Israel and Palestine: Seven steps to end the cycle of violence

Hits: 202

The path to peace requires nonviolent action not just from Israelis and Palestinians, but also Americans, the media, aid organizations and others. The following is by Nonviolence International founder Mubarak Awad.

I have spent my life advocating for Palestinians and Israelis to use nonviolent means to resolve their conflicts. Because Israel feared Palestinian unity and mass nonviolent action, I was expelled by the government in 1988. Since then, I have, on several occasions, personally advocated with Hamas leaders to abandon armed struggle and embrace nonviolent campaigns. Yet, today, Palestinians and Israelis are once again killing each other. 

I grieve for the unspeakable deaths in Palestine and Israel. I weep for the injured and the captured, particularly the children. In this century alone, until last week, more than 12,000 Palestinians and 2,600 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. Why can’t we stop this cycle of violence?

I urge Hamas and the Israeli government to agree to an immediate ceasefire, including an immediate halt to rocket attacks towards Israel and Israeli military attacks on Gaza. Each party must stop using violence and must commit to living and working with each other as neighbors. Human life and dignity are precious. Vengeful attacks only deepen hatreds and mistrust. Here are some practical nonviolent steps: 

  1. For Palestinians: Stop the killing of Israelis. Welcome Israelis as neighbors and recognize their history. Keep struggling for equal rights. Work to end apartheid with Israelis even if you don’t fully agree on all politics. And for heaven’s sake, choose our leaders through regular elections.
  2. For Israelis: Stop killing Palestinians. End the siege of Gaza. Reverse the land grabs in the West Bank and Jerusalem, which breed hopelessness and outrage. End apartheid and stop seeking Jewish supremacy. Support a right of Palestinian return and reparations. Stop the pogroms and the threats to the Al Aqsa mosque.
  3. For the international media: Cover this conflict the way you would have liked to have seen slave rebellions and or anti-colonial massacres covered in previous centuries. Stop using the word “terrorists” to describe actors on either side. Both are motivated by perceptions of security and historical identity and are not simply trying to create fear, i.e. “terror,” in the other.
  4. For Americans: There is no military solution. Stop supplying weapons. Let’s support Israelis and Palestinians equally. Show a positive example by improving our treatment of Native Americans and ending the vestiges of our domestic racial apartheid.
  5. For the international community: The two-state solution, unfortunately, is no longer an option. Support solutions that provide rights to all peoples in the region. Keeping Gaza as an open-air prison is criminal. Therefore, have it declared as such, by international and political bodies. Provide humanitarian aid and denounce apartheid. Work for justice and equality.
  6. Humanitarian aid organizations: Urgent humanitarian action is needed, including the establishment of a humanitarian corridor both within and outside of Gaza, for the safe movement of people and the delivery of essential supplies.This includes opening Erez and Kerem Shalom/Abu Salem crossings to allow for the movement of people and goods and remove the ban on access to the sea.
  7. Soldiers and armed actors: Don’t cut another’s life short. Don’t cut your life short. Don’t seek revenge. I applaud Israelis who are refusing military service to engage in a senseless attack on Gaza. Arms are for hugging, not for harming others. We can do this.

Published also on Waging Nonviolence    Mubarak Awad helped launch the 1st intifada and was exiled from Jerusalem by the Israeli government in 1988. He was Founder of the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence, Founder of the National Youth Advocate Program and Founder and current President of Nonviolence International.

No Belarusian Troops for the War – Call for Action Day February 20

Hits: 183

20th of February 2023 call for demonstrations outside Belarusian embassies everywhere, in order to draw attention to the danger of Belarus joining Russia by sending military personnel to attack Ukraine.

The war in Ukraine has raged for a year now, and the death toll and the destruction rise daily. Russia is currently showing no willingness to end its attack and withdraw, and is pumping more and more troops into Ukraine. The Western countries have responded by sending more and more heavy weapons into Ukraine. Calls for negotiations and cease-fires are marginalized or dismissed.

Previously, in February 2022, Russian troops were ordered to stay in Belarus after the end of a joint exercise with the Belarusian army. Four days later, the attack against Ukraine began, including Russian troops based in the territory of Belarus. Up until now no Belarusian troops have joined the war, though Belarus provides logistical support for the Russian military in its borders.

