TO CAMPAIGN FOR "PEACE AND PROSPERITY" ALLIANCE
By Saleh Waziruddin, co‑convenor of
Niagara Coalition for Peace, and a member of the Canadian Peace Congress executive council
The Canadian Peace
Alliance held its bi‑annual convention Oct. 14‑16 in Toronto, with over 23 member groups participating from across Canada, stretching from Halifax to Vancouver and up to . Formed in 1985, the CPA is the umbrella group for anti-war movements. About 60 people participated, including observers from non‑member organizations. Yellowknife
At the convention, the
launched a signature campaign, on the theme of "Peace and Prosperity not War and Austerity," to agitate for shifting public money from militarism and war into public services, jobs, and the environment. Postcards can be signed on‑line atwww.acp‑cpa.ca/en/PeaceandProsperity.html. Alliance
The convention kicked off with a discussion panel including a video address by Afghan MP Malalai Joya, who declared that Barack Obama is even worse than George Bush, as well as speeches by Judith LeBlanc of the U.S. network Peace Action, Suraia Sahar of Afghans for Peace, and CPA co‑chair Derrick O'Keefe of Vancouver StopWar.
Several resolutions were passed, including support for the campaign to let US War Resisters stay in Canada, helping students counter military recruitment, and participating in elections by encouraging peace candidates and clear anti‑war positions. A resolution proposed by the Canadian Peace Congress was adopted, committing the CPA to annual cross‑Canada Days of Action against the war in
The convention elected a steering committee that includes new member organizations represented by young leaders, such as Afghans for Peace, Afghan Canadian Student Association, National Council of Canadian Tamils, and Alternatives North in the Northwest Territories.
The delegates and observers marched to St. James Park to join in Occupy Toronto, and attended workshops addressing topics such as Canada's role in Afghanistan, war and the environment, First Nations sovereignty, and wars in Africa, Palestine, Haiti, Libya, Sri Lanka, and Kashmir.
For more information, visit the CPA website, www.acp-cpa.ca.