The Peace Calendar Vol.2 No.3
Full text version of all articles from
Jon Spencer — April 1984
Eudora Pendergrast — April 1984
On Tuesday, March 6, a US B-52 bomber, with four cruise missiles slung under its wings, flew down from the Beaufort Sea along the Mackenzie Valley to Cold Lake, Alberta, before returning to its North Dakota base.
The exact date of the testing had not been announced until several days prior to the test. Peace groups across the country had previously arranged a number of protests which could be scheduled once the date was made public. Still more activities were. hastily planned at the last minute.
In Ottawa, Operation Dismantle had filed a suit in federal court seeking a temporary injunction against the test, pending the outcome of the appeal currently before the Supreme Court of Canada. On the morning of March 6, a federal court judge decided that there was insufficient evidence that the test violated the Charter of Rights, and allowed the test to take place as scheduled.
Also on Cruise Day, the newly formed Institute for the Peaceful Use of Technology (INPUT) staged a demonstration outside Ottawa’s Congress Centre to protest the government -sponsored high-technology export conference.
At 10 am, Families Against Cruise Testing, a group of mothers, fathers and children, gathered at Parliament Hill; and at noon another 100 people gathered on the Hill for a half-hour demonstration.
In the House of Commons, MP Pauline Jewett, saying it was a “dark day of Canadian history,” called on the government to negotiate an end to the testing.
On Saturday, March 10, about 300 Ottawa residents joined in the national day of protest. The day ended on a sour note for some, however, when a demonstrator spray-painted “No Cruise” on a downtown office building where some offices are owned by Litton Industries. Numerous activists commented later that they were disappointed because the protestor ran from security guards before being arrested.
Cruise Week in Toronto, as in many other cities, was characterized by a wave of protests, both before and after the test. on Monday, March 5; about a hundred disarmament protestors from a variety of organizations gathered to meet Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau at Convocation Hall, on the University of Toronto campus.
Trudeau had come to address an audience composed almost entirely of Young Liberals, who asked only friendly questions and applauded his remarks uncritically. A number of disarmament activists tried to get into the hall, but only two or three succeeded, and the question period was cut off just as a well-known campus peace activist got to the microphone. No question was asked about the next day’s cruise test. Trudeau did maintain his criticism o( the US invasion of Grenada; he also said that most of the goals of his peace initiative had been met, and he claimed that both he and Ronald Reagan sincerely desire disarmament.
Several hours after the next day’s test, members of Toronto’s Against Cruise Testing (ACT) coalition staged a mock funeral procession through the downtown area to a ‘die-in’ in front of the Eaton Centre. That evening, a crowd of seventy protesters attempted to make their feelings known at a sesquicentennial party at City Hall, as Trudeau turned the sod for Toronto’s Peace Garden.
On the evening of Friday, March 9, about. six hundred disarmament activists joined in a spirited rally at Bloor St. United Church to protest the testing of the cruise missile over Canada. The rally, which was sponsored by the Toronto Disarmament Network in support of the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign, featured speeches by David Kraft (TON), Bob White (United Auto Workers), Rosalie Bertell (Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice), and Laurie Bell (Youth Corps), along with music provided by Marie-Lynn Hammond and Bob Bossin, and by Tish McSorley and Matthew Clark. The crowd responded enthusiastically, and many felt it was the most spirited disarmament rally Toronto has yet seen. The energy and determination promise well for the success of the PPCC.
The following afternoon, ACT held a demonstration and a rally as part of the national day of protest. The downtown rally attracted about 1,000 people. The event had to be postponed by one hour so that it could be attended by people who had marched as part of International Women’s Day earlier in the day.
Other protests took place in cities across Canada. In Halifax, a March 10 demonstration drew one hundred people despite adverse weather conditions. The theme of the high-spirited march and rally was “We are still here. We will not be silenced. STOP testing the cruise.”
A quiet protest was also held at Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, attended by some 200 people, some of whom had travelled hundreds of miles.
“This is a sad day for Canada,” said Cold Lake resident Doris Zelinsky. “The government refuses to listen to the people.”
This article was compiled thanks to reports filed by Roy McFarlane, Andrea Currie and Matthew Clark.
Judy Wells — April 1984
Christian Initiative for Peace (CIP) has been conducting a 24-hour vigil outside the management building at Litton Industries in Rexdale, Ontario. Litton manufactures the guidance system for the cruise missile, an undertaking which has been extensively subsidized by the Canadian government.
The vigil began after CIP requested a meeting with Mr Ron Keating, president of Litton Industries, to set a date for a joint meeting with parliamentarians, labour leaders and scientists to discuss proposals to convert Litton to peaceful production.
The request was made as part of an Ash Wednesday service, at which Right Rev. Dr. Clarke MacDonald, Moderator of the United Church of Canada, read a homily asking Litton to convert to peaceful projects.
“How beautiful it would be if instead of a guidance system for an instrument of death,” he said, “their considerable expertise, their wisdom and their insight, were put to creating, in this high tech age, electronic devices to enable the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the mute to speak, and the deprived to stand tall as daughters and sons of God.’”
Enclosed with the CIP letter to Mr. Keating was a copy of a proposal from the independent Soviet peace movement suggesting how industries in the East and West might begin to convert from military to socially useful production.
The Soviet proposal was obtained from the Committee to Establish Trust Between the United States and the USSR by a CIP delegation which travelled to Moscow in September. 1983.
On March 15 CIP received a letter from Mr. Keating, who had been out of the country at the time CIP made its request. Mr. Keating’s letter stated that he had no intention of meeting with any members of CIP or their associates.
Despite Mr. Keating’s refusal, CIP members have decided to continue their vigil until they see some change of heart on the part of Litton management or workers, the government or the community.
On Wednesday, March 21, CIP members and a number of supporters celebrated a service of blessing of their “Tent of Witness.”
CIP intends to contact Mr. Keating again with a response to his March 15th letter. Those participating in the CIP vigil welcome the support and participation of others.
For further information on the vigil, please contact Chris McDonnell (mornings) at xxx-xxxx, or Frank Showler (afternoons) at xxx-xxxx.
— April 1984
TORONTO — The national Peace Petition Caravan Campaign was launched at a news conference in City Hall on Thursday March 15. A good representation of Toronto radio, television and press reporters witnessed the official signing of the first petition.
After placing the first signature on the petition, Toronto Mayor Art Eggleton urged citizens to use the petition to “show their desire for the madness to stop.” He said that “people are increasingly looking for an opportunity to come together to express in no uncertain terms their opposition to the arms race. This petition gives them a chance to do so.”
Dennis McDermott, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, followed the Mayor in signing the petition, and pledged the support of the Canadian labour movement to the Campaign. He described the PPCC as “the most broadly-based peace initiative in Canada.” He also said he would work toward converting jobs in the armament industry to jobs that foster prosperity through peace.
Five speakers, each representing different segments of the community, signed the petition and made brief, public statements of of their constituencies. In all, some 26 signatories appeared on the first petition. Guests, representing various labour, religious and community groups, followed the speakers in signing the petition.
The speakers included Sr. Rosalie Bertell, from the Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice; Guy Adam, who delivered his presentation in French on behalf of the Quebec Campaign; and Bob Penner, National Representative of the PPCC. The news conference was chaired by Beth Richards.
During the question period following the signing, Penner made it clear to the media that “In no way will the activity for peace end with the presentation of the petition to Ottawa on October 20.
“It’s one step as a predecessor to the next step,” he said.
All speakers agreed that the grassroots movement that begins with this nationwide Campaign will have a lasting effect on the political climate of the country.
Martin Zeilig — April 1984
Saturday, April 28 has been set as the date for this year’s spring peace demonstrations, which will be held in cities across Canada.
In February, Angela Browning, chairperson of Toronto’s Against Cruise Testing (ACT) coalition, completed a networking tour of western Canadian cities, which generated support for the March and April demonstrations.
Response was enthusiastic, and Browning feels optimistic about the April 28 protest. Some cities re-scheduled their’ annual peace demonstrations in order to take part in the greater impact of a nationwide action.
The focus of the April 28 demonstration will be to protest the testing of the guidance system of the cruise missile over Canada. However, several cities will focus on other themes in addition to this central focus. In Regina, the marchers will also be protesting uranium mining, and Vancouver will hold its, annual Walk for Peace.
In Toronto, for the first time, the organizers have obtained a permit for Yonge St. The march is being co-sponsored by the Toronto Disarmament Network and PPCC-Toronto, and the organizers feel that the demonstration will benefit from the increased visibility on Yonge.
Details of the April 28 demonstrations can be found in the Event Calendar on pages 4 and 5 of this issue, or by calling ACT in Toronto at 416/xxx-xxxx.
Paula Rochman — April 1984
“The arms race and underdevelopment are not two problems. They are one. They must be solved together, or neither will ever be solved.”