The right to refuse to kill is a human right, recognized by international human rights institutions, however in Belarus, this right is not recognized. Conscientious objectors and deserters are persecuted and jailed. This has meant that more than 20,000 young men have been left with no choice but to flee their homeland and seek refuge abroad, because they feared being conscripted into the Belarussian military. Most of them prefer to stay close to their former home – in the Baltic countries and Poland – which puts a heavy burden on their host countries. These countries need support from the international community to provide sanctuary for these war resisters.

A mass movement of objectors sends a strong message to Russia. Belarus under Lukashenko so far has been the stoutest ally of Putin’s Russia. When its citizens refuse to join the war, this will further demoralize the nationalist and militarist narratives in Russia.

No means No! We call to:

  • support the “NO means NO” campaign. The campaign calls on men of Belarus to refuse to join the army or to leave it if they are already serving: “Have the courage to say “No” when asked to join a war that violates international law and causes massive death, suffering and destruction in a neighbouring country! You are a hero if you object, not if you become a soldier in this war!”
  • mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers in Belarus to encourage their boys not to join the military and to help them to escape from recruitment.
  • to the Belarusian authorities
    • to respect the human right of conscientious objection to military service and
    • to restrain from participation in and complicity with the war of aggression against Ukraine by the Russian authorities.
  • the governments of the European countries
    • to establish a humanitarian corridor for Belarusian conscientious objectors and deserters.
    • to give shelter to objectors and deserters from Belarus on humanitarian grounds, without forcing them into an asylum procedure.
  • the churches to use their influence and moral weight to protect those who refuse to fight.
  • civil society in all countries to express its support for objectors and deserters from all sides in the war. Support the #ObjectWarCampaign which is demanding shelter and asylum for objectors of the war in Ukraine.
  • the civil servants and diplomats of Belarus in the embassies where protests to express solidarity with those who oppose the war occur.

For more information and to support of the appeal and information about action plans contact: info@nash-dom.info

This call is supported by Nash Dom (Our House), International Fellowship of Reconciliation, War Resisters‘ International, European Bureau for Conscientious Objection, Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, Federation for Social Defence, Agir pour la paix, Belgium and Connection e.V.: Appeal for February 20th: No Means No – to the War in Ukraine as well as Nonviolence International Canada.

This is edited from original call by Nash Dom

World Peace Congress in Barcelona 15-17 October 2021 online

Hits: 362

The Second IPB World Congress will provide a space for gathering and sharing experiences for all involved in international peace and justice movements.

A place where we can foster synergies between organizations and individuals, and between interconnected social movements fighting for global justice: peace and disarmament advocates, feminist and LGBTQIA+ campaigners, ecologists and climate activists, antiracists and indigenous people, human rights defenders and trade unionists.

We promote the inclusion of a peace perspective within these movements, in order to better confront the global challenges of our time: climate change and environmental collapse, gender, racial and economic inequality, the Covid-19 pandemic, mass migrations, refugee crisis, humanitarian emergencies caused by war and repression, and more.

The Second IPB World Congress is an opportunity for diverse people, groups and causes to share strategies and to articulate alternatives together. A space to create and renovate tools

and discourse, to mobilize citizens from all across the globe in favor of peace and disarmament. A place where we can (re) imagine our world, and take action for peace and justice. We invite you to join us at the Second World Peace Congress in Barcelona, organized by the International Peace Bureau.

Agenda and Registration

Nonviolence International is a Board member organization of the International Peace Bureau.

Nonviolence International will be represented by Ms. Roisin Putti at the session on military spending on 16 October at 15:00 CET.

UN International Day of Nonviolence

Hits: 289

The United Nations International Day of Non-Violence is observed on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence.

The General Assembly resolution, A/RES/61/271 of 15 June 2007, which established the  the International Day is an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”. The resolution reaffirms “the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence” and the desire “to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence”.

Mahatma Gandhi, who helped lead India to independence, has been the inspiration for non-violent movements for civil rights and social change across the world. Throughout his life, Gandhi remained committed to his belief in non-violence even under oppressive conditions and in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. Gandhi believed that the means and the ends are indivisible, and that it is irrational to try to use violence to achieve a peaceful society.

