[Kosova / Kosovo] Aprl 2, 1999: Vigil in Ottawa [Peaceweb Home Page]

Ottawa Friends Organize Interfaith Vigil for Peace

Three Ottawa Friends carry signs at vigil against the war.
Photo: Margaret Jensen, Peace and Environment News, April 2, 1999.

by Carl Stieren

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada - a reprint from Quaker-P

This account of a vigil in Philadelphia was posted on the Internet listserv newsgroup Quaker-P on April 3, 1999. The vigil mentioned was held on April 2, 1999.

Yesterday, about 50 Canadians gathered for a vigil for peace around the Eternal Flame on Parliament Hill, in front of the Parliament buildings in Ottawa. Several of us in the Ottawa Friends Meeting, concerned that no one had yet organized such a vigil, did so. Members of the Meeting began organizing early this week. They contacted members of the Faith Partners Group (a local inter-faith group organized for peace and social concerns), contacted the press, and obtained the required RCMP permit. The vigil drew more than a dozen members of the Meeting, members of at least one local United Church, one Anglican Church, three nonviolent Serbian-Canadians, and others from local peace groups who came out to silently show their support for peace in Yugoslavia.

It was a cloudy Good Friday afternoon on windswept Parliament Hill as we assembled at noon. We held signs reading, "Pray for Peace" and "Vigile pour la paix". We brought a series of signs that read "Bombs never bring peace. Guernica: 1937. Belgrade & Kosova, 199. Negotiate Now.". Other signs in the series had names of other bombed cities painted in red: Hamburg -1943; Coventry - 1940; Perl Harbor - 1941; Dresden - 1945; Hiroshima - 1945; Nagasaki - 1945. A minister from a local United Church led us in singing, "This is Holy Ground". Someone from the meeting led us in, "Last Night I had the Strangest Dream." Had I thought of it, I would have led us in "Carry it on". No reporters came, though several people came to the vigil because they said they had heard about it on CBC radio.

It was a very moving experience. It was the place we had to be this Good Friday. We will be back to Parliament Hill on Sunday, April 11, at 12:30 ( NOTE NEW TIME!) to again witness for peace.

For more information on the April 11 vigil, please contact Carol Dixon at at cdixon@web.net.

Quaker-P is an Internet news group on issues of peace and the peace testimony in the Religious Society of Friends.

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Revised April 20, 1999, by C.S.