The Peace Calendar Vol.2 No.2
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Paula Rochman — March 1984
Eudora Pendergrast — March 1984
TORONTO – The group trial of 63 persons arrested last November for trespassing at Litton Systems (Canada) during the Week of Resistance and Remembrance began in Toronto on February 13. It was the largest political group trial ever heard in Canada.
All defendants either pleaded not guilty or entered a creative plea, such as pleading for peace on Earth, an end to the arms race or dignity of the law. One defendant pleaded not guilty by reason of sanity.
To avoid irrelevant and drawn-out legalistic arguments, the. defendants had previously acknowledged that they had crossed over the fence in front of Litton, and that arrests were made in a ‘technically’ correct manner (e.g., people were read their rights and were told they were arrested).
Instead of challenging the arrests, arguments made to the court were based on principle and on the convictions of the defendants that their actions were just and necessary.
Some argued that, as people with a religious and moral conscience, they were obliged to follow the laws of God, and that Divine obedience had forced them into a situation of civil disobedience. One cannot love thy enemy when tools of war and of destruction are being built, they said. Nor can one hope to obey the commandment that ‘thou shalt not kill,’ knowing that the use of the cruise missile was intended to cause death and suffering to millions.
Parents testified about having to face their children’s nightmares about the fear of not growing up because of a nuclear war.
Youth and students spoke- about their future being taken away from them because of the uncertain fate that looms over us as a result of the current military build-up.
Some defendants pointed out that history demonstrates that civilian inaction and government complacency often result in violence and suffering as power becomes concentrated in the hands of a few.
Others testified that Litton is allegedly acting in violation of the~ Canadian Criminal Code by producing an explosive device or component thereof in Canada. They also argued that the giving of materials (i.e. the guidance system) to an agent of a foreign government, is an act of treason in that it will threaten Canadians. These allegations had previously been made to a Justice of the Peace, who chose not to investigate the evidence presented.
In addition to personal testimonies, an unsuccessful attempt was made to call ‘expert’ witnesses. Phillip Berrigan, anti-war activist, author of five books, dozens of journal articles, and twice a’ nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, was not considered an ‘expert’ by the court, and thus testified as a character witness.
Berrigan testified that the defendants were morally compelled to resist the actions of Litton in the manner they had. Furthermore, under the Nuremburg Principle, citizens have an obligation to act when crimes are being committed by the state.
Dr. Rosalie Bertell, an acknowledged expert on the health effects of low-level radiation, was not allowed to testify as the. court ruled that information about the effects of a nuclear war were irrelevant to. the charges.
Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of Hiroshima, was not allowed to testify since, according to the prosecutor, the court wasn’t there to listen. to “interesting stories.” The next day a telegram was read into the record from a number of Hiroshima survivors, who stated that they supported the actions of the Litton defendants, and that their situation made for more than an “interesting story.”
Dr. Frank Sommers, member of Physicians for Social Responsibility, was allowed to testify about .the psychological effects …people now face as the result of living with the day-to-day threat of nuclear annihilation. To maintain sanity, he testified, people had to act.
The prosecution maintained that most of the testimonies were irrelevant, and that the only relevant point to address was what posed an immediate~ threat at the Litton plant on Friday November 18th, when the defendants were arrested. The prosecution and defendants differed over what constituted an immediate threat.
After summation by lawyers for the defendants and the prosecution, Justice of the Peace Paul Chandhoke decided to reserve judgement until February 22nd. On that day, all 63 of the defendants were found guilty under the trespassing act, and given fines’ of $75 each. Twelve of these 63…were also put on one year’s probation because, during their testimony, they had declared their continued commitment to further protests against Litton Systems (Canada).
On Monday, February 20th, a second trial began for a group of women who attempted to make a citizen’s arrest of Ronald Keating, President of Litton Systems (Canada). And Monday February 27th saw the commencement of a third trial involving the arrests at Litton of people protesting the company’s involvement in Latin America.
Roy McFarlane — March 1984
WINNIPEG – A National Conference on Strategies for the Canadian peace movement was held in Winnipeg from February 2nd to 5th. Organised by the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign, the conference had two main purposes: to discuss strategies for the Canadian peace movement, including the possibility of a national coalition organisation; and to build a strong and informed grass roots base for the PPCC.
Over~ 170 people from across Canada attended the conference, including representatives of peace and disarmament groups, labour, women’s groups, youth, native, ethnic, church and professional organisations. The participants were officially welcomed by Manitoba NDP Premier Howard Pawley, who expressed his admiration for “the efforts of the world wide grass roots peace movement.”
The conference was loosely structured, with no formal voting procedures. Although the opinions of those present were sought on a variety of issues, the conference functioned primarily as a forum for discussion, information-sharing and consensus-building, rather than as a vehicle for giving formal direction to PPCC organisers.. As a result, the conference began with some uncertainty about the extent to which opinions expressed at the conference would affect the PPCC as an organisation, and particularly its national coordinating body, the Canadian Committee.
Any confusion about the conference’s purpose did not, however, prevent those attending from plunging immediately into vigorous discussion of the issues of greatest concern to the peace movement. Three issues in particular generated debate: the extent to which the peace movement should accommodate a diversity of political views and tactical strategies; the value of some form of national structure for the peace movement; and the possibility of adding a fifth demand to the PPCC petition concerning Canada’s support for a U.S./ U.S.S.R nuclear weapons freeze.
The issue of diversity within the peace movement was raised during the first plenary session when one of the panelists criticised both the participation of the Canadian Peace Congress in the Canadian peace movement, and Operation Dismantle’s decision to question the legality of cruise testing in the courts.
Representatives of the Peace Congress and Operation Dismantle quickly took exception to these criticisms, and, along with a number of other conference attendants, strongly advocated the value of diversity in the peace movement.
Predictably, the local media immediately picked up on the sense of internal division generated by this debate. Within the conference itself, feelings were mixed on the value of such public self-scrutiny.
The debate on the value of a national structure for the peace movement was initiated by a presentation by Kim Killeen of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, on the second day of the conference. The ensuing debate was not acrimonious, but there were clear differences of opinion. (See the article by Al Rycroft for more extensive discussion of this issue.)
The most intense debate of the conference dealt with the decision of PPCC organisers not to include in the petition a fifth demand that Canada support the call at the United Nations for a U.S./ U.S.S.R. binding nuclear weapons freeze as a first step towards permanent nuclear disarmament.
(The four demands contained in the petition are: i) that cruise testing be halted; ii) that Canada become a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone; iii) that money spent on defense be diverted to socially useful purposes; and iv) that all of these matters be the subject of free debate in the House of Commons.)
Opposition to the proposed addition to the petition was based on both practical and political concerns. Practically, it was argued, a change at this stage would endanger the success of the Campaign and, in particular, would cause labour to withdraw its support. Those opposing the addition from a political, or ideological, point of view emphasised the importance of Canada putting its own house in order rather than focussing its attention on the super-powers.
Proponents of the addition also put forward practical and political arguments. Arguments of practicality stressed support for a U .S./ U:‘S.S.R. nuclear weapons freeze as a position which would appeal to a broad spectrum of the Canadian public.
From a political perspective, proponents of the additional pro-freeze demand argued that to ignore the role of the two superpowers was naive, since the arms race is, in fact, a race between them.
Although the freeze issue threatened to divide the conference, and the Campaign itself, a compromise position was ultimately agreed upon: the petition should remain unchanged, but the literature prepared for distribution should deal with the freeze issue.
It was also pointed out that local organisations, and, in fact, each canvasser, would have the opportunity to determine exactly what was to be said at the door.
The need to ensure that PPCC material is available in a wide variety of languages, and is accessible to all regions and ethnic groups in Canada was an important theme of discussion at the conference.
It was also emphasised that the peace movement should be aware of, and address, the particular concerns of women, and should reflect the non-hierarchical values of the women’s movement.
Workshops were held on all aspects of the PPCC, including organising, canvassing, fundraising, media relations and the nature of the caravan which will pick up the signed petitions and take them to ,Ottawa. Other workshops were devoted to civil disobedience, peace information, effective lobbying, and relationships with various sectors of Canadian society.
Although the debates revealed strong differences of opinion within the Canadian peace movement, the seriousness of the issues, and the commitment and intelligence with which they were addressed, were also invigorating. By the end of the conference there was a strong sense of optimism and purpose among the participants, and a determination to make the Campaign a national success for the Canadian peace movement.
Information of the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign, including local organising groups across Canada, can be obtained from the PPCC national office, 600 Bank St., Ottawa On. KIS 3T6.
Nancy Watt — March 1984
OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada reserved judgement, February 15, on an appeal argued here by lawyers representing a coalition of peace groups and unions. The coalition, brought together by Operation Dismantle, is appealing a lower court decision related to their attempt to obtain an injunction against the upcoming cruise missile tests.
The Supreme Court hearing is the third stage of the first hurdle erected in front’ of the coalition by lawyers for the government. The coalition has yet to be granted permission to present their full case to the courts.
The legal action seeking the injunction was initiated July 20, 1983, one week following the federal government’s decision to test the cruise missile. Citing section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which reads: “7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice, “ the coalition claimed that the tests would constitute a violation of the right to security for the following reasons:
“(a) the size and eventual dispersion of the air-launch cruise missile is such that the missile cannot be detected by surveillance satellites or on-site inspection thus making verification of the extent of this nuclear weaponry impossible; ,
“(b) with the impossibility of verification, the future of nuclear weapons’ control and limitation agreements is completely undermined as any such agreements become practically unenforceable;
“(c) the testing of the air-launch cruise missiles would result in an increased American military presence and interest in Canada which would result in making Canada more likely to be the target of a nuclear attack; .
“(d) as the cruise missile cannot be detected until approximately eight minutes before it reaches its target, a “Launch on Warning” system will be developed in order to respond to the cruise missile thereby eliminating effective human discretion and increasing the likelihood of either a pre-emptive strike or an accidental firing, or both;
“(e) the cruise missile is a military weapon, the development of which will have the effect of further escalating the nuclear arms race, thus endangering the security and lives of all people. “
On August 11, lawyers for the government filed a motion in the court requesting that the coalition’s claim be stricken. As with meetings conducted under Parliamentary procedure (such as Robert’s Rules) this motion required resolution before the case could continue. All arguments and decisions subsequent to the filing of the motion have revolved around whether the coalition’s -claim has any legal basis.
On September 15, Mr. Justice Alex Cattanach presided over the first hearing on the motion. The government’s lawyers contended that the allegations outlined by the coalition presented no reasonable cause for a court action, that the allegations were “frivolous and vexatious,” and that the issues involved were outside the court’s jurisdiction, as the decision to test the cruise was made by cabinet and therefore not reviewable by the court.
At the end of the one day hearing, Justice Cattanach dismissed the government’s motion, finding the coalition’s claim did present reasonable cause for court action. He also stated that the Charter created a new relationship between the. government and the judiciary and that the government’s decision did fall within the realm of the Charter, citing two of its subsections, which read:
“52.(1) The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law of Canada, and any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution is, to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force or effect. .