The principle of non-violence — also known as non-violent resistance or political struggle — rejects the use of physical violence in order to achieve social or political change. Often described as “the politics of ordinary people”, this form of social struggle has been adopted by mass populations all over the world in campaigns for social justice.

The late Gene Sharp, a leading scholar on non-violent resistance, provided the following definition in his publication, The Politics of Nonviolent Action: “Nonviolent action is a technique by which people who reject passivity and submission, and who see struggle as essential, can wage their conflict without violence. Nonviolent action is not an attempt to avoid or ignore conflict. It is one response to the problem of how to act effectively in politics, especially how to wield powers effectively.”

Non-violence has been adopted by many movements for social change which do not focus on opposition to war. One key tenet of the theory of non-violence is that the power of rulers depends on the consent of the population, and non-violence therefore seeks to undermine such power through withdrawal of the consent and cooperation of the populace.

Nonviolence International was founded by practitioners of nonviolence to further human understanding and use of nonviolent methods to solve human problems. We encourage everyone to honour this UN Day of Nonviolence by studying the works of key nonviolent theorists.

Nonviolence International has a variety of publications which assess nonviolent movements and methods.

[section of the above material are quoted from the UN notice for the Day of Nonviolence]

Global solidarity must remain engaged for the long haul to support the civil resistance to military rule in Myanmar/Burma.

Hits: 769

On 1 February in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, elected members of the national parliament were prepared to take their seats for the first time since the November 2020 election. On that morning an ‘interim president’ invited the head of the military to take all power in the country- judicial, legislative and executive.

This was not a spur of the moment action, but one for which the military had well planned. Within the coming hours you could practically keep beat with the passing minutes as notice after notice was issued by the military Commander in Chief dismissed national and local government officials, and judges. These in turn were followed by notice after notice of new appointments to those positions, appointed solely by the Commander in Chief of Myanmar’s armed forces.

In the following days, the military formed a council which was half civilian, including members of some ethnic groups as the core of government. The military seizure of power was endorsed by 23 existing political parties (most of whom had not captured seats in the November elections). Before even a week had gone by, the military appointed government’s Foreign Minister had held his first briefing with the diplomatic corps within the country to explain the legal nature of the transfer of power.

The events of 1 February reveal a well prepared and thought out action by the military to seize total control, again, of Myanmar. They have taken pains to avoid international censure by cloaking the power grab in legal clauses in the 2008 Constitution. Clauses the military wrote, which allowed it transfer to itself all state powers when vague, undefined circumstances were met.

All the actions of the military reveal that they need one thing that all their military power cannot seize for them. Legitimacy. International solidarity actions must make sure they never obtain it.

Civil Resistance

The seizure of state institutions by the military has not been welcomed by the majority of the citizenry who have for the past days gathered in the tens of thousands to say one thing to the military- it isn’t you who we elected.

A campaign of civil disobedience was launched on 3rd February, when hundreds of doctors and nurses from the government hospitals launched a civil disobedience movement calling for the release of those arrested since the coup, and called for parliament to convene with the parliamentarians democratically elected in the Nov. 8 general election.

Civil servants walked off the job or wore a red-ribbon campaign to show their defiance against the coup while continuing to work.

More broadly, citizens have banged pots and pans at 8pm every night since Tuesday to oppose military rule. By 5th February thousands of government staff, doctors, nurses, students, professors and teachers at 91 government hospitals, 18 universities and colleges and 12 government departments in 79 townships across the country were on strike.

The citizenry have urged police in Myanmar’s major cities to disobey any orders to repress them and to join the citizens in rejecting military rule.

Myanmar’s veteran activists from 1988 uprising, the 88 Generation for Peace and Open Society, called for people to take multiple approaches, including a boycott of military-run businesses, to oppose military rule. People must find other ways to reduce military revenue, they said in a statement. The military is involved in areas like banking, breweries, buses, telecoms, tobacco and TV channels. “People should stop using their services and boycott shops where their products are sold,”

Officially recognize the non-military government

Some parliamentarians did not obey the military order to ‘go home’, and remained in the capital of Naypyitaw. Three days after the military seized power they held a ceremony to swear themselves into the parliament, despite the military order to leave. They are now acting on their own as elected people’s representatives. 70 lawmakers from the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) took parliamentary oaths of office at an improvised swearing-in ceremony on 4th February at the government housing, where lawmakers normally stay during parliamentary sessions. One elected representative stated that they were “convening of the Parliament”, saying the venue didn’t matter as long as there were lawmakers in attendance. “No one can take away the legitimacy of the MP status granted to us by the people. That’s why we took oaths as parliamentarians-for the people,” Other MPs who had obeyed military orders to leave were to take their oaths online.

