The Peace Calendar Vol.1 No.9
Full text version of all articles from
Jon Spencer — October 1983
Eudora Pendergrast — October 1983
On September 12, several Canadian actors and singers announced the formation of a Canadian chapter of Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament.
PAND Canada was formed after a meeting in August with Harry Belafonte, President of PAND International, said Douglas Campbell, a spokesperson for the group. “We have come together to unite the arts communities and their audiences in a sustained and practical effort to bring about nuclear disarmament in all nations,” said Campbell, reading from PAND International’s Statement of Purpose.
“We call upon all governments to end any involvement whatsoever in preparations to wage. nuclear war; to demand that all nuclear powers immediately declare that they shall never be the first to use nuclear weapons; to support an immediate freeze on the development, manufacture, and deployment of all nuclear weapons; and to initiate plans for the immediate reduction and eventual elimination of all weapons of mass destruction.” reads the statement, which also calls for the funding of human needs, using the resources now being consumed by instruments of destruction.
According to Campbell, PAND intends to accomplish these objectives by educating the performing arts community on issues related to the arms race, and by providing peace organisations with distinguished performers for disarmament events.
Nancy White, another PAND spokesperson, was the Canadian representative to the PAND International Conference, held in West Germany in early September.
The conference was held in a Hamburg football field, and attracted about 20,000 people. The concert featured performers from around the world, including Harry Belafonte and Joan Baez. Ms. White sang “La Maudite Guerre” and “This is NOT a Game;” the former an old Acadian song, the latter a recent composition of her own. She was encouraged by the enthusiastic response to the concert, which ranged from folk music to opera.
PAND Canada will be holding many events in the months to come, including a massive benefit concert on December 4 at the St. Lawrence Centre, featuring Harry Belafonte. PAND can be reached at Box 23, Station F, Toronto, On., M4Y 2L4.
Hans Eisenkraft — October 1983
The nuclear disarmament movement won a major victory last month when a Federal Court judge ruled that Canadian citizens can fight, through the court system, the cabinet’s decision to permit cruise missile testing.
The September 15th ruling by Justice Alex Cattanach defeated an effort by the federal government to have the anti-cruise court case of Operation Dismantle and 26 other labour and peace groups declared “frivolous and vexatious.”
Justice Cattanach’s decision was immediately appealed by the federal government. According to Justice Minister Mark MacGuigan, the government’s appeal was launched in order to establish the rules under which cabinet decisions can be reviewed by the courts. The government’s position is that (he cabinet decision to permit cruise testing was a political decision by elected politicians and therefore should not be heard by the courts.
The court date to hear the federal government’s appeal has been set for October 11.
The Operation Dismantle court suit was filed on July 20 of this year. 11 argues that the cabinet decision to permit the U.S. to test air launched cruise missiles in Canada violates the Canadian Charier of Rights and Freedoms which guarantees the right to “security of the person.”
Joan Huang — October 1983
An Ottawa based group wants to make peace an election issue, and plans a distinctive way of presenting the matter to the Canadian public.
The Peace Petition Caravan Campaign is a program of disarmament activities which will begin with a national newspaper ad this month and continue with an educational drive and door-to-door canvassing throughout the year. The objective of the Campaign is to gather names on petitions across the country and bring them to Ottawa on a peace caravan next summer. It will provide a vehicle for public demands that Canada declare itself a nuclear weapons free zone and that it reject cruise missile testing on its territory.
“This is petitioning with a difference,” said David Langille, a spokesperson for the Campaign.
“It has a specific target — the individual member of Parliament in his or her home riding; as well as a specific time frame — the federal election campaign.”
This aspect of the program will culminate in a mass caravan converging on Ottawa from both coasts. The caravan will deliver the petitions to the MPs, demonstrating that, in Langille’s words, “there is a sizeable block of voters who want peace.”
He said that the drive to make Canada a NWFZ is “a logical extension of the cruise protest and puts it in a larger context.” Organisers of the campaign hope to follow up the Ottawa event by attending all-candidates’ meetings and holding MPs ‘accountable’ for responding to the petitions.
The Campaign is encouraging the involvement of peace groups throughout the country in provincial and local committees. Organisers see the program both as a long-term vision and as a medium-range strategy which would unite “various peace groups in a coordinated national campaign. It focuses on particular events but inspires a host of local initiatives,” said Langille.
Toronto peace groups are planning to contribute to the caravan in conjunction with their own activities. Robert Penner, a spokesperson for the Toronto Disarmament Network, said that the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign has already “broadened the movement” by communicating with other sectors, such as labour and student groups. This has increased awareness of the October 22 day of protest, which is planned on an international scale to protest the planned deployment of cruise and Pershing II missiles in Europe.
Another coalition, Against Cruise Testing, will “try to combine and coordinate events” with the Campaign, but will not be participating in the petition gathering, said Angela Browning, spokesperson for the group.
The Campaign has the official sponsorship of the Canadian Labour Congress, Operation Dismantle, the Assembly of First Nations, the Canadian Federation of Students and the Voice of Women. Organisers hope to secure the endorsement of locally and nationally prominent Canadians on the petitions, and such well-known figures as Margaret Laurence, Patrick Watson and Dr. Donald Bates of the Physicians for Social Responsibility have already shown interest.
The Peace Petition Caravan Campaign was initiated by the Salt Spring Island Peace Group on the west coast. It started with a $12,000 grant from that group in 1982. The Campaign can be reached by calling the Project Ploughshares office in Ottawa at (613) 230-73
Nancy Watt — October 1983
Amid newspaper headlines saying that the “court battle will not stall cruise testing,” academics and student peace activists urged concerted opposition to the missile testing planned in Canada.
The two-day Students for Peace and Disarmament conference, organised by the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario (CFS-O) at the University of Toronto in mid-September, drew more than 30 student representatives from universities in Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo, Ottawa, Toronto and Windsor.
Delegates from a number of peace groups in Canada presented talks on peace and disarmament, with particular focus on youth and student issues. Jeff Parr, research assistant to NDP Defence Critic Lorne Nystrom, spoke on the relationship .between rising defence expenditures and cutbacks in post-secondary education and youth unemployment.
According to Parr, national defence expenditures rose 18.7% more than 1981, which was 3 to 5% above the ongoing inflation rate, while spending on social services, of which education takes a major share, have barely kept pace with inflation.
Terry Gardner of Science for Peace talked about the process of implementing peace studies in campus curricula, which are likely to come about at the University of Toronto in the foreseeable future. Gardner saw the establishment of a Chair devoted to Peace Studies as a possible solution to the conflict-of-interest situation caused by the $1.4 million worth of military research that is conducted at U. of T.
