is growing and unfortunately we need you now to work like never before.

I understand that you will soon be hearing my peace declaration for this year so I will not repeat that message here. Instead, let me get straight to my request:

Today, we will ask Mayor Miller to sign an appeal in support of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki protocol and I am asking all of you to sign our on-line petition. Please go to our website to learn the content and strategic importance of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki protocol. All I want to do now is to assure you that no public document is more important to your future.

The Hiroshima-Nagasaki protocol is the way a world leader can express his or her unequivocal commitment to a nuclear weapons-free world. It is our collective task now to demand that all our leaders make this commitment.

Nuclear weapons are cruel, inhumane and cannot be limited to the battlefield in either time or space. They are obviously illegal under the Geneva Conventions and they should have been banned decades ago. In addition, we face the immanent danger that the so-called “war on terror” will go nuclear.

It is time for the international community to take action. We face a critical moment. In the next two years, the human family will decide whether to eliminate nuclear weapons or to let them spread and be used. To ensure that we make the right decision, the people of this planet need to stand up and demand clearly and forcibly that our leaders liberate us from the threat of nuclear annihilation.

Please google “Mayors for Peace” and the “2020 Vision Campaign” to find our website and sign our online petition. Finally, please do everything you can to support our 2020 Vision Campaign. With your help, we can be rid of nuclear weapons by 2020 and bequeath to our children a safer and saner and more co-operative world. Thank you very much.

Tadatoshi Akiba
Mayor of Hiroshima
President, Mayors for Peace
http://www.mayorsforpeace.org/english/outlines/index.html

Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol:
http://www.mayorsforpeace.org/english/citiesappeal.pdf


Toronto CDPI AGM in NOW Magazine

April 14, 2008

I am a longtime member of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative (CDPI) and head of its new Brampton Chapter. We had our 2008 AGM in Toronto on the weekend of April 4-6. It was energizing and uplifting to see all our supporters, especially the following politicians: in my riding of Brampton-Springdale MP (Liberal) Dr. Ruby Dhalla, Etobicoke Centre MP (Liberal) Borys Wrzesnewskyj, Trinity-Spadina MP (NDP) Olivia Chow, and the Leader of the Green Party of Canada Elizabeth May. The empty chair on the stage at Friday evening’s opening meeting at The Church of the Holy Trinity for Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier was a stark symbol of the ruling Conservative Party’s lack of interest in our initiative. However, I just heard back from my colleague Rob Acheson of the Toronto CDPI chapter that he has met with Bev Oda, Minister of International Cooperation and CIDA, Colin Carrie (Oshawa), Mike Wallace (Burlington) and David Sweet (Hamilton). Rob is diligently working on meeting with more Conservative MPs and hopefully inroads will be made.

For more about our AGM, please read this article in NOW Magazine:


Getting past the petty

We can’t make peace our foreign policy till pols stop political blood sport
Andrew Cash

Loath as I am to admit it, music alone won’t change our war-making ways.

That’s why the April 4 all-party (except the governing one) panel kicking off a conference the next day promoting the idea of a Canadian Department of Peace at Friends House on Lowther is such a tonic.

[…]

Read rest of this article here.

Listen to these NOW audio clips:

Saul Arbess, National Co-Chair of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative talks about the mandate and the roll of a minister of peace:

Bill Bhaneja, National Co-Chair of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative talks about disarmament after the end of the Cold War:

Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj talks about the difficulties big tent national parties have in moving an agenda like this forward:

Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj talks further about the importance of speaking with MP’s who have made decisions, like supporting Afghanistan, and showing them ways of changing those decisions:

http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=162548