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Posted by on Apr 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

VOW – peace news

In this e-newsletter

1. 8th Annual Mother’s Day National Action on Behalf of Mother’s Everywhere
2. Link to our partner in peace Nonviolent Peaceforce enewsletter
4. Elizabeth May concerning the Harper Conservatives’ spending on National Defense

Peace Wants a Piece of the Pie!
Eighth Annual
Mother’s Day National Action
On Behalf of Mothers Everywhere
May 11th, 2012

“We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says “Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
~Julia Ward Howe, 1800’s
(Original advocate for a Mother’s Day)
We invite you to participate in one of our most effective and memorable national actions by joining with members of your community to take pies to your local Congressional offices on or around May 11th (the Friday before Mother’s Day). The focus of this action is to let Congress know, with unforgettable visuals and “tasteables,” that peacebuilding deserves to receive a piece of the federal budget pie.
We will bring pies and educational materials to their offices and ideally work to schedule meetings. It has been one of our largest actions each year, as well as one of our most effective and fun.

1. PLEASE SIGN-UP! Help organize your local office visit. We’ll help you with all you need to know, even if you’ve never done anything like this before. Sign-up now for a fun and rewarding action! Don’t assume someone else is organizing visits in your community.

2. TRAINING AND SUPPORT CALLS: Join our calls to discuss how to make a powerful Mother’s Day action. Next: April 3rd and 19th. Listen to audio from first call (it’s inspiring!)

3. PLANNING TIPS: Read our Tips and Tools with all you need to know. Get together with other local supporters or friends to map out your meeting plans.
Why Mother’s Day?
Mother’s Day was originally advocated as a day of peace in the name of our children. Julia Ward Howe, a nurse during the Civil War who tended to the wounds of soldiers and worked with widows and orphans, “rose up through the ashes and devastation” calling out for a day dedicated to peace: Mother’s Day. (Read more about the history of Mother’s Day including the full proclamation).
In the spirit of her original call, we dedicate ourselves on behalf of mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers everywhere, to rise up and protect our most vulnerable by calling for our leaders to make a directional shift in the course of our nation. The need is urgent to address the devastation brought on by violence in all of its forms – affecting the lives of untold millions. (Photo: Chelsea and Sue Skog, MN).
Over the years, our efforts have made a significant difference. During 2009’s activities we had close to a hundred office visits advocating for the Youth PROMISE Act that were a part of the push, led by Congressman Bobby Scott’s (D-VA) actions, which increased co-sponsors from 100 to over 200 just weeks after the campaign. We have helped increase co-sponsors, awareness and knowledge of the need for more peacebuilding investment, as well as support for a U.S. Department of Peace and stronger peacebuilding infrastructure across the board. We will let you know soon about other key issues we will be urging you to advocate for.
“One of the reasons it’s easy to get co-sponsors [in congress] is many people, when I say ‘Youth PROMISE Act,’ say ‘oh, I’ve heard about that from my constituents, sign me up.’ … The Peace Alliance, talking to their local members of congress and hopefully their U.S. Senators, are making the fact that we are getting co-sponsors… much more likely. We really appreciate the support.”
~ Congressman Bobby Scott
Please join us. With your support, we can make a difference!

Matthew Albracht
Check out the e newsletter from Nonviolent Peaceforce

VOW is a member organization of IPB
Dear IPB members and colleagues,


The first PrepComm of the next NPT Review Conference in 2015 will open on this coming April 30 in Vienna.

The last Review Conference in 2010 declared, before the mounting public opinion calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons, that it ‘resolves to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons…’. To fulfill this goal, it further agreed that:

– The nuclear weapons states must reduce and eliminate all types of their nuclear weapons;
– All states need to make special efforts to establish the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons; and
– It notes the five-point proposal of the UN Secretary-General, inter alia negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention.

The agreement on convening an international conference in 2012 on a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction was another important breakthrough.

The key to the success in the whole preparatory process will lie in the implementation of these agreements and the start of the negotiations on a nuclear weapon convention in particular.

The overwhelming majority of both NGOs and governments are now urging that this coming preparatory process should be made an opportunity for a decisive turn in reaching the goal, without ending up with another cycle of routine review.

To mention only a few : Mayors for Peace calls for the abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020; the Non-Aligned Movement presses for the convening an international conference to identify ways and means to eliminate nuclear weapons without any further delay; the umbrella grouping Abolition 2000 and International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) are demanding the start on negotiations of a Nuclear Weapons Convention.

