Young Canadian Quakers on war & recruitment
This conference left me with a renewed energy to take on some of the injustices that the world has provided us. I feel an enriching sense of solidarity which will enable me to move forward in the coming months and years in our struggle to bring Canada back to a peace loving nation. This is brought on by a new network of international partners who are all facing their own struggles and challenges in regards to combating their governments’ fixation on militarization. The conversations had and the workshops given provided a fascinating picture of just how diverse this problem is. The range of experience with militarization and its manifestations which attendees recounted ranged from overt forms such as facing detention for declining service, psychological evaluation, violations of their person, daily threat of combat situations, and shameless indoctrination to more subtle practices like national celebrations, sporting events, school lesson plans, military displays in schools or career days, and the appropriation of humanitarian language. This examination of the many forms of militarisation gave me a better understanding of my own position in this world and the strength that wells in our souls waiting to break out in the faces of those looking to oppress us.
Though at times this conference was not so well organized and clarification on concepts and terms could have been conducive to a smoother and, in some cases, more productive gathering, there was a lot of learning, growing, sharing and understanding that went on. I am hopeful that the bonds we made will last and strengthen with time and as I leave there I am looking for ways which will do just that.