— Inga Thorsson .
OTTAWA – The Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) is a national organization which serves and supports the programs of about 90 member groups who are working to increase Canadian involvement in international development. CCIC has under taken a program to educate candidates and the public during the next federal election on, the links between disarmament and development.
A steering committee composed of representatives from CCIC, Project Ploughshares, CUSO, Operation Dismantle, OXFAM and other organizations has been formed to develop a program to address the links between these two issues during this pre-election period.
This program is known as the Election Priorities Project (EPP). According to Project Coordinator Jamie Scott, “it is extremely important that the integral connection between the arms race and underdevelopment be raised in order that it becomes more widely understood that these issues do not stand in isolation from each other. “
Scott stresses that the project is “process oriented.” It is being designed to enable participants to develop confidence and skill in dealing with the issues and the political process, and in working with others. Like the more widely-based Peace Petition Caravan Campaign (PPCC), EPP is a non-partisan endeavour, and Scott sees it as being “complementary rather than competitive with the PPCC.”
Since all three major political parties are giving foreign policy. a high priority, Scott feels that “candidates can’t afford to be uninformed about the military link to development.”
An information kit is being developed in order to facilitate an educational dialogue between local constituents and candidates. Twelve specific policy questions on development-disarmament issues have been formulated regarding issues such as cruise testing, Defense Industry Productivity Program (DIPP) grants, Canadian military production and export, increased untied aid, human rights criteria for trade, Canada as a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone and Canada’s peace-keeping role.
These questions will be presented in a survey format to provide a basis for determining where each candidate stands. Also included in the kit will be a list of books and other educational materials.
Through the participating organizations on the Steering Committee, local groups are being identified who will help carry out the project. A regional workshop will be organized to assist these local groups in their preparations.
The workshops will focus on three points: i) strengthening awareness of development and disarmament issues and the links between them; ii) analysing how the project can be implemented at the local level; and iii) honing animation and educational skills so that people can more effectively understand and participate in the political process.
Scott hopes that local committee members will actually meet with the candidates to discuss the issues, “using the survey as a tool.”
It will also be the local group’s responsibility to keep the media in their area informed of their activities.
The FPP will he tried out in as many of the federal ridings as possible. However, because of the relatively modest nature of the project, the main focus will be on those ridings held by cabinet ministers or shadow cabinet ministers, as well as certain ‘swing ridings.’
A sustained post-election follow-up to the project is also planned. One of the functions of the committees in the local areas will be “to monitor and lobby their M.P. after the election for progress on disarmament and development issues,” says Scott, “particularly with regard to specific policy changes.”
As more and more of the world’s vital and scarce resources are squandered on escalating militarization, and as countries such as Canada cash in on the international arms trade (our military exports topped $ 1.5 billion in 1982), it becomes increasingly incumbent upon the peace movement to broaden its horizons and to educate the public on the inextricable .links between disarmament and development. The Election Priorities Project is an important and logical step in that direction.
Further information on the EPP can be obtained by contacting Jamie Scott c/o CCIC (third floor), 450 Rideau St., Ottawa On., K1N 5Z4, or call 613/xxx-xxxx.
anon — April 1984
“Militarism vs. Development” was the theme of a conference held March 16-19 at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario.
The keynote address was given by Professor Noam Chomsky of M.I.T. in Boston, Massachusetts. Professor Chomsky is the author of numerous works on international relations. However, to many people in the peace movement, he is most well known for showing the links – the “deadly connections,” as he calls them — between interventionist policies and the nuclear arms race.
Chomsky prefaced his talk on these “deadly connections” by noting that political groups often draw connections, both real and alleged, between events in the world. For example, Chomsky pointed out that US President Ronald Reagan sees the “evil empire” of the Soviet Union as the underlying cause of all political unrest. According to Reagan, “the Soviet Union underlies all the unrest that is going on. Without it there wouldn’t be any hot spots in the world. “
For Chomsky, however, the allegation that communist aggression is at the root of every political disturbance reflects little of the real situation. In support of this view, Chomsky referred to data compiled by arms expert Ruth Sivard which shows that since World War II, there have been 125 military interventions, of which 79% have been instigated by Western nations, particularly in the Third World. Only 6% have been instigated by Communist nations, mainly in eastern Europe.
For Chomsky, the “deadly connection” is not communism, but rather the efforts, or the threatened efforts, of less powerful governments to take responsibility for their people. Such efforts, he said, undermine the need of the US to freely exploit any country it chooses. For this reason, apparently “insignificant” nations, like East Timor and Grenada, pose a greater threat than their size would suggest, for, “if they pull themselves out of a Western system of control, so can another.”
To prevent this undermining of Western dominance, the US has continually followed a policy of backing or creating police states. For example, in 1951, the US began training Latin American officers. By 1954, the US-backed invasion of Guatemala overthrew the democratically elected government. In 1975, the US backed the Indonesian invasion of East Timor.
According to Chomsky, after any armed invasion, the US usually attempts to ensure that a diplomatic solution won’t be found. For example, after the invasion of East Timor, US Democrat Daniel Moynihan said “The US wished things to turn out as did, and I helped to bring this about. The State Department desired that the UN prove utterly ineffective in whatever measures it undertook (to negotiate a settlement). This task was given to me and I carried it forward.” This task resulted in the massacre of 60,000 people.
Having presented the need of the US to exploit other countries as the real “deadly connection,” Chomsky addressed the question of why the US pursues such exploitation. In dealing with this issue, Chomsky referred to an explanation given by George Kennan in 1948.
Kennan at the time was the head of a State Department planning group which issued a report entitled “Review of Current Trends.” Chomsky referred to the following statement from that report: “We have about 50% of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3% of its population In this situation, we cannot fail but to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity, without due detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all the sentimentality and day dreaming We should cease to talk about vague objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standard, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal with straight power concepts. “
Efforts to maintain this disparity – by whatever means possible — continue today. According to Chomsky, Canada has played along with the US in this regard, rarely questioning US intentions.
When US President Johnson informed Prime Minister Lester Pearson that he intended to extend the bombing of Vietnam, Chomsky noted that Pearson’s response was that it was an admirable idea but asked that the US not use nuclear but only conventional weapons.
Chomsky also stated that we are protected on a day-to-day basis from facing the fact. that our consumptive lifestyle is being maintained by the suffering of millions the world over. Chomsky feels that, “if we were honest and had the real moral courage, we would not let a day pass without listening to the cries of the victims.” But we ignore these cries, and thus “sink to a level of moral I depravity, that has very few counterparts in the modern world.”
Anne Hume — April 1984
In our article on the Peace Tax Fund (TPC, March 1984), the percentage of your income taxes which should be sent to the Peace Tax Fund Trust Account was incorrect. The correct figure is 12.2%, which represents the portion of your taxes which are normally spent on the military.
Unfortunately, we also included the wrong address for the Peace Tax Fund Committee. The correct address is listed in the letter from Edith Adamson on page 7 of this issue.
Our apologies for the inconvenience caused.
Lynn Harrison — April 1984
TORONTO – This February, Torontonians were reminded of the friendly ties which once linked their city to a city in the Soviet Union. Alexandre Ovcharov, a retired major general, and Lioudmilla Kouznetsova, a member of the international department of Volgograd City Council, were in town to help commemorate the 40th anniversary of a Tag Day held on February 26th, 1944, when Torontonians raised $37,000 to send to the people of Stalingrad, as Volgograd was then called.
The siege of Stalingrad is regarded as a critical turning point in World War II. Despite brutal bombardment for 200 days by armoured divisions and from the air, 40,000 civilian deaths and 750,000 military casualties, the city held out, and Hitler’s troops were forced to retreat. The Allies expressed their gratitude with desperately needed food, clothing and funds to help the people of Stalingrad rebuild their city.
In Toronto, thousands participated in clothing drives, rallies and tag days, the last of which was recalled at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Toronto Cenotaph on Monday, February 27th, 1984, forty years later. At a reception hosted by the Mayor and members of City Council that afternoon; Mr. Ovcharov and Mrs. Kouznetsova were greeted affectionately by a group of women and men who had worked in the fundraising events of 1944. The two visitors spent a busy five days meeting the media, sightseeing, shopping and talking with members of the Toronto/Volgograd Committee, who arranged their visit.
The Toronto/Volgograd Committee was formed following Toronto’s disarmament referendum in November 1982, as a means by which city people could have a positive impact on global tensions.
Re-establishing the forgotten contact with Volgograd quickly became the Committee’s goal. In deciding to forge ties with a Soviet rather than an Eastern bloc city, the group hoped to tackle a major source of fear.
This link also made sense because of Toronto’s historical connection with Volgograd, and because Volgograd is a symbol to the Russians of heroism and survival.
