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Introduction to "The Peace Testimony and Violence in the World Economy"

The quotations which follow have been compiled mainly with group discussion in mind. While some are fundamental texts of the Quaker tradition (quotation 1), others have even been quoted out of context in order to hint at new perspectives (quotation 11).

Quakers have always been concerned about the violence inherent in the economy, starting with George Fox himself (quotation 1). In recent years a number of Meetings have been concerned about what the Quaker peace testimony has to say to violence in today's world economy. German and Switzerland Yearly Meetings asked that the subject be put on the agenda of the Friends World Committee for Consultation Triennial, which was to be held in August 1994 at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. Sweden Yearly Meeting had already presented a minute on the same subject to the FWCC World Conference in 1991 (quotation 16). Intermountain Yearly Meeting forwarded to the Triennial a minute it had adopted on the subject in 1993 (quotation 25).

The quotations illustrate some of the ways the Quaker concern for violence in the world economy has been expressed. They are drawn mainly from the draft of the Book of Discipline which London (now Britain) Yearly Meeting was going to consider at its session in the summer of 1994, but also include some views which members of German Yearly Meeting had drafted specifically for the Triennial, as well as Sweden Yearly Meeting's minute on the right sharing of the world's resources and the minute from Intermountain Yearly Meeting.

The triennial welcomed the concern warmly, adopting a Minute on the Violent Effects of Economic Structures.

Peaceweb / Peace and Social Concerns Committee, Ottawa Monthly Meeting, Canada - CS, 27 June 1996