Monday, 18 December 2017

Peace Networking Works

As a Doukhobor, I have striven to develop a personal network among people for peace, particularly where I live in Ottawa. I often attend peace events, lectures and meetings with The Society of FriendsOttawa Peace Festival, Canadian Department of Peace Initiative (CPI), No War/Paix, and other efforts promoting world peace.

In 2007 I was invited to attend the First Global Nonkilling Leadership Forum where I met over 30 participants from 20 countries. I presented my paper: Tolstoy and the Doukhobors and expanded my peace network.

Dr. S. Jeyapragasam addressing a panel discussion:
'Mahatma Gandhi Today: In India and the World',
Carleton University, June 23, 2017.

There I met and befriended many like-minded people for peace including Dr. S. Jeyapragasam, co-editor of Ahimsa Nonviolence, journal of the International Gandhian Institute for Nonviolence and Peace (IGISP), India. Since then, Dr. J. has visited Canada where we met again on several occasions. During our conversations he invited me to contribute articles to this international journal.

In the latest issue of Ahimsa Nonviolence (May-August 2017), two of my short articles were published at the beginning and end of the journal.
  1. 'What I have learned from peace activism in the world', pages 84-85
  2. 'Remember peace and nuclear disarmament on "Remembrance Day"', pages 158-159 — Excerpt from my blog post on 13 Nov 2017.


Comments by email

After I sent the link of the journal (PDF) to my peace network on December 1st, I got 8 replies:

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Dr. S. Jeyapragasam, India
Dear Brother,
I thank you for your email. I admire and appreciate your continued noble work for Peace and Nonviolence. Let us remain in touch. 
With gratitude, regards and prayers.
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Bill Bhaneja, Ottawa, Ontario
Thank you so much for this empowering piece and the work you have been doing all these years holding light to truth and building bridges for peace. It has been a privilege to work side by side over the past decade. Also, wonderful to see after a long time the PDF copy of Ahimsa Nonviolence, your article rightfully deserved the lead in this issue.
In Unity of Peace.
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Hon. Douglas Roche, Edmonton, Alberta
Thank you for sharing your wonderful article, which I read with great appreciation. I am grateful for all you do to keep us focused on the peace issues. 
All the best.
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John and Barb Taylor, Vancouver, British Columbia
Thank you for your many contributions toward peace. I remember you from a Peace and Disarmament conference in Ottawa in the mid-1980s. I was there from Halifax as a member of Voice of Women. Afterwards, you sent me an envelope of photos from the event, which I still have.
I read with interest your article at the beginning of the Ahimsa Nonviolence journal cited below. If we still had our Vancouver WILPF Peacelines journal, I would ask for permission to reprint it. Even more, I appreciated your photo report from the Peace observance of Remembrance Day in Ottawa on Nov. 11, 2017. I was unable to copy and reprint it, so urge all those interested to click on your Spirit Wrestlers website and scroll to the bottom three pages to view it.
Just as Professor Thompson "said that ‘this was the best Remembrance Day’ that he [had] experienced,” I was encouraged by the Peace Poppy campaign in Vancouver last month. For the second year in a row, a ceremony of placing white poppy wreathes, “Let Peace Be Their Memorial,” was held at the Seaforth Peace Park in Vancouver. I had the feeling that afternoon that despite our smaller numbers, we were beginning to turn a corner in more people understanding that “To remember is to end all wars.”
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Ken Bilsky, Ottawa, Ontario
A nice article on peace activism and your efforts: 'Koozma Blinded by the Might...'
Until we change the economic system 180 degrees and have a PUBLIC banking system that respects all life and shares the resources of the earth in a sustainable way with everyone, we will continue to struggle and people will suffer unnecessarily. The Capitalist system is trashing the planet and the US Military Industrial Complex is sending us into more and more wars which could end in a nuclear winter. Canada is lock step with the USA and NATO in beating the war drums and creating more carbon instead of less.
The geo-engineering that has been going on the last 50 years to slow down global warming by spraying our atmosphere is compounding the problem along with the heavy use of carbon based fuels which is driving the drastic climate change chaos. A double edged sword of problems and concern for most life on this planet.
Our oceans have become the sewers of the earth, our ancient forests are less than 5% of all the trees and our ancient grasslands are less than 1% of what they were just a few hundred years ago. The ship hasn't turned around yet. It will take a major change in consciousness and the violence ingrained in our capitalist culture will need to be washed away as our 'Modus operandi' for human conflicts. Along with that we need to treat all life with respect and understanding. The mammals, birds, fish, insects etc, deserve their own space on this planet if we want to keep a diversity of species and the continuation of a healthy life cycle. Instead we are adding more and more toxins into the system and are surprised by the negative effects. We are truly deaf, dumb and blind when it comes to earth management using symbiotic and holistic principals.
I think self ownership is a subject that we have to start debating more along with the need for local autonomy and a respect for freedom to control our own destiny. Patents need to be short and quickly move into the Commons so that everyone can modify, improve, innovate and benefit from new ideas. As we connect the dots, we see that everything we do has an effect and we need to be more aware and mindful of what we are doing to our mother.
Time is short to make such drastic changes and realistically Gaia, born from chaos, is not going anywhere but we definitely are. 
Peace, love and resistance.
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Lawrence Klippenstein, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Thanks very much for your Christmas note on peace and congrats for 60 years of work on it! My involvement may be more like 40 years and not as much writing to show for it. Right now it is has to do with promotion of my book Peace and War and giving verbal encouragement like I am doing now. I am in fact working on a second edition of my book with the CDs and paperbacks I did produce all gone but one of each.
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Miguel Figueroa, Canadian Peace Congress
Thank you very much for sending us this link to your article published in Ahimsa Nonviolence. We appreciate the spirit and passion of your message, and your continuing commitment to the cause of peace.
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Max Zbitnoff, Boston, Massachusetts., USA
Here's to you and your 60+ years of peace making. It has been a pleasure and privilege to know you.   [In 1995, Max created a T-shirt in honour of the Spirit-Wrestlers / Doukhobor arms-burning centenary.]

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