“32.(1) This Charter applies (a) to the Parliament and government of Canada in respect of all matters within the authority of Parliament including all matters relating to. the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories;’”
Government lawyers subsequently appealed. On November 28, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled unanimously on the side of the government and struck down Justice Cattanach’s decision, thereby accepting the government’s motion and striking the coalition’s claim. The basis of their decision lay with the arguments that the coalition’s allegations did not constitute a violation to their right to security and that a court would be unable, even if presented with further argument, to judge whether or not the tests would in effect be a threat to security.
Mr. Justice Louis Pratte, one of the five Appeal Court judges, said in his written statement, “I am of the opinion…that the (coalition’s) statement of claim does not disclose a reasonable cause of .action. Indeed, in my view , the facts alleged in the statement of claim, assuming them to be proved, do not constitute an infringement or a denial of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Charter. ..
Mr Justice Gerald Le Dain, in his written decision added, “(t)he central issue of the (coalition’s) statement is the effect of the proposed testing’ and availability of the cruise missile on the risk of nuclear conflict. That is manifestly not a question which is judiciable. It is not susceptible of adjudication by a court. It involves factors, considerations’ and imponderables, many of which are inaccessible to a court or of a nature which a court is incapable of evaluating or weighing,”
Although all five justices ruled that a court should not hear arguments on the alleged threat resulting from the cruise tests, a majority (Justices Pratte, Ryan and Le Dain) ruled that the Charter is binding on the cabinet.
On December 20, Chief Justice Bora Laskin granted the coalition the right to appeal the Federal Court of Appeal decision and set February 14’ as the hearing date. On February 14 and IS, coalition lawyers, in their final attempt to have the government’s motion dismissed, reiterated their arguments to the Supreme Court.
Lawrence Greenspon, one of the two lawyers representing the coalition, stated that expert witnesses would be called, if the case was allowed to proceed, to testify to the effect cruise missile testing would have. Gordon Henderson, also representing the coalition, drew the court’s attention back to section 52 of the Charter, quoted earlier by Justice Cattanach, to argue that the Charter was binding on the government.
Having reserved judgement, the Supreme Court can render its decision at any time. If the Supreme Court rejects the Federal Court of Appeal ruling, and with that the government’s motion to strike the coalition’s claim, the case returns to the first level of the legal system; the Federal Court. The coalition will then have the opportunity to argue its case in full.
James Stark, President of Operation Dismantle and originator of the idea of taking the issue to court, conceded that proving the case against the cruise would not be easy. “It will be difficult,” he said. “But, it will not be impossible.”
Susan Berlin — March 1984
Angela Browning, chairperson of the Against Cruise Testing (ACT) coalition, has just completed a networking tour of western Canadian cities in order to generate support for two nationwide demonstrations to be held in March and April.
Browning felt her western Canadian tour was a success. Her networking efforts were appreciated by the groups and people she visited as a much-needed morale booster during a time when impending cruise tests have dampened anti-cruise spirits.
“Coming on the heels of Trudeau’s recent statements that demonstrations can and have affected government policy, it is very important that there is an immediate nationwide response to the first cruise test,” said Browning. “We must show that we haven’t given up.”
The March demonstration will be held on the Saturday following the first cruise tests. ACT will be leafletting during March to heighten public awareness and prepare for the demonstration. A final leaflet announcing the date of the demonstration will be distributed during the week following the first cruise test.
Networking for the March demonstration will continue right up until the date of the demonstration, with an increased emphasis on eastern Canada.
Except for Regina, which has fixed March 10 as the starting date for their anti-cruise week, several other Canadian cities will be holding protests the Saturday following the first cruise test.
The idea of nationwide action has generated enthusiastic support everywhere that Browning visited. The April 28th demonstration will commemorate last year’s highly successful nationwide protests on April 23rd and is intended to establish a tradition of nationwide protests on a specific date.
In fact, Calgary, whose traditional large peace demonstration is held in June, eagerly agreed to switch their date to April so as to participate in the larger impact of a national action.
The focus of the April 28th demonstration will also be anti-cruise but cities such as Regina and Vancouver will be focusing on other themes as well. Regina’s demonstrations will be against cruise testing and against uranium mining, while Vancouver will hold their traditional Walk for Peace.
In Toronto, regional groups will be bussed in to participate in the march, which ACT organisers are hoping will be even larger than last year’s turnout for the April demonstration.
The March demonstration will start at. 1:00 pm at Liberal Party headquarters, 34 King St. E. and travel past the American Consulate, ending up at City Hall. The assembly point for the April demonstration will be Queen’s Park and the march will also end up at City Hall but as yet. no. route has been finalized for either demonstration.
Nationally, complete sponsor and contact information will be available from ACT in Toronto. The following places have confirmed that they will be holding actions: Victoria, Galliano Island, Vancouver, Kamloops, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, Thunder Bay, Ottawa, Toronto, Montréal, Moncton and Halifax. At press time many cities have not yet confirmed.
Further information on both demonstrations can be obtained from ACT, 370. Queen St. E., Toronto. M5A 1T2. 416-xxx-xxxx.
Kurt Anderson — March 1984
In Canada, for 200 years conscientious objectors have had the right to refuse military service and undertake some form of alternative service. But paradoxically, at a time when a ‘war’ will most likely be fought -not by conscripts but by a nuclear exchange, Canadians who oppose war on ,grounds’ of conscience must contribute their tax money to the creation and testing of bombs and their delivery systems.
In 1978, in an effort to cope with this ethical dilemma, a group of Vancouver Quakers proposed to the Federal government that a Peace Tax Fund should be established. Their plan was similar in its general outlines to plans being initiated in 15 countries, including Japan, France, West Germany and Great Britain.
Under the proposed plan, people would be able to direct the portion of their tax money earmarked for military purposes (currently about 10.6%) to a Peace Tax Fund. This fund would be used to finance research into disarmament and inspection techniques, non-violent methods of conflict resolution, and so on. There was no response to this’ 1978 proposal.
In the spring of 1982, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was proclaimed, and the Vancouver group used the few weeks available before the 1981 tax filing deadline to organise a unique form of war protest. They asked people to divide their tax payments into two cheques, one made out in the usual way, the other – for the military share of one’s taxes – made out to a Peace Tax Fund. About 70 people across Canada took part in the hastily-organised project, and most of them have been engaged in an interesting correspondence with Revenue Canada ever since.
At the same time, Edith Adamson, one of the founders of the Peace Tax Fund Committee, sued the federal government on the grounds that, by enforcing the Income Tax Act, it was infringing her right to freedom of conscience. Her suit is before the courts, and the decision on the case will create a precedent for. the requirement to pay the military portion of one’s taxes.
The original system set up for the Peace Tax Fund created some unexpected problems. For one thing, the odd cheque made out to the Fund was cashed by some regional tax offices, and the resulting snarls are still being sorted out.
Consequently, this year the Vancouver group has set up a Peace Tax Trust Fund, which operates an interest-bearing account. People interested in participating in a peace tax protest are asked to proceed as follows:
Calculate the taxes you owe in the usual way. Then write two cheques: one, for 89.4% of the Net Federal Taxes Payable, made out to the Receiver General; the other, for 10.6% of the net figure, – made out to the Peace Tax Fund Trust Account.
If you want to determine whether the government will accept your calculations, complete your Income Tax form and send it to Revenue Canada without payment. In about eight weeks, you will receive a Notice of Assessment, which will indicate any difference between your calculations and those made by the government. The disadvantage of this procedure is that if the Notice of Assessment arrives after April 3D, you will owe interest on your taxes.
Xerox the Peace Tax cheque. Send the Xerox, the Receiver General’s cheque, and an explanatory covering letter to Revenue Canada. Send copies of your letter to the Prime Minister, appropriate members of. cabinet, your MP, leaders of the opposition, and so on.
Send the original of the Peace Tax cheque to: The Peace Tax Fund Committee, 183 Fern Avenue, Victoria B.C. V8R 4K4. This procedure protects you against charges of non-payment of taxes, though the government will still want to collect.
The Peace Tax Fund Committee will deposit your cheque in its Trust Account. The Tax people will enter into a correspondence with you, which is likely to take many months and to be of gradually increasing urgency. Eventually, they will demand payment within 15 days. At that point, you may collect your money from the Peace Tax Fund, plus interest accrued, and settle your account with the government.
Alternatively, you could continue to refuse to pay. However, refusal to pay once the 15-day notice has been received could result in penalties under the Income Tax Act, such as seizing of funds from your bank account, garnisheeing of your wages, or seizing of other assets.
Taking the matter further could also require legal action, an expensive option which isn’t really necessary since the findings on Edith Adamson’s suit will cover all similar cases.
Unfortunately, most Canadians – all those who work on salary, and who therefore have their taxes withheld at source – can’t easily take part in the Peace Tax Fund.
If you are one of the majority, you may want to consider attaching a letter of ‘payment under protest’ to your tax form; if you do, remember to send copies of the letter to appropriate politicians.
Another possibility is to go to your employer (if possible, with the support of fellow employees and/or your union) to ask that a letter be written pressing the government to change the tax regulations, and emphasising that employees have expressed the desire to re-direct the military portion of their taxes. All of these methods will increase the awareness of government that people ‘out there’ are opposed to continued preparations for war.
Edith Adamson’s suit against the government will seek to achieve legal recognition of the, right of all Canadians to direct their tax money toward peace. Much of the voluminous research that has been required to prepare the case was carried out by volunteers, but despite this, legal costs of the case are expected to reach $50,000, since it will undoubtedly proceed all the way to the Supreme Court.
Contributions to legal costs are urgently needed. Anyone wishing to contribute funds should make out a cheque to the Peace Tax Fund Committee, and mail it to 1831 Fern Avenue, Victoria Back. V8R 4K4.
Until recently, when the Peace Tax Fund Committee lost access to a charitable number, such contributions were tax-deductible. The Committee is attempting to obtain a new charitable number, and, if you are considering a large donation, you. may .wish to contact them regarding their ability to issue a tax receipt before sending a cheque.
Additional information on the Peace Tax Fund, including the name of a local contact person, can also be obtained by writing to the Committee at the Victoria address.
Margaret McBride — March 1984
For those who missed TIME Magazine’s report on the workings of Ronald Reagan’s White House, we present the following snippet:
‘Meeting with a group of Congressmen last fall, Reagan ‘confessed an inexcusable misapprehension as he explained why he had shifted away from his initial, unrealistic START proposal. That proposal called for much deeper cuts in land-based missile forces than in air- or sea-launched arsenals. Reagan had not realised, he admitted to the unnerved Congressmen, that the Soviets were certain to reject his formula because their nuclear forces were largely land-based. “I never heard anyone of our negotiators or any of our military people or anyone else bring up that particular point,” Reagan told TIME last week.’ Reported by Douglas Brew/Washington. TIME, February 6, 1984.
anon — March 1984
One hundred and fifty artists from all areas of creative activity assembled in Toronto for the first Arts for Peace National Conference from February 4 – 5. They came from every part of Canada to give expression to the slogan “Our Theme is Life, Our Goal is Peace.”