Finally, the connection with Volgograd provided a reminder that we must not let such devastation happen again.
After testing the idea on a larger number of Toronto people, the group established itself with a Steering Committee and a membership of 200. Its statement of purpose emphasizes the need to break down the barriers of stereotyped thinking by creating ‘a people-to-people relationship touching on the issues that we as city dwellers have in common, including the risk of nuclear war.’
The Committee is slowly developing a. broad base of Toronto support, and, following the delegation from Volgograd, it is in the process of arranging a small return visit to explore possibilities for future exchanges between the two cities.
This particular example of ‘citizen diplomacy’ is not the only one in Canada. The Canada-USSR Association has arranged twin-city relations between Winnipeg and Lvov, and between Vancouver and Odessa. In addition, the World Federalists have helped the city of Brantford to twin with the town of Osijek in Yugoslavia, a contact now ten years old.
Since last year, following the disarmament referenda held in a number of cities across Canada, a peace group in Arnprior, Ontario, has persuaded its city council, which did not hold a referendum, to. vote unanimously in favour of establishing a three-way link with a Soviet and an American town.
Debra Westerburg — April 1984
Settling international disputes through peaceful means may appear to be a distant possibility. But the hostile polarisation of the two superpowers, and the chilling possibility of nuclear war have led groups of people in many countries to seek world security through disarmament rather than conflict.
One such group is the World Federalists of Canada, which is part of a larger, global organisation founded in 1951. The World Federalists are working towards disarmament while trying to develop international procedures and institutions which could eliminate war. They are trying to effect long-term, lasting peace through international cooperation, aiming specifically to build and strengthen world bodies, such as the United Nations.
“Harmony for a Small Planet: Creative Approaches to World Security” is a public conference which will take place on May 19, the first day of the Canadian World Federalists’ annual conference-weekend. According to coordinator Dieter Heinrich, “Harmony for a Small Planet” aims to integrate the work and goals of the World Federalists with the concerns of the public.
The agenda for the conference is headlined “Positive strategies for breaking away from a confrontational, bi-polar world.” The speakers are drawn from diverse areas of specialisation. Cancer researcher Sr. Rosalie Bertell will conduct a seminar on species death syndrome, and how we can deal with it. Media critic Barrie Zwicker will examine Western perception of the Soviet Union. Experts from Science for Peace and Teledetection International will explain the need for the proposed International Satellite Monitoring Agency, and Hanna Newcombe of the Peace Research Institute” will present the topic of International Security: the Forgotten Factor in Arms Control. Other speakers will include Norman Alcock, founder of the Canadian Peace Research Institute, and Douglas Roche, M.P., International Chairman of Parliamentarians for World Order.
The day’s final event will be the presentation to Gwynne Dyer of the World Federalists of Canada Peace Award for his seven part documentary WAR.
“Harmony for a Small Planet” takes place on May 19 at Glendon College, located at Bayview and Lawrence in Toronto. Registration is $16 for the day, or $30 for the day plus the awards banquet, if you register before May I. Daycare is available. Contact Dieter Heinrich at xxx-xxxx for more information.
Lee Gold — April 1984
DEBERT, N.S. – In an attempt to call attention to “Operation Bold Step” – a Department of Defence and Emergency Planning exercise, taking place in Debert, Nova Scotia, women from the three maritime provinces staged a major demonstration on February 29.
Debert is a small rural town located a few kilometres away from CFB Camp Debert, which houses a NATO national ‘survival attack warning system, as well as one of Canada’s six regional emergency government headquarters. The Debert bunker is intended as a home for approximately 320 military, government and media personnel (21 of whom are women) in the event of a nuclear war.
A chain letter invitation was sent out four weeks prior to the day-long, women-only action, which was planned by three affinity groups. Almost 100 women showed up at the Debert Fire Hall on the morning of the 29th.
Some advance publicity was done under the guise of the alter”,” native “Continuing People Program,” as opposed to the “Continuing Government Program.” This scenario, worked out by one affinity group, replaced the 321 mostly male bunker roommates with the same number of women of child-bearing age. The idea was to set up a sperm bank, maternity clinic, daycare, etc.
This scenario caught the imagination and sense of humour of many Nova Scotians. By February 29th, most of Nova Scotia had heard about the planned Debert action. The day itself gave the participants a chance to explain to the public the reasons for their opposition to the bunker philosophy and, more generally, .to the prevailing irresponsible attitudes towards civil defence.
The event itself was set up to encompass four themes: mourn, rage, defy and reclaim. A funeral procession left the Fire Hall in the morning and arrived at the main gate to the camp, followed shortly by a group of women representing the survivors of a nuclear attack – scarred, bloody, battered and half-dead zombies, carrying their loved ones, who were the lucky ones – the dead.
Women gathered in a circle each hour to decide on approaches to each of the four themes. Sorrows and hopes were shared, sadness and rage were allowed to come forward.
According to the participants, “the strength we saw in each other that day will remain with us all. By coming together in this way, we are challenging the destructive powers and changing the world right now.”
— April 1984
Three joint trials and several individual trials of demonstrators arrested for trespassing at Litton Systems (Canada) have now been” completed. A fourth group trial, to be conducted in French, is scheduled for April 2.
The arrests leading to the trials took place last November, during the Week of Resistance and Remembrance, when several hundred peace activists gathered at Litton’s plant, just outside Toronto, to protest the firm’s production of the cruise guidance system’.
The first group trial, the largest ever held in Canada, was completed in February, and was reported in the March edition of The Peace Calendar. The other two group trials were held in March, and involved women peace activists and people expressing solidarity with the people of the Third World.
Taken together, the trials were characterized by a pronounced lack of consistency in both the procedures followed and the sentences handed down by the different justices of the peace.
For example, on March 7, Justice of the Peace Robert Kashuba sentenced one Litton trespasser to two years’ probation and fined him $500, after a trial which lasted no more than five minutes. An hour earlier, Justice of the Peace Bernard Gottlieb had given the defendants in the Women’s Trial suspended sentences and six months’ probation for the same offense, after a trial which lasted a week.
Unlike the justice of the peace who conducted the first group trial (see TPC, March 1984), the justice of the peace for the Women’s Trial permitted all expert. witnesses to testify, including Sr. Rosalie Bertell.
Sr. Bertell stated that 16 million people had already been damaged by preparations for nuclear war since 1945. In fact she argued that World War III has already begun, and that it claims 200 more people every day. .
The defendants’ case during the Women’s Trial was presented by a rotating council of women who shared responsibility for their defense with the aid of lawyer Marion Cohen. With arguments buttressed by expert testimony from sociologist Dorothy Smith, the women stressed their exclusion from the decision-making process and the necessity for direct action :m issues which affect their lives.
The women also spoke of the, ways in which masculine thinking treats people as numbers rather than as related human beings, and allows for the preparation for and the waging of war. They spoke of being tranquilized and silenced for speaking the truth, and insisted on their right to be heard.
The Third World Solidarity Trial, which took place the week after the Women’s Trial, was conducted in one day, with everyone representing him- or herself. The defendants at this trial argued that they had gone to Litton on November 16 to act as proxies for all those murdered and tortured in Third World countries and to protest the direct involvement of a Litton subsidiary which is building military bases in Honduras.
The defense at this trial was united in its condemnation of Litton Industries as an example of of a war-making corporation that profits from death and exploitation of the Third World, and acts as an arm of US imperialist foreign policy. No formal legal arguments were presented. Justice of the Peace Cummings found all off the Third World Solidarity defendants guilty and fined them the sum of $50. .
Five Queen’s Park Peace Camp defendants were denied a joint trial by Justice of the Peace Kashuba. Two defendants were removed from the courtroom and the trials conducted rapidly in their absence. The only defendant who presented his reasons for being on Litton property “to make a non-violent citizen’s arrest of President Ronald Keating” was told that his defense was “trite,” was fined $300 and was placed on probation for two years. In all other trials, the sincerity of the defendants’ beliefs was acknowledged along with their motivation for a safer world. The verdict and sentences handed down in these five individual cases are being appealed.
Each group trial treated the charge in its own way, and handled the courtroom situation differently. The cumulative effect of the testimonies was to make the charge seem quite irrelevant. In fact, none of the defendants denied the charge. Instead, they used the trials as an opportunity to publicize Litton’s role in the nuclear arms race, and to challenge the legal system that sanctions this role.
In the words of one defendant, “jumping over that fence (onto Litton property) was the most conscious decision I’ve ever made in my life. I wanted people to know how I feel about private property. when that property is owned by murderers. Murderers forfeit certain rights. I was trespassing on the myth that Litton has the right to private property.”
