Dual Protests at the US Embassy in Vancouver + notes about making peace

On a rainy day in Vancouver, BC, pro-Palestine and pro-Israel protests tried to out-yell each other outside of the USA Embassy.

My friend Kris Krug went down to document the event and came back rather moved by the experience by seeing friends yelling at each other with no resolve and also the fact that we as humans haven’t developed a method to resolve these absurd conflicts predicated by race, religion, and territory.

Personally, I think we can do better. Respect, forgiveness, kindness, friendliness and ecumenicality for starters.

Here are Kris’ remarks:

the noted mr. krugIt makes me sad that in 2008 there is a such an immovable mountain of a conflict whose central tenants seem to be based on racism and religious intolerance. On both sides. All sides.

I feel sad and my had hangs a lil lower every time I hear about an escalation of the violence in the middle east. I like to be positive and optimistic in general and am frustrated not only in the terrible things that are taking place in terms of violence, but also that we don’t seem to even have the institutions in which we can seek forgiveness and resolution. I’m disappointed in all of us. (

Here’s KK’s post: Anti-Israel Protest @ US Embassy in Vancouver and video of the protests. The reaction from Sean Orr and Jonthan Narvey suggest a microcosm of how to resolve conflicts – ergo: have a chat and a beverage and start find finding things in common.

Narvey says:

Sean Orr and I trading accusations of supporting fascists, until we realized who each other were. Afterwards, deciding to grab a coffee sometime to discuss our political ideas and things webby. I’ve got quite a bit of respect for the guy since his and Krug’s bit of genuine heroismthe other day in the dark side-streets of Gastown. I must confess I find Orr’s alignment with the pro-Hamas crowd disconcerting and not particularly consistent with his standing up for justice on the streets of Vancouver. Perhaps I’ll end up winning him over to my side some day.

Protest the protest

Orr says:

And this is why, despite my constant disappointment with our leaders and the tyranny of our economic system, I am proud to be Canadian. I completely and fundamentally think Jonathan’s support of Israel is racist, imperialistic, and in opposition to world law; but as I stuttered to him in the pounding hail, I’d fight for his right to speak them. We talked a little bit about the fight and about art, then I crossed back over and joined in a chant or two of “End the Occupation Now” before returning home.

This podcast interview between travel writer and activist Rick Steves and Lord Alderdice called “Road Maps to Peace” provides some practical methods of resolving conflicts between cultures who have harmed each other for generations. Here’s the description:

Rick speaks with Lord Alderdice from Belfast, one of the key political figures who helped resolve Northern Ireland’s long-standing “troubles” between its Catholic and Protestant citizens. He shares his approach for addressing the tensions facing the United States and its allies today in overcoming terrorism and in designing road maps for peace.

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