All governments who care about democratic values should immediately state that they officially recognize the parliamentarians who were elected by the people, not the military government. They should ask any diplomatic staff of a Myanmar embassy in their country which group they will represent. If they say they represent the elected officials support them. If they say they represent the military regime, expel them. This is the sole way by which nations can withhold legitimacy from the military formed government.

Financial Pressure and sanctions

Telenor is a Norwegian telecoms company in which the Government of Norway is the major share holderª. It is one of 4 major telecoms providers in Myanmar (the other 3 are Myanmar Post and Telecommunications, a joint venture between the Vietnames and Myanmar Army, and Qatari based telecom company.

Telenor has blocked social media (Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram) on its mobile internet at the request of the Myanmar military. It notes on its website that this request is ‘legal under Myanmar law’, but states that it said to the authorities that the order contravenes international human rights law.

Telenor’s actions demonstrate that it is willing to accept that the military government is a legitimate by stating that its laws are legitimate. Telnor agreement to act against human rights norms legitimizes the military regime, despite a 5 February UN Security Council statement which urged “respect human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law” in Myanmar.

Telenor is not the only company engaged with the military in Myanmar, but it is the one whose actions allow repression of dissent at this critical time, which the United Nations Security Council stated must be protected. The U.N. Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar (FFM) identified at least 120 businesses involved in everything from construction to pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, insurance, tourism and banking being owned by two military owned business conglomerates, Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL) and Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC). The FFM called for imposition of an arms embargo, citing at least 14 foreign firms from seven nations that have supplied fighter jets, armored combat vehicles, warships, missiles and missile launchers to Myanmar since 2016.

Illegitimate laws must never be obeyed. The military regime has kept colonial laws, or written new ones with which it controls, oppresses or punishes the population. Like Burma’s former colonial rulers, it rules by law. There is no rule of law.

Without legitimacy, the military government will not be able to normalize its rule. This will undercut the main power of the military regime, as they need the international community to treat the situation as normal and themselves as legitimate. To stand in solidarity with the struggle in Myanmar, international citizens should persuade or pressure their governments to withhold that legitimacy.

ªCaisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec is Telenor’s third largest institutional investor.

See also: Speaking truth to power: Methods of Nonviolent Struggle in Burma

Nonviolence in Asia Series Number 2,

Nonviolence International, 2005

22 January 2021 Nuclear Weapons Are Banned

Hits: 325

Today, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons becomes international law.

Civil society has struggled for decades to bring about a global convention banning nuclear weapons, the last weapon of mass destruction now to have a treaty which comprehensively prohibits the use, production stockpiling or trade of the weapon.

This is an enormous achievement in which we can all celebrate. The civil society network which coordinated global action to bring this treaty into being is the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Nonviolence International is part of this campaign, as it is other humanitarian disarmament movements (see Humanitarian Disarmament)

While Canada does not possess any nuclear weapons, and while many Canadian provinces have passed resolution declaring themselves nuclear weapons free (and many Canadian municipalities have signed the ICAN cities pledge), our neighbour to the immediate south has many.

British Columbia shares the Salish Sea with the US state of Washington, and the channel through which it sails its largest fleet of nuclear armed vessels, the Trident nuclear weapon submarine fleet. It also houses the world’s largest known arsenal of nuclear weapons just 50 mi. off the BC coastline.

Residents of both BC and Washington State who live along this waterway joined together to proclaim today that nuclear weapons are now banned.

This photo action was produced in cooperation with Washington Against Nuclear Weapons and Mines Action Canada.

Nonviolence International webinars: People Power in Sudan

Hits: 358

We hope everyone has been well since the last webinar on the collaborative work of our partners, the Palestinian Holy Land Trust, and the Center For Jewish Nonviolence. Our webinar series entitled, We are All Part of One Another, brings diverse nonviolent campaigns and voices directly to you. We are excited to host another on People Power in Sudan. You can register using this link.