Among the speakers who participated in the two-day dialogue were Phyliss Jane Rose, Managing Director of “Foot of the Mountain” experimental women’s theatre in Minneapolis, and two prominent cultural representatives from the Soviet Union -. Eugene Lazarev, Director of the Maykovskv Theatre in Moscow; and Edouard Batalov, Director of Philosophy at the Institute of United States and Canada Studies, Moscow.
The keynote address was delivered by George Ignatieff, former Canadian Ambassador to the U.N. and Chancellor of the University of Toronto. Other Canadian speakers included Douglas Campbell, leading Stratford Festival performer; Dora de Pedery Hunt, O.C., noted sculptor and designer; well-known actress Charmion King; Lionel Lawrence, Dean of York University Faculty of Fine Arts; John Morgan, President of the Canadian Peace Congress; Walter Pitman, Executive Director, Ontario Arts Council; Paul Siren, General Secretary, ACTRA; and James Stark, President of Operation Dismantle.
In opening the conference, Arts for Peace President Dan Ross indicated that its purpose was to examine the role that artists can play in furthering the cause of world survival. He referred to the Prime Minister’s emphasis on the need for easing East-West tensions through understanding, and stated that this related directly to the aims of the Conference.
The Conference endorsed a statement calling upon artists of all creative endeavours to “Join in a mighty crusade for peace directed toward halting the perilous course of the nuclear arms race.”
The statement condemned the accelerating threat to human survival and deplored its social cost to all countries, which could only be measured in hunger, disease, unemployment, inadequate housing and educational and cultural deprivation.
It reiterated an Arts for Peace declaration calling upon the Canadian government to . declare Canada a Nuclear Free Zone, urging all governments to implement a Nuclear Arms Freeze and rejecting the government’s decision to test the cruise missile.
Prime Minister Trudeau’s peace initiative was welcomed and all artists were urged to support his efforts to promote significant arms control negotiations among the major powers.
The Conference discussed the question of expanding activities through a broad program of peace action involving theatres, art galleries, libraries, schools and universities. It also stressed the necessity for working in cooperation with other peace groups, churches and unions.
Among the projects proposed were a national Arts for Peace day, a national peace poster competition, an annual award to the contribution for peace and children’s art exchanges.
The need for special attention to the building of Arts for Peace groups in many small communities of Canada was emphasized as being of equal importance to the establishing of chapters in the large towns and, cities.
The Conference received messages of support from many leading Canadian citizens, among them, Toronto’s Mayor Art Eggleton.
— March 1984
The last question in the interview with MP Douglas Roche (The Peace Calendar, February 1984) was:
CANDIS: Would you say that your are optimistic or pessimistic about the future of disarmament and development?
Mr. Roche’s answer, as we printed it, unfortunately read “I cannot avoid being defeatist.” It should have read “I cannot afford to be defeatist.” Our apologies to Mr. Roche, whose optimism we value.
Bruce Torrie — March 1984
Beth Richards, Jon W. Spencer Metta Spencer
Nicole de Montbrun
Roberta Spence, Anne Hume
Jon W. Spencer (xxx-xxxx)
Ad Sales Manager
Stan Adams (xxx-xxxx)
Ad Sales Representatives
Judith Cohen, Susan Spicer
Steve, Wax and Nancy
Mariana Valverde — March 1984
VANCOUVER – The City Council of Vancouver in April 1983 declared Vancouver to be a nuclear weapon-free zone.
In the fall of 1983, Council passed a fire by-law and a building code by-law which prohibit the manufacture, storage and transportation of nuclear weapons in the City of Vancouver :-The city derives the legislative competence to pass these measures under its authority to regulate the transportation of dangerous substances and to regulate fire and building safety.
There is some question whether American warships will be making their annual visit to Vancouver for the city’s Sea Festival this summer. The jurisdictional question is whether or not the City of Vancouver can legislate or regulate in a federal area of jurisdiction – Inter-Provincial Transportation and Harbours.
In support of these City initiatives, the newly-formed Vancouver Peace Centre Society is sponsoring a $100-a-plate, 4-hour dinner cruise. aboard Harbour Ferries vessel The Britannia on Sunday April 29, from 7 – 11:00 pm.
It is hoped that the cruise will raise over $25,000 to assist in the financing of a Community Peace Centre-in Vancouver. The Society is presently looking for a location of about 5,000-10,000 square feet, to serve as a Resource Centre, Media Centre, Library and AudioVisual Centre.
If all goes well: the Centre will open in the spring of 1985. The Society also has ambitious plans for a “Peace Pavilion” at Expo ’86 in Vancouver. Groups or individuals interested in assisting with the goals of the Society should direct enquiries to
1211 Bidwell St., Vancouver B.C. V6G 2K7, or phone -683-8111—>xxx-xxxx.
Marina Valverde — March 1984
March 8th has been celebrated as International Women’s Day all over the world for the past seventy years. In Toronto, as in many other cities across Canada, this year’s festivities will include a strong emphasis on the theme of peace. Moreover if Toronto is any indication, the peace movement has never been so well represented in the planning and preparation for International Women’s Day. The contacts resulting between peace and feminist activists will undoubtedly continue after the rallies and demonstrations are over.
These connections are important to the feminist peace activists involved in International Women’s Day because we want to encourage discussion of women’s issues within the peace movement. We think it’s crucial for peace and disarmament groups not merely to endorse but also to actively engage in discussions and actions to promote the status of women. both within peace groups and in society at large. Although there may be occasional disagreements over issues such as abortion, we believe that the peace movement cannot neglect, for fear of raising controversy, the concerns of women activists. The trade union movement has given support to non-economic issues such as daycare and choice, and has also implemented internal affirmative action programmes. We in the peace movement must also show solidarity with the women’s movement, and, like the trade union movement, provide an example of non-sexist practices. If. our goal is to build a better, less unjust world, we cannot ignore women’s oppression, even as we work together to stop the nuclear arms race.
At present, some peace groups have rules to ensure that women activists are not marginalised – for example, by having women as spokespersons and making sure women are present on leadership bodies. However, good as this is, it does not begin to tackle the more fundamental issues of the connection between women’s liberation and the struggle for a peaceful and just world. The feminist vision of a “non-sexist, non-hierarchical world should be of concern to all peace activists, and can provide us with valuable guidance about how to organise ourselves so that we don’t replicate authoritarian structures.
It is crucial that men as well as women take part in these discussions, for we can not afford to have a peace movement in which half of us are feminists and the other half are male chauvinists. We urge all peace activists to take part in International Women’s Day, and thus strengthen the important relationship between peace and women’s rights.
Mariana Valverde is a member of the international Women’s Day Committee (lWDC) in Toronto, and is active in the March 8th Coalition, which is responsible for co-ordinating Toronto’s lWD festivities. She is also the IWDC representative to the Toronto Disarmament Network (TDN). TDN has officially endorsed International Women’s Day, and is encouraging all peace and disarmament groups to participate in IWD events.
— March 1984
TOR0NTO — In Toronto, International Women’s Day will be celebrated on Saturday March 10, with a rally and demonstration at Convocation Hall beginning at 11 am. The three themes for this year are Choice, Jobs and Peace.
Peace groups are encouraged to attend the rally and demonstration with their own chants and banners. They can also set up tables at the fair that will be held at Jarvis Collegiate immediately following the march . (Call Kathy Jones at xxx-xxxx for a table). In addition, both male and female peace activists are invited to attend a public forum entitled “Women’s Perspectives on War and Imperialism”, to be held on Tuesday, March 6, at 7:30 pm., in Trinity Church, 427 Bloor W.
Toronto peace groups are also invited to pick up and distribute IWD leaflets, which are available from the Toronto Disarmament Network office at 736 Bathurst St.
Robert Penner — March 1984
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, TORONTO. ONT M5S 1A1
Science for Peace is one of only two scientific organizations represented as NGOs at the United Nations. We understand that a third special session on disarmament is likely to be convened in 1984. We have also learned that the International Satellite Monitoring Agency (ISMA) will be considered in this coming session of the General Assembly as a project for the U.N. to organize and administer. Such a .system of verification might prevent many types of aggression, since the many nations using it for surveillance would be able to keep informed about potentially threatening military activities. France, in particular, has promoted the idea of ISMA.
In November we co-sponsored a workshop on peace education at the University level. This is to be followed up by another one from May II – 13 at Brock University. All instructors at post secondary institutions are invited to attend, whether or not they belong to Science for Peace. Contact our office .or the Peace Research Institute – Dundas (416/xxx-xxxx) for the program and list of speakers.
Our response to the Prime Minister’s peace initiative, which was submitted to his task force before the Throne Speech, comprises the following proposals:
- The establishment of a Crisis Alert Centre, to detect events that might lead to an. international crisis and to alert’ those who would become involved, especially the superpowers. It would use advanced means of information collection and communication.
- The International Satellite Monitoring Agency, as described above.
- The new Canadian Centre for Arms Control and Disarmament should be supported by the government, since it will educate the public, disseminate information and research arms control issues.
- The creation of a Peace Bank to collect and analyze proposals from non-governmental organizations and individuals. It might be located in an existing peace research institute.
- The restoration of the Exchange Agreements between Canada and the Soviet Union, and the negotiation of cultural and academic exchanges, that should include youths, church people, and others, since personal contact is an important basis of international understanding. .
- S4P encourages Canada’s government to promote the practice of twinning, as between cities. This might be used as a confidence building measure between Canada and a member of the Warsaw Pact, such as Hungary or Poland.
We keep a roster of speakers, available to speak to clubs, luncheons, schools, etc. on a variety of topics related to our concerns. Phone any chapter of Science for Peace for further details.
BUSINESS: We are now a registered charity. Our Annual Meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 28. Nominations for Board of Directors should be submitted before March I.
MEMBERSHIP: We extend an invitation to join Science for Peace to all scientists (social and human as well as physical – a definition that includes most academics), engineers and others. Membership includes a subscription to the BULLETIN and the right to participate in Chapter activities. Membership Subscription: . $25.00 (student/retired: $5.(0). Make cheques payable to SCIENCE FOR PEACE (registered as a charitable organization.) Mail to: Science for Peace, University College, University of Toronto, Toronto, On., M5S IA7. S4P can be contacted by calling Eric Fawcett at 416/xxx-xxxx.
Martin Zeilig — March 1984
One of the major debates at. the Winnipeg National Strategies Conference concerned the possibility of establishing a national structure for the Canadian peace movement.
Two interesting suggestions were put forward in the course of this debate. One was that a Correspondence Network be established to circulate unedited written proposals on this topic. The other was that The Peace Calendar reserve space in each issue for articles on this subject.
