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Vancouver's E.A.R. steps up campaign

anon — September 1983

Undaunted by the July signing of the United States-Canada cruise missile test treaty, a Vancouver peace group plans to escalate its anti-cruise activity in the coming months.

End the Arms Race (E.A.R.) is a coalition of 137 Vancouver groups dedicated So “abolishing nuclear weapons sod funding human needs.” It was established in January 1982, and now has approximately 250,000 members. The coalition includes professional, women’s and senior citizens’ groups, as well as labour unions, educational organizations and churches.

The signing of the cruise treaty has heightened public awareness of the coalition, said its Vice-president, Gary Marchant, and has prompted an outpouring of calls to its offices. “There has been an incredible response from people who were not involved in the peace movement before and now want to help.”

Marchant stressed the importance of the Canada-wide peace network. He said the organized effort, which resulted in thousands of people in several cities demonstrating against the cruise missile simultaneously last April, attracted immediate and effective media attention.

E.A.R. is currently planning a four-stage anti-Cruise campaign which Marchant hopes will draw new support from people angered by the recent signing of the test agreement. This campaign includes:

Although he is troubled by the process which allowed the recent test decision to essentially bypass the House of Commons, Merchant expressed optimism that “the agreement can be reversed and we think we can effect that (reversal) by political pressure.”