Anthropologists for Justice and Peace (AJP)

Posted on 21 April 2010 by


Anthropologists for Justice and PeaceIt is with great pleasure that, as a member of the steering committee, I announce the formation of ANTHROPOLOGISTS for JUSTICE and PEACE (AJP), a new grouping of Canadian anthropologists, and a partner of the U.S.-based Network of Concerned Anthropologists (NCA), the Fredericton Peace Coalition, the Centre de ressources sur la non-violence (CRNV), the Collectif Échec à la Guerre, and currently in talks with Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) and Conscience Canada about setting up working ties. AJP has been in the process of formation for almost two years, and finally took shape in late February of this year, before being publicly launched in early March (read more about the history). AJP has already been engaged in its first act of public advocacy against militarism and the militarization of the Canadian university campus, specifically around the “Project Hero Scholarship Program” (see “Open Letter from Professors at the University of Regina against “Project Hero” Scholarships,” “AJP Stands Against ‘Project Hero’ and Canadian Imperialism in Afghanistan,” and “Freedom In Spite of the Military — No Canadian Heroism in the Afghan War“). We have also suggested/endorsed two actions, one of which urges people to sign a petition against Project Hero. As far as we know, this is the first group of activist anthropologists in Canada, and we are dedicated to a public anthropology that advocates for indigenous self-determination, social justice, and decolonization at home and abroad.

AJP‘s manifesto stands firm against the militarization of Canadian universities, the recruitment of anthropologists and social scientists to serve the goals of wars of conquest and occupation, and Canada’s political and military involvement in neo-colonial adventures such as the occupation of Afghanistan and the imposition of international protectorate regimes under the guise of “humanitarianism.” In general, AJP’s aims and concerns are broader than those of the NCA. Most of its members have worked with indigenous communities and fully support internal decolonization in Canada and indigenous self-determination. One of the AJP steering committee members is a Métis scholar, and another is a Mohawk. AJP caters primarily to a Canadian audience, and is open to membership to all Canadian anthropologists, members of related disciplines, whether students or faculty. We hope to launch a series of events at the 2011 conference of the Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA), to be held in Fredericton.

AJP is, as many organizations tend to be these days, spread across various social network sites. You can find AJP on Twitter, in Facebook, in YouTube, and at IndyMedia Québec. AJP also operates a Google Group for the steering committee (which is private), and a mailing list for members only (send a message to anthrojustpeace@gmail.com clearly identifying yourself, and your interests in joining the organization). You can see the full list of AJP postings, which is updated whenever anything new is published, or you can add the RSS feed to your reader, or subscribe on the site itself to receive posts via email.

As new as AJP is, we have already received our first mention in the alternative Canadian media, specifically in Cameron Fenton’s article in The Dominion, “The Ethnography of an Air-Strike: Canada’s military academics in the Afghan war and at home” (12 April 2010).

[A note to readers of this blog: given my new duties with AJP, the alternative site that I had envisioned as departing from this one, will no longer be created (it was also too ambitious, perhaps not too distinctive in the overall webscape, and a waste of what has been built up here). This also means that this blog will not be terminated this coming summer as planned, even if the average number of monthly postings will likely never again reach 50, and instead hover around eight per month. Of course, we would not have invited John Stanton to join us if we planned to shut down two months later.]

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Posted in: "OUT THERE", ADVOCACY