I talked to Isabel and Frank Showler in Toronto. Among the longest of the long-time activists that were interviewed for this project, they both became politicized in the late 1930, an environment conducive to the particular winding-together of Christianity, social radicalism, and pacifism that marks their politics. Frank is still involved, and Isabel kept as active as she could up until her death in 2006. Their chapter in Resisting the State: Canadian Histories Through the Stories of Activists focuses on their pacifism during the Second World War, but in the decades after that they were involved in countless other struggles for peace and justice. They participated in the first peace marches during the Cold War, they sheltered deserters from the U.S. military during the Vietnam era, they participated in civil disobedience against local arms manufacturers and worked in solidarity with the revolutionary Sandanista government of Nicaragua in the 1980s, they were active in struggles against poverty and homelessness in the 1990s, and they took part in countless other projects too numerous to mention.
Material from the Showlers on the site:
- An audio clip of Isabel talking about her path to pacifism and some of the ways that choice affected her life after the outbreak of the Second World War:
- Another audio clip, this one with both Frank and Isabel reflecting on their decisions to stick by their left-wing pacifist politics throughout the Second World War.