Other presentations included Nuclear Weapons and Canadian Foreign Policy by Dr. Ursula Franklin; Military Research on Campus by Ahab Abdel-Aziz and John Becker; Nuclear Energy and the Arms Race by Paul McKay and a dinner banquet and benefit dance for the Union of Unemployed Workers. Many speakers encouraged students to build a major university-based campaign for disarmament.
The largest student peace group is UCAM — (United Campuses against Nuclear War), which held an “end the arms race” rally at U. of T. on Sept. 16th, just prior to the conference. The organization has more than 150 chapters in most major universities in the United States, but only one chapter in Canada. Since its establishment at the University of Toronto in mid-1982, UCAM, (which also stands for the U. of T. Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament), now holds 210 members, of which more than 100 are students. Chairperson,
Sarah Winterton, stressed that while they cooperate with their counterparts in the States, such as participating in the strategy conference in Chicago in mid-June, the main task at present is opposition to the cruise testing and the education of students on the issue.
A conference on peace studies will be held in November, catering mainly ‘to students in Toronto. The principal speaker will be Anatol Rapoport, director of Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna and a renowned peace researcher.
Nicole de Montbrun — October 1983
The Ontario Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Campaign, launched by MPP Richard Johnston last April, is gathering momentum. Resolution I would prohibit the deployment, testing, construction and transportation of nuclear weapons in Ontario.
Throughout the summer local peace, labour and church groups collected signatures of support. Posters and petitions were distributed at fairs, rallies and booths in shopping malls.
In mid-September the Oct. 22nd Campaign canvassers started going door-to-door in several ridings throughout Toronto, promoting the Oct. 22nd March as well as collecting signatures for the NWFZ campaign. The canvassing will continue until Oct. 22.
The Resolution I Committee is working hard to focus public attention on the issue throughout October, before the resolution is debated. They need volunteers to wear sandwich boards promoting Resolution I in shopping centres, on university campuses etc. Volunteers are also needed to distribute window signs and gather signatures. I f you can help, please call VaI Taylor or Richard Johnston at xxx-xxxx .
Because Ontario is such a large jurisdiction it is important that the province take a leadership role on this issue.
Beth Richards — October 1983
The peace movement is going door-to-door in Toronto this month. I f you happen to reside in an Etobicoke lakeshore duplex, a condominium in the Davenport area, a 2-storey brownstone at Broadview and Greenwood, or a bungalow nestled somewhere in High Park, you will probably be personally asked to walk for peace on October 22.
The door-to-door canvass is part of Toronto’s October 22 Campaign, which has been in preparation since May of this year. The canvassing is designed to tug at the grassroots level — to ensure a quantifiable turnout for the demonstration.
According to Campaign organiser Robert Penner, It we first targetted the areas with the highest voter turnout, as well as other areas we thought likely to give us the most support.” Penner feels that voter turnout is a good indicator of political commitment.
The next stage was to solidify support — the planning of canvassing strategy and the recruiting of volunteers, who attended orientation meetings over the month of September.
Then the volunteers hit the streets.
When a volunteer canvasser knocks on the Smiths’ door, he or she will be stressing the importance of the issues and of the demonstration. The campaign organisers are printing hundreds of thousands
of brochures that explain the motivation for the protest, and the canvasser will leave this literature with the resident, who will be encouraged to attend the march. If a particular individual wants to become involved, they are encouraged to contact the Campaign office for help in organising a neighbourhood October 22 committee of their own. They are also offered the chance to buy a peace button and to sign a petition against cruise testing and in favour of a nuclear weapon free zone.
Of course, the cruise is a controversial issue, and canvassers can expect to encounter some hostile canvasses. Because of limited resources (volunteers, time and materials), canvassers are discouraged from engaging in prolonged debate. Disinterested or hostile residents will simply receive some literature, and the canvasser will continue on to the next home. The organisers are promoting the “Knock and Drop” routine in order to hit as many homes as possible in the targetted ridings.
Matthew Clark, of the Toronto Disarmament Network, sees the canvass as an important step toward the creation of a massive popular peace movement. “We’ve gotten the media attention, but we need to go further,” he says. .“Last April’s nationwide protest was very strong but there are millions more people out there that don’t appear at demonstrations, yet feel threatened by the implications of cruise testing. The canvassers are the connection between the full-time peace activists and the public as a whole. The canvassers demonstrate to the average Toronto resident that the only difference between a disarmament supporter and a peace activist is the amount of time each puts in.”
Starting with the original 150 volunteers, organisers hope to obtain over 500 canvassers by the. time the campaign reaches full swing. David Craft of the Toronto October 22 Campaign speculates that the growing number of canvassers should be able to move on from the areas initially targetted and cover much of Metropolitan Toronto.
Many of the volunteers are involved in some of Metro’s many peace groups, such as Parkdale for Peace, the Lakeshore Disarmament Group and Hillcrest for Peace. Virtually every peace group in the city is organising to support the demonstration. The canvassers represent a good cross-section of the Toronto community, from various occupations, some retired and some students. All will brave the weather as. well as the indifferent or hostile reactions — in order to push for peace.
. Organisers hope that, by October 22, many of Toronto’s majority who have indicated their half-hearted concern about the cruise will be full-fledged, committed peace activists.
anon — October 1983
If you grew up in the forties, the biggest threat in the world was Communism. Communists were purple people-eaters that lurked in children’s closets deep in the night.
If you grew up in the sixties your world almost ended in the Cuban missile crisis. But you knew you were safe because your parents would pack you up in a car and go to the cottage as soon as the bombs started to fall. Then you could water-ski and eat blueberries for the rest of your life, so if the bombs fell, you didn’t care.
But children growing up now are painfully aware of reality. They know, more than most of their elders, that there is no escape when the bombs fall. And this knowledge hurts, perhaps more than we adults can possibly comprehend. In teenagers, it creates a sense of despair and futility that leads to pre-mature cynicism, nihilism, and sometimes even suicide.
And their despair is now shared by children as young as five or six years of age. One five-year-old came home from school several months ago and told her grandmother it wasn’t fair that she would never be able to have children. “What on earth are you talking about?” her grandmother asked. “We’re the last generation, Grandma, everyone at school knows that.” The last generation!
No-one can understand the poignancy of those words, save another five-year-old child. We don’t have to wait for the holocaust to find the casualties of the arms race. They are all around us — we bring them into this world and its time we started listening to them, with sensitivity and compassion.
