Update: New sound piece, Sounds Like Peace, including voices from the Winnipeg Peace and Justice Festival is now available.
We must protest if we are to survive. Protest is the only realistic form of civil defence. – E.P. Thompson
About 150 people participated in the 31st annual Winnipeg Walk for Peace. The walk was part of the Winnipeg Peace and Justice Festival at Vimy Ridge Park on Saturday, June 16. Anti-war activists were joined by individuals and groups protesting other aspects of the federal Conservative government’s agenda, including cuts to health care for refugees, to Old Age Security, to culture and to environmental research and assessments.
According to the Canadian Peace Alliance, despite claims of austerity, the federal budget shows an increase in military spending of more than $20 billion for 2012. This is in addition to the Conservative plan to spend billions on 65 F-35 fighter jets without providing clear information on what the jets will cost or their use.
Winnipeg singer Sara Kreindler’s performance at the festival included her song Salute to the F-35s, a hilarious send-up of Canadian jingoism that connects spending on the military and prisons to the Conservative government’s 2012 austerity budget. The Canadian Peace Alliance states that the cost of one F35 could pay to hire 1,400 nurses in Canada for a year.
Local activist Nick Ternette led the march, and The Flaming Trolleys, Winnipeg’s radical marching band, provided music and entertainment for the entire route. Ternette says he has participated in a peace march every year since 1968.
It’s already time to build on the success of yesterday’s event and plan for next year’s festival and walk and for ongoing demonstrations against the Conservative government’s military agenda. People who are interested in local anti-war organizing can contact Project Peacemakers and Peace Alliance Winnipeg.
Mud and Water is creating a peace-themed soundscape with the voices of some of the people who were at the festival. But for now, here are quotes that we like on war and peace.
It is estimated that we spend $500,000 to kill each enemy soldier, while we spend only fifty-three dollars for each person classified as poor, and much of that fifty-three dollars goes for salaries to people that are not poor. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor, and attack it as such. – Martin Luther King
To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace. – Tacitus
War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent. – George Orwell
The violence of the colonial regime and the counter-violence of the native balance each other and respond to each other in an extraordinary reciprocal homogeneity. This reign of violence will be the more terrible in proportion to the size of the implantation from the mother country. The development of violence among the colonized people will be proportionate to the violence exercised by the threatened colonial regime. – Franz Fanon
Peace, for me, is a consequence of justice. For that reason, peace is defined, not as the absence of war, but as the absence of fear. And for that reason, I am convinced that means that are unjust or violent cannot, even for the best of reasons, provide peace. – Ursula Franklin
Whoever promises the nations a “democratic” peace without at the same time preaching the socialist revolution, or while repudiating the struggle for it – the struggle which must be carried on now, during the war – is deceiving the proletariat. – V. I. Lenin