Up and Doing
Canadian Women and Peace

Williamson, Janice and Gorham, Deborah eds.
Publisher:  The Women's Press
Year Published:  1989  
Pages:  262pp   ISBN:  ISBN 0-88961-130-0
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX4517

Abstract:  Intended to document Canadian women's work for peace and the ongoing dialogue of women engaged in peace work, this collection of essays by thirty-seven women activists and authors begins with a history of the Canadian women's peace movement from the early part of the twentieth century up to World War II.
"Thinking About Peace", the second of four sections in the book, provides valuable insights on the Western war machine. Violent action based on textbook information and not on the actual particulars of a conflict is seen as part of the problem. Kim Echlin looks at the effect of U.S. testing of nuclear weapons and the consequent suffering and exploitation of people in the Marshall Islands. Donna Smyth, a novelist and critic discusses the language of war and Sandra Rabinowitch writes on the popular action and adventure novels introduced by Harlequin Books in 1981. The use of fictional Rambo-type characters perpetuates the myths around violence.
Women's actions for peace range from liberal pacifism, to nonviolent action, to armed struggle.
The third section, the longest in the book, has various examples of women acting for peace: an account of the Litton Systems protest in Toronto organized by Women's Action for Peace in November, 1983, a court statement of one of the Vancouver (or Squamish) Five sentenced to life imprisonment and an essay on the Canadian Voice of Women organization which was formed in 1960.
The final part entitled Imagining Peace provides us with a literary challenge to go beyond militarized language and consciousness to social transformation. Several poems are included.