On December 3rd the Toronto Disarmament Network will sponsor a “Youth Festival for Peace.” Most of the organising and performing will be done by children and teenagers with adults playing a background role. There will be theatre, dancing, music and art and all children and teenagers are welcome to participate. Planning meetings and rehearsals will take place throughout October and November. Our youth has a lot to say and it’s time we gave them a ‘chance to say it. The first planning meeting is scheduled at CANDlS (in Holy Trinity Church, behind the Eaton Centre) on October II at 5:30. If you want to take pan in the Festival, please contact 80th Richards at CANDIS xxx-xxxx.
— October 1983
The Hiroshima Day march on August 6th in Toronto was organised by the Against Cruise Testing coalition and the Toronto Disarmament Network. Our Hiroshima Day report (TPC, September 1983) implied that TDN alone was responsible for the success of the commemoration. We regret any confusion caused.
— October 1983
“We have no lime to lose: the deployment of Pershing II and cruise missiles must be prevented:’ Thus begins the West German peace movement’s appeal for an Action Week, October 15-22.
The ‘Days of Resistance’ include decentralised rallies and actions in every city and community in the country. A different constituency is to be represented each day, with women marching on Monday October 17, workers and farmers on the 19th, Students and professors on the 20th and politicians, administrators and city councils marching on the 21st.
Actions will culminate on October 22 with simultaneous ‘People’s Gatherings for Peace: One such Gathering will take the form of a 100 km human chain, stretching from Stuttgart (NATO European headquarters) to Neu-Ulm (a Pershing II deployment site). Other Gatherings will form blockades of ministries, marches to all nuclear embassies and 24-hour peace vigils. Similar demonstrations will take place on the same day in Austria, Belgium, Britain, Canada, the U.S. and Nicaragua.
Since July, West Germans have been preparing for a ‘hot autumn’ with intensive workshops on nonviolence. Peace camps at or near nuclear weapons bases have substantially increased their membership. One of the camps, numbering about 700, recently moved to Mutlangen, a Pershing II site, and (along with 150 well-known authors, politicians, artists and church leaders) blockaded the base from September 1st to 3rd. Other events prior to Action Week include a demonstration in white by members of the medical profession, and an international trade union congress on peace and disarmament in early October.
A recent poll shows Ihat 75.50;0 of the West German population is against the planned deployment under any circumstances — even if the Geneva negotiations bring no results. Despite a conservative victory in the last elections, the majority” is definitely behind the peace movement on this issue. A national campaign to hold a consultative referendum on the deployment promises to elicit massive support. Petitions are being circulated before the deadline of November IS, when the current Geneva talks come to a close.
According to military experts, the deployment of new missiles in West Germany will make it the most dangerous territory on Earth. Pershing II missiles are designed to hit Soviet targets within five minutes, just time enough for the Soviets to “launch on warning”.
Within fifteen minutes, West Germany could be pulverised. The citizens of that nation are understandably distressed. Their distress turned to outright defiance in 1981 when Ronald Reagan divulged U.S. plans to wage a ‘limited’ nuclear war in the European theatre: Euphemisms aside, Helmut Kohl’s acquiescence to U.S. pressure (despite massive domestic protest) is part and parcel of NATO’s ‘look tough’ posture.
Submarine-launched cruise missiles are much less vulnerable than the ground-launched variety, and the V.S: has a large edge on the Soviet Union in SLCM and Bomber forces. One armed Poseidon sub has enough nuclear firepower to destroy every Soviet city . NATO claims of Soviet military superiority are unfounded, even by the Pentagon’s estimates. When asked whether he would prefer. to have the Soviet nuclear arsenal al his disposal, U.S. Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger said, “I would not for a moment exchange anything because we have an immense edge in technology.” Weinberger’s statement was made in context of existing deployment, excluding the planned NATO deployment in Europe.
The Soviets have repeatedly warned that the deployment will not deter them al all. Instead it will make them more determined . than ever to retaliate with their own arms escalation.
More and more, NATO’s modernization of the nuclear armoury is seen as a political move to weaken the peace movement and show the Soviets that ‘we’ll act how we want, no matter what our people say.’ Actions speak louder than words, and by December we’ll see whose actions are louder; NATO’s or the peace movement’s.
For copies of the West German petition for a referendum, contact Michael Schaf, 291 William St., Kingston On., K7L 2E6, or phone (613) xxx-xxxx. In addition, the organisers of Action Week would appreciate solidarity messages sent to: Coordination Committee, Kampaign Volksbefragune, 179 Estermann St., 53 Bonn I, West Germany.
Kathy Sesto — October 1983
Robert Penner, spokesperson for the Toronto ACT/TDN October 22nd Campaign is pleased with the support the demonstration has received. He notes that several constituencies will be participating for the first time on October 22nd, and that support from labour, women’s, church and student groups is more evident than for past demonstrations.
The recent decision that the anti-cruise groups, led by Operation Dismantle, will be able to present their case against the testing in court has given organising efforts for October 22 a real boost, according to many organisers around the country. The international aspect of the protest is also creating interest and excitement. The efforts of the Canadian disarmament movement have attracted the attention of peace organisations in other countries, and it is recognised that Canada is playing an important part in the world-wide movement. According to noted British historian and peace activist E.P. Thompson, “it’s not cruise missiles that are being tested here; it’s Canadians who’ are being tested. Your peace movement doesn’t realise how important it is:’ On October 22, the Canadian peace movement will rise to Thompson’s challenge.
— October 1983
The October 22 “Refuse the Cruise” protest in Toronto should be one of the largest disarmament demonstrations ever held in the city says David Kraft, one of the members of the October 22 Campaign, which is organising the event. “We’re hoping for tens of thousands of people.”
In Toronto, the October 22 campaign is being co-sponsored by the Toronto Disarmament Network (TDN) and the Against Cruise Testing Coalition (ACT). These organizations which include individuals and groups involved in disarmament, labour, women’s and student activities. started organising for this international day of protest in May of this year.
“Disarmament and abortion. are our two most pressing issues,” says Susan Prentice of International Women’s Day Committee. The IWDC will promote support for the march through the many contacts developed through its 5 years of existence.
“We see our role as one of ongoing support,” says Dave Martin, student organiser with Toronto Nuclear Awareness. According to Martin TNA is recruiting people for the march both on and off the student campuses.
“There isn’t an anti-nuclear group in the city that isn’t involved,” Kraft says. He notes that over 50 groups will be involved in the international day of protest.