Sudan’s revolution in 2019 was truly remarkable: A successful removal of a 30-year Islamist dictatorship by a secular revolution with nation-wide support and major leadership from women. Sudan has an exciting future, but also tremendous challenges. They are not getting the full support from the US and other nations that they need and deserve.

One year after the successful overthrow of the al-Bashir dictatorship, NVI will host Sudanese leaders and a US congresswoman in a webinar about the revolution and the current situation of the Sudanese people and government. Our Sudanese speakers will share their hopes and plans for Sudan’s future and articulate ways in which the international community and specifically the USA can help.

Our speakers will include Khartoum-based experts: Asma Ismail Ahmed – a well known civil society activist, Anthony Haggar – a prominent businessman and influential leader, as well as Jalelah Sophia Ahmed – a leader in the Sudanese diaspora in Washington DC. We will also have US Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal speak about what US and global citizens can do to help get the US government to de-list Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism and provide more support for the fledgling democracy.

Our host will be Michael Beer, NVI Director, who provided much needed support for the Sudanese people during the uprising.

Please help us spread the word about this global conversation on Wednesday, July 1st at 10:30 AM EDT. Again, you can register here.

Peace,

Mubarak Awad

President, Nonviolence International

P.S.  As you know, Nonviolence International provides resources to movements all around the world. These tools are needed now more than ever. Check out our growing database of  Nonviolent Tactics, and our NV Training Archive, which is a partnership between NVI and Rutgers University International Institute for Peace.

http://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/

Peacefulness in Canada?

Hits: 259

How do we measure peace? The 2020 Global Peace Index (GPI) has just been released (June 2020), and has the un-enviable task of determining the peacefulness in our globally diverse societies.

Compared to other countries, Canada’s ranks near the top in sixth position is unchanged from 2019. For smugness, yes, we rate far above our southern neighbour, who came in at 121 (out of 163 countries measured). This years ranking does include the beginnings of recent demonstrations on race relations, environmental concern and police violence in North America.

The ranking across countries takes into account governance types, claims that its indicators cover 99.7 per cent of the global population, and uses 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators in three thematic domains: the level of Societal Safety and Security; the extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict; and the degree of Militarisation.

The GPI also seeks to identify trends in Positive Peace: the attitudes, institutions, and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies, and examines the relationship between the actual peace of a country, as measured by the GPI, and Positive Peace, and how a deficit of Positive Peace can be a predictor of future increases in violent conflict.

The indicators are: External Conflicts Fought; Perceptions of Criminality; Internal Conflicts Fought; Incarceration Rate; Intensity of Internal Conflict; Violent Demonstrations; Terrorism Impact; Nuclear and Heavy Weapons; Deaths from External Conflict; Weapons Imports; Violent Crime; Political Instability; Neighbouring Countries Relations; Access to Small Arms; Police Rate; Armed Services Personnel Rate; Weapons Exports; Homicide Rate; Military Expenditure (% GDP); Refugees and IDPs; Political Terror Scale; Deaths from Internal Conflict; UN Peacekeeping Funding.

According to the 2020 GPI, “Canada’s overall level of peacefulness improved slightly, thanks to improvements in scores across all three GPI domains. The single largest improvement occurred on the terrorism impact indicator. Canada had a spike in terrorism between 2017 and 2018, with 16 people killed from 16 confirmed terrorist attacks. However, the number of attacks and deaths dropped in 2019, leading to the improvement in score on the 2020 GPI. Canada also had improvements both its incarceration rate and police rate. However, there was a slight increase in the homicide rate, which rose to 1.8 per 100,000 people, and also slight increases in military expenditure and weapons exports” It should be noted here, that the police rate is the number of police per 100,000 people. Canada’s police rate is almost identical to the Nordic countries, ie very low numbers of police per citizen. Civil unrest is primarily non-violent demonstrations, followed by general strikes and riots.

There are subsections of the GPI which look at each of the above indicators in itself and regionally. Specific changes, either positive or negative for individual countries can be found. The report is important reading for everyone concerned with the building of more peaceful societies. That should be all of us….

