Nova Scotia Voice of women for Peace Annual Report: November 2011 – November 2012
Nova Scotia Voice of women for Peace
Annual Report: November 2011 – November 2012
In November, 2011, VOW members visited the Occupy Halifax site at the Grand Parade in Halifax and distributed white poppies to the occupiers and to the public. Some members also attended a rally in support of better care for veterans. We believe that the Canadian government needs to recognize the human cost of war, and to better support those who have been damaged by war.
NSVOW joined the newly reformed Women’s Action Coalition of Nova Scotia (WACNS). At the first meeting of that group, in October, 2011, three issues for women were identified as top priority: poverty, housing, and violence against women. A peace committee was also formed with VOW Steering Committee member, Linda Christianson-Ruffman as chair, and several other VOW members participating. A campaign to let provincial politicians know “Women are Watching” was launched. At the second meeting in November, 2012, women reported on progress in the three areas, and the peace committee made plans to become more active.
NSVOW purchased and publicly showed the movie “Pray the Devil Back to Hell”, the story of a small group of Liberian women who came together in the midst of a bloody civil war, took on the violent warlords and corrupt Charles Taylor regime, and won a long-awaited peace for their shattered country.
In November, 2011, VOW members stood for peace in a rally outside the “Halifax International Security Forum”. This rally, rganized by the Ad Hoc Committee Against the Halifax War Conference & the Halifax Peace Coalition condemned NATO and Canada’s militaristic approach to foreign and defence policies. Find out more about this war conference here: http://halifaxtheforum.org/
NSVOW held a birthday party to celebrate Betty Peterson’s 94th birthday in December 2011.
Halifax announced that it would be renaming Cornwallis Junior High School. This was in response to public pressure given the fact that Cornwallis, a founder of Halifax, had issued a genocidal degree against the Mi’kmaq people. NSVOW launched a campaign to have the school renamed for Muriel Duckworth, a long-time VOW leader and member. This campaign was not successful.
VOW members had two meeting to discus what VOW’s response could be to the awarding of the warships building contract to Halifax. It was decided that: VOW does not support the building of warships and the building of warships does not lead to peace. The discussion revolved around finalizing this into a strong cohesive statement that can represent VOW’s position on the issue. Also discussed were possible strategies that VOW could use in effectively getting this message out to the public. An oped from Sarah Morgan, on behalf of VOW, was published in Halifax’s Chronicle Herald (see attached).
NSVOW held a rally in support of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, April 17.
NSVOW had a table at the World Fair Trade Day and Mother’s Day event in Halifax.
NSVOW planned attendance an outdoor performance of the play, Lysistrata, which was being held near Wolfville, where there are several VOW members who don’t often come to Halifax, as a way of uniting Nova Scotia VOW members. Unfortunately, on the day planned, heavy rain caused the trip to be canceled. Another event is being planned to bring together VOW members from all over the province.
In September, several VOW members participated in the Vigil for Victims of War & Weapons, protesting the Arms Show at the Cunard Centre in Halifax.
Some VOW members contacted Halifax mayoral candidates Mike Savage and Fred Connors asking if they would sign on to Mayors for Peace. Both said yes. Mike Savage was elected. NSVOW will be planning an event to mark the signing.
Recognizing that climate change represents a significant threat to peace, Nova Scotia Voice of Women for Peace conducted a vigil on Oct. 2, 2012, in solidarity with the climate activists fasting in Ottawa. We collected letters in support from passers-by, and mailed them to Prime Minister Harper.