On March 26, US President Obama reaffirmed in his speech in Seoul that as “the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons” the US takes “concrete steps towards a world without nuclear weapons”. He further added that while maintaining a strong deterrent, “we can…still pursue further reductions in our nuclear arsenal.”

We of course call for further cuts in nuclear arsenals. Yet the elimination of nuclear weapons cannot be achieved through the mere accumulation of partial disarmament measures. The fact that there are still more than 20,000 nuclear weapons in the world even nearly 67 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki is an eloquent testimony. It is a miracle that over this long period, no further nuclear weapons have been used in war. But there is no guarantee that this will be the case for another 67 years. Besides, the huge amount of money wasted on the nuclear build-up should be re-directed towards the development, welfare and lives of the human population which now numbers 7 billion.

On April 30 in Vienna, IPB will hold two workshops entitled “The costs of nuclear weapons: a Disarmament for Development perspective” and “The role of science in nuclear and military-related research and technology”. And around the same time, IPB will jointly open a photo-panel exhibition on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the University of Vienna, together with the two Japanese organizations, the Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo) and the Japan Confederation of A- and H-bombs Sufferers’ Organizations (Hidankyo). A-bombs sufferers will speak of their stories and collect signatures for the “Appeal for a total ban on nuclear weapons”.

The principal promoters of the elimination of nuclear weapons are, as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasizes, the people around the world who work at grassroots level for disarmament, and the vast public opinion that supports the cause. The IPB calls on all its member organizations to plan actions in support of our initiatives in Vienna to build the momentum among the civil society in favour of nuclear disarmament, and to urge their respective governments to press for the start of negotiations on a convention banning nuclear weapons for ever.

Geneva, 30 March 2012

Colin Archer, Secretary-General
International Peace Bureau
41 rue de Zurich
1201 Geneva
Tel: +41-22-731-6429, Fax: 738-9419

The International Peace Bureau is dedicated to the vision of a World Without War. We are a Nobel Peace Laureate (1910), and over the years 13 of our officers have been recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize. Our 320 member organisations in 70 countries, and individual members, form a global network which brings together expertise and campaigning experience in a common cause. IPB has United Nations Consultative Status since 1977 and is the Secretariat for the NGO Committee for Disarmament (Geneva). Our main programme centres on Sustainable Disarmament for Sustainable Development. We welcome your participation.
Global Day of Action on Military Spending – 17 APRIL 2012:
Making Peace photo-exhibition:
New On-line course ‘Disarmament for Development’ (from April 17). Enrol now:

Elizabeth May concerning the Harper Conservatives’ spending on National Defense and F-35 stealth fighter jets

On July 16th of last year, Defense Minister Peter MacKay announced that the Canadian government planned to purchase 65 new F-35 fighter jets for a hefty price tag of $16 billion. Many Canadians responded to this announcement with disbelief and frustration at the government’s disregard for spending on priorities such as social programs and renewable energy. In addition, Canada has no plausible security scenario in which air-to-air combat is necessary, further confusing the true need for F-35 fighter jets.

Canada’s involvement with the F-35 fighter jets came long before these jets were developed or even tested. Under previous Liberal governments, Canada signed on as a junior partner in the development project of these planes. Canada’s involvement started with a $10 million ‘donation’ to ensure Canada’s status as an ‘informed partner.’ In 2002, we threw in an additional $150 million to qualify our industries to bid for contracts for plane components. Meanwhile, the costs of the F-35 jets has escalated and increased by over 50%, making them incredibly over-budget. As a result, Canada is spending money we don’t have on planes we don’t need.

As a Member of Parliament, I see this project as a lost opportunity to reduce poverty, create green jobs, protect health care and fight climate change. Rather than spend $16 billion on F-35s, we need money allocated to affordable housing programs, environmental science and assessment, renewable energy, affordable daycare, the extension of EI benefits, grants to post-secondary students, poverty reduction, a green manufacturing fund among many other initiatives to help Canadians. Also, to limit the amount of debt and move towards a sustainable economy. We do need new aircraft, but they should be chosen through a competitive process and should focus on the needs for search and rescue, surveillance, and should be twin engine planes. In other words, we should only purchase jets that meet Canada’s needs.

To read more of my reaction to the government’s spending decisions, please read my article published in the Island Tides newspaper at

I will continue to raise this issue in the House of Commons. I also recommend that you continue to write Conservative MPs. As well, letters to the editors of local and national publications expressing your dissent will be effective in assuring protests against this waste of resources will succeed.


Elizabeth May O.C., M.P.
Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Island
Leader of the Green Party of Canada