CANADA: “War is not essential”—CPTers participate in protest against arms manufacturer in London, Ontario


8 August 2020

by Esther Kern

“ The times, they  are a’changing….”

This song was written and sung by Bob Dylan during the turbulent year of 1964.  Fast forward to 2020 and truly the times are changing with the rising grassroots movements who are standing up to say, “No” to the increasing rattle of sabers, inflammatory rhetoric, and both threats of and actual armed conflicts between nations.  A case in point is General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) in London, Ontario, Canada.  With a workforce of 2000, this company produces light armoured vehicles that are shipped to Saudi Arabia.  GDLS holds a multibillion dollar contract with the Saudis, in spite of that nation’s documented human rights abuses, the use of these deadly vehicles to inflict violence on their own citizens, and in their devastating five-year war on Yemen.

Enough is enough!  On the windy, sunny afternoon of 11 June, between 25 and 30 local activists congregated outside the main property of GDLS to communicate clearly the message that, “War is not Essential.”  The focus of the public witness was to encourage the company to engage in a green conversion, from constructing war machines to producing products that meet human needs.  The participants held banners and signs with messages such as, “Seek Green Peace,” “Make Peace, Not War,” ”Stop Arming Saudis – Transition to Green Jobs,” “Stop Canada’s Arms Exports to Saudi Arabia,” “Weapons to Windmills; Tanks to Tractors,” and more.    

As representatives of Christian Peacemaker Teams, Allan Slater and Esther Kern joined other local activists such as ‘People For Peace,’ politicians and members of the Muslim community, holding their signs high in opposition to this military-industrial complex.  The traffic along the highway was heavy, and judging by the many car and truck honks as well as waves from drivers, there are many supporters of converting war machines in the city of London.  The time for change is now.


Read More Stories

Dozens of people crowd toward the entrance of a checkpoint, waiting for Israeli military to open the gate.

Privilege of movement

Basic freedom of movement in Palestine—walking to the grocery store, driving to visit family, or flying internationally—depends on your nationality, race, and religion. As a Palestinian, you are denied these rights as others in your country move freely.

A person wearing a red CPT vest walks along a road with the apartheid wall to their right, covered in graffiti and towering over them.

Dear White Supremacist

CPT Palestine team members engaged in a friendly and introductory conversation with a white person, but it took an unexpected turn.

a graphic image with large bold text reading FREE MORIA 6

After the 2020 fire in Moria

Six young migrants are made scapegoats of a failed EU migration policy – Call for fair and transparent trial for the Moria 6 on 6 March 2023 in Lesvos! 

Skip to content