In Toronto, Oct. 22 protestors will gather at 10:30 on University Avenue north of Queen Street and will march to Queen’s Park at 11 :30. A benefit dance will be held on the night of the march at the St. Lawrence Market north. It will be licensed and will begin at 8:00 pm.
— October 1983
The Peace Calendar is a monthly publication of the Canadian Disarmament Information Service (CANDIS), a non-profit, non. partisan, communications and resource group serving the Canadian disarmament movement. CANDIS is sponsored by the Holy Trinity Church in Toronto and is funded by donations. The CANDIS office is located in the Peace Chapel of Holy Trinity (behind the Eaton Centre) and is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and from 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm on Saturday. Telephone xxx-xxxx.
CANDIS — WHAT WE OFFER
1. Information on Nuclear arms and disarmament
CANDIS gathers information from all sources on nuclear arms and disarmament, and makes that information public through its Toronto office and by telephone. CANDIS maintains a clipping file and reference library for public use, and also distributes copies of brochures, flyers, educational kits, periodicals and resource lists on nuclear disarmament. CANDIS volunteers are in the office to answer your questions. When the office is closed you can call 585-22S5 and leave a recorded message.
2. Communication between Disarmament groups and the Public
In order to facilitate communications between disarmament groups and the public, CANDIS maintains an annotated list of peace and disarmament organisations in Canada. To have your organisation included send a brief description (e.g. church, political, professional, etc.), a mailing address and the names and telephone numbers of at least two contact people.
For $2.00 CANDIS will add your organisation to a computerized mailing list which is available for use by disarmament and peace groups across Canada, and will send you a copy of this list for your use.
CANDIS is working to establish links with disarmament and peace groups throughout the world, and welcomes any information which will help to strengthen the international disarmament movement.
3. Liaison with the media
CANDIS maintains contacts with the television, radio and print media and acts as a liaison between disarmament organisations and the media.
4. The Peace Calendar
Each month CANDIS publishes The Peace Calendar, a newspaper which includes an extensive listing of peace and disarmament events in Toronto, as well as a listing of major events across Canada. Listings for any month should be submitted by the 21st of the preceding month.
The Peace Calendar is distributed free at the CANDIS office and in bookstores, restaurants, libraries, schools, churches and other locations throughout Toronto and in major cities across Canada. Annual mailed subscriptions cost $10.00. Cheques should be made payable to CANDIS. Send your order to CANDIS, The Church of the Holy Trinity, 10 Trinity Square, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1B1.
Advertising rates for The Peace Calendar are available from Stan Adams at xxx-xxxx, or Jon Spencer at xxx-xxxx.
CANDIS — WHAT WE NEED
Are you a repressed researcher? A latent librarian? Our Education Committee would like to hear from you. Call CANDIS at xxx-xxxx and ask for Beth Richards or Roberta Spence.
The Peace Calendar exists to support and build the disarmament movement across Canada. This is your paper, and your comments and suggestions are welcomed. Please send them to the Editorial Board, CANDIS, 10 Trinity Square, Toronto On., M5G IBI.
CANDIS, as an ongoing service to the community, requires regular sources of income. The service is supported by donations, subscriptions and advertising revenue. CANDIS must develop these funding sources in the coming weeks and months, and you can help. If you would like to participate in any way, please call Beth Richards.
CANDIS also needs your help in distributing The Peace Calendar across the nation. If you’d like to help us .make copies available in your city, please call Richard Kopycinski at 416/xxx-xxxx.
Matthew Clark — October 1983
We were very impressed by your publication. Bravo! It looks typographically handsome, crisply written. and of course is about the most important issue of our time. Having recently gotten involved in some of the cruise and Pershing II protests around here. I see how important it is that the U.S. feel the heat From other countries, like Canada. Keep up the good work.
Adam Hochschild, Editor
Mother Jones Magazine
San Francisco, CA
Metta Spencer made some very good points in her article on the Helsinki process (TPC, August 198J). The peace movement does need to support the Stockholm disarmament talks that will begin in January. She is, however. mistaken in claiming that the U.S. may be the only country to oppose discussing nuclear weapon-free zones during the sessions devoted to confidence-building measures: Britain is certain to oppose that discussion as well.
Nevertheless, there is a real opportunity for Canadian peace groups to have an impact on this manner. We should be setting up subcommittees to lobby the government, asking them to support the inclusion of NWFZ discussions as early as possible. This is a high-priority matter.
Thank you for the article on civil disobedience (TPC, August 1981). I had always thought of CD as a device used by some peace activists to attract media attention on the issue of disarmament.
As a result, I found Ms. Vrantsidis’ report very interesting. I don’t think I’m ready to participate in any CD actions yet, but I’m glad there are people willing to do so.
Nathan Peters Toronto. On.
Desmond Morton made an important point in the Toronto Star that peace groups ought to heed. The fact that testing cruise missiles makes a nuclear war more likely is as apparent to conservatives and liberals as to leftists. Most Canadians would naturally agree with the peace movement on this issue if it were put to them in the right way. Yet, anti-cruise groups have alienated many of them by attacking conventional values and presenting themselves as a radical fringe element. You ought to work to recruit support from all three major parties, instead of writing the liberals and conservatives off as hopeless.
11 was with pleasure that I read your article ‘Vancouver’s EAR steps up campaign’ in the September issue. Until now. your paper has had such a heavy Toronto bias. Keep expanding your national coverage — it is important for Canadians to pull together and it is impossible unless we have good communications.
Your newspaper, The Peace Calendar, is just another name for “communist propaganda.” Why don’t you send all your junk to the U.S.S.R.? Everybody knows they pay your salaries, anyway…
It most emphatically is not; We do, every month; What salaries? (Ed.)
Keep up the excellent work. The only thing that The Peace Calendar lacks at present are analytical articles.
Letters to the Editors should be sent to CANDIS. 10 Trinity Sq.. Toronto Ontario, Rm 181.
— October 1983
By Robert Scheer. Random House.
Reviewed by Matthew Clark
This book scares me. Robert Scheer demonstrates that a number of highly-placed and influential figures in the Reagan administration are so reckless and so stupid that they just might start a nuclear war.
These people believe that the Soviet Union is the source of all unrest in the’ world today; they also believe that the U.S. has the right and the duty not just to contain Soviet influence, but actually to force changes in the Soviet government. They believe that the U.S. should be prepared to risk nuclear war, or even to start it. They believe that the U .S. could win a nuclear war; they believe that U.S. deaths could be held down to an “acceptable” 20 million; and they believe that after the war, everything could be rebuilt in two to four years.
