Remember the Christmas Truce of 1914
Categories: Articles:Peacemaking |
Published: 19/12/2014 |
Five months after the start of World War I, along the Western Front, where already hundreds of thousands of soldiers from throughout Europe, India, Australia, and Canada had lost their lives, so-called enemies ventured from their trenches to talk with each other, retrieve corpses, share gifts from home, tell jokes, sing songs, and kick around make-shift footballs. The Scottish peace movement are gathering in Glasgow on Christmas Eve at 1:30 pm to remember the Christmas truce of 1914. Assemble at Dewar's statue in Glasgow city centre.
Celebrate Resistance to Fighting for the Sake of Profiteers and Generals
Naturally, the army command, under orders from their respective governments, would not allow this period of peace to continue - let alone see it as a chance for a permanent truce. But it was increasingly clear to those given the task of defending empires and capitalism that they had more in common with the soldiers they were being pitted against than with those in power: both civilian and military.
On the home front, thousands of those called to take their place as canon fodder could not and did not comply. For exercising this right, they were subjected to savage ridicule; and many were jailed in wretched conditions that permanently damaged their health.
World War III has not been declared, but it might as well have been. Throughout the world, wars on terrorism (in the name of patriotism and religion) are engulfing us. And the battle fields cross every border, and include our neighbourhoods. Modern technology allows the intelligence agencies and the police to constantly maintain surveillance of all of us.
The Future Depends on Lessons Learned. The period of peace that the soldiers on the Western Front initiated was both an act of extreme personal courage and an example of the deep striving for friendship, cooperation, respect, and equality: the basis for a new global society which is ours to create. We know from instances like the Christmas truce what we are capable of.
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