Obviously we cannot guarantee in advance that a specific amount of space will be reserved for any purpose. However, beginning with this issue, we will feature opinion articles on the national structure issue as often as we can.
We will edit these articles, as we edit all of our material for coherence and readability. Occasionally ,we may also have to shorten an – article. We won’t, however, change the substance of any submission, and we will cover any point of view that is consistent with the pro-disarmament position.
Please keep articles to between 500 and 750 words, and send them to: The Peace Calendar, CANDIS, 736 Bathurst St., Toronto, On., M5S 2R4.
We cannot promise to return articles, but please make sure to include your name, mailing address and telephone number, so that we can get in touch with you if necessary. Also, please include some information on yourself and your involvement in the peace movement, so that we can identify you for our readers.
The Canadian peace movement has now reached a stage in its development which requires a national structure to make its work more effective. However, the formation of any such organisation or coalition presents _ a difficult set of problems – none of which are necessarily insurmountable, but all of which will require careful thought and planning.
A national coalition would serve many functions. The three main ones, as I see it, are: I) to decide upon and co-ordinate nationwide campaigns; 2) to develop resources and synthesize skills and experience from across the country; and 3) to increase the public prominence of the peace movement in the national disarmament debate.
Is there a need for such a coalition? If we look back over the past year we can see clearly how the growth of the movement is pushing us toward this kind of l1ational organisation. The anti-cruise campaign is one example.
Although this campaign has not yet stopped the cruise, it has received national and international attention, and has probably built up the movement more effectively than any other campaign could have.
But it took time for this campaign to develop a national conference. It was emphasized by some organisations and not by others, and there was no forum to develop co-ordinated plans from the start. It was not until October 22nd, 1983, more than a year after it had become a major demand, that the Canadian peace movement was able to unite itself around opposition to cruise testing. We would have been much more effective if we had united our efforts much earlier.
Perhaps the best example of the pressing need for a national structure is the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign, which clearly illustrate! the disadvantages of trying to build a national campaign without a national structure. A tremendous amount of time and energy was required to simply have the campaign adopted at the local level. If there had been a national structure available to make unified decisions, much of their time and energy could have been spent building the program of action.
The involvement of the Labour Movement in the PPCC also points to the structural shortcomings of the Canadian peace movement. As a powerful national group, the Canadian Labour Congress needs a coherent national structure in the peace _movement o plug into. So, too, do other Canada-wide groups.
It is clear that the PPCC is making progress towards a national structure. But it would be I mistake to believe that a national structure will simply evolve through national work. On the contrary, if a national coalition is going to have any real meaning, it must be developed with as much input as possible.
Although the national disarm anent conference in Winnipeg demonstrated that there is general support for a national coalition, here was only enough agreement on specifics to take a tentative first step: the establishment of a :correspondence network to develop and circulate structural and procedural proposals for a national structure.
I would suggest that the next step should be the establishment of a task force to more effectively examine and synthesize proposals, and to begin to act on any emerging consensus.
This task force must be totally open to participation by any representative of any part of the movement. ‘It must also be structured to include at least some representation from as many different regions, sectors and types or organisations as possible. Most important, it should be as geographically representative of the Canadian movement as possible.
It is hoped that this task force will emerge from the correspondence network, the PPCC and other disarmament work. It could meet every several months, and could try to accomplish a number of initial. tasks.
It could systematically advance the debate on an appropriate structure for a national coalition. It could also try to synthesize ideas and concerns into comprehensive proposals that would resonate as strongly as possible across the breadth of the Canadian movement.
If it became obvious that we were, moving toward a national coalition, the task force could initiate a national founding convention for sometime in 1985. It could plan the agenda and organise the debate for such a convention in advance, so that the issues and proposals could be considered before the convention took place. This would allow delegated representatives to make the few key decisions necessary to permit a coalition to begin functioning.
Another function of the task force would be to begin fundraising for the potential coalition so that initial funding would be available should the coalition be established. In addition, this task force would increase communication and networking among participating groups.
The task-force and the potential founding convention should both strive for consensus and inclusiveness. There should never be the slightest attempt to limit the participation in either the task force or the coalition, and all work should be conducted as openly as possible. The work of the task force should also be carried out extremely tentatively, with a maximum of consultation, so that no person or group could feel that its interests were being ignored.
It should be clear, however, that total unanimity on a national coalition will likely be impossible, since some organisations will remain skeptical and some will not want a national coalition at all. In order to deal with these difficulties, I would suggest that the coalition should initially include a broad cross-section of the movement. Those who were unsure could join at a later point. Given such a gradual evolution, it is crucial that any emerging national ~coalition should clarify its relationship to the grass roots movement, and should never claim to speak for those whom it does not represent.
A task of this scope is indeed ambitious but the growing success of our movement to date indicates that we can begin to take this step forward with confidence. The urgency of the situation suggests that we cannot afford to wait.
NOTE: Proposals, ideas and discussion papers on the topic of a national structure for the Canadian movement can be sent to (and will be circulated by) the recently formed Correspondence Network, c/o the Toronto Disarmament Network, 736 Bathurst St., Toronto On. M5S 2R4.
Bob Penner is active in the TDN and the Cruise Missile Conversion Project. He is also working on the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign in Toronto.
Al Rycroft — March 1984
The National Strategy Conference held in Winnipeg February 2 – 5 brought together representatives from peace and disarmament, student, youth, women’s, native, labour and ethnic organisations from across Canada. Despite differences of opinion on an assortment of topics, a sense of enthusiastic unity prevailed at the concluding plenary session on Sunday afternoon.
During his closing comments to the participants, David Kraft of the broad-based Toronto Disarmament Network (TDN) emphasised that the main accomplishment of the weekend was the new strategic alliance that had been forged between organised labour and the peace movement. Kraft suggested that it was now up to the peace movement to demonstrate to its labour ally that “we can put on a good show.”
But what about those women and men who will be – in a very real sense – responsible for organising that “good show” in their local communities? What are the views of those grassroots representatives, some of whom were becoming involved with the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign (PPCC) for the very first time? To find out what their perspectives were, I interviewed – at random – a number of delegates. My questions were general in nature and dealt with the concerns of the peace movement as a whole, as well as with the PPCC. The comments made to me were always informed and meaningful, sometimes critical but never harsh or cynical.
Wendy Mancini of the Montréal-based Students Against Nuclear Arms (SAGE) said that “more work is needed to educate the young” about peace and disarmament. Mancini was distressed that the nuclear weapons freeze issue wasn’t included on the actual petition itself. Because of her involvement in teaching English to new Canadians, Mancini is acutely aware of the need for the peace movement (and especially the PPCC) to “reach out to immigrants. “
Mancini’s words took on an added urgency when she spoke of the necessity of the PPCC to translate documents into the mother tongues of immigrants. ltalian-, Greek-, Vietnamese-, Spanish-, and Portuguese-speaking people should have “ready access to peace material in their own language,” Mancini said, and it is incumbent upon the PPCC to make a strong effort “not to shove the ethnic minorities into a corner.”
David Delaunay, representing Project Ploughshares in Sudbury, compared the PPCC to “a baby being born.” All the initial conflicts, such as those related to the freeze issue, were, according to Delaunay, “part of the process of growth.” He pointed out that the PPCC was especially valuable for small urban centres in that it would permit them “to plug into the bigger movement.” Delaunay was emphatic in his view that the conference participants “reflected the aspirations of millions,” and that it is now necessary to expand our vision and mobilise that support.
Gordon Flowers, Executive Director of the Canadian Peace Congress, commented that “the peace movement is still too narrow” in its base, and that any attempts to exclude groups will definitely reduce the effectiveness of the Campaign. Flowers’ own organisation bore the. brunt of an attack during the opening plenary session. Flowers described the attack as “divisive and counterproductive.”
Angela Browning, an activist with Toronto’s Against Cruise Testing coalition (ACT), expressed concern about the hostility vented during the Friday evening debate over the inclusion of a pro-freeze demand in the petition. She felt that the vehemence of the debate was in large measure due to the lack of participation and input from many grass-roots organisations. However, Browning’s biggest questions were “How do you organise a country this big on a truly national level?” and “How does the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign ensure true democratic representation?” According to Browning, cruise testing must continue to be a primary. focus because “the peace movement has blossomed in Canada as a result of the testing.”
Randy Smith, like Wendy Mancini, is also a member of Students Against Nuclear Arms in Montréal. Smith said that the conference “has made me feel more confident about the PPCC.” However, Smith was -worried that “the regional and other caucuses were forgotten” in the general rush and enthusiasm of the conference. Like some others, Smith thought that a pro-freeze demand should have been included in the petition, but he was satisfied with the compromise position that pro-freeze literature be included in the Campaign handout material. Smith termed the debate around the freeze issue “healthy.”
Andrew Van Velzen and Paula Rochman of the Alliance for Non-Violent Action shared the view that not enough time was allocated during the conference for political debate and .for discussion of other tactics and strategies – such as Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s peace initiative.
Rochman remarked that “many groups felt frustrated that other projects were not discussed.” And after we hand in the signed petitions, wondered Rochman, “what is our response going to be then?
— March 1984
WINNIPEG – The issue of a cross-Canada coalition was debated vigorously at the National Peace Strategy Conference held in Winnipeg from February 2nd to 5th. Although most of the 170 delegates agreed that there was value in trying to coordinate actions across Canada, there was considerable disagreement as to how this might best be accomplished.
The official debate began with a scheduled presentation by Kim Killeen, a researcher and one of the few non-activists at the conference. Killeen is presently coauthoring a book on the problems of communication and understanding between the Canadian peace movement and the Canadian government, and began his presentation by pointing out that the movement was progressing rapidly. “A year ago,” he said, “this meeting (the national strategy conference) was probably thought impossible.” Killeen also noted that “if peace is a political objective, then the object of the peace movement must be to increase its own political effectiveness and given this basis I would argue that some form of national coordinating body is necessary.”
“If a critical objective of the peace movement is to influence government policy,” Killeen concluded, “a compromise in terms of philosophical and operational beliefs may be a tactical gain in the long run.”
Compromise is often considered a dirty word in the peace movement. Not surprisingly, debate was lively.
Kay Macpherson with the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, itself a Canada-wide co-ordinating body within the women’s movement, expressed the concerns of many when she cautioned, “Have a network, but do not have a structured organisation which is dictating from the top down.”
Murray Randall, one of a number of representatives of the Canadian Labour Congress at the conference, was the only representative of the labour movement who spoke during the debate: “As far as the idea of a network for the coordination… I think this kind of discussion is not premature to be happening today. I think what would be premature is to come to any definite plan of determination. We (the Canadian Labour Congress) see the campaign (the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign), quite frankly, as a trial run: it’s a project. It’s the basis on which we can assess how we get along together, how we understand each other, how we communicate and so on.”
