Toronto Demonstration Against NATO

As the leaders of NATO gathered in Washington DC for a celebratory birthday party for the military alliances’ 75 years of existence, counter gatherings opposing its ongoing militarism were taking place around the world and also in Washington. I gathered as a member of Pax Christi, July 9 with other peace activists in front of the US Consulate on University Avenue in Toronto reminding passersby of the reality of NATO’s militarism. President Biden gave a speech praising the North Atlantic Treaty Organization promising more weapons and support for Ukraine and further expansion into Asia. Canada is now under tremendous pressure by US politicians to increase our war spending to meet NATO’s 2% of GDP. Chrystia Freeland has responded that Canada will indeed meet this requirement. While the Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenbery has stated that this is the basic requirement implying they want even more spending. Once again, as people of faith and followers of the nonviolent Jesus we are called to live the Beatitudes and especially Blessed are the Peacemakers.  Let us continue to take the Gospel of Peace and Nonviolence out of the pews and into the streets following the example of Jesus and those great disciples who did likewise: St Francis of Assisi, Dorothy Day, Fr. Louis Vitale, Frs. Dan and Phil Berrigan, and Fr. John Dear. Let us all be Peacemakers!
By Greg Gillis, Pax Christi Toronto