Beth Richards — April 1984
Since last month’s issue of The Peace Calendar, another six groups have joined the National Letter Writing Campaign. These include the Calgary Disarmament Coalition, Parents for Peace, the Denman Island Peace Group, Halton Hills Action for Nuclear Disarmament, Community Forum on Shared Responsibility, and our first group from Quebec Ploughshares Montreal. Also, several other newspapers and newsletters are now carrying the Letter. Writing suggestion. For example, the Voice of Women and Community Forum on Shared Responsibility are both including this month’s topic in their own newsletter. .
As mentioned in the March issue of The Peace Calendar, in order that the NLWC and the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign 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 lona Campagnola, president of the Liberal Party. In writing to her, please request that she ask each candidate for the Liberal Party leadership to endorse and work towards the objectives of the PPCC. Further, inform her that you would like to receive a letter from each of the candidates in which they state their position on each of the PPCC’s objectives. The objectives can be found in the petition on Page 12 of this issue.
No postage is required in writing to the Liberal Party president, and letters should be addressed to the House of Commons, Ottawa, On. K1A 0A6.
Finally, if your group is interested in becoming part of the NLWC, please write to 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. Happy letter-writing!
301-103 Church St.
Kitchener, Ontario N2G 2S3
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; Calgary Disarmament Coalition; Chatham. Kent Association for Peace and Disarmament; Community Forum on Shared Responsibility; Cruise Missile Conversion Project; Denman Island Peace Group; East End Peace Action; East York Peace Committee; Educators for Nuclear Disarmament; Guelph Disarmament Group; Halton Hills Action for Nuclear Disarmament; 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; Parents for Peace; Parkdale for Peace; Peace Education Network; Peace Resource Centre; Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament; Plough. shares-London; Ploughshares-St. John’s; Ploughshares Montreal; Ploughshares-Saskatoon; Ploughshares-Sudbury; Ploughshares-Waterloo Region; Port Alberni Nuclear Disarmament Coalition; 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.
— April 1984
A plaque hanging on the wall of the Syracuse Research Corporation, a US think tank with large military contracts, shows a missile in flight with an inscription which reads:
I LOVE YOU BECAUSE
- Your sensors glow in the dark
- Your sidelobes swing in the breeze
- Your hair looks like Clutter
- Your multi-path quivers
- Your reaction time is superb
-Your missile has thrust; it accurately hones in on. its target
- The fuse ignites, the warhead goes;
If a missile launching can be sexually fantasized by leading militarists as “sweet oblivion,” it follows that total annihilation must be the ultimate orgasm.
Patriarchy equates masculine virility with violence, and militarism exploits the equation with impunity. From boot camp to command headquarters, military jargon abounds with examples of virulent sexism. “When you want to create a group of male killers,” goes the Marine philosophy, “you kill ‘the woman’ in them.” Note the testimony of Wayne Eisenhart, an ex-Marine:
“One of the most destructive facets of boot camp is the systematic attack on the recruit’s sexuality. While in basic training, one is continually addressed as faggot or girl. These labels are usually screamed into the face from a distance of 2 or 3 inches by the drill instructor We would be ordered to run 5 miles when no one was in shape for more than two, or were ordered to do 100 push-ups… and in this manner, one can be made to appear weak or ineffective at any time. At this point, the drill instructor usually screams something in your face like ‘You can’t take it, you lousy girl-faggot!’.”
If the die is cast in boot camp, “by the time .it reaches the pinnacles of state power the virility/violence equation is literally cast in stone. After President Johnson ordered the bombing of North Vietnam PTL boats and oil depots, he bragged to a reporter that “I didn’t just screw Ho Chi Minh. I cut his pecker off.” A lewd example, indeed, but we have to face the facts.
With the introduction of nuclear weapons, military potency reaches catastrophic proportions. Flex your missiles, bare your megatonnage, exercise your naval power under their noses and if that doesn’t scare ‘em – up your arsenal!
Until recently, many of us were unaware of the rate at which nuclear weapons were being stockpiled. When we did notice, it came as somewhat of a shock. How did it happen? Why did it happen? What’s wrong with humanity?
In searching for the answers, it’s necessary to examine nuclear weapons not as an isolated development or an aberration of history, but rather as part of an historical progression. If the peace movement is to achieve lasting peace, it’s necessary to look beyond the immediate warhead or delivery system to the social system which not only builds them, but worships them.
If we detach nuclear weapons from the system that built them, we may be confronted with weapons even more devastating in the future. And once again, with sleep in its eyes, the peace movement will ask .the same, tired old questions. How did it happen? What’s wrong with humanity?
There are many ways to approach these questions, ranging from strict political analysis to the more philosophical or religious approach. And from a feminist perspective, the answers can be partly revealed by an examination of militarism in terms of its exoneration of so-called ‘masculine’ virtues.
Through socialisation, patriarchy defines and separates ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ characteristics. Militarism puts them at war with each other. “Fight like a man!” says a parent to the young boy who comes home crying’ because a school chum punched him. Pity the poor boy who doesn’t like to fight. He is no more than a coward, a sissy… a girl. If the goal of feminism is to challenge patriarchy and redefine sexual roles, then it follows that peace is most emphatically a feminist issue.
“Women’s suffrage and permanent peace will go together,” said Aletta Jacobs, Holland’s first woman doctor and the founder of the Dutch suffrage movement. She and other European suffragists called a peace conference in 1915, while the first World War was raging. Their manifesto urged women to participate in the founding of what was to become the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).
“Women cannot disregard the appeal, sometimes expressed in letters from soldiers, who from the battlefield call upon them to save civilization, but more moving and more terrible is the silent appeal from the daily growing cemeteries, from the devastated villages and ruined homes, the orphans, the outraged, and the starving. It is much more difficult for men to meet in conference; they are in the silent armies. Women as non-combatants have this right, and as guardians of the race they have this duty.”
The manifesto attracted over 1,000 delegates from a dozen countries. ‘Peace’ and ‘freedom’ were lumped together in the name they chose for their new organisation, and the League’s founding documents claimed the urgency of linking together the two movements it felt to be vitally connected: the Women’s movement and the Pacifist movement. “The first has been recognized as one of the greatest of world movements towards liberation; it is time the second should be recognized as another.. Only free women can build the peace which is to be, themselves understanding the eternal strife engendered by domination…
Margaret Bondfield, Britain’s first woman Cabinet Minister, was a founding member of WILPF, as was Jeanette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress and the only US Representative to vote against entry into both World Wars.
The list of other WILPF founders reads like a roll call of the most well-known women radicals of the day. They include Jane Addams, Margaret Ashton, Kathleen Courtney, Charlotte Despard, Isabella Ford, Catherine Marshall – and many, many others.
Whether is is by virtue of their oppression under patriarchy, their socialization, their. role as non-combatants, their alienation from military decision-making, or simply because they are ‘mothers of the race’ – we can thank women for giving birth to the peace movement. And, to a large extent, we can thank women for keeping it alive until today.
Over the past few years, hundreds of thousands of women has established peace camps at military bases in Europe, Britain, Australia and North America. According to a report submitted to the United Nations in 1978, nearly two-thirds of the world’s ‘peace workers’ are women.
In Canada in the early ’60s, when the peace movement was virtually non-existent, the Voice of Women claimed a membership of 6,000. According to Dr. Ursula Franklin, Professor of Metallurgy at the University of Toronto and a founder of. VOW, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty signed in 1963 was largely the result of women’s protests. here and in the United States.
More recently, the testing of the cruise missile over Canada has aroused considerable opposition, and – if the surveys are accurate – especially from women. NUPGE, Canada’s second largest union, conducted a national survey in January of this year which revealed that 67% of their female constituents were opposed to the tests, compared to 33% of the males. Gallup polls conducted in December and July 1983 revealed a similar discrepancy.
These statistics do not prove that women desire peace more than men do. Nor do they prove that men are more concerned about defense and security than women arc. What the discrepancy may point to, however, is that women are less enticed by the theory of deterrence.
Deterrence theorists, argue that nuclear weapons have kept the peace and that those who want to abandon them are asking us to leave ourselves defenceless. Nuclear deterrence equals strength, strength equals security, and security equals peace. Hence, Ronald Reagan brands the MX missile the ‘Peace-keeper.’
Judging by their role in society (and, more specifically, in military planning and defence), it’s perhaps easier for many men to fall for the ‘peace through strength’ argument. And, judging by their absence from military planning and defense, it’s perhaps easier for women to be more objective. It seems ironic, in view of the statistics on their involvement in the peace movement, that women are virtually excluded from peace negotiations.
When NDP External Affairs critic Pauline Jewett returned from the Stockholm Security Conference in January, she said that there were fewer women delegates (0 that conference than to most international gatherings she had attended in her career. .
According to the Voice of Women, there are many competent women in Canada, at the United Nations and in Europe who are highly qualified in international law and security matters. VOW plans to bring them together for an international conference in October which will focus on women’s roles in negotiating processes and conflict resolution. But, as one organizer for the conference explained, the reason women are not involved as yet in peace negotiations is because today’s negotiations are about power, not peace. “If they were peace negotiations,” she said, “women would definitely be there.”