Jamie Scott, an organiser working with the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, a co-ordinating body for international development organisations, agreed with Randall. “There can be kind of ad hoc coalitions around projects. I question whether it would be premature to form at this time anyone-going structured organisation.”
Doreen Plowman of the Manitoba Peace Council offered a compromise, a minimal mandate:
“I think that we are not ready for a structured national coalition at this time, but I think that it is something which we should be looking at for our future… I think at this time what we need is a network. We need to have a few actions a year… and we need to know what everyone is doing across the country.”
No decisions were reached in the plenary on a cross-Canada network. However, two suggestions were later returned to the conference from a workshop of about 25 that formed to discuss the issue further. One suggestion was that the Toronto Disarmament Network co-ordinate a “correspondence network” whose sole purpose would be to collect and circulate, unedited, all proposals received regarding a cross-Canada network or coalition. All proposals would be circulated to anyone who asked to be on the mailing list.
The second suggestion was that people be encouraged to submit short articles to The Peace Calendar discussing the issues surrounding the creation of a cross-Canada network or coalition, and that The Peace Calendar be approached to reserve space in each issue devoted to discussion of these issues.
André-Albert Saint-Laurent from Montréal praised the work being done by PPCC organiser David Langille. Saint-Laurent, a former translator at the U.N. Disarmament Division, said that the “very nature of peace work is so often loose,” and that it requires a certain type of person. Saint-Laurent was “not terribly confident with the financial handling of the Campaign,” but said that he thinks “it will be smoothed over.”
Gary Marchant, a key spokesperson for the End the Arms Race (E.A.R.) coalition in Vancouver, was “glad about the way the conference ended,” but concerned about the tension that pervaded many of the sessions. Marchant suggested that it was “still a bit premature to talk of. a national coalition,” which he regards as a matter of process rather than structure.
Duncan MacDonald, an official with the Ontario Federation of Labour, stressed the importance of the presence at the conference of representatives from three major Québec unions. MacDonald found the “entire event very useful because organised labour and the peace movement came to know each other.” Despite tensions, MacDonald said he felt the two groups “could unite around a mutual concern.” Such unity, MacDonald emphasised, is what is needed if the PPCC is to be a success.
Don G. Bates — March 1984
Since the first letter-writing suggestion appeared in last month’s edition of The Peace Calendar the campaign has grown immensely. Forty-three groups from St. John’s to Vancouver, have now endorsed the letter-writing campaign. In’ the period of one month the National Letter-Writing Campaign (NWLC) has become one of Canada’s largest lobbying groups.
In order that the NLWC and the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign (PPCC) can both have greater impact over the next several months the NWLC will dovetail its suggestions with the efforts of the PPCC. To this end, this month’s suggestion is to write to Brian Mulroney, leader of the Progressive Conservative party. In writing him please ask that he support and work towards the objectives of the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign. The objectives are as follows: 1) We ask that the Parliament of Canada act to refuse the testing of the cruise missile in Canada and to reject research, production, testing and transport of any nuclear weapons, their delivery systems or components in Canada. 2) We ask that Canada be declared a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in accord with similar initiatives by other nations and become actively involved in working for the multilateral de-escalation of the arms race. 3) We further ask that wasteful spending on the arms race be diverted to fund human needs so as to ensure prosperity through peace. 4) Finally, we ask that the above stated objectives be subject to ratification through a ‘free vote’ in the Parliament of Canada.
In writing to Brian Mulroney be sure to ask that your letter be replied to. You can expect a form letter in return. It is important to follow-up at that point with a second letter showing your deep concern over Canada’s involvement in the arms race and once’ again. asking that Brian Mulroney come out in support of the Peace Petition Caravan objectives. No postage is required in writing the Progressive Conservative leader, and letters should be addressed to the House of Commons, Ottawa, On., K1A OA6.
Finally, if your group is interested in becoming part of the NLWC could you please write me and let me know that your group endorses the concept and is willing to encourage peace activists in your community to write letters. Also, please send suggestions of individuals you would like to see targeted for letters.
301-103 Church St.
To date, the following groups have endorsed the letter-writing campaign. We hope to be able to add the name of your group to the list.
Arts for Peace; Brampton and area Peace Council; Chatham-Kent Association for Peace and Disarmament: Cruise Missile Conversion Project; East End Peace Action; East York Peace Committee; Educators for Nuclear Disarmament; Guelph Disarmament Group; Hamilton Disarmament Coalition; Inter-Church Disarmament Project; Killarney Nuclear Disarmament Group; lakeshore Committee for Disarmament; lawyers Alliance for Judicial Action on Nuclear Disarmament; Manitoba Peace Council; Mount Arrowsmith Disarmament Coalition; Niagara Disarmament Coalition; North York Action for Disarmament; Operation Dismantle; Parkdale for Peace; Peace Education Network; Peace Resource Centre; Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament; Ploughshares London; Ploughshares . St. John’s; Ploughshares . Saskatoon; Ploughshares . Sudbury; Ploughshares – Waterloo Region; Port Alberni Nuclear Disarmament Coalition; Psychologists for Social Responsibility. Toronto; Psychologists for Social Responsibility . Waterloo; Safe Mosquito Abatement Committee; Spadina Peace Group; Status of Women . Newfoundland; Thunder Bay Coalition for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament; Toronto Disarmament Network; Toronto Quakers Peace and Social Action Committee; Trinity Peace Association; United Jewish People’s Order, Vernon World Disarmament Coalition; Voice of Women; Waterloo Region Peace Network; and the Winnipeg Co-ordinating Committee for Disarmament.
Dan Heap — March 1984
The Canadian peace movement is in serious danger. The harder we work on the coming federal election, the more we risk seeing the peace issue self-destruct.
The reason is quite simple. We can probably influence public opinion, but we can probably not influence the outcome of the election. Each voter must use one ballot to reflect his or her views on many subjects. Nothing in Canada’s past experience or current polls suggests that the threat of nuclear war will override voting based on local and domestic issues. And unless the political climate changes dramatically, most voters will not be able to combine a favoured candidate; and a concrete commitment to furthering peace in a single vote.
The result could be worse than mere failure to influence the election. By working hard before the election we will almost certainly make peace appear to be one of the main election issues. The peace movement will seem to have had its say. But if the Progressive Conservatives achieve the healthy victory currently predicted for them, in spite of rather than because of their stand on the peace issue, the peace movement will appear to have been thoroughly repudiated at the polls. The setback to our morale, and the loss of credibility in the public’s eyes could be devastating.
Even if a majority of Canadians do vote on the basis of this issue, the outcome could be just as bad. Parliamentary governments, even with very large majorities, do not usually capture a majority of the votes.
Take Margaret Thatcher’s landslide victory in Great Britain last June. With 44% of the popular vote (down 4070 from their previous election victory) her Conservatives won 61 % of the seats in the House of Commons. To put it another way, 56% of the voters chose parties whose nuclear weapons policies are decidedly different from those of the Conservatives, yet the Conservatives emerged with a clear majority of the House of Commons seats. Meanwhile, both before and since the election, British polls have indicated that a large majority oppose, for example, deployment of cruise missiles in England.
The March election in West Germany, last year, tells a similar story. In fact, it is doubtful if any NATO government, at present, can point to clear evidence that it enjoys a mandate from its people for the deployment of Pershing and cruise missiles. Yet national elections have not reflected and are- not likely to reflect, this lack of popular support.
One possible solution to this problem is to urge the present government to conduct a national referendum along with the federal election. The question? Should Canada be a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone?
The results could not be binding on the incoming government, of course, but everyone would have a clearer idea of where Canadians stand on nuclear weapons than would be the case if we only had election results to go on.
If the three federal parties are sincere in proclaiming that peace is a non-partisan issue, there should be support in the present Parliament for such a referendum. If, as critics of the peace movement claim, the media has made us visible out of all proportion to actual public sentiment, the referendum would help, as the election will not, to clarify this. On the other hand, if we do indeed represent public opinion, ‘that too would become manifest only if a referendum is permitted to separate this issue from all the rest.
Personally, I do not believe that the three parties are sincere about the non-partisan character of the peace issue and that they will find all sorts of excuses for rejecting the idea of. a referendum. But, for a number of reasons, we should press for it anyway.
First, calls for a referendum would test the sincerity of the claims by all three parties that the peace issue is non-partisan. Secondly, by promoting the idea we at least remind ourselves that we do have a problem: the election is not likely to be sensitive to our issue and our efforts could even wind up appearing counterproductive. Thirdly, by raising the question of a referendum, now, we are declaring to the public that we do not necessarily expect the election outcoQ1e to be an accurate measure of the national will in this regard. Such a declaration would help a lot to soften the impact of an election that erroneously appeared to repudiate our position. Finally, even if we failed to get a formal referendum legislated by the government, we could organise a ‘people’s referendum’ by setting up voting booths at selected polling stations across Canada.
Promotion of this idea among some of the national peace coalitions has prompted mixed reaction. Spokespersons are unanimous that the problem exists and that it is serious. A number of people favourable to the idea point to a number of benefits from such an approach that space does not permit to be spelled out here. Opposition, on the other hand, focuses on three points.
One problem is the principle of ‘government by referenda’ itself. Admittedly, referenda are not, generally, a good basis for deciding national policy. Supporters respond, however, that we are considering here the continued existence of Canada and perhaps of the human race. Such an extraordinary issue requires extraordinary measures. Governments are daily influenced by far less democratic means – opinion polls.
Others have been reluctant because the effort needed to promote the idea; at this late date, might detract from the heavy commitments already made to other projects. Efforts to promote either a formal or, even more so, an informal referendum could have this effect. But it is also true that the idea is consistent with and would focus all the other major peace activities now being organised across the country.
Whether of not the referendum idea is workable, the fact remains that we have a problem. We must be looking, now, beyond the next election and building the roads and bridges that will take us into 1985, without our being badly sidetracked on polling day.
If we do not face up to this threat, we may ruefully discover a new significance of ‘The Day After’ – the day after the election!
Dr. Don Bates is a professor of the History of Medicine at McGill University, Montréal. He is also on the Canadian Committee of the Peace Petition Caravan
— March 1984
Editor’s note: The February issue of The Peace Calendar featured an interview with PC MP Douglas Roche. To provide another perspective we present the following article by the NDP MP for Spadina, Dan Heap.
On February 9 Parliament had a leader’s debate on nuclear disarmament. This is a report on how the parties lined up in terms of opposing nuclear weapons, particularly the cruise.
Prime Minister Trudeau led off by mentioning his recent travels and the conclusions he had reached.
Mr. Trudeau first confirmed Canada’s place in NATO and NORAD: to NORAD, he said, “we contribute an element of priceless value: the airspace over our. vast land.”
Later he suggested three principles, beginning with “Both sides agree that nuclear war cannot be won.” He did not, however, mention the cruise or a nuclear weapon free zone. He continued, saying that following “further consultation with our NATO allies, we will propose a ban on high altitude anti-satellite systems; restrictions on mobility of ICBMs; and improvements in the verifiability of future strategic weapons.”
