[Kosova / Kosovo] April 12, 1999: Vigil in Ottawa [Peaceweb Home Page]

Two reports from the second Ottawa vigil


Friends prepared for second vigil

by Carl Stieren

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada - a reprint from Quaker-P

Nearly 70 Canadians gathered for a vigil for peace in Yugoslavia and Kosova/o today at 12:30 in front of the Parliament buildings in Ottawa. Supporters of OPIRG (Ontario Public Interest Group) at Carleton University, members of the United Nations Association, and individuals from at least one local United Church joined Friends for the vigil. Young Friends made many of the signs for the vigil during First Day School at the meetinghouse on Fourth Avenue. Their bright lettering, with words such as "Bread, Not Bombs" and "Give Peace a Chance" stood out against the spring-like yellow posterboard.

Learning from the barely-stuck-together signs I had made for the first vigil, I was now prepared. I now had transparent MacTac holding down the 244-pt lettering that I had printed out on my injet and glued to the posterboard for my series of signs. I was ready for the rains, which didn't come. Instead, the sun shone and the temperature climbed to nearly 9 degrees Celsius (48 degrees Fahrenheit).

Murray Thomson, former Peace Education Secretary of Canadian Friends Service Committee, and now of Peacefund Canada, read U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's statement on the war in the Balkans, with Anan's five points for peace.

We will be back on April 17, at 1:00 p.m., when others around the world will also be adding their voices in opposition to the war.

For more information on the April 17 vigil, please contact Carol Dixon at at cdixon@web.net.


Quaker-P is an Internet news group on issues of peace and the peace testimony in the Religious Society of Friends.

Uniting the peace movement

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada - a reprint from Quaker-C

by Peggy Land

Carl Stieren and Carol Dixon have already reported on the peace vigil we organized yesterday, and most promptly! Since then it has become clear that even we, the organizers, have found it difficult to know who even attends these events, and how they found out. For instance, a man who spoke after Murray Thompson was unknown to most of us and was not introduced but he was Bill Janzen from the Mennonite Central Committee. Also, Sharon Moon, minister from First United Church showed up towards the end and did not speak, but her prayers for peace were much appreciated at our first vigil.

The Serbian people who joined us were very happy with the peaceful tone of our vigil and said they would be happy for us to take the lead again. I am still haunted by the pain in the eyes of one teen-aged Serbian girl who asked me why NATO is killing people.....

Many ask me if we can idly stand by while others are being slaughtered. But we are not standing idly by... we are well positioned to re-awaken the peace movement and let the world know that we do not beleive that there can be such a thing as a humanitarian war. I will not support killing others to maybe prevent them from killing others. But if the peace movement is silent, this is interpreted as consent and we are thus implicated. We have an emormous responsibility to the refugees now, and important roles to play in the Peace Movement.

Our work is cut out for us, dear Friends.


Quaker-C is an Internet news group for Canadian Quakers and friends of Friends.

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Revised April 12, 1999, by C.S.