Global Peace Index 2020, June 2020

Special Report: COVID-19 & Peace, June 2020

Both by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP). IEP is headquartered in Sydney, with offices in New York, The Hague, Mexico City, Brussels and Harare.

Project to Save the World video interview with founder of Nonviolence International

Hits: 290

Project Save the World Watch Video Talk Show with activists in Nonviolence International by Metta Spencer

Mubarak Awad was a Palestinian Christian psychotherapist who realized that his clients did not need therapy; they needed freedom. Which led him to found the Palestinian Centre for the Study of Nonviolence, which the Israeli government did not appreciate — it created an effective nonviolent intifada. The work  continues, and Metta speaks with Awad and three  other leaders in Nonviolence International: Michael Beer (working in the USA),  Andre Kamenshikov (working now from Kiev, Ukraine), and  Yeshua Moser Puangsuwan (working from both Southeast Asia and Canada). They are optimistic about the importance, and the liklihood of being able to, continue their work,  even in the hard post-Covid society and economy.

Video: https://youtu.be/DAInkwifZf4

Audio Podcast: https://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/show/projectsavetheworld/id/14574656

Metta Spencer, is the Editor of Canada’s Peace Magazine and producer of the video magazine Project Save the World. The video’s can be found on the inter-disciplinary Platform for Survival on the Project to Save the World website. The Platform is a set of public policy proposals, if adopted together, will greatly reduce the risk of six grave, inter-dependent threats to humankind: War & Weapons, Global Warming, Famine, Pandemics, Radiation Exposure, Cyber Attacks, Enabling Measures and Fatal Combinations. If you accept at least 20 of the 25 planks outlined under the above grave threats, scroll down on the site and add your endorsement, and ask your organization to endorse too, listing its website there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canada institutes a comprehensive ban on assault weapons with immediate effect

Hits: 312

Today, International Workers Day 2020, the Canadian government banned, with immediate effect, the sale, transfer, importation and use of assault style weapons. The ban covers 1,500 models and variants of assault style firearms, and will be amended to include new models in the future.

At a national press conference by the Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Justin Trudeau and several cabinet members including the Minister for Public Safety Mr. Bill Blair, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ms. Chrystia Freeland and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Mr. David Lametti, outlined the scope of the ban.

The Prime Minister opened the Press Conference by recalling his own college age experience of learning of the 1989 mass shooting at the École Polytechnique in Montreal where a gunman separated out and killed female students. Mr. Trudeau reflected on his disbelief about how such an event could happen within the country. In perhaps an oblique critique of American policy he stated, “Prayers and thoughts are not enough.” and continued,“Because of gun violence, people are dying, families are grieving, and communities are suffering. It must end. Assault-style firearms designed for military use have no place in Canada. By removing them from our streets, we will limit the devastating effects of gun-related violence and help make our country safer.

Mr. Blair, the Public Safety Minister, noted that there had been wide support for an assault weapons ban by the public in Canada for years and today’s actions were a response to that. He also noted that public concern regarding the militarization of the police was directly tied to the militarization of the public which had occurred through the acquisition of military grade weapons by some members of the public. He noted that this ban will increase public safety from individuals motivated by racism and misogyny.

Ms. Freeland, the Deputy Prime Minister and former Foreign Minister noted that a disproportionate percentage of the victims are women, and that the fetishization of weapons and femicide it enabled needed to stop. She provided statistics on the numbers of women specifically targeted by violence, and further noted that owning a weapon designed to kill many people was part of making one look like they could kill many people. She noted that this law will protect women and is firmly within the Canadian government’s feminist policies.

While the ban on use, transfer, sale, and importation is in effect immediately, a two year amnesty is in place for current owners regarding possession. Gun shops may apply for a permit to export back to manufactures, and current private owners may apply within those 2 years to export a now illegal firearm. The government will propose legislation to Parliament for a ‘fair market’ buy back as well. There are exceptions under the amnesty for Indigenous peoples exercising Aboriginal or treaty rights to hunt, and for those who hunt or trap to sustain themselves or their families. These exceptions will allow for the continued use of newly prohibited firearms in limited circumstances until a suitable replacement can be found. By the end of the amnesty period, all firearms owners must comply with the ban.

 

Nonviolence International is a founding member of the International Action Network on Small Arms, a global movement against gun violence that links hundreds of organizations working to stop the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons.