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.

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…

An image of barbed wire in Jerusalem. What does it mean to be an apartheid state?

What Does it Mean to be an Apartheid State?

In the entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, the Israeli regime implements laws, practices and state violence designed to cement the supremacy of one group—Jews—over another—Palestinians.” So says B’Tselem, the premier Israeli human rights organization.1 The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid defines apartheid as…

This famous optical illusion allows you to make your own interpretation: are you seeing an old woman in profile or a young woman looking away

Interpretation

For several years my service work with CFSC has involved researching conflicts of all types, as well as various peacebuilding skills and techniques. In 2020 associate member Trevor Chandler and I began facilitating online workshops to help people practice some of these techniques. Over 100 people have taken part so far. In these many conversations,…

militarized police

Militarized Policing: North America to Israel/Palestine

The recent and historical deaths at the hands of, or in the presence of, the police in Canada and the US are profoundly troubling. First and foremost, the racism that pervades our society is laid bare and we are challenged to deal with it. We might also ask ourselves how this relates to increasing militarization…

To Spread Peace, We Need Each Other

To Spread Peace, We Need Each Other

As many of us continue to struggle with the impacts of increased loneliness, an economic downturn, and other effects of the pandemic, there is much that we can still do together. Indeed, our support for each other toward a world that promotes justice and health for all may be more important now than ever. We…

Just olives - Israel/Palestine, justice, peace

Just Olives

Those are Palestinian olives, he said as I cleared out the last of the ovoid green gems he had on display. I was shopping for Christmas treats to share with friends. “I know,” I replied. “I was just there.” He looked at me seriously and asked what I was there for. Cautiously, I explained that…

The messy work of seeking justice

The Messy Work of Seeking Justice

Listen patiently and seek the truth which other people’s opinions may contain for you. Avoid hurtful criticism and provocative language. Do not allow the strength of your convictions to betray you into making statements or allegations that are unfair or untrue. Think it possible that you may be mistaken.—Canadian Yearly Meeting, Advices and Queries #17…