It may take a long time before women take their rightful place at the negotiating table, as well as at every other level. of political activity. In the meantime, they’re showing their power outside the conference doors, in parishes and union halls, in schools and in the streets.
“If non-violence is the law of our being,” said Gandhi, “the future is with woman.” Certainly peace cannot be achieved without her. And if arms negotiations remain a game of posturing and stalemate, it may be that peace will have to happen first in the streets and union halls, in schools and church basements. And perhaps, in the final analysis, that is the way it should be.
Isobel Hill — April 1984
The Peace Calendar welcomes letters to the editor. Address letters to: The Peace Calendar, Editorial Board, 736 Bathurst St., Toronto, On., M5S 2R4. Please be brief, as space is limited.
I strongly support the views expressed by Donald Bates about the importance of seeking a national disarmament policy referendum (TPC, March, 1984). The ambiguities of the Liberal Party’s approach to disarmament, and the statement recently made by Mr. Clark – that we earn our credibility on disarmament by our contribution to NATO – make me very concerned that the Liberals and Conservatives may both be quite successful in persuading many voters that their good intentions about disarmament justify supporting their parties, even while their actions are weighted much more on the side of contributing to the nuclear arms race. A clear referendum, I believe, would make adherence to contradictory positions more difficult for them.
I disagree, however, with Bates’ suggestion that making Canada a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone should be the question in such a referendum. Advocacy, in NATO and in the United Nations, as well as bilaterally, of a superpower weapons freeze, as per the Mexico, Sweden and Ecuador UN resolution, seems to me t6 be the top priority. Cancelling the Canadian contributions to cruise missile development and production come a close second. Making Canada a NWFZ seems to me to be a lesser priority.
The freeze appears to be the crucial (as well as the most difficult) step, since it means stopping corporations – such as General Dynamics, Lockheed, Litton and others – in their tracks. As the history of arms control shows, any measure which fails to stop these corporations (and the military and scientific establishments with which they are allied) will not deal with the central problem. I believe that serious disarmament will only come when we have been successful in this regard.
Furthermore, the freeze will be an issue in both elections happening on this continent this year, and perhaps our US Freeze friends and ourselves can help each other.
Veterans for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament
P .S. I am disappointed that the freeze is not part of the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign.
Messieurs Jean-Guy Vaillancourt et Ronald Babin ont publié un article (TPC, fevrier 1984) qui se voulait une analyse “objective” et scientifique du mouvement anti-guerre au Quebec, mais il me semble que leur reflection peche par un certain nombre de biais profonds. II s’agit de la provocation d’une polemique savamment entretenue par les media et par les ideologues du mouvement pacifiste.
La question principale que souleve cet article est certes la division qui existerait dans le mouvement pacifiste entre les alignés et les non-alignés, les pro-sovietiques et les vrais pacifistes. En bref, il me semble qu’il s’agit d’un faux debat. En effet, les auteurs se privent d’une reflexion profonde en refusant de regarder en profondeur les positions mises de l’avant par les diverses organisations pacifistes. Le debat porte avant tout sur la question de fond: qui doit-on revendiquer dans le mouvement pacifiste pour defendre des positions con formes aux interêts de la classe ouvriere et de la masse populaire? En fait, les premiers touches par des politiques militaristes se sont eux. Avec qui, fait-on des soldats? Avec des ouvriers et des chômeurs…
Dans le debat sur l’alignement et le non-alignement des organisations pacifistes, les “non-alignés” s’appuient sur les principes mis de l’avant par E.P. Thompson: le mouvement pacifiste ne doit pas faire le jeu de Moscou, il faut appuyer le mouvement pacifiste independant dans les pays de l’Est, il faut denoncer la violation des droits de l’homme dans les pays de l’Est. En y regardant de prés, c’est a peu de chose prés le mque celui de messieurs Reagan et Trudeau.
Regardons de plus pres les positions que les non-alignes s’acharnent a denoncer: I) pas d’armes nucleaires, ni a l’Est ni a l’Ouest; 2) Ie demantlement des pactes militaires (OT AN et Pacte de Varsovie); 3) la conversion des budgets militaires en budget de developpement social et economique – education, sante, services, loisirs, etc. – et ce tant a l’Est qu’a l’Ouest; 4) Ie gel des armes nucleaires tant a l’Est qu’a l’Ouest; 5) des negotiations jusqu’au desarmement; 6) I’engagement to toutes les puissances nucleaires de ne pas recourir les premieres a I’arme nucleaire; 7) la signature d’un traite sur Ie non-recours reciproque a la force armee; 8) la creation de zones denucleairisees en Europe et part out dans Le monde; 9) I’interdiction des armes chimiques; 10) I’interdiction generale et complete des essais d’armes nucleaires. Voila ce que nous mettons de I’avant et voila pourquoi nous demandons a toutes les forces progressistes de bonne foi de s’unir pour la paix, pour la survie de I’humanite. Si nos positions sont alignees, pro-sovietiques, .nous sommes alignes et nous devons en etre fiers puisqu’il s’agit de positions fondamentales que tout etre humain sense devraient etre en mesure de comprendre et d’accepter. Effectivement, I’Union sovietique est d’accord avec ces positions; doit-on leur en faire grief? Doit-on pour autant etre an desaccord avec des positions aussi fondamentales?
Third World solidarity
I am writing in appreciation of the sound thinking, concern, and solid argument presented in Matthew Clark’s article “The Third World and the Third World War” (TPC, February 1984).
I am pleased to report that one of our Coalition members is presently in Nicaragua ‘picking cotton’ (through the sponsorship of Ten Days and concerned people in the community), as a direct statement of our solidarity with the Nicaraguan people and our opposition to the interventionist tactics of the U.S. military.
Port Alberni, B.C.
Nuclear North excellent
It would be a shame if the negative conclusion of Eudora Pendergrast’s review (TPC, March 1984) dissuaded anyone from reading Carole Giangrande’s excellent book The Nuclear North.
As the review states with approval, Giangrande gives us a. host of disturbing facts about our government’s outrageous gifts of our money to the arms industry, and also clearly traces the conneCtions (stoutly denied by the nuclear industry) between the ‘peaceful’ atom and the Bomb – all of this material which should be shouted from the rooftops. .
But the sections on “the convictions and confusions of individual Canadians” – far from weakening the book – should also be required reading for peace activists.
If the peace movement is to grow, we must understand what makes these individuals tick so we can talk to them. To downgrade the book for not doing a different kind of job is neither fair nor logical. This book spoke to me (a wide reader in these matters) by doing what it set out to do, and not trying to do over again what P.S.R., Caldicott, Schell, Sagan, etc. have been doing so well.
P.S. Three rousing cheers for The Peace Calendar; it’s an amazing achievement.
The NDP is obviously proud of its record on nuclear weapons, and Dan Heap was right to compare it favourably to that of the Liberals and of the Tories. (TPC, March ]984). On the other hand, I think IVlarcn t~1S4). un the other hand, I think your readers should know that the NDP itself has exhibited some gross electoral opportunism in this area, even in relation to cruise missile testing itself. I am referring to the national referendum proposed by Operation Dismantle on the testing of the cruise and opposed not only by the Tories and the Liberals but also by the NDP.
In her letter to the NDP caucus recommending opposition to the referendum, Pauline Jewett said that it was better to work towards changing the government of Canada that to have even a non-binding referendum on the cruise missile. (She was completely opposed to the binding referendum proposed by Operation Dismantle.) She said this knowing full well that the NDP could not possibly form a federal government, that they had no chance of stopping the cruise in Parliament, and that a referendum could actually be won if only enough pressure could be brought to bear on the Liberals to hold it.
There appears to be no other conclusion possible than that the NDP put its desire to sew up as many anti-nuclear votes for the next general election as it could ahead of its professed desire to stop the cruise. Dan Heap has a good personal record on nuclear weapons, but he has a lot of explaining to do if he wants my anti-nuclear vote for the NDP next time around.
Peace Tax Fund
Thanks so much for the, good article on our work – “Peace Tax Fund: a war of conscience” (TPC March 1984). We notice that you used an address from which we moved almost one year ago, and would appreciate it if you could print a correction in your next issue.
On the other hand, we probably should apologise for moving so often in the past year, but it was always in a good cause – trying for cheaper accomodation.’ Our plans to move onto Humbolt St., announced in the. Spring Newsletter, did not work out – the place is a firetrap – so the correct address (from April 1st) will be:
Conscience Canada, Inc.
The Peace Tax Fund Committee 502-620 View St., Victoria, B.C. V8W 116. Phone: (604) xxx-xxxx or xxx-xxxx.
