Partera Blog

Committing Sociology: Part I

Aug 21, 2013

I was getting ready, peripatetically and mentally working on some language for an upcoming piece of improv at an annual gathering of Christian peacemakers, this year taking place at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. However, I was not so deep in script experimentation to miss a t-shirt that walked by me. It said in large letters: ‘Commit Sociology!’
Could it possibly be that here, I thought, south of the border Margaret Atwood calls a one-way mirror, here, someone else was listening to our Prime Minister’s comedy routines from Ottawa, the G-8 and beyond? As part of a slap-down to that curiosity-plagued Justin Trudeau – who insists on asking pesky questions about root causes and such, the Prime Minister had used that weary tone typical of parents of three year-olds who also ask ‘Why, daddy?’ We’re used to G-8 photos where the Canadian PM’s name is left out. This was extraordinary. I had to find out.

Dear Mr Prime Minister: Israel, Iran and Canada

Sep 14, 2012

Dear Mr Prime Minister:
I have two questions for you and our Minister of Foreign Affairs: Why are you aligning this country with Mitt Romney in the affections of Bibi, said in the New Yorker, reprinted in Ha’aretz, to be ‘arrogant’ and ‘dangerous’? Which gives rise to so many more: Why have you completely abandoned Canada’s honest-broker position with respect to the Occupied Territories? The DFAIT website has not changed; there has been no discussion… In whose interests has this sea-change, having a huge impact on our international reputation, been engineered? Whose voices, whose persuasions move you to act contrary to both international law and the well-being of those living in the already-volatile Middle East? of Canadians? of all human beings wishing quietly for peace and an earth that survives the Leviathan of the military-industrial-carbon complex? Cui bono? The purveyors of the trinkets of war-making? Bibi and his local propagandists? I object strongly to this dangerous trajectory of violence and hatred. Stop. Now.

Bill C-10: A Small Victory

Dec 15, 2011

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”  Martin Luther King Jr

In the face of the Harper majority, it has been easy to consider giving up in despair — we’re stuck with them for another four-five years; get used to it, hang on for the ride and let’s try to minimise the damage.  Then comes some good news on the Tories’ Omnibus Crime Bill, C-10: the Senate vote has been delayed until February.

It is likely that others have said it as well – but this small victory reminds me of the words of Samuel Adams:  It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.  Some of you may have signed the petition or participated in the local neighbourhood conversations across the country organised by LeadNow – clearly a group to notice.  


Muslim-Christian Trainings
Mindanao / Philippines Conflict Transformation
San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico
Sudan third party non-violence intervention