Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

Archive for January, 2010

10 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

Posted by strattof on January 4, 2010

10 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR CANADA AND CANADIANS

To make the world a better place for all of us who dwell here

 WHAT GOVERNMENTS CAN DO

 # 1       Bring Canadian troops home from Afghanistan now. 

Since 2001, Afghanistan has been a killing field for 134 Canadian soldiers, over 1,400 other coalition soldiers, around 6,000 Afghan forces, and at least 12,000 Afghan civilians. Promised development is not taking place. There is no hope for a military solution in Afghanistan.

 # 2       Lift the 2% cap on funding increases for First Nations education.

Education at all levels is a First Nations treaty right. Since 1996, a 2% growth cap on funding increases has been in place for First Nations education. As a result ●First Nations children who attend school on reserves receive 30% less funding for education than other Canadian children ●Only 20 of Saskatchewan’s 142 on-reserve schools are in good condition ●2,100 First Nations students in Saskatchewan were denied post-secondary education grants between 2005 and 2008.

 # 3       Set serious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and develop a plan for meeting them.

Canada has one of the world’s worst climate action records. We rank 1st among G8 nations for increasing greenhouse gas emissions. We rank 10th in the world in per capita emissions: 17.4 tonnes per person, as compared, say, to China’s 4.6 or India’s 1.2 tonnes. Vehicles are Canada’s single largest source of emissions, while tar sands development is our fastest growing source of emissions. To protect the tar sands from being adversely effected by climate change policy, Canada engaged in obstructionist tactics at the recent climate change summit in Copenhagen. These tactics helped put the world on a path to catastrophic global warming.

 # 4       Eliminate child poverty.

Twenty years ago, the House of Commons unanimously resolved to eliminate child poverty in Canada. Today, the child poverty rate is almost exactly the same as it was in 1989: 15%. In Saskatchewan, the rate is even higher: 17%. That’s 35,000 children living in poverty. One-third of poor children in Saskatchewan live in families with full-time, full-year employment. Saskatchewan has the third highest provincial child poverty rate. Only British Columbia and Manitoba are higher.  

 # 5       Ensure that all Canadians have access to adequate housing.

Between 2006 and 2008, the number of homeless shelter users in Regina rose by 30%. In 2009, an average of 345 people slept in homeless shelters every night in Regina. These statistics do not include the large number of people sleeping in parks, doorways, stairwells, tents, trailers, garages, and unsanitary overcrowded basements. Skyrocketing rents, low vacancy rates, condo conversions, and substandard rental units have all contributed to a housing crisis in Regina.  

 WHAT YOU AND I CAN DO

 # 6       We can contact our MPs, MLAs, and City Councillors about these and other issues.

 # 7       We can live cleaner and greener to preserve the earth for those who follow.

 # 8       We can speak out against injustice, be it social, political, economic, or environmental.

 # 9       We can work for peace in small ways everyday: at home, in the neighbourhood, in the city, the province, the country, and the world.

 #10      We can join with others in Canada and around the world, in organizations, political parties, and citizens’ movements, to work toward peace and justice.

The Making Peace Vigil wishes you a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR

We look forward in the hope that one day soon

PEACE WILL BREAK OUT

AND JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL

 MAKING PEACE VIGIL December 31 2009

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FOREIGN INTERVENTION A DISASTER FOR AFGHAN WOMEN

Posted by strattof on January 4, 2010

FOREIGN INTERVENTION: A DISASTER FOR AFGHAN WOMEN

Throughout the 20th century, women in much of Afghanistan enjoyed periodic limited equality whenever they were left to negotiate it themselves. This is because there are large parts of Afghan society that know the importance of educating daughters, wives, and mothers. But whenever foreign interests have wanted to maximize their influence for their own gain, they have resorted to making alliances with conservative elements in Afghan society.  

 1919 – 1929

  • Early in his reign, King Amanullah forced Britain to recognize the full independence of Afghanistan.
  • Throughout his reign, King Amanullah , with the help of his wife, Queen Soraya Tarzi, introduced reforms in regard to women’s rights, founding schools for girls, as well as co-educational schools, abolishing strict dress codes, and making forced and child marriages illegal.
  • In 1929, conservative groups within Afghanistan, with the assistance of the British, forced King Amanullah to abdicate and his reforms were repealed.   

1950 – 1996

  • In the 1950s, Afghan women began to stage demonstrations, demanding a return of their rights. Over the next couple of decades, the government gradually restored those rights, abolishing dress codes and promoting women’s education and employment. By the 1960s, women were increasingly working as teachers, nurses, doctors, judges, and diplomats.  
  • In 1978, the Afghan government invited the Soviet Union to assist in its economic reforms, an act that led to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1979.
  • The United States saw the situation as a prime opportunity to weaken the Soviet Union. As part of its Cold War strategy, it began covertly to fund and train anti-government Mujahideen  conservative forces within Afghan society.
  • In 1996, the Taliban, comprised mainly of former Mujahideen, gained power and women’s rights were revoked.

2001 – 2009

  • In 2001, US-led NATO forces occupied Afghanistan. One of their stated aims was to liberate Afghan girls and women.
  • In 2009, the NATO-backed government of Afghan president Hamid Karzai introduced a series of restrictions on women, banning wives from leaving home without their husband’s permission, sanctioning marital rape, and legalizing child marriage. 

WHAT AFGHAN WOMEN SAY

MALALAI JOYA is a member of parliament in the Afghan government of President Karzai. In 2007 she was suspended from parliament for speaking out about government corruption.

  •  “The freedoms won by women were not the result of some invasion from the West, but from the development of our own society, our own political process and the struggle of democratically-minded people who risked death for their beliefs.”
  • “Canada is spending taxpayers’ money and the blood of her soldiers on a corrupt regime that mocks democracy.”

ORZALA ASHRAF is the founder of Humanitarian Assistance for Women and Children of Afghanistan.

  • “I don’t expect any outside power to come and liberate me. If I cannot liberate myself, no one from outside can liberate me.”

REVOLUTIONARY ASSOCIATION OF THE WOMEN OF AFGHANISTAN (RAWA) is as an independent political and social organization of Afghan women, founded in 1977.

  • “RAWA believes that freedom and democracy can’t be donated; it is the duty of the people of a country to fight and achieve these values. Under the US-supported government, the sworn enemies of human rights, democracy and secularism have gripped their claws over our country and attempt to restore their religious fascism on our people.”

                                                                                     MAKING PEACE VIGIL December 17 2009

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