— April 1984
An important breakthrough was achieved on March 8, International Women’s Day, during the current session ofthe United Nations Conference on Disarmament at the Palais de Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
A joint statement prepared by women representing 27 countries from around the world was read, at our insistence, on the floor of the conference chamber. This was the first time that a statement from a non-governmental body has been read into the minutes of the proceedings of the Conference on Disarmament.
The women who prepared the statement, including three delegates from Canada, had gathered for an international conference, “Women and the Campaign for World Disarmament,” held in Geneva March 6-8. The conference was sponsored by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).
Delegates. from four countries – the USSR, Czechoslovakia, China and the US – spoke on March 8. Each of them acknowledged our presence and thanked us for our message, but then proceeded with the presentation of their cautiously-worded position papers.
Listening to these delegates, it was not difficult for those of us present to understand why the Conference on Disarmament has not been able to achieve a consensus. It was as though the delegates were dancing a stately minuet inside the walls of the conference chamber, while outside the massive build-up of deadly weapons continued unaffected.
Our frustration with the proceedings and our fear were reflected in the words and actions of an Iranian delegate, who also addressed the conference th:lt day. After speaking of Iraq’s use of chemical weapons on the people of his country, he looked at the men who have been stalling on reaching an agreement on the banning of such deadly weapons for so long, and said “you do not even care.” He then broke down in tears and left the chamber. As he left, each woman in the gallery wondered “will my country, my family, be next?”
Situations such as this compel us to set the record straight. Our close proximity to the USA and our isolation from the rest of the great countries in the world make it easy for us in Canada to be taken in by the propaganda fed to us by the media.
But we in Canada must become aware of the constant bombardment of this propaganda, and openly express our dissatisfaction with the positions taken by our government.
In striving to make our government change its position, we should also express our support for those people in the USSR and the eastern bloc who are working within official peace movements sanctioned by their governments. We must be able to see these official peace groups as expressions of national unity and not as the product of state coercion, as our media would have us believe.
The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom was founded in 1915 in the Hague by women of the suffragette movement who were motivated by their distress at the outbreak of World War I. It has a unique non-governmental organisation status associated with the UN.
The WI LPF head office is a short block away from the Palais de Nations in Geneva, and it serves as a nerve centre not only for its own branches in more than 25 countries, but for all peace groups around the world. It is a source of authentic, unbiased information for these groups and for workers in the UN.
Annual subscriptions for its quarterly paper, Pax et Libertas, may be ordered from any of the following WILPF offices:
- 1 rue de Varembe, 1211 Geneva 20 Switzerland.
- 218 Epsom Downs Drive, Downsview, Ontario M3M 1T2.
- P.O. Box 4781 Station E. Ottawa On., KIS 5H9.
Isabel Hill is an active member of the Toronto branch of WILPF. She attended the “Women and the Campaign for World Disarmament” conference along with two other Canadian women, Alice Wiser of Guelph, Ontario, and Marion Kerans of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The UN Conference on Disarmament (CD) to which the women’s message was directed, is the only multilateral forum negotiating for disarmament. 771e CD meets from February to August in Geneva. There are 40 member states, including the five nuclear powers.
— April 1984
Editors’ note: In the March issue of The Peace Calendar, we included a letter submitted by Simon Rosenblum of Project Ploughshares.
Subsequently, we received many letters responding to the opinions expressed in Mr. Rosenblum’s letter. Most of these responses reflected the authors’ different perspectives and we’re glad to present some of these responses here.
However, some of the respondents suggested that The Peace Calendar should not have published Mr. Rosenblum’s letter in the first place. Still other readers seemed to assume that, because we had published the letter, The Peace Calendar must approve of the opinions expressed therein.
We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that The Peace Calendar does not take a position on any issue, with the exception of the need for nuclear disarmament. The views expressed in The Peace Calendar (including the Letters column) do not represent the views of the editors, the CANDIS staff, any patrons, donors, advertisers, subscribers or whatever.
We’re not reminding our reader of this policy specifically to distance ourselves from Mr. Rosenblum’s views. but to reassure those readers who aren’t aware of our careful attention to this issue. In all our editorial decisions, we observe this principle of impartiality as faithfully as we can.
Our purpose is not to determine whose views are correct, and whose are not. Our intention is rather to permit the presentation of clearly outlined statements of opinion. In this way, we hope to help clarify the issues and to facilitate the individual process of comparison and evaluation. We’ve said this before, in other ways, but some people find it difficult to believe. For those who are interested, copies of our Editorial Policy are available from CANDIS.
And now, the responses.
It is most disappointing that an attack on the peace movement should appear in your pages. Simon Rosenblum’s diatribe against the Canadian Peace Congress is scarcely legitimate comment. It reads as a crude allempt to divide us, one which will not be successful.
The Congress – to which I do not belong – has endorsed the goals of the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign. We are united, and McCarthyism is not going to divide us.
The Soviet Union, whatever Rosenblum thinks of it, has never used ‘threats of nuclear involvement’ to ‘bully’ other countries. Not even the far right has made this charge. It seems to be Rosenblum’s own invention.
And if Rosenblum wants to see SS-20s as equivalent to the new NATO weapons, that is his business. I don’t, but some members of the groups to which I belong may see it this way. Neither of us is going to demand that the others be drummed out of the movement.
Rosenblum could try a little humility. The rest of us have progressed beyond red-baiting. .
Simon Rosenblum’s suggestion that the Canadian Peace Congress and its affiliates should be excluded from the peace movement seems to me dangerously misguided.
He says that, “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.” I would think that all those who agree with the goals of the peace movement and who are willing to work within its structures are legitimate members of the movement.
The Canadian movement as a whole clearly calls for multilateral nuclear disarmament. If groups such as the Canadian Peace Congress, and indeed the Communist Party of Canada, are willing to march with us under banners calling for “Disarmament East and West,” then we should welcome them. Their presence does not mean that we agree with their support of the Soviet system; it means that they agree with our call for disarmament.
A large proportion of the freeze movement, I take it, is in general agreement with the Western economic and political system. I do not support the Western system any more than I support the Soviet system (and I am not convinced that the freeze is the correct political strategy), but certainly the “freezers “are legitimate members of the movement.
People of a wide variety of political opinion must join together if the worldwide disarmament movement is to succeed. How can we expect the governments of the US and the Soviet Union to reach agreement and to work together for disarmament if we cannot work together in the disarmament movement? ‘
Many of us would like to see substantial changes in both political systems; but it would be foolish to require or to expect such changes as a precondition – for cooperation. We were right to reject Reagan’s doctrine of linkage in arms control negotiations – we should not resurrect this obstructive approach within the movement.
Soviet government treatment of dissident and independent peace activists presents the Western movement” with a difficult question. I believe that we must support the right of ,free speech and non-violent protest, but we must also avoid adding fuel to Cold War hysteria, which has been a fundamental justification for the arms race.
Such a course, though at times difficult, is possible. In present circumstances, dramatic and public media events may well do more harm than good, but quiet diplomacy has its place, combined with an educational effort, both within the movement and without, which would place the Soviet system in the perspective of world politics and history. I do not believe that to understand is to forgive, but without an adequate level of general knowledge, our concern for political and human rights could be turned to ends for which it was never intended.
Although I am not a member of the Canadian Peace Congress, some of my friends, and members of our peace group, the. Vernon World Disarmament Coalition, are C.P.C.. members.
Our group does not collude with any other group. We all cooperate, striving towards the one immediate, prime and urgent objective – survival! Survival which will only happen if we stop the arms race and get on with disarmament. We trust each other, for without trust and faith in ourselves there cannot be peace and fair play. Enough with prejudices and bitterness.
26 Jim Foord
To set the record straight — the World Peace Council was initiated not by the Soviet Union but by some leading British and French scientists. They appealed to all nations and all governments. Many governments — not only the Soviet Union and its allies, but neutrals such as India, Finland, Tanzania, Panama — indeed most non-aligned countries – support the ‘World Peace Council. By contrast, the government of the U.S.A. has consistently opposed, slandered and harassed the W.P.C. and its supporters.
Mr. Rosenblum says: “In all other Western countries, the Peace Congress groups are not an integral part of the peace movement.” Does Mr Rosenblum contend that the late Pastor Martin Niemoller was not an integral part of the West German peace .movement?
I certainly agree that our movement should provide a balanced critique of both (so-called) superpowers. A balanced judgment means recognising similarities and differences for what they are.
- The USSR and the USA are identical in two important respects:
1. Both base their security on deterrence by arms, including nuclear.
2. Both have sent armed forces into other countries to protect “vital interests.”
- The USSR and the USA differ in the following important respects:
1. The armed forces of the USSR
are in adjacent countries which at some time have served as bases for invading her territory; those of the USA
in countries thousands of miles away (Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon), or quite small (Dominican Republic), or both (Grenada).
