World War I remembrance initiatives: Appeal to wear the White Poppy in memory of all victims of war

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The white poppy symbolizes all casualties of war. All over the world appeals are being issued to wear the white poppy on Remembrance Day, November 11. For at least 80 years, white poppies have been distributed to represent three elements: remembrance of all victims of war, a commitment to peace and a challenge to attempts to glamourize or celebrate war.

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, events will be held to learn the lessons of why “the war to end all wars” has not achieved this aim and how to continue the fight for peace.

QuakerWhitePoppyGraphicThe white poppy campaign calls on people to stand up for peace. It says the white poppies “symbolize the conviction that there are better ways to resolve conflict than through the use of violence. They embody values that reject killing fellow human beings for whatever reason. Nearly 100 years after the end of the “war to end all wars” we still have a long way to go to put an end to a social institution that even in the last decade has contributed to the killing of millions.”

The campaign decries economic reliance on arms sales and the renewal of all types of weapons. “The outcome of recent military adventures highlights their ineffectiveness and grim consequences,” the Peace Pledge Union says and adds:

“The best way to respect the victims of war is to work to prevent war in the present and future. Violence only begets more violence. We need to tackle the underlying causes of warfare, such as poverty, inequality and competition over resources. A temporary absence of violence is not enough. Peace is much deeper and broader than that, requiring major social changes to allow us to live more cooperatively.”

In Quebec Échec à la Guerre, the anti-war collective, is calling on people to wear white poppies on Remembrance Day. It will also publish a full page message (see below) on Saturday, November 3, in the newspaper Le Devoir, dedicated to the memory of all victims of war to mark the occasion.

In memory of all the victims of war:

Given that for many decades now, wars have resulted in a lot more civilian than military casualties and millions of women, men and children are forgotten during official Remembrance Day commemorations;

Given that for the fifth consecutive year, the total number of persons uprooted worldwide by wars, ongoing violence and persecution continues to rise, attaining a new record of 68.5 million people;

Given that Canada’s supposed “new role” in the world is utter nonsense: Canada is increasing deployments to Latvia and Iraq; it has announced a 70 per cent increase in military spending over 10 years; and it has generated record arms sales to Saudi Arabia, a country with one of the worst human rights records and which is also engaged in an atrocious war in Yemen that according to the UN, has resulted in “the worst humanitarian crisis in the world;”

Given that we demand a radical change in Canadian international policy, this would translate particularly into an end to kowtowing to U.S. empire, withdrawal from NATO and non-participation in the global arms trade;

We, the undersigned, wear the white poppy as a symbol of opposition to Canada’s militarist policies and to the memory of all the victims of war.

Échec à la Guerre is gathering as many individual signatures, endorsements from organizations and $7,000 by October 31 to pay for the page. The list of contributors will appear below the statement. If more funding than needed is raised, Échec à la Guerre will use it to provide the campaign with additional media visibility.

For further information, to support the campaign, endorse the statement or make a financial contribution, visit the website: echecalaguerre.org

(Échec à la Guerre statement translated from original French by TML.)

Source: TML Weekly, October 20, 2018 – No. 36

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Filed under Canada, No Harbour for War (Halifax)

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