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DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE

Dorena Hall, JPIC Core Committee

I would like to add some observations concerning the D&P rally in Ottawa, May 14.

The time on Parliament Hill was only an hour, and media coverage was largely absent, but the delegates, who had an evening and a full day, reported a hugely successful event. I was told that seeing the boxes of 80,000 postcards there was impressive, as was the number of MPs who showed up; also the excellent speakers, the drummers, the cooperation with the aboriginal people.

Representatives from other organizations that came were in awe with D&P being able to bring out a crowd of over 300 for the demonstration. Speakers included Alex Needham, Executive Director from Amnesty International, Eve Peclet, the MP from Montreal, the 20 + member group of the Canadian Network for Corporate Responsibility (CNRC) of which D&P is a member, and the President of the Canadian Bishops Conference. A highlight was the former Justice critic from Montreal who gave a powerful statement at the Rally about his admiration for D&P and how it has shaped and influenced his life. As well, two of our Island MPs, Wayne Easter and Sean Casey, got up on the stage beside him to give moral support.

Like many others, we realize that this is only one more step in a challenge that has still a long way to go but we raised an awareness, and a question was asked in the House that afternoon.(A detailed account was published (www.catholicregister.org May 15). The event was bigger than just the Rally. We are most grateful for the CND/JPIC presence there. Thanks so much, Monica and Maura.

 

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