2. The USSR
has never used the atom bomb in warfare; the USA
has used it twice.
3. The USSR
has, ever since 1945, proposed to outlaw all nuclear weapons; the USA
has rejected and continues to reject this proposal. .
4. The USSR
is willing to ratify SALT
11; the USA
5. The USSR
proposes a freeze; the USA
6. The USSR
voted for a test ban; the USA
(alone in the United Nations) is against it.
7. The USSR
has renounced the first-use of nuclear arms; the USA
plans such use.
I could continue the list. Suffice it to say that seventy years in the peace movement have convinced me that the ..USSR sincerely wants disarmament while the USA pursues the mad dream of military superiority.
I and my friends will of course try to convince others that our interpretation is correct. We respect different interpretations held by others in the peace movement , and we feel entitled to the same respect. Only by agreeing to disagree and by concentrating on our agreed goal of universal disarmament can we hope to prevail in our difficult struggle for the survival of mankind.
David Langille — April 1984
Editors’ note: Last December, MP and former Prime Minister Joe Clark was given responsibility for disarmament and arms control by the federal Progressive Conservative Party. Mr. Clark is now in the process of developing policy recommendations in these areas for his party, which will likely be in draft form by this spring.
In order to help prepare these policy recommendations, Mr. Clark held a series of hearings in five cities across Canada Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Halifax and Montreal.
According to a spokesperson from his office, Mr. Clark was impressed by the quality of the submissions made during these hearings, both by those who were asked to participate, and by those who chose to attend and speak during periods set aside for open discussion.
The following submission on Canada, NATO and conventional weapons was made by Dr. Don Bates, who was asked to address the hearing in Montreal on February 24.
Dr. Bates is a professor of the History of Medicine at McGill University. He is also a member of the Canadian Committee of the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign.
By Don Bates
Let me begin with a number of statements: Nuclear weapons are useless for fighting wars.
- Even their limited use is impossible because the likelihood of escalation is overwhelming.
- Their only use is to deter others from using them.
- This deterrent value does not depend on who owns them. We are as deterred by Soviet nuclear weapons as they are by ours.
- Neither side can neutralise its opponent’s nuclear deterrent by a first strike.
These are statements of fact which no serious student of nuclear weapons can deny. Yet it follows from them that NATO’s reliance on the first use of nuclear weapons to repel a Soviet conventional attack on Europe is both .obsolete and dangerous: If the Soviet Union were over-running Europe with conventional arms, NATO would have only. two choices : defeat or extinction. The two forces confronting each other in Europe are, in reality, the Warsaw Pact and the Suicide Pact. Clearly it is time for a change.
NATO must back away from the principle of a nuclear response to a non-nuclear. Soviet attack. It must adopt a “no-first use” policy and adjust and reorganise its conventional forces accordingly.
A basic objective of Canadian NATO policy, then, must be to persuade NATO to make these changes. And the most critical questions are what changes to conventional forces are necessary, and what is and appropriate role for Canada in helping to bring these changes about.
Before these questions can be sensibly answered, a lot of misinformation, not to say propaganda, needs to be corrected.
It is not true that Warsaw Pact conventional forces are so numerically superior that they would be unstoppable by currently available levels of NATO conventional defenses.
It is true that NATO forces, including their nuclear weapons, are presently organised in a way that encourages an early resort to nuclear weapons in the face of a determined Warsaw Pact attack.
It is not true that the readjustments needed to make NATO forces adequate for conventional defense require large sums of money or the infusion of large quantities of troops and materiel.
It is true that these changes can be brought about with very small increases in defense spending, probably a good deal less than called for by NATO commander General Rogers. This is particularly true if these changes are accompanied by a reduction in the current nuclear weapons build-up going on in Britain, France and the US.
It is not true that current levels of Canadian contributions to NATO are clearly inappropriate, or that they play any significant role in making or preventing an adequate conventional defense of Europe.
It is true that Canada’s influence on NATO policy, whatever the level or character of our involvement, cannot be decisive. We are a relatively minor player and nothing will change that. Our influence must inevitably be primarily moral rather than material.
With the above as background, I would like. to suggest a number of guidelines for Canada’s NATO policy.
- The sole reason for Canadian membership in NATO is the enhancement of Canadian national security. NATO is not a gentleman’s club, and the issue is not to display our good manners by paying our dues. The question is our survival, and we should feel little obligation to contribute to a Kamikaze Club.
- Canadian non-compliance with wrong-headed policies is a better strategy than withdrawal from NATO. Contrary to statements made by\ Prime Minister Trudeau, non-compliance does not necessitate withdrawal. In this regard, some of our NATO allies have shown far more courage than Canada has.
- We will not get NATO to do our bidding by bribing the organisation with conventional weapons any more than Mr. Trudeau got the Reagan Administration to support his peace initiative because he agreed to test the cruise.
- It is highly doubtful, even in military terms, that an increased Canadian commitment of men and materiel would make a significant contribution to a NATO no-first-use policy. The problem is largely one of reorganisation, changed priorities and a greater European commitment to its own conventional defense.
- When NATO has changed its policies, and if a military (as distinct from purely political) analysis shows that there is an appropriate role for Canada to play, then Canada should stand ready to comply, but not before.
- Polls suggest that current public opinion would support a political party that proposes to boost Canadian conventional forces in NATO as a way of working towards a diminished reliance on nuclear arms. But, in my opinion, adopting such a position would be to place political opportunism ahead of Canada’s national security.
Before concluding, I should like to make two other comments. The question of Canada’s contribution to NATO should not be confused with what Canada’s armed forces may require to serve this country’s primary defense needs. What makes an assessment of these requirements difficult is that they must be based on Canada’s defense policy. And what is wrong with Canada’s defense policy is that we do not have one.
A thorough review and redefinition of just what it is we want our armed forces to do has not taken place for almost 15 years, and it is sorely needed. In the absence of such a review, arguments over defense spending become simply a political calculus of the relative weights of hawks and doves. There is currently no sound basis for the claims being made for either side.
Particularly worrisome are the horrendous military and political costs, looming on our horizon, for new northern defenses against Russian bombers armed with cruise missiles. Since Canada’s own behaviour has done nothing to encourage a negotiated, bilateral ban on these weapons, this bleak future might be regarded as poetic justice. Unfortunately, poetry will become tragedy when money for social services gets rechannelled into military hardware as is happening now in the United States.
My other comment is to thank you, Mr. Clark, and your panel, for making the effort to hear from ordinary Canadians. Should your party form the next government, I would hope that it will remain diligent in listening to us and will become energetic in supporting our efforts to be heard.
Ernie Regehr — April 1984
“We’re not just going to change the politicians’ minds. We’re going to change the politicians.” That’s the slogan of Freeze Voter ’84, the national election arm of the nuclear weapons freeze movement in the United States. Freeze Voter ’84 (FV’84) offers striking comparisons with the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign (P2C2), which is presently underway in Canada.
Both campaigns are concentrating on a pre-election canvass as a means of translating majority public opinion into effective political leverage. However, each campaign reflects the particular political structure and circumstances which confront peace activists on either side of the border. Consequently, while there is much that P2C2 can learn from the scale and sophistication of the FV’84 campaign, many of its features are uniquely suited to the US political system.
Freeze Voter ’84 emerged from a growing recognition by leaders of the US freeze movement that direct political action election work – was needed in order to translate pro-freeze public opinion into public policy which would actually slow the arms race.
As the FV’84 literature says: “We’ve marched. We’ve held rallies. We’ve carried petitions. We’ve put the freeze on the ballot in 10 states.
And won in 9 of them. We’ve talked with the politicians in Washington. All of them. And still the arms race continues: The MX. The Pershing II. The cruise. The B-1. The stealth. the laser weapons. The space weapons. “
The US freeze movement has reason to be both proud of its achievements and frustrated by its lack of success. Some 11 million Americans voted. for the” freeze. in state referenda. And one million signed freeze petitions. Freeze resolutions have passed in nearly 500 city and county councils, 446 town meetings, 15 state legislatures, 5 state houses, 3 state senates, 10 state (and D.C.) referenda, and the US House of Representatives (with 280 votes).
The freeze has been endorsed by 156 national and international organizations and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Opinion polls now show that 70% of the American people favour a freeze. Ironically, however, .those same people may also re-elect President Reagan and further strengthen the military-industrial complex.
For this reason, freeze supporters have launched a campaign to “win the White House, elect a pro-freeze majority in the Semite, and strengthen the freeze majority in the House of Representatives.” They are undertaking an unprecedented national grass-roots effort to enlist voters in a “Freeze Force,” and to raise money to help elect a pro-freeze President and Congress.
