This year marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War One, the “war to end all war”. We expect the Harper Conservative government and the Canadian military to mark this event by unleashing a full, frontal assault of narrow nationalist, militaristic propaganda. This will be carefully engineered to try to generate support for recent and ongoing military campaigns – the coup d’etat in Libya, the occupation of Afghanistan, the provocation against the government of Ukraine, the imperialist intervention in Syria – as well as for increased military spending, deeper participation in NATO and other aspects of Harper’s aggressive foreign policy.
In contrast to this, the Canadian Peace Congress is initiating a cross-Canada campaign to facilitate of 100-day peace-oriented forum for commemorations of the centenary of WWI.
The “To End All War” campaign has four main objectives:
- To engage as many peace and progressive organizations as possible, to develop and communicate an effective peace message to the public;
- To draw parallels between the causes of WWI and the contemporary threats to peace: arms buildup, imperialist expansion and rivalry, military alliances;
- To conduct outreach in order to organize stronger campaigns for peace in current conditions;
- To lay the foundation for a broad effort to project a Peace Program for Canada.
The Congress executive has prepared a draft Common Statement, that we are encouraging other peace and progressive groups to sign. We plan to organize “kickoff” activities for the end of July and beginning of August, and are looking toward a “wrap-up” conference in November that will draw together the themes of WWI with the current threats to peace. Part of the campaign will involve an essay writing contest, for secondary school students, on the theme, “What were the key causes of World War One, and how do they relate to the key threats to peace today?”
Throughout this campaign, we will work to integrate and develop different aspects of ongoing Canadian Peace Congress campaigns – No to NATO, Arctic Zone of Peace, Against Foreign Military Bases, and opposition to current imperialist wars and aggressions.
Build the Movement to End All War!