No subtle academic analysis is required to show that the Reaganites believe all this nonsense Scheer simply quotes them. For example, Reagan himself said that
“the Soviet Union underlies all the unrest that is going on. If they weren’t engaged in this game of dominoes, there wouldn’t be any hot spots in the world.”
Richard Pipes, a member of the National Security Council, said that “Soviet leaders would have to choose between peacefully changing their Communist system … or going to war. It
Richard Perle, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, said: “I’ve always worried less about what would happen in an actual nuclear exchange than the effect that the nuclear balance has on our willingness to take risks in local situations.” And T.K. Jones, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Strategic and Theatre Nuclear Forces, has a civil defense plan: “If there are enough shovels to go around, everybody’s going to make it.” He suggests that you dig a hole and then cover it with a couple of doors and three feet of dirt.
It’s easy to poke holes in such idiocy, and Scheer provides the counterquotes. Senator Alan Cranston (now running for the Democratic presidential nomination) said that Reagan’s comment was “the greatest oversimplification I’ve ever encountered regarding the threat by the Soviet Union to the United States.” Cranston goes on to mention other causes of unrest, such as overpopulation, poverty, misery, hunger, nationalistic feuds; and environmental threats.
I could go on quoting — With Enough Shovels is a treasury of material. I have but one complaint. Scheer is right about his villains, but I’m not sure about his heroes — the liberal Democrats. He seems to forget that these are the people who brought us the Cuban missile crisis and the war in Vietnam. Certainly Reagan and his crowd are an immediate and extremely serious danger — they must be replaced. But the real problem demands a solution more radical than any establishment party is likely to provide.
— October 1983
Film by Martin Duckworth. Produced by the National Film Board of Canada. 16 mm Colour. 55 min.
Reviewed by Brady Thompson
‘Hibakusha’ is a Japanese term given to survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and their children. The documentary No More Hibakusha is an investigation not only of the hibakusha themselves, but also of the new pertinence this group of people is gaining in the growing worldwide awareness of the issues and absurdities of nuclear warfare. The hibakusha are deeply committed pacifists. They consider it their duty to make sure no one else is forced to live as they do — haunted by nightmares and shunned by society. The hibakusha firmly believe that if other people are to be spared a similar fate, nuclear weapons must be eliminated.
Director Martin Duckworth’s contemporary approach (no stock war footage or horrific news photos are used) to the special voice the hibakusha have in the protest movement is professional and selective, without being overly slick or judgmental.
No More Hibakusha traces the voyage of three of the 80 hibakusha who attended last year’s U.N. special session on disarmament (UNSSOD II). The people involved are a — distillation (as well as a personification) of the emotions behind the protests and rallies they attend in New York. Duckworth makes a special effort to establish their statement (understandably bitter and occasionally anti. American) as typical of the other hibakusha, motivated by humanitarianism, and having no part of vendettas or extreme political views.
The hibakusha’s personal accounts of “That Day’” are used as a metaphor for the worldwide awakening to the nuclear warfare situation. The film is studded with accounts of “coming to consciousness”. sometimes hours or days later, and the time needed by the survivors to digest the horror that has happened to them. Later, when high school students in New York are confronted (for the first time) by the hibakusha’s descriptions of the bombings, it becomes obvious that they will need time to fully comprehend the horrendous event.
Duckworth stresses the cultural differences that exist between the New Yorkers and the visiting Japanese, but juxtaposes them against the common emotions and sensibilities which bind the two peoples together. As a result, the tone of the film respects the qualities of each culture while emphasising the similarities; the viewer thus becomes more empathetic than sympathetic to the hibukasha, placing the viewer in the shoes of the survivors. As an added note on Duckworth’s skill as a director, he achieves this subtle but powerful technique almost solely through the use of images. His camera contrasts the ultra-urban concentration of New York City with Hiroshima’s well-planned post-war architecture, but at the same time treats the emotional responses of both sides with the same closeups and camera angles. The soundtrack is an interesting mixture of Eastern and Western traditions in music, again underlining’ the tone of the film.
Because No More Hibakusha is a documentary, and as such was made primarily to inform. the film is objective in its chronological presentation of the events leading up to last year’s U. N. session: however. the rendering is so shocking and emotional that the information is almost relegated to a secondary status. In a mere 55 minutes the film deals effectively and powerfully with issues that, for most people, it would take a lifetime to cope with and understand.
— October 1983
- The Economics of Militarism, by Dan Smith and Ron Smith. Explains who profits from the arms race, its social consequences and the economic feasibility of disarmament. S 11.95, available from DEC.
- … And Then There Were None” by Eric Frank Russell. Found in the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume BA (Ben Bova, ed.), this novella is an intriguing extrapolation of the effects of civil disobedience on another planet in the far future! The story is even more thought-provoking and entertaining than it was when it was first published in 1951.
- How Effective are Peace Movements? Bob Overy, Harvest House 1982. $2.95 paperback. Drawing on his twenty years of experience with the British peace movement, Overy provides a sympathetic and critical review of the effectiveness of a diverse range of types of peace groups.
- Communication Guidelines for World Peace Activists by Ross Smyth. This booklet contains information on effective oral presentations; handling questions and objections; letters to editors and politicians; writing articles and handling publicity.
Copies may be ordered for $2.00 from World Federalists of Canada, 46 Elgin St., Suite 32, Ottawa.
- Arms Maker, Union Buster; Litton Industries: A Corporate Profile, by Len Desroches, Tom Joyce and Murray MacAdam. Litton’s products may be what we’re rallied against, but their methods are just as deplorable. The book is a fine expose of the madness in the method of arms making and the meanness of union-busting, accomplished by Litton Industries on a breathtaking global scale.
- The Cost and Consequences of Reagan’s Military Buildup. This report demonstrates how military spending has contributed to the decline and decay of the American economy, the shift of resources away from housing, education, civilian research, energy efficiency arid consumer goods; and how it contributes to unemployment, and the burden on state and local government. $2.50, available from IAMA, the Council on Economic Priorities, Room 1007, 1300 Connecticut Ave N. W., Washington D.C. 20036.
- Manifesto for a Peaceful World Order: A Gandhian Perspective, by Madan L. Handa. India Paramount Publishing House, 1982. Dr. Handa presents a radical pacifist critique of the peace movement and of bourgeois and marxist perspectives. This is a visionary work based on the author’s interpretation of Gandhi. Hardcover, $I2.00.