American laws governing election financing stipulate that any group intending to raise or spend more than $1000 to elect or defeat a candidate for federal office must be registered as a Political Action Committee (PAC). Consequently” when Freeze Voter ’84 was established last June,.. it was set up as an autonomous organization, separate from the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign itself.
Whereas the National Clearinghouse for the Freeze Campaign is located in Saint Louis, the electoral arm has its headquarters in Washington D.C. FV’84 has its own Board of Directors elected from across the country, with Randall Forsberg, author of the original, freeze resolution, as President.
The Freeze Voter ’84 PAC has projected that it will raise $1.5 million from major donors (none of whom are allowed to give more than $5000), a direct mail campaign, phone solicitation and door-to-door canvassing. This money will be spent on voter registration drives, the preparation of materials for the press and the training and support of political organizers.
Although funds will not be given directly to candidates, FV’84 will provide trained volunteers, pollsters, speech writers, lawyers and media experts to assist in targeted campaigns. Between 50 and 75 field organizers are expected to be at work full-time by this spring.
Meanwhile, FV’84 PACs are being established in nearly every state. These state PACs are expected to raise a further $500,000.
This electoral network has already conducted door-to-door canvasses in over 100 cities. Their goal is to recruit a Freeze Force of one million volunteers and contributors in 1984.
The key to the FV’84 organizing strategy is the door-to-door canvassing. This technique mobilizes the enormous “human capital” of the disarmament movement.
Most of the canvassing for FV’84 will be done in teams of ten volunteers who gather on a Saturday morning for a short training session and then blitz a chosen neighbourhood for the day, recruiting contributors, volunteers and voters to the Freeze Force. Ten such canvass days have been planned, one every four weeks in the period leading up to the November 7 election.
This method of canvassing is designed to suit the volunteers’ time schedules and to get them started early on canvassing so as to raise money and recruit more volunteers for an ongoing effort. In this way, the most fruitful neighbourhoods will be targeted at the beginning of the campaign in order to build toward a broader canvass just before election day.
In a similar fashion here in Canada:, the P2C2 is organizing its petition canvass as a means to help build and strengthen the peace movement on a neighbourhood basis. . organizing a sizeable block of voters in each riding around a common set of demands, P2C2 organizers will be better able to convince the Member of Parliament and opposition candidates to support their position. At the same time, they will be establishing an ongoing network of known contacts, sympathizers and financial supporters for future disarmament activities. Despite the fact that the petition is a useful educational and organizational device, it could be argued that it detracts attention from the importance of actually. casting one’s ballot for a pro-disarmament candidate. Moreover, unlike FV’84, the P2C2. neither endorses nor supports any particular candidates.
These characteristics of the P2C2 campaign can be traced to the fact that it is far more difficult to identify and endorse pro-disarmament candidates in Canada than it is in the United States.
The major obstacle to endorsement lies in the Canadian tradition of strict party discipline. While our Parliamentarians are free to argue their own point of view within their ‘weekly caucus meetings, they are expected to adhere to the prevailing party line when. voting in the House of Commons or speaking to the public or the media. Certainly no governing party would willingly submit itself to the embarrassment of having its backbenchers revolt and vote against the Cabinet. For this reason, the P20 is more likely to have Canada declared a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone than it is to bring about a free vote in Parliament which goes against Government policy.
In addition, P20 endorsement of specific candidates at this time would be unwise strategically, since the only party with a pro-disarmament stance, and therefore the only party whose candidates are free to support pro-disarmament policy, is the minority NDP.
While the anti-cruise position of the NDP is actually more in step with public opinion than the positions of the Liberals or Conservatives, the two major parties have so far maintained a pro-cruise consensus. Therefore, rather than support the anti-cruise factions within these parties, or give overt support to a party whose platform is sympathetic but whose prospects are poor, the Canadian peace movement has generally concentrated on educating the electorate about the issues involved in the arms race.
The premise of this strategy appears to be that the movement cannot yet dictate the mainstream policy agenda. Moreover, it is unwilling (and cannot afford) to commit itself to a minority faction.
Rather than support one party or even endorse a multi-partisan slate of pro-disarmament candidates, P20 will therefore encourage members of the public to make their own decisions. While not foreclosing any options or risking very much, this strategy is not apt to be very decisive. It will also provide few concrete results for which the movement can take credit. However, it may be the best option for the present time, given that the movement cannot yet reach a consensus on such matters, and has not yet, organized a more decisive intervention into the electoral process..
South of the border, it is a relatively easy matter to judge an individual candidate by his or her voting record. However, a good voting record will not be the only factor to qualify a candidate for endorsement by FV’84. Endorsements will mainly be made in races where: there is a clear distinction between the candidates over the freeze and other arms control issues, and where Freeze Voter ’84 can expect to make a difference in the outcome of the race. These will probably be districts where the race is apt to be very close and where there is a sizeable core of freeze supporters.
Another important factor will be the committee appointments of incumbent candidates – whether the candidate plays a decisive role in defence appropriations or foreign relations.
On the basis of these factors, FV’84 expects to endorse about 30 candidates for the House of Representatives, six to ten aspirants for the Senate, and one of the Democratic Presidential nominees. FV’84 has held off on making a Presidential endorsement until its organizers across the country develop a clear consensus on the preferred candidate. So far there has been a mixed response to the 1000 questionnaires its organizers have mailed. While both Hart and Mondale have taken good positions on the freeze, it remains to be seen which one has the better chance of defeating Reagan.
Whether the freeze movement will ultimately have much impact on the 1984 elections is still an open question. The movement is only four years old; hundreds of the smaller groups have only been founded within the last year; and serious election planning. had only begun quite recently in many areas. By some estimates, FV’84 may be able. to pick up twelve seats in the House, and perhaps end Republican control of the Senate. However, the peace movement :has already had a significant impact on the-Presidential race by having forced all the Democratic candidates to make clear their positions on a whole package of arms-related issues which in past campaigns would have failed to catch the interest of the press corps.
Certainly there are steps the US could take which would have a greater impact on the nuclear arms race than the freeze. However, there is minimal support for more drastic steps. Although this article is not the place .for an extended evaluation of either of the two objectives – the freeze or the Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone – it is worth noting that the freeze need not be a nebulous concept but could be defined in very precise terms so as to distinguish the real doves from the hawks. Although the freeze concept is being clarified, it is likely to remain a lowest-common-denominator approach, compared to the concrete proposals of the P2C2. On the other hand, it is more likely to be implemented in the short term than are the P2C2 proposals.
In keeping with its lowest-common-denominator appeal, the campaign tabloid prepared by FV’84 certainly makes the effort to “show the flag” and pander to middle-America – red, white and blue, stars and stripes everywhere and a placard announcing that “peace is patriotic.” The Peace Petition Caravan householder, in stark contrast to this hype, deals primarily with the issues at stake.
Given the American role in the escalation of the arms race, it may be worth the compromises to elect a pro-freeze government in Washington even if many of the Democrats still support their military-industrial complex. By focussing on the freeze, the US peace movement could make a decisive impact because the freeze can be used to inject the issue of disarmament into the middle of a close electoral race.
On balance, Freeze Voter ’84 is the product of a more developed campaign which displays greater organizational skills. This is fitting when one considers that FV’84 has further to go politically and that the political structure it has targeted has a greater responsibility for the arms race. Canadian peace activists can take some pride in being able to engage in a more in-depth discussion of the issues. However, they are unlikely to have a truly decisive impact on elected representatives until they develop better organizational structures capable of forging a national consensus which is endorsed by the majority of all three major political parties.
Meanwhile, if we are to avoid Star Wars in space, we’d better trust in P2C2 and hope that the Freeze Force will be with us.
Pamela Miller — April 1984
On March 8, the recently-formed Institute for the Peaceful Use of Technology (INPUT) staged a demonstration against the High- Technology Export Conference held that week in Ottawa.
The High- Technology Conference is sponsored by the Defense Programs Bureau. of the Department of External Affairs and has been held annually for the past 22 years. The conference is intended as a means of promoting increased Canadian high-technology industrial production and trade. However, since the defense industry provides a major market for high-technology developments, the conference provides a striking example. of Canadian involvement in the perpetuation of the arms race.
We asked Ernie Regehr, co-editor of Canada and the Nuclear Arms Race, and an established authority on Canadian military expenditures, to put the Ottawa conference in the context of the Canadian government’s attitude toward defense production and trade.
The federal Government should give Canadian aerospace companies a better chance at winning Canadian and foreign military supply contracts, says a recent report by a joint industry-labour advisory group. The report, issued last fall, even suggests that the industry’s survival depends upon the revitalization of defence development sharing programs with the United States and other allies.
115 Industry and government leaders in Canada have placed major emphasis on aerospace and electronics high-tech industries in their hopes for greater Canadian industrialization, and military production has traditionally played a major role in these industries. Part of the government’s contribution to the survival of these industries has been to organize high-tech export conferences and to support