Saturday, 13 October 2018

World Beyond War Conference 2018

Toronto, Ontario September 21 - 22, 2018.



Brief report from Greta Zarro, Organizing Director of World Beyond War:
  • #NoWar2018 was a huge success.
  • More than 200 attended.
  • See the conference on our video channel — youtube.com/worldbeyondwar
  • The theme of replacing war with the rule of law was well explored by activists and experts who formed new alliances, strategic plans for future work on education, closing bases, and divestment, and developed possible ideas for creative actions.
  • Our small budget and 3 half-time staff impressed several who thought we were a large well funded organization. Please donate.
  • Patricia Kambitsch of Playthink did some amazing illustrations to capture the vibe of the conference plenaries. See her work and more in our Facebook photo album.
  • Website updates will be posted as time permits.

Koozma J. Tarasoff’s Comments

On June 24 2018, I posted: Suggestions for 'World Beyond War' Conference in Toronto Sept. 21 - 22, 2018.

After watching the conference video Highlights of #NoWar2018, here are some of my quick impressions, questions and answers:
  • How can we persuade the world powers to get rid of nuclear weapons? Today the stockpile of nuclear weapons is 14,575. They are a serious threat to our civilization. Making money from killing is evil!
  • Canadian military heads are not too interested in peace because they look to the USA as a favourite country with their many dangerous toys of war. (William Geimer).
  • Canada’s Foreign Affairs Dept. claims it needs ‘hard power’ instead of peacekeeping resulting in increasing the military budget to $22 billion, the highest ever. Only 173 Canadian soldiers are in peacekeeping today. And we have Canadian soldiers in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland provoking Russia. (Tamara Lorincz).
  • Many or most soldiers returning home from the field suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. War is evil. Let’s stop it and begin the process of living as civilized homo sapiens.
  • We are facing nuclear war, dying oceans, decaying cities, water shortage, growth inequality, etc., all adding to a breakdown of civil society. We need peace urgently so that we can work together to deal with the looming ecological global crisis. (Kent Shifferd).
  • We need to find alternatives to war with compulsory international mechanisms for nonviolent dispute resolution. (James Ranney).
  • Departments and other infrastructures for peace to promote legal frameworks for conflict resolution by peaceful means at home and abroad. (Saul Arbess).
  • Misinformation technologies are challenging the role of diplomacy in society. We need to persuade FaceBook to be accountable for its actions. (Branka Marijan).
  • The United Nations charter states that war is illegal, ‘with exceptions’. But the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact had no exceptions; it was an international agreement in which signator states promised not to use war ‘to resolve disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they might be, which may arise among them’. (David Swanson).
  • Humans have the ability to choose not to go to war. We can, for example, create Departments of Peace in our governments. Where there is a will, there is a way. (Karen Johnson).
  • Americans have over 1.3 million military personnel in about 5,000 bases around the world requiring a $610 billion budget to service them. Yet only 5% of this budget ($30 billion) could solve starvation in our world. Where is our wisdom?
  • Peace education should apply to all levels in our education system, beginning with Grade one. Peace is everybody's business. (Rose).
  • There is a nationalist myth that Canada is a peaceful country that does not believe in wars. Advancing empire support and businesses abroad contradict this myth. (Yves Engler).
  • Colonial domination of indigenous peoples was an act of genocide and war. (Azeezah Kanji).
  • Mass movements win, while fringe movements don’t. We need to mobilize minorities for national consensus by resisting wars and building peace. (Kevin Zeese).

3 comments:

  1. Murray Thomson, Ottawa, Ontario13 October 2018 at 18:14

    Well done, Koozma, as usual. We must find ways to work together. On October 30 the Intnl Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is holding an all-day Conference in North York. Setsuko Thurlow and Beatrice Fihn, who were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize will be present. Also Tilman Ruff, a former Australian PM. How can we maximize what we all do to better advantage? A Divestment Campaign sounds like it might bear fruit. What is your view?
    Keep well, and active!

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    1. Murray, you are absolutely right. We members of the peace and environment groups need to work together if we are to have any influence on the big forces of military industrial complex and government. A Divestment Campaign could be a good start such as opposing the policy of Canada using the Pension plan to invest billions of dollars in companies that supply Israel's military, police and prisons.

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  2. Didn't see you there Koozma but not surprised that you were! A friend and I attended the World Beyond War conference in Washington last year and I was able to take in part of this one. WBW are illustrating by example what a small group of people can do. Bringing together a "study day" (and a preceding evening) that is inexpensive, smoothly organized and energizing. This itself could be replicated at universities and schools across Canada. Perhaps the September date could be used for that.

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