Again, there was no mention of the cruise or the NWFZ issue. In fact, Mr. Trudeau rarely went beyond any position expressed by U.S. President Reagan, who substitutes the phrase “arms control” for disarmament, by which he means that the U.S. will go on arming till the
Soviets take the lead in disarming.
Mr. Trudeau finished by thanking those who supported his “own personal efforts.” I suppose he had in mind the big Globe and Mail ads which avoided any reference to the cruise and~ vaguely praised Mr. Trudeau for advocating “arms control.”
Mr. Mulroney also endorsed “arms control,” rather than disarmament, and warned that “we cannot – at least in the foreseeable future – hope to escape using nuclear weapons to deter aggression…” He went on to urge that we beef up our conventional weaponry so as “to reduce NATO’s present dependence on the early use of nuclear weapons as a deterrent.”
In concluding, Mr. Mulroney first proposed “that Canada’s foreign policy should rest on a bipartisan search for consensus.” (Maybe he hopes there will be no third parties to force a debate in Parliament over the cruise and the principle of “no first use.”)
He then noted that, “the second cornerstone of our security is the NATO framework” and, “only through the strengthening of the non-nuclear deterrent can we reduce the present reliance on nuclear weapons.”(That is, we must out-gun the Soviets.)
Mr. Broadbent began by thanking “the ordinary people of this country, men, women, children, who began, not last fall or indeed last spring, but some two years ago outside the House of Commons, to put the profoundly important question of nuclear disarmament on the political agenda or’ Canada.” He paid “tribute to all those citizens who make up some five hundred disarmament groups in our country, such as volunteer groups of medical practitioners, unskilled workers, veterans, both men and women…..
Mr. Broadbent also proudly reminded the House and the country that almost two years ago “the New Democratic Party put the same subject matter before the House of Commons, not simply for a debate but for a vote.” He then made the following proposals: That Canada support confidence building measures, such as “Sweden’s nuclear freeze resolution at the United Nations;” that Canada commit itself to a much larger disarmament budget; that Canada refuse “to develop any satellite technology for any military purposes whatsoever” and instead support “the international satellite monitoring agency proposed by the government of France;” that instead of testing the cruise missile, which is not to meet NATO’s request but “to provide a technically operational foundation for buttressing United States strategic deterrent,” the government ought to give notice to the U.S. that we are withdrawing from the signed agreement to test the cruise, “giving them the one year’s notice required,” and in the meantime ought to tell the U.S. that “after the (first) test… there will be no more tests of the cruise missile in Canada.”
Complete transcripts of the speeches can be obtained by telephoning my. office (xxx-xxxx). Read and see for yourself which party unanimously and consistently opposes cruise testing and the first use of nuclear weapons, and supports a nuclear weapon free Canada.
— March 1984
The Peace Calendar is a monthly publication of the Canadian Disarmament Information Service (CANDIS), a nonprofit, non-partisan communications and resource group serving the Canadian disarmament movement. CANDIS is a project of Holy Trinity Church in Toronto, and is funded by donations. The CANDIS office is located upstairs in Bathurst St. United Church (Lennox St. entrance, one block south of Bloor). The office is open to the public from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturday. Our telephone number is 416/xxx-xxxx.
CANDIS – WHAT WE OFFER
1. Information on nuclear arms and disarmament.
gathers information from all sources on nuclear arms and disarmament, and makes that information available to the 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 Metta Spencer at xxx-xxxx 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, professional, political, etc.), a mailing address and the names and telephone numbers of at least two contact people.
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
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 happening across Canada. Listings are free, but groups interested in having their events listed should take responsibility for notifying CANDIS
before deadline. Listings for each month must be submitted by the 18th of the previous month, at the very latest.
The Peace Calendar is distributed free of charge 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, 736 Bathurst St., Toronto On. M5S 2R4.
Advertising in The Peace Calendar is an excellent .way of reaching your audience while contributing to a worthy cause. Advertising rates are available from Stan Adams at xxx-xxxx or Jon Spencer at xxx-xxxx.
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CANDIS – WHAT WE NEED
CANDIS’ Education Collective is in need of volunteers who are interested in research and outreach: If you’re interested, please call Cathy Brown or Roberta Spence at xxx-xxxx.
The Peace Calendar exists to support and build the disarmament movement across Canada. This is your paper, and we use your comments and suggestions for making editorial decisions. Please write us with your ideas and comments, and send them to the Editorial Board, CANDIS, 736 Bathurst St., Toronto. M5S 2R4. Please indicate if your letter is intended for publication in the paper.
CANDIS, 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 your help would be appreciated. If you would like to participate in any way, please call Anne Hume or Roberta Spence at CANDIS.
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Joanna Miller — March 1984
A gentle, angry people
More and more, gay men and lesbians are choosing to become a visible minority. ‘Coming Out’ in public situations can take courage and determination. In response we usually receive mostly criticism and alienation. Many gay men and lesbians involved in the peace movement are now choosing to have our contributions ‘labeled’ as it were – adding both credibility to gay people and scope to the peace movement. Regrettably, we haven’t received all that much support within the movement either.
The mainline peace movement has tried at great lengths to emphasise its normality. Look, we’re not freaks! We’re no longer the hippies of the sixties! We’re middleclass, parents, law-abiding, respectable…and straight. Gay people are excluded from many of these categories of normality. We have no legal protection from discrimination in the workplace, and thus job security is not assured to us. Many of us have our children taken away from us. Children are not a part of many gay people’s lives by choice or by force. We are often barred from jobs with children. The constant focus of the peace movement on children, although strong and beautiful, is often a reminder of the hurtful limitations society puts on gay people.
Likewise, the religious focus of a lot of the movement, although powerful for some, often reminds us of our oppressors. Most of the direct oppression comes from the churches, whether it’s the witch burnings of old Salem or the rantings of a modern-day Jerry Falwell. Of course we recognise the differences between those religious people involved in the movement and the right-wing evangelicals, but it can still recall bad memories, when we are supposed to be among friends.
We don’t often look normal, respectable or straight. Sometimes we do – sometimes we don’t. We don’t fit into the. peace movement’s advertised image of normality. Yes, the peace movement is diverse, but gay men and lesbians are also part of that diversity; as are the working class, native people, people of colour and that ever present hippie.
“We Are a Gentle Angry People” is a song popular with the peace movement. It has its roots in the struggle of gay and lesbian people. Holly Near wrote the song in response to the murder of a gay politician in the San Francisco Bay area, the subsequent cover-up and protests. It has one important verse that the peace movement often ignores: “We are a gay and lesbian people, and we are singing, singing for our lives.” It would be a nice sign ~f solidarity if we could return the verse to a song that was originally about gay and lesbian struggles. It would show that the movement is not afraid and not embarrassed to advertise our diversity; a diversity that includes rather than excludes gay and lesbian people.
In Solidarity, David Collins
To allow the Western peace movement to drift into collusion with the strategy of the Soviet-supported World Peace Council – that is, in effect, to become a movement opposing NATO militarism only – is a recipe for our own containment and ultimate defeat. – E.P. Thompson
As the Canadian disarmament movement begins a major effort at national coalition building, it is necessary to assess who are legitimate members of the peace movement. Obviously, one desires the widest coalition possible, but is it proper to include groups, such as the Canadian Peace Congress and its affiliates, who are clearly pro-Soviet. This problem has nothing to do with ideology but rather involves perspectives relating to the arms race itself.
If we assume that our movement should provide a balanced critique of both superpowers, then how do we relate to groups who place 99 per cent of the blame on the Americans and apologise for Soviet behaviour? It was such a predicament which caused Rev. James Endicott, a founding chairman of the Canadian Peace Congress and executive member of the World Peace Council, to resign from those organisations in 1971, due to their functioning as apologists for Soviet military policy.
In Western Europe, the peace movement has kept its distance from the Peace Congress. The Appeal for European Nuclear Disarmament (April 1980) clearly stated that “we must disregard the prohibitions and limitations imposed by any national state.” E.P. Thompson, one of the leaders of the European peace movement, has warned us about “sleepwalking into the night” with groups such as the Peace Congress. Why? Simply because the Soviets are hardly innocents in arms race crimes.
In particular, the Soviets must assume substantial responsibility for various escalations in the nuclear arms race, for example, the stationing of Soviet SS-20’s in eastern Europe. Furthermore, the Soviets have on a number of other occasions used the threat of nuclear involvement to bully other countries into acting in conformity with Soviet dictates.
Soviet military interventions are not only reprehensible in their own right, but also serve as potential triggers for nuclear conflict arid additionally, contribute to a very poor atmosphere in which to conduct disarmament talks.
Last, but by no means least, is the Soviet jailing of Russian independent peace activists. Members of such organisations as The Group to Establish Trust are quickly imprisoned, or often sent off for psychiatric ‘treatment.’
No government should. be left to preach peace while repressing citizens who demand it. Mr. Ter Veer, a leader of the Dutch peace movement argues that human rights are inseparable from the’ cause of peace.
He presents the principles of the Dutch movement as “the right to life and the right to life as a human being.”
At a minimum, surely; there must be solidarity between independent peace activists in the West and East. In all other Western countries, the Soviet- inspired Peace Congress groups are not an integral part of the peace movement. Only in Canada you say? Pity.
Soviets not phony
In general The Peace Calendar is great – and much appreciation to CANDlS and The Peace Calendar staff for this superb service to the peace movement. It provides a great medium for information and dialogue.
Regarding Metta Spencer’s article about repression of the unofficial peace movement ‘in the U.S.S.R. (TPC, February 1984):
Considering the real brainwashing that goes on in the West vis-a-vis the U.S.S.R., I think that the forces that are opposed to the advancement of world peace, for which you and I are working, are seeking to create the impression that the official Soviet peace movement is “phoney” and that the unofficial peace movement there is the only genuine one. I disagree with that view.
The implication in some of what you write is that we should expect the U.S.S.R. to be as open a society as ours is. I think that is a little unrealistic, particularly when, as you know, the U.S.S.R. is and has been “under the gun” from the capitalist side of the world ever since its inception (whether by military means or by the ever-active spy system.) I think we need to be very much awake to this, and should exert ourselves to demonstrate more understanding of the problems facing the U.S.S.R.
Yours for peace,
Letters to the editors are welcomed from our readers. In presenting the many views held by members of the Canadian disarmament movement, The Peace Calendar expects that other perspectives will be, submitted. Please send your letters to: The Peace Calendar, CANDIS, 736 Bathurst Street, Toronto, On. M5S 2R4.
The editors reserve the right to edit for clarity and brevity, so please include a phone number where you can be reached if we need to, confirm a different wording.
— March 1984
The International Task Force of the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign has appealed to Canadians to lend support to the American effort to bring about a U.S./U.S.S.R. freeze on the development and deployment of nuclear weapons systems. As set out in the Special Plea from the U.S. Freeze Campaign, the Task Force believes that support for the Campaign is building. steadily and that help from the international peace community could be an important factor in its success.
