UR Life

Upcomig Conference in Peterborough on Youth and Militarism

Mary Dunn

By Mary Dunn

Contact Information For Immediate Release: 17 April 2015
Name: Margaret Slavin
Phone: 705-749-1544

Youth in Canada Gather to Learn About Militarism

On 18 April 1946 from his jail cell during the Nuremberg War Trials, Hermann Goring gave this statement to Gustave Gilbert: “Naturally, the common people don’t want war. . . . But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship. . . . The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

What are the causes of war? What are the identity and equality issues connected to warfare? These are the kinds of questions that will be explored April 2015 when local and Canada wide youth gather for a Youth and Militarism conference. Young Adult Quakers in cooperation with OPIRG (Ontario Public Interest Research Group) and with support from Canadian Quakers are hosting a Youth and Militarism conference to be held concurrently in Ontario and British Columbia 24-26 April 2015. Conference organizers are presently looking to register youth aged 15-35ish with registration forms available at the Quaker Youth website. This conference is appropriate for youth interested in increasing their capacity to promote peace through understanding militarism. Eastern Canada conference delegates will meet at Sadlier House in Peterborough, Ontario. Western Canada delegates will gather at Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia. People at both locations will be connected via social media to share information with some lectures being broadcast live from one conference to another.

The conference will provide workshops and lectures on issues such as peacebuilding opportunities and skills; community action and event planning; surveillance; the criminalization of dissent; the militarization of police, education, and entertainment; ties between food systems and war; and food as a form of resistance. There will be opportunities for delegates to learn about these topics, gather wisdom from one another, explore future activities, and build a common and effective voice to create change. Groups presenting include Food Not Bombs, OPIRG, the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, PeaceQuest, and Christian Peacemakers Team.

Registration is $65 per person which includes vegan food supplied by Food Not Bombs and billeting if necessary. For those thinking of attending who have children and for further information go to the Quaker Youth website. Registration is expected to close 1 April.

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