Mary Vrantsidis — October 1984
The board of the new Canadian International Institute for Peace and Security holds its first meeting on October 1. In the September issue of The Peace Calendar, we announced that 17 members had been appointed, but this was only partly correct. The fourteen Canadians were officially appointed, but not yet the three foreign members. At the October meeting, the board will probably select the executive director and name the location of the institute.
- Attention peace activists: Katie Stortroen, a staff member at the Peace Research Institute – Dundas, wants a confidential, anonymous letter from you. “Please let me know how you came to work for peace,” Ms. Stoertroen requests. “We need to know what changes people’s hearts, and one way to find out is to collect stories. We can discover what people need to know, to feel, to experience, in order to become committed to peace. There is a body of literature about attitude change, value formation and the like. Our collected stories can become even more useful if the information that we have matches up with the kind of identifying information that is used in the social sciences. So if you feel that you can, please include age, sex, family income in round numbers, education, occupation, and religious choice. Also, with which previous social concerns have you been involved? Do you live in a household with children? Do you feel that your work for peace is a development from, or an abrupt break from, your upbringing? What was your first action after you decided to work for peace? Do not identify yourself in your response. If you don’t want to write this kind of information, your “choosing peace” story is still needed – between two paragraphs and a couple of pages long. I will put all your stories together and look for patterns.” Write Kathleen Stoertroen, PRI-D, 25 Dundana Avenue, Dundas On., L9H 4E5.
- As in previous years, the United Nations will sponsor a programme for non-governmental organizations during Disarmament Week. This year’s programme will consist of a panel discussion on the topic “Disarmament Utopia or Possibility?” The event will take place in the Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium at United Nations Headquarters on Thursday, 25 October 1984, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm.
- Carl Stieren and O. John Hawkins are publishing a cartoon book, 101 Uses for a Dead Cruise. They hope artists will contact them to participate in this project. The royalties will go to benefit the peace and international development work of the Canadian Friends Service Committee. They can be reached through Friends House, 60 Lowther Ave., Toronto On., M5R 1C7, or phone 416/xxx-xxxx.
- We hear more about foreign peace camps, such as the one at Greenham Common, than about the one on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. On August 6, the campers spent their 500th day in front of Parliament. They felt a little lost after the testing of the cruise; some of the participants have left, and for a time there was a possibility that the whole camp would disband, but new recruits have come and the project will go on. The camping is very good; the place is kept neat and tidy, and the activists have polite and friendly relations with the local constabulary. They understand it would take an act of Parliament to remove them. The group has many needs. Send them leaflets and other informational material to hand out. Or go up and spend some time with them yourself. The campers would be greatly empowered by an ongoing relationship with an outside support group.
- World Peace Day on October 24 is a special day of concern for the International Peace Committee. They plan a children’s peace pageant in Montreal. Write to them at P.O. Box 433, Kemptville On., KOG IJO, for details of their World Campaign for Peace.
- The University of Alberta’s disarmament group held its first meeting early in September and attracted some 200 members. They are planning a visit by Dr. Helen Caldicott to the Butter Dome in November. Contact Jim Stoll At the U. of A. Student Union.
- A doctor in Barrie, Ontario, is taking his views on disarmament directly to his own waiting room. Dr. Brian Morris, a member of the local Physicians for Social Responsibility, hands each patient a copy of a message stating that, as a physician, it is his duty to inform his patients of the grave threat that nuclear weapons pose to their health and lives. Several other doctors in the ultra-conservative town are following suit. Dr. Morris says that response has been good so far, with no negative reactions.
- An interesting bit of info from ANVA’s War Toys Boycott Campaign? Their target is to get G.I. Joe dolls off the market. Just after the US invasion of Grenada, G.I. Joe became the No. 1 selling toy in the States. Now the boy soldier has an enemy doll, a slightly oriental-looking character named Cobra Command. According to ANVA, kids are socialized through play, and such toys teach them that the US military and its interventionist business is OK.
- On October 13, there will be a feminist-inspired action day sponsored by the Alliance for Non-Violent Action focussing on the links between pornography, rape and war. Each affinity group will be free to do as they wish as long as there is a commitment to nonviolence and N.V. training is taken prior to the action. ANV A’s role is to suggest a common theme, date and a direct method of showing the links. In the West, contact Debbi Neher, 176 47th Ave. E., Vancouver. In the East, try the ANVA office at 730 Bathurst St., Toronto, or Jim Smith at 211 Third Ave, Ottawa. If men want to participate, the emphasis will be on challenging other men on ihe issue.
- What are your ideas about the future of the peace movement in Ontario? Organizers of a province-wide disarmament network conference want your feedback. The conference will take place in late November’ or early December. For more information, write to the Waterloo Region Peace Network. Box 133, Station C, Kitchener On., N2G 3W9.
- Edmonton peaceniks have a lot to look forward to this fall. Guest speakers such as Dr. Helen Caldicott, Jim Garrison and Sergei Batovrin and films like What About the Russians? And War without Winners. Also in the works, four one-hour specials for the local community cable channel. The group behind all this activity is Edmontonians for a Non-Nuclear Future (ENNuF).
- On the international scene, in England, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has organized a national demonstration for October 27, focussing attention on a company producing Trident submarines. The Vickers works in Barrow in Furness has the contract to build the Trident D5 submarines. CND is also gathering as much information as possible about the development of the nuclear sub. Please forward any info to CND, II Goodwin. St., London, England, N4 3HQ.