For Immediate Release: January 22nd, 2015
Vancouver – A hundred years ago, as the First World War raged across Europe, 1000 women from all over the world risked their lives to gather in the Hague, the Netherlands, to call for an end to hostilities. Many women were caught in naval blockades and never arrived, others rode the Orient Express across war-torn Europe.
Women from WILPF-Canada are currently fundraising to participate in a re-enactment of that historic meeting this April. They will carry the following message of peace to the Hague:
“It has never been more important for each and every one of us to work to foster peace, understanding and tolerance on our small planet. Our world cannot afford a continuation of the behaviours that have brought us to this critical juncture in human history. We all have everything at stake.
United Nations’ bodies have been issuing dire warnings about the catastrophic consequences of climate change while our global attention and resources are being diverted to the escalating violence in Syria and Iraq, and to the rise in acts of both state-sponsored and organizational terrorism around the globe.
We must all pause to understand where we are and how we got here.
Extremism and terrorism are not the causes of the current conflict that is engulfing us; they are symptoms of much deeper problems that stem, in large part, from the exploitative and oppressive policies that have characterized western involvement in the Middle East and elsewhere for at least the last 100 years.
These are the same kinds of policies that have created massive economic inequality on our planet with 85 of the world’s richest people owning wealth equivalent to the poorest 3.5 billion. This is exploitation of the highest order, and it comes at a huge price for humanity, for global relations, for peace and for our planet.
We must change course quickly. Military action is not the answer. It will not only exacerbate the conditions that have already given rise to a new wave of terrorism around the world, but will also increase the threat to all humanity from climate change.
We must join together with those who have been harmed around the world, and work to heal and save this fragile planet that we all call home.”