Friday, 28 September 2012

Guerilla Peace

Ben Hoffman, PhD, the director of CIIAN and author of the Guerilla Peace Handbook writes that peace-building must be pursued with the same vigor and tenacity that guerilla fighters use to achieve their goals. The peace guerilla must "wage peace"at the grassroots level, as well as on a larger scale in order to prevent violence and promote immediate and sustainable peace.

In October (the 12th, to be precise) Ben Hoffman will be at Nipissing University's Muskoka Campus to discuss what we can do to promote peace at home and abroad in his presentation entitled "From Bracebridge to Bagdad". Leading up to this even we find it pertinent to begin a more in depth discussion of what exactly peace is in our own specific contexts and in the context of the broader spectrum of reality--whether it be peace in the community, peace on a national scale or global peace. And once we know what peace is (or at least have some sort of individualized operational definition), how can we seek to promote or, as Ben Hoffman puts it, wage peace at these different levels.

So, what would it mean to be a guerilla fighter for peace?

In the Peace Guerilla Handbook, Hoffman explains why he uses the term "guerilla" to describe wagers of peace. He writes that the peace guerilla differs from the war guerilla in objective only. Their tactics must be similar - the guerilla must operate often in secret ways, using limited resources to achieve their goal through strategic thinking and collaboration. The waging of peace is, similar to guerilla warfare, a coordinated effort of subversive tactics to get at the root of the problem - to seek out those things which are obstructing peace and eliminate them.

We want to know what you think? Can and should peace be pursued in this manner? If not, why not?

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