— October 1983
- Dark Circle: 1982 90 minutes, colour. This film interweaves dramatic personal and human stories with rare, recently declassified footage of the secret world in which the hydrogen bomb is manufactured, tested and sold. Dark Circle shows the complex human costs of a nuclear economy — even in the absence of a nuclear war. Available from the Development Education Centre, 427 Bloor St. West, Toronto M5S IX7; (416) xxx-xxxx.
- War Without Winners: 1980, 30 minutes. People in the street are questioned about nuclear war. The film goes on to examine the economic, medical and social ramifications of the arms race in a good popular introduction to the issue. Available through AVEL, 85 St. Clair St. E., Toronto. xxx-xxxx. $22-$50..
- In the King of Prussia: 1982, 92 minutes, colour. A feature-length film starring Martin Sheen about the trial of the Ploughshares Eight, who play themselves. It is a film about peace activism in confrontation with a prejudiced court system. Available from DEC, 964-690
- The Time Has Come: 1983, 25 minutes, American Friends Service Committee. This film shows how groups of people can get together to organise for nuclear disarmament. It is appropriate for both high school students and parent groups. Available from CFSC: xxx-xxxx.
- Nudear Countdown: 27 minutes, 1978 United Nations. This film outlines the history of international arms agreements and points out the increasing world insecurity as world nuclear arsenals build up. Designed for non-expert audiences, it exposes the danger of the nuclear arms race, emphasising that a lasting peace cannot be based on nuclear weapons. Available from the Metro Toronto Library Board.
— October 1983
Edited by Mary Vrantsidis
- Lakeshore Committee for Nuclear Disarmament is preparing to cavass the Lakeshore area. For information, call Taimi Davis at xxx-xxxx.
- Many who attended the Acton Fall Fair in September were attracted to the Halton Hills Action for Nuclear Disarmament booth with its prominent sign Arms Are For Hugging. A special feature al the booth was a letter to the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa, expressing outrage at the shooting down of the Korean passenger jet and the deaths of innocent civilians. Many fairgoers added their signatures to the letter, which went on to urge the Soviet leaders to “make a clear demonstration of their desire for peace at the nuclear. arms control talks in Geneva.” In the past. the Soviets have professed their desire for world peace, the letter says, but “this action belies that avowal.” The HAND group was able to attract many people to their booth who had been wavering on disarmament with this letter and also rebutted the arguments of critics who say that peace activists are one-sided!
- Dream a dream of peace, and it could become a film. Answer this: it is 1986 and the world is at peace. Outline the circumstances that have brought about this global transformation. Send your replies to Tony Bond, Box 8S, Station A, Toronto, Ontario. The best idea will be made into a script and then a film. He hopes, like in “The Hundredth Monkey,” if a ‘peace is possible’ scenario is planted in the minds of millions, the common vision will become reality.
- Help walk the cruise away from Cold Lake. The Saskatoon Against the Cruise Group begins Oct 6th their 302 mile :March for the Future of our Children”. They’ll be carrying a life-size replica of the cruise. symbolically away from the proposed testing ground at Cold Lake, Alberta. They’ll walk from Grand Centre via Meadow Lake and North Battleford to Saskatoon, arriving Oct. 22 for the anti-cruise march that day. Help out anyway you can by sending pictures of your loved ones to festoon the cruise replica or offering lodging or moral support as they pass through your town. For more info, Contact SAC, Sutherland Sub P.O., Saskatoon, Sask., S7N 2H0, or phone 447-0455, 955-0000, Margarete Simpson.
- Dimitrios Roussopoulos has been actively speaking out against nuclear armament since 19S9 when he founded the Combined Universities Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Active in the Montréal Coalition for Peace. he is a writer, editor and speaker. He will be in Ontario this month for a speaking engagement in Kingston, Oct. 19th. Contact Stan Iregal at (613) 547-5996 for the details.
- There’s a call out in the Toronto area for any group wishing to sponsor Mr. Roussopoulos for a speaking date in the city. Contact Kathleen Keachea at (SI4) xxx-xxxx if you’re interested in hearing this informative man. He’s just completed two important books, The Coming of World War 111 as author, and Our Generation Against the Nuclear War as editor. Available through Black Rose Books, 3981 St. Laurent Blvd., Montréal, PQ, H3W 1Y5.
- Government violence has plagued the Comiso, Italy Peace Camp all summer. Two blockades of the cruise missile base being built there have ended in broken bones and spilt blood for the peace camp demonstrators. 200 people worldwide arrived for the July 20-21 non-violent civil disobedience blockage. Seven Italian members of Parliament were among those beaten back by police. The violence escalated on the August 6-.9 weekend. 1200 demonstrators showed up. Police, without apparent provocation, attacked 400 of them, and followed them to the camp when they start a new attack. Over 100 people were injured. Many camp members left, demoralized.
- Pray for Peace. Sunday, Oct. 16 .is National Prayer Service Day across the country. Organizers hope for a church in every community to hold a service. For more information, contact Glen Eagle at Box 419, Jarvis, Ont. or (SI9) S87-2551.
- Edmonton women — it’s a Women’s Disarmament Campaign c/o Every Woman’s Place, 9926-112 Street, Edmonton. Alberta. Here’s a new Edmonton group dedicated to providing a forum for women to express their opposition to nuclear weapons and nuclear power and to provide a platform for appropriate collective action. For more info, contact Fiona McGregor xxx-xxxx or Joanne Lynes xxx-xxxx.
- Concerned individuals and groups have banded together to form the Niagara Coalition for Disarmament. They work for peaceful means for world disarmament of both nuclear and conventional weapons. Political differences are recognized but the shared common concern for peace is paramount. Membership is open to all groups and individuals in the Golden Horseshoe area of Ontario. For more information, contact the Coalition at Box 2181, Niagara Falls, Ont.. L2E 6Z3 or phone (416) xxx-xxxx.
- DEC Films in Toronto will have available for wide distribution a new award . winning film, Dark Circle, a 90 minute drama of the effects of the whole nuclear cycle on the lives of ordinary people in moving personal stories from across the globe. If you would like more information on sponsoring or buying or renting the film, contact DEC Films, 427 Bloor St. W., Toronto, Ont., M5S 1X7, xxx-xxxx.
- Metro Toronto peace and disarmament groups are invited to join the Toronto Disarmament Network, a coalition of almost SO groups. The TDN was formed to execute united campaigns across Metro. Come to the TDN’s general meeting on Tuesday October 4. (See the Toronto area event calendar, page 4.)
- Wanted: 50 people to drop dead on Tuesday, Oct. 18 as a protest against the testing of the cruise missile — Phillips Square at 12:00 noon. No rehearsal necessary-Pre-requisite: no fear of falling. For more info call Yellow Door, xxx-xxxx.
