Tagged Peace

Scroll down for a list of all articles about Canadian Friends Service Committee’s peace work.

CFSC’s work recognizes that peace is a process that plays out at multiple levels: inner peace, interpersonal peace, and structural peace. Each of these impacts the others in complex and ever changing ways. So peace is not a static situation without conflict, it is a dynamic system. Our newsletter Quaker Concern comes out three times a year sharing stories from our peace work and how we’re making a difference.

Our work focuses on the grassroots and building the conditions for peace in Canada and several other countries. A story will help illustrate this work.

A Congolese woman looks out of her hotel window to see a group in the street starting a loud protest, while a large number of soldiers advances on them.

Instead of staying inside and watching, she walks out into the street, alone. She places herself right in the middle of the street, between the two sides.

From behind her come the angry shouts of the mass of townspeople. In front, she sees the well-armed soldiers drawing ever closer.

With calm perseverance and fearlessness, the woman begins to talk to both sides. She listens carefully, and reminds them of their real interests in this situation. Will they hear?

Things are tense and violence seems likely as insults are hurled back and forth between the townspeople and soldiers. But with time, the situation cools.

Both groups start to understand that their interests can be served without violence. Eventually, incredibly, the townspeople and the soldiers disperse.

This is a true story. It is one of an endless number of examples of nonviolence in support of peace.

Did you know that skills like these exist and are used every day around the world? How many violent situations are avoided (and don’t become news)? How would you react in a conflict situation that you saw escalating?

We share stories, analysis, and tips for success in Quaker Concern articles and through our book Are We Done Fighting? Building Understanding in a World of Hate and Division.

Protesters in Toronto hold up signs calling for Canada to support a ceasefire in Gaza, Dec 2023

Canada’s about-face on Gaza shows people power at work

Canadian Friends have shown their concern and support for the people of Israel, Palestine, and particularly Gaza, strongly over the past six months, and it has been heartening to see. Since the October 7th, 2023, Hamas attack and taking of Israeli hostages, Israel has led an ongoing assault on Gaza. This has been truly devastating.…

A desk with papers, a pair of glasses, and a water bottle with Canadian Friends Service Committee's logo and the text "Peace (n): A way of life"

Cultivating peace at Canadian Friends Service Committee

Every day brings new possibilities for peace. We are all connected. Our world has an urgent need to focus more on preventing violent conflict, particularly through emphasizing the importance of peace education. Peace education is how I first became aware of CFSC. I joined CFSC’s Are We Done Fighting? workshop series and met participants who…

Project Ploughshares logo

Project Ploughshares: a peace organization supported by Friends

Bill Curry and I became Quakers effortlessly. We just got sucked into the Canadian community, attracted by its actions assisting US draft resisters, army deserters, and others objecting to the Vietnam war. In 1968 we attended a peace retreat led largely by Murray Thomson. Murray was enthusiastic about a new project. He was thrilled about…

Palestinian children smile as one speaks into a mic. The words "Canada, Stand Up for Palestinian Children's Rights" are written underneath the photo.

Occupation hurts the occupied and the occupier

For many years Canadian Friends have had a concern for all people living in Palestine and Israel. In 2009, Quakers adopted a position that, among other things, calls for a nonviolent path that recognizes the dignity of all. In 2014, Canadian Friends approved an Addendum to the 2009 Israel/Palestine position. The Addendum notes that “Our…

Palestinian children smile as one speaks into a mic. The words "Canada, Stand Up for Palestinian Children's Rights" are written underneath the photo.

Canada, stand up for Palestinian children’s rights

In the context of the recently escalating violence in the West Bank, I would like to highlight a particular concern for Palestinian children. According to a 2022 year-end report by Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP), evidence they have collected suggests that Israeli forces use intentional lethal force against Palestinian children in circumstances that may amount…

CFSC members and staff at a planning meeting September 23-24, 2022

What does theory of change have to do with justice and peace?

You may have heard the term “theory of change” (ToC) used in recent years. There are many perspectives on how to use a ToC, including as: a way to track progress toward goals, an instrument to guide funding, and a communication tool. Since ToC is talked about and implemented in different ways, you might be…

Youth from Grassy Narrows First Nation protest for justice for mercury poisoning. Many youth are getting active against climate change, environmental racism, and wars

The Next Generation is Anxious for Change. They Need Help Getting It.

Young Canadians are worried about the state of the world. A perfect storm of a pandemic, climate change, and a steady stream of images of conflict are contributing to this. With regard to the environment, concern that their parents and grandparents are passing them a world on fire is leading many youth to feel angry,…

Demonstration in Stockholm against the Russian invasion of Ukraine Feb 27, 2022 CC-BY 4.0 Frankie Fouganthin

Alternatives to Military Violence

Many institutions and ways of doing things persist because of the wide-spread acceptance of TINA [there is no alternative]. — Geoff Harris, quoted in Are We Done Fighting? We feel so many things when we see images of the suffering caused by war. They may include outrage, sorrow, confusion, and a desire to do something…

Prayer Circle Direct Action Group risking arrest at Trans Mountain work site, Coquitlam BC May 31, 2021

Civil Disobedience as a Response to Fossil Fuel Expansion

On September 9th, 2021, I was arrested in an act of nonviolent civil disobedience, as part of an inter-faith prayer circle direct action. On that day, a group of us entered an active work zone in a forested area in Burnaby, British Columbia (BC), effectively stopping tree cutting in preparation for construction of the Trans…

Picture of a military jet. Sara avMaat has ethical investment concerns about Canada Pension Plan, which invests in militarism and climate change

My Journey to Understand the Sources of My Income

Knowing that the Canada Pension Plan would someday be (and now is), a substantial part of my income, I have long been troubled that my pension may depend on investments I cannot in conscience support. I tried to learn more about CPP but found it very challenging to understand the language related to economics and…