The 1983 Congressional vote of’ 278 to 149 in favour of the freeze has been ignored by the Reagan Administration as it proceeds with plans for spending $450 billion in the next six years on fifteen major nuclear weapons systems now in production or being planned for the 1980s and early 1990s. The 1984 Freeze strategy, therefore, will focus on finding congressional co-sponsors for a bill to cut off funding for any nuclear weapons’ development, testing and deployment which is readily verifiable. The proposed funding freeze would be contingent on Soviet commitment to halt its testing and deployment of equivalent weapons systems.
Canadians can help the Freeze Campaign in two ways. First, we should urge our government to. press the governments of the United States and the Soviet Union to agree to a mutually-verifiable freeze on the testing and deployment of nuclear weapons as a step toward dismantling their nuclear arsenals A second important step would be for us to contact personally our friends and associates in the United States, requesting that they encourage their congresspeople to become co-sponsors of the Freeze legislation.
The need for swift action is underlined by the recent call of 13,000 international physicists for an immediate freeze on deployment of all new nuclear weapons or delivery systems anywhere. In presenting their appeal to world leaders they acknowledged that the original targeting of nuclear weapons on the large cities of potential adversaries had served as a deterrent and given us four decades free from world war. “But,” they warned, “nuclear technology is not static.” The new precision and speed of the modern missiles gives them the capacity to destroy hardened silos, thus increasing the temptation for either side to strike first in times of extreme tension.
“Defense against such a possibility,” say the physicists, “may invite a ‘launch-on-warning’ posture entirely triggered by automatic sensors and computers since no time for human intervention is available.” Thus we face the clear possibility of a nuclear holocaust through computer error.
A U.S./U.S.S.R. freeze, as the first step to halting the technological momentum of a nuclear arms race’ out of control, is a priority for those who – like these physicists – realise that time is not on our side.
Matthew Clark — March 1984
The U.S. Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign needs the help of Canadians, and I want to make a special plea for that help. We are embarking on a new strategy that can leap over presidential recalcitrance. This strategy bypasses the President and uses our two-to-one support in Congress, because Congress can halt funding for weapons systems whether or not the President agrees.
We are asking Congress to halt funding for those nuclear weapons developments that are now readily verifiable, without tarrying for slow negotiations. This will include the destabilising new space-war weapons, underground nuclear weapons testing, flight testing, and deployment of ballistic missiles. It will stop the M-X, Trident II, and further Pershing II deployments. It will also build great pressure for a comprehensive freeze, including production as well as testing and deployment. The funding freeze will continue as long as the Soviet Union halts its equivalent testing and deployment, which is easily verifiable.
We will also be working against the M-X missile directly, and are close to victory in that battle. Votes on the funding freeze and the M-X may come as early as May.
We are also working hard to elect a pro-freeze President and Congress in November. We believe that there is a strong chance of success, and Canadian help could make the difference.
Canadians have millions of contacts with friends, relatives. and businesses in the U.S. Please write and call those you know to urge support for the Congressional funding freeze, for stopping the M-X, and for electing a pro-Freeze President. Please continue to urge your government to support the freeze in the U.N., and to prod the U.S. government to stop stonewalling the freeze. Please make the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign a huge success, and thereby also prod the U.S.
Member, Strategy Committee
U.S. Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign
Richard Kopycinski — March 1984
The choice: Non-violence or extinction
Phillip Berrigan came to Toronto in mid-February hoping to testify as an expert witness at the trials of demonstrators arrested in last November’s actions at Litton Industries in Rexdale. – He had been allowed to testify as an expert witness in trials which took place in April of 1982. However, this time, he was allowed to take the stand only as a character witness. He was consequently unable to .present testimony concerning the danger of nuclear war and the illegality of war preparations.
Before his appearance at the trial, I had the opportunity to talk with Berrigan at the Cruise Missile Conversion Project office in Toronto, along with Tom Joyce, Paula Rochman, and Martha Walden. Berrigan has become well-known as a participant in a particular sort of non-violent civil disobedience action, in which certain kinds of government property are destroyed. In the late 1960’s Berrigan and others broke into a number of U.S. draft board offices, removed and destroyed files, and then waited to be arrested. These actions, and the trials that resulted from them, became famous in the anti-war movement.
Since the end of the war in Vietnam, Berrigan arid his colleagues have shifted their attention to nuclear weapons, but their action technique remains essentially the same: a small number of people enter a storage area or factory and damage nuclear weapons systems. The movie In the King of Prussia recreates .the trial following such an action.
Seven of these actions have taken place, under the name Plowshares (not to be confused with the Canadian organisation Project Ploughshares). We asked Berrigan to describe the most recent action,’ which took place at Griffiss Air Force Base in upstate New York.
As he described it, people become involved in these actions through personal contact, and through connection with the Atlantic Life Community, a loose-knit network. of Christian leftist activists. Once a group has decided on a particular action, they begin extensive preparations. One action (which eventually had to be cancelled for technical reasons) was in preparation for twelve months. The Griffiss action took about four months to prepare.
Much of the process of preparation goes on at retreats, which may last three days at a time, where the participants iron out the details and also pray. One problem they must face, Berrigan said, is the possibility that force will be used against them. So far, no one has been injured in a Ploughshares action, but participants do put themselves in situations where injury or even death is possible. Berrigan mentioned an action in Europe in which a group of activists damaged a missile launcher while within sight of armed military personnel.
Everything about the Griffiss action went very smoothly. The group of seven activists (Berrigan was not among them, but his wife was) entered the base unobserved at 3:45 in the morning. They made their way to a hangar where they knew B-52Gs with pylons for cruise missiles were stored. When they entered the hangar, they found it completely illuminated, but asserted. They spray-painted the airplanes with the message that each could carry the destructive force .of 120 Hiroshimas. They poured blood on the planes, and ruined six aircraft engines which were also in the hangar. After working undisturbed for about half an hour, they went outside the hangar and stood with banners for an hour, but they were ignored. .
Finally, a patrol car stopped and told them that they had to leave the base. They believe that they could have simply walked away, but they told the officers to look inside the hangar, and were arrested. They were charged with sabotage,. conspiracy, and destruction of government property.
According to the original government estimates, the damage was in the millions of dollars, but later the official estimates were revised down to $70,000. Berrigan is more inclined to believe the first figure. The government does ‘not’ want it known, he said, that non-violent activists can cause such extensive damage. They can’t admit that security can be so easily breached. But in fact, Berrigan said, weapons cannot be defended from determined non-violent activists.
The Plowshares actions are based on the idea that some property – cruise missiles, for example – has no right to exist. Berrigan stressed that these actions occur in a controlled and thoughtful manner without an orgy of destruction. Tom Joyce mentioned that the ‘point of the actions is to dramatize the situation rather than to present a method for disarmament.
Tom Joyce asked Berrigan what he thought about the Litton actions and what he would say if he was allowed to testify. According to Berrigan, the Litton demonstrators have shown that the building of nuclear weapons is not only immoral but also illegal. The demonstrators are obeying a higher law, a law which is a vehicle for justice. The law as it functions today, said Berrigan, is corrupt and bankrupt, a matter for ridicule, but the actions at Litton restore meaning to the law.
The international aspect of the demonstrations is also important, Berrigan said. Only a tiny nucleus of people understand that the species is in danger. The social mechanism, what he called “the filthy rotten system,” is against them, so it is vital to make links and to give support from country to country.
Berrigan draws an historical analogy between today’s movement and the early anti-Vietnam War movement of the mid-Sixties. Both periods, he says, are times of slow and laborious building of the movement. He, thinks, how: ever, that we have learned some lessons – “a commitment to truth and to justice, which is to say non-violence,” the avoidance of sexism and of “ideological shouting matches.” The movement, he says, is “pretty determined not to make those same mistakes again.”
Berrigan speaks in an explicitly Biblical context, quoting the famous passage from Micah IV, 3: “They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” He seems to take this passage as a direct imperative, in quite a literal sense. The choice we face, he believes, is non-violence or extinction, but the non-violence he advocates is rigorous and demanding. “You don’t really explore non-violence unless your head is in the oven… we have to look death square in the face – death seems likely to overwhelm us and the planet. You bring forth life insofar as you face death.” This idea, Berrigan believes, is the essence of the Biblical passion.
Berrigan feels that too many people are “morally flabby.” He was critical of some of the Catholic hierarchy who are opposed to nuclear weapons but-who are unwilling to take personal risks. Their reasons, he said, amount mostly to excuses.
I found talking to Berrigan exhausting, at once exciting and upsetting. I felt that I was in the presence of a modern-day prophet. His conviction, sincerity and personal power are undeniable. I don’t entirely agree with his approach to civil disobedience – I see it as one of many legitimate tactics, rather than as a moral imperative in itself – but his uncompromising demand for action against global holocaust is a challenge worth facing.
John Pendergrast — March 1984
In the trial of 63 defendants charged with trespassing at Litton Systems (Canada), 12 of the defendants declared their continued commitment to further protests despite the fines levied against them and against the ‘other participants.
The defendants suggested that, in order to deter such future actions, the courts should instigate criminal proceedings against Litton.
The defense was led by mathematics professor and self-taught lawyer Peter Rosenthal and counsel Mike Smith. They based the defense case on five points:
- Inadequacy of the prosecution’s case. All but four of the defendants were arrested under section 2 (I) b of the Provincial Offenses Act – Failure to leave when directed by an officer. The crown brought forward no evidence showing that all persons were directed to leave; many defense witnesses testified that they were not so warned.
- The Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the right to Life, Liberty and Security of the individual. The defense holds that these rights are being denied,
- The Common Law Defense of Necessity allows for the breaking of a lesser law to prevent the commission of a greater crime. Section 79 of the criminal code provides that everyone who makes an explosive device or any part thereof, with the intent to do serious damage to property or to endanger life commits an offense.
- Section 46 of the criminal code provides that anyone providing an article of a military or scientific nature to an agent of a state other than Canada which he knows or ought to know may be prejudicial to the safety of Canada commits Treason. Section 50 puts the onus on the citizen to make efforts to prevent acts of treason that he believes are occurring.
- International law provides for the illegality of preparation’ for acts which would be an offense against humanity, and defines nuclear war as such an act.
Defendants expressed disillusionment with the court’s decision. One person stated that “In a case that clearly involved greater ethical and political questions it was a shirking of responsibility to interpret the law on such narrow grounds.”
— March 1984
TORONTO – On February 11th and 12th, the Toronto-based Against Cruise Testing coalition held a Strategies for 1984 Conference in Toronto’s City Hall. Delegates at the conference voted to continue to focus their efforts on cruise missile testing at least until April 28, but to broaden their concern somewhat to include general opposition to nuclear war as well as support for the Independent East European Peace Movements. Delegates also voted to educate the public on the impact of both NATO and the Warsaw Pact on the arms buildup, but did not take a definite position on Canada’s participation in NATO.