- Recherchées: Une cinquantaine de personnes pour tomber mort. autant que des gens pour passer les tracts, mardi le 18 Oct. A midi-autour de Carre Phillips. Pour plus de renseignments, telephonez xxx-xxxx.
- 12 charges of the July 1st Canada Day arrests were dismissed on the grounds that the OPP has no authority to restrict our right to demonstrate and legal remedies are being sought by the 12 defendants for the interference with their constitutional rights and the 20 hours spent in jail. Suspended judgement was called for Oct. 4 for the 14 arrested on June 30 at 9:00 a.m., courtroom 21. Brian Burch and Diane Sivard are facing trial on Dec. 10 for assault and trespass for attempting to chain themselves to the flagpole on Canada Day. Please support them with your presence. Contact Brian Burch at xxx-xxxx or 767-3S67.
- Oscar-winning director Peter Watkins is showing his I965 documentary The War Game which was banned by the BBC for being too realistic. Watkins is on a tour across Canada, looking for help from filmmakers, and to raise money for his forthcoming project, The Nuclear War Film, which will document the lives or families in different countries before, during, and after World War Ill. For information on time and place, phone Tony Bond at (416) xxx-xxxx.
- Federal Court justice Alex Cattenach held on Sept. 15 that Operation Dismantle’s cause of action was justifiable and ordered the federal government to file a defense. The federal government appealed that decision and the court date for that decision has been set for October 11. Regardless of the outcome or that appeal, the decision reached by the Federal Court of Appeal will go to the Supreme Court or Canada. All groups and individuals are invited to send supporting letters to Operation Dismantle, which also requires lots of financial support. Money will be re turned to the donors once we have successfully prevented the testing of the cruise missile in Canada, and the government has to pay court costs.
- Starting Oct. 2, the CBC will be premiering the National Film Board’s WAR series. Every Sunday night at 9:00 until Nov. 13, CBC- TV will be showing another of the seven one-hour films.
The series was written and conceived by military historian and journalist Gwynne Dyer. The films examine the nature, evolution and consequences of modern warfare.
The entire WAR series will be available in 16 mm film and video formats from all NFB offices, beginning Jan., 1984. Meanwhile, catch it on the tube.
- The hot autumn begins in West Germany as its peace movement gears up for the biggest anti-cruise demonstrations yet. The action week begins October 15-22. Here’s a timetable:
- Sat. Oct. 15- decentralised rallies and actions in all communities.
- Sun. Oct. 16- Christian and religious groups
- Mon. Oct. 17- Women
- Tues. Oct. 18- Anti-militarism and international solidarity
- Wed. Oct. 19- Workers, farmers, factories, social institutions
- Thurs. Oct. 20- Schools, universities
- Fri. Oct. 21- all levels of government and political parties
- Sat. Oct. 22- PEOPLE’S GATHERING FOR PEACE. Actions planned in Bonn, Hamburg, Stuttgart/Neu Ulm, West Berlin and around the world.
- Pause for Peace. The monthly 2 minute event is to demonstrate in support of banning cruise testing and getting Canada into a leadership role for world disarmament. For more information. contact John Moelaert, Box 439, Kelowna B.C.. VIY 7PI. phone (604) xxx-xxxx.
- Oct. 14-16. Saskatchewan “Arts and Social Change” will be the topic of a weekend hosted by the Prairie Christian Training Centre. Workshops in music, drama and the media offered as tools for social change. Contact the Centre at Box 159, Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan S0C 1G0, (306) 332-S691.
- Make sure your group is listed in the latest Canadian Peace Listing. The Peace Listing includes more than 500 peace, disarmament and development organisations, arranged by province, from local to international levels. A second edition is being prepared for Spring 1984. If you know of any new or unlisted group, please send its name and address, phone number and contact person’s name to: A Canadian Peace Listing, Greater Victoria Disarmament, 2420 Douglas St., Suite 4, Victoria, B.C.. V8T 4L7.
- The women of Canada let Parliament Hill know in no uncertain terms what they think about disarmament and survival. This year, NAC’s annual lobby or the three federal parties was the strongest ever and the survival issue put the parties in the hot seat. The National Action Committee on the Status of Women. representing over 3 million women across the country, adopted a new resolution calling all its members to make the suffocation of the arms race a priority issue for action. It asked for our refusal to test the cruise. to make Canada a nuclear free zone and remove all nuclear weapons on our soil. to cut the military budget by half and to get out of NATO.
- The Edmonton city council defeated a disarmament referendum motion by 7-6 in September, an outcome directly influenced by the Korean airline disaster. Edmonton peace activists are considering forcing a vote by plebiscite.
- Reprints are available of a special editorial section published in the Summer 83 edition of SOURCES, the directory of contacts for newsmedia personnel. It includes articles on journalism in the atomic age, the ethics of civil defense, the psychology or the arms race, plus an analysis of press coverage of the USSR.
- The Halifax submarine watch is continuing. Three submarines carrying missiles have entered the Harbour this year, plus 6 other nuclear-powered attack subs without missiles. The committee missed the approach of one nuclear-missile bearing sub. the Kamehameha, which arrived on Sept. 6th.
Matthew Clark and Mita Hans — October 1983
Over one million dollars a minute is spent on arms, while every second, another human life is wasted by starvation or disease.
E.P. Thompson, the celebrated historian and peace activist, gave the planet another decade. This is not the threat of an alarmist — it is the sound observation of a realist. In the past few years we have witnessed the development of hope and life in the midst of nuclear nihilism. Peace begins with each one of us. Whether or not the peace movement succeeds depends on us, on our determination, our commitment, our tolerance and our trust.
We come from many diverse backgrounds and beliefs but we have one thing in common — the desire to live in peace and security. Despite our differences, we need each other and we must work together. This need inspired CANDIS to produce The Peace Calendar. In our own way, we’re trying to bring people together who share that common desire.
With this issue, we have broadened our coverage and increased our circulation to 35,000 copies per month.
We’re not doing this because we’ve been suddenly deluged with financial support; we’re doing it because we believe in The Peace Calendar. Communication is essential to peace. The Peace Calendar is a forum for people to discuss, to share ideas and to exchange information. It’s your newspaper, and only you can ensure its continued existence.
You can contribute monthly or annually, as outlined in the boxes below. Give according to your income, and please give generously. All donations are tax-deductible.
“There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.” (A.G. Muste) And it’s up to every one of us. Thank you for your support.
