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On December 16th last year, at a location on the Griffiss Air Force Base known only as “Category A Area,” five B-52 bombers became the first in the US to be equipped with the latest nuclear weapon from the Pentagon — the cruise missile.
Each B-52 carries 12 missiles and is on alert status 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Each missile is 15 times as powerful as the Hiroshima bomb.
The Griffiss AFB is located at Rome, New York, 240 miles southeast of Toronto. If the June 13 US request to test the cruise is approved by the Canadian government. B-52s equipped with the air-launched cruise missile will take off from Griffiss and fly to the Primrose weapons-testing range in Alberta where the test will take place.
The Alliance for Non-Violent Action, a collective of non-violent direct action groups dispersed across Ontario and western Québec, is planning an international march and protest against the deployment of the ALCM and the impending testing of the cruise guidance system later this year. This protest action includes co-ordinated American and Canadian marches from the Canadian border to Griffiss, and a demonstration and civil disobedience at the base.
The joint Canadian-American action is called the International Days of Resistance, and has three objectives; to protest testing and deployment of the cruise; to draw attention to the ways in which national borders are used to protect the interests of the powerful; and to strengthen links among movements resisting militarism in Canada and the US and those struggling against the deployment of the cruise and Pershing II missiles in Europe.
The International Days of Resistance will begin on July 19th with art American march from the Canadian border near Thousand Islands toward Griffiss.
The Canadian part of the march will begin in Kingston on July 21, and arrive at the Thousand Islands Bridge. east of Ganonoque, on the evening of July 22.
After an international peace picnic on July 23, the Canadians will be joined by members of New York State peace groups for a joint US-Canadian border crossing. If the crossing is permitted, people will either proceed by bus to join the American march, or go directly to the Rome-Syracuse area to prepare for the July 27th action.
The march and demonstration are being planned to accommodate the possibility that the July 23rd joint border crossing may not be permitted. In preparing people for the action, emphasis has been placed on the significance of the international borders, and the reasons why peaceful protesters and people with different political views are often refused entry into a country, while cruise missiles, military advisors, and transnational capital can cross the border at will. If the march is stopped at the border, an action of some sort will take place there rather than at the base.
Organizers are hoping for a large turnout for the rally and picnic on July 23rd, and supporters are expected to come from southern Ontario, Québec, upstate New York, and the women’s peace camp at the Seneca Army Depot near Geneva, New York.
For more information of the walk and Griffiss action, contact the Cruise Missile Conversion Project at 416-xxx-xxxx. Buses for the July 23rd border rally and picnic are available for $12 return.