In addition, ACT’s ongoing effort to establish an informal national network of groups opposed to cruise testing was endorsed. An ACT women’s caucus was formed prior to the conference, to promote greater appreciation of women’s contributions to the movement and to encourage participation.
As its name suggests, Against Cruise Testing has always been a single-issue organisation. As such it has enjoyed considerable success in mobilizing public opinion, but with the first test of the cruise imminent, it has clearly become necessary for ACT to reconsider its strategy. This was the main reason for organising the conference.
In his opening remarks, Dan Heap, NDP MP from the Spadina riding, advised the assembled delegates not to abandon the cruise testing as a central concern. Mr. Heap observed that the battle against the cruise does not end with the first test, and that the commitment of the government to future tests was not likely to be as great as to this first one. Opposition to testing. he concluded, was thus still relevant.
Although no one disputed Mr. Heap’s advice, the fact that the government is proceeding to test the cruise in spite of all ACT’s efforts to prevent it cannot be ignored. This situation is of concern to ACT members. As indicated by the resolutions passed at the conference, their response will be to broaden their scope somewhat. They are doing this cautiously, however, because there are real advantages to having a clear focus, one of the most obvious being that people with widely differing political orientations can all agree to oppose the cruise but may not agree’ on the advisability, for instance, of withdrawing from NATO.
If the concerns of ACT have been mainly to oppose cruise testing, the tactics have been to rely mainly on demonstrations. The conference did not explicitly address the question of whether or not these tactics should be altered. The possibility of civil disobedience, for example, was not discussed. Whatever tactics ACT may eventually adopt, it does intend to demonstrate at least twice more in the near future, once in March, when the first cruise test takes place, and again on April 28 to commemorate the anniversary of last year’s highly successful nationwide demonstrations on April 23rd. After that there will probably be another conference.
The February conference thus did not represent a substantial shift in either policy or tactics, but it did open the door to such shifts if they become appropriate in the future.
— March 1984
Carole Giangrande, Anansi Press, 231 pages. Paperback, $9.95. The facts about Canada’s role in the nuclear defense industry included in Carole Giangrande’s book The Nuclear North are disheartening indeed. They reveal a complicity in the nuclear arms race and an involvement in the U.S. defense industry from which the Canadian government seems incapable of extricating itself.
Giangrande describes, for example, how Litton Systems Canada received a $24,000,000 grant to retool its factories for production of the cruise missile guidance system, under the federal Defense Industry Productivity Programme (DIP).
In addition to this hefty grant, DIP has also extended to Litton a five-year, interest-free loan of $22,500,000. Moreover, Litton was assisted in negotiating its defense contracts by the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC), a crown corporation owned by the federal Department of Supply and Services. (The CCC was established to serve as an agent for Canadian companies which supply goods to foreign governments and international agencies, and most of its deals involve military supplies.)
The extensive government support for Litton is only part of a long history of government involvement in Canadian arms production and sales. DIP’s spending in grants, for example, amounted to over $150,000,000 of Canadian taxpayers’ money in 1981-82.
The “success” of this government involvement has resulted in $500,000,000 annually in Canadian arms exports, more than half of which are directed to the U.S. These U.S. deals are regulated under the Canada-U.S. Defense Production-Sharing Agreements (DPSA) signed in 1959. Giangrande describes the workings of DPSA as follows:
“Under these agreements, Canada produces and assembles weapons components, while the United States is responsible for all weapons systems design. The agreements allow Canadian companies to bid on all available U.S. defense contracts. But there’s a catch: Since 1963, Canada has had to buy as much military hardware from the U.S” as it sells to that country. Because of that catch, some experts believe that Canada is forced to buy weapons that are designed to suit U.S. military needs and defense policy;
Canada is not consulted in terms of what sorts of political goals will be “built into” the weapons.
The example of Canada’s role in nuclear defence production and its involvement in U.S. defence industry are not limited to Litton. In fact, a major theme of The Nuclear North is the regional nature of Canada’s nuclear involvement.
Giangrande examines in detail the history of . the creation of Saskatchewan’s Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range, where the cruise will be tested, from Metis land. Through research and interviews she traces the unsuccessful attempts of the Metis people to regain, if not ownership of this land, at least access to it for trapping and fishing.
The most extensively researched portions of Giangrande’s book deal with the development of the Canadian uranium industry and the role of Canadian nuclear technology, particularly the CANDU reactor, in international nuclear arms production.
Despite the valuable insights it provides, Giangrande’s book is, in the end, frustratingly ambivalent. This ambivalence is in large part due to the way she has defined her task:
“Rather than write another scare story about the threat of nuclear holocaust, I wanted to talk to workers in the nuclear industry and find out what a uranium miner or a farmer living near a possible testing site might have to say about the moral dilemmas involved in his daily existence.”
Giangrande has obviously pursued this task successfully, and we get a thorough account of the convictions, reservations and occasional moral evasions of the people involved in Canada’s nuclear and defence industries.
Ironically, however, Giangrande’s success in capturing the convictions and confusions of individual Canadians weakens rather than strengthens both her own pro-disarmament stance and her specific suggestions for Canadian disarmament initiatives.
What’s missing in this book is the deep sense of urgency experienced by those involved in Canada’s disarmament movement. And the source of this urgency and the commitment it generates, without which there would be no disarmament movement, is precisely the “scare story” about the threat of nuclear holocaust which Giangrande does not tell. The success’ of Canada’s disarmament movement will depend not simply on understanding ourselves as Canadians, but also on understanding our very tenuous existence as human beings in the shadow of nuclear destruction.
— March 1984
- The Gulf Islands, out on B.C.‘s coast, are now a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone. A recent meeting of the Islands Trust made the declaration.
- Kinuko Laskey, a Hiroshima survivor and founding member and president of the Canadian Atomic Bomb Survivors on the West Coast is available for guest appearances. She was the liaison person for the Hibakusha who were refused entry to the U.S. for the Second U.N. Special Session on Disarmament. She has the two films they wanted to show-footage the Japanese people had purchased from the U.S. government on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Kinuko and her husband do need help with travelling expenses when they show the films and discuss them. 151? E. 34th St., Vancouver V5P 1A1, phone xxx-xxxx.
- On March 21 between 7 p.m. EST and 7:30 p.m. EST, pray, visualize, meditate alone, or in a group. Create a thought image of peace.
- The third Volga Peace Cruise will take place in the Soviet Union, June 24-July 17. Canadians, Americans, and Soviet participants will join in a peace demonstration in Moscow, June 28, followed by a ten-day cruise on the Volga. There’ll be- workshops on improving relations between the two superpowers. You’ll have the chance to meet members of the Soviet Peace Committee in three places. For more information, contact “Promoting Enduring Peace”, P.O. Box 5103, in Woodmont, Conn., phone xxx-xxxx.
- TVOntario’s public affairs series, “Speaking Out” is presenting a two part peace summit on Thursday, 29 March at 8:00 p.m. and Friday, 30 March at 9:00 pm. It will suggest ways of using evening TV as the basis for classroom activities. Students can gather information and compile facts on sheets for later use in class. For information, contact Frank Trotz, TVOntario, Box 200, Station Q, Toronto M4T 2TI, phone xxx-xxxx.
- The Kitsilano Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign and will propose that businesses put notices about it in their windows. (Campaigners in other areas may want to follow the example of the Vancouver people who approached the Chamber for such support.)
- A mini-caravan (18-25 people) will travel from Vancouver up to Cold Lake, Alberta, holding public meetings in towns along the way. They will probably go at the end of March or early April. For further information, call Bill or Joan Paterson at xxx-xxxx.
- Walter Davis in St. John’s, Newfoundland, wonders whether there’s any interest in proposing a meeting on peace in connection with the Pope’s visit in Ottawa, possibly with the support of the Newman Foundation. If interested, contact him at 24 Poplar Avenue, xxx-xxxx.
- Engineers for Nuclear Disarmament. Like physicians, lawyers, and other professionals, engineers are becoming involved in the nuclear disarmament issue. Any engineer interested in finding out more about this vital subject, please phone or visit CANDIS, 736 Bathurst St. xxx-xxxx.
- The Peace Petition Caravan Campaign is gearing up. In Toronto, a lot of canvassers will be needed for the beginning of April. Lack of experience is no problem. Training sessions are planned for March 24 and 25. Location to be announced. For more information, contact either Ann Adelson, xxx-xxxx or Toronto Disarmament Network xxx-xxxx.
- Help organize a Toronto chapter of the Buddhist. Peace Fellowship. This group is affiliated with the Fellowship of Reconciliation. The new group will be active with projects of peace, justice, and ecological concerns from a Buddhist perspective. Contact: Karen Harrison at xxx-xxxx.
To list next month’s peace events in your area, contact a TPC correspondent on the following list before the 15th of this month. The local listings will be forwarded on to The Peace Calendar.
- Eleanor Currie, 68 Deer Lane Rd. S.E., Calgary T2J 5TI. xxx-xxxx.
- Juliette J. Trudeau, xxx-xxxx 106 A St., Edmonton Alberta T6H 513. xxx-xxxx.
- BRITISH COLUMBIA
- Maureen Curle, Box 1885, Parksville B.C., VOR 2S0. xxx-xxxx.
- Laurie McBride, Box 1885, Parksville B.C., VOR 250. xxx-xxxx.
- Louise Beijk, Box 74, Ganges B.C. VOS 1K0.
- Vernon World Disarmament Coalition, c/o Peter Drabiuk, 3801 – 27th Ave.. Vernon B.C.
- Gwen Pratt, 1163 Parker Ave., Winnipeg R3T 0TB_. xxx-xxxx._
- NEW BRUNSWICK
- Kay and Jim Bedell, R.R.I, Hatfield Point, E0G 2A0. xxx-xxxx.
- NORTHWEST TERRITORIES
- John Monroe, 7 Rycon Dr., Yellowknife, XIA 2V9. xxx-xxxx.
- NOVA SCOTIA
- Rosemary Landry. P.O. Box 9166, Station A, Halifax
- Andrea Currie, 2546 Apricola St., Halifax xxx-xxxx.
- Sandy Vasquez, 515 Quebec Street, Upper Room, London N5W 3Y8. xxx-xxxx.
- Peace Petition Caravan Office, 600 Bank St., Ottawa. xxx-xxxx.
- Montréal Coalition for Disarmament, The Yellow Door, 3625 Aylmer Ave., Montréal, H2X 2C3. xxx-xxxx.
- André Jacob, Conseil Québecois de la Paix, 8225. Boul. St-Laurent, Montréal xxx-xxxx. .
- Carolyn Mulder, 306 Queen St., Saskatoon, S7K 0M2 xxx-xxxx.
- Marguerite Simpson, 18 Rawson Cr.. Saskatoon, S7H 3X3 xxx-xxxx.