— October 1983
Canadian peace and disarmament groups have eagerly taken up the call to participate in the international day of disarmament action, October 22. Demonstrations are scheduled to occur in twenty-six Canadian cities, from Halifax to Vancouver, making this the largest ever coordinated disarmament action in Canada.
The idea of an international day of protest against the deployment of cruise and Pershing II missiles originated among European peace groups and was presented to a national strategy session of US peace groups held last November in “St. Louis, Missouri. Representatives of Canadian peace groups attending the session circulated the call, and Canadian interest in the action grew quickly. local groups began planning actions, and from these grassroots initiatives there has evolved a unified and coordinated but decentralized campaign.
The international protests are focused on the planned deployments of cruise and Pershing II missiles in Europe by NATO this winter. Canadian demonstrators will also demand that the federal government cancel plans to allow the testing of US air-launched cruise missiles in Alberta. In Ottawa and Hull, the demands will be Refuse the Cruise and Make Canada a Peacemaker. In Toronto, the demands will be No manufacturing of cruise components in Toronto, No testing of cruise missiles in Canada and No deployments of cruise and Pershing II missiles in Europe. (The guidance system “for cruise missiles is manufactured by Litton Systems in Rexdale, Ont., a suburb of Toronto.)
Protest organisers around the country report that public reaction to the planned demonstrations has been very good. A wide range of support has been built and in most cities broad coalitions have been formed. The Ottawa Disarmament Coalition is working with the Hull organisation C.O.P.A.D.E. (which roughly translated, stands for Committee for Peace and Disarmament.) Sector committees have been established to involve labour, youth, campus, solidarity, and women’s groups. The organisers hope that these committees will continue to function after October 22. In P.E.I., a ten day peace walk across the island is being planned, ending October 22 with a ceremony at East Point. Organisers expect that the walk, which is being planned in cooperation with church groups, will gather support and momentum as it goes. In Toronto, an ambitious door-To-door canvass is underway.
Eric Fawcett, professor of physics at the University of Toronto and president of Science for Peace, has just returned from the 33rd Pugwash Conference. The conference was titled “Avoiding Nuclear and Other Wars and Reversing the Arms Race,” and was held August 26-31 in Venice, Italy. He very kindly talked to me for some time about the conference and allowed me to read through the papers which it produced.
Pugwash is a group of scientists from East and West who meet periodically to discuss science and world affairs. The first Pugwash Conference met in Pugwash, Nova Scotia in July, 1957 in response to an appeal from Bertrand Russell, Albert Einstein and other prominent scientific figures.
According to Fawcett, Pugwash doesn’t really have members — ‘participants’ might be a better description. Scientists and scholars are invited to attend a conference largely on the basis of personal contact with other Pugwash participants. Since 1957, when the first Pugwash conference was held, seven hundred or more people have been involved. The most recent conference in Venice was attended by 151 people from 34 countries and 6 international organisations. Many of them, said Fawcett, had also participated in a previous conference he had attended.
This year’s conference was divided into five Working Groups: I) Strategic and Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces; 2) European Security; 3) Security in the Mediterranean and Middle East; 4) The Arms Race, Arms Transfers, and Disarmament; and 5) Third World Security. Each of these groups met extensively and produced a paper which reported the views of the group. In addition, a final document was prepared, consisting of brief summaries of all five reports.
The summary of the first working group, on Strategic and Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, begins by deploring the lack of progress in the U.S.-U.S.S.R. arms control negotiations in Geneva. “(Cruise and Pershing II) deployments and the likely responses by the Soviet Union would increase tensions and reduce crisis stability, and they might well lead to the complete collapse of nuclear arms-control negotiations covering intercontinental as well as intermediate-range systems.” If there is no agreement by December, the report urges that NATO defer the deployments “to allow more time for negotiations…” The report also suggests that the Soviet Union could “increase the chance of NATO restraint (as well as the chance of an early agreement)” by beginning to reduce its SS-20s before December. I think most of us would not urge’ just a delay in the NATO deployments; we demand that they be cancelled completely.
The summary goes on to comment on a number of more technical issues: the Soviet Union’s offer to dismantle a number of SS-20s is “a step towards a solution”; the British and French systems must somehow be taken into account; intermediate-range nuclear forces will eventually have to be considered along with intercontinental nuclear forces; the verification problems raised by cruise missiles would “seriously jeopardise future prospects to limit nuclear armaments”’; “launch-an-warning” strategies
significantly ,increase the chance of accidental nuclear war; anti-ballistic missile and anti-satellite technologies are dangerous, and Reagan’s “leak-proof’ ABM system is “simply unrealistic. “
The Working Group on European Security made several concrete proposals: the removal of all nuclear weapons from a strip extending 150 kilometres or more on each side of the NATO/WTO boundary, the creation of nuclear-free zones in various parts of Europe, NATO’s matching of the Soviet Union’s no-first-use pledge, and a shift in conventional forces to a more defensive role.
The other three Working Groups all produced interesting papers, but I have summarised what I found most directly relevant to our own concerns.
In order to maintain an atmosphere in which the participants will be able to speak freely and candidly, the organisers of Pugwash Conferences tend to avoid publicity, and recommendations are made known to governments primarily through individual influence. Furthermore, no one is required to assent to the group’s statements. The final report of the most recent conference, for example, states that it “should not be interpreted as a consensus of all the Conference participants, among which a wide variety of views was represented.” On the other hand, the reports must reflect at least the general attitudes of those who attend. Fawcett told me that the participants do speak freely and that they share a great sense of common purpose.
Fawcett’s general reactions to the Pugwash process were complex. In these times especially, he said, it is crucial to maintain channels of communications across political boundaries; Pugwash is one of only a few opportunities Eastern and Western scientists have to speak to each other. He generally liked the recommendations produced over the years, but he found it frustrating that year after year the same proposals were made, and year after year ignored.
There is, however, strong evidence that the Soviet Union takes Pugwash seriously, Fawcett said. Their delegation includes government officials of very high rank and influence, and three Soviet proposals are in line with Pugwash recommendations: a temporary moratorium on further deployment of SS-20s, the explicit declaration of a no-first use policy, and an offer to remove battlefield nuclear weapons from a 250 km zone east of the NATO/WTO boundary if NATO agrees to corresponding action.
In addition, the community of concern and scholarship created by Pugwash can help the development of the scientists’ disarmament movement in both the East and the West.
Matthew Clark is Toronto peace activist, and past chairman of the Toronto Disarmament Network. He is also on the steering committees of the Spadina Peace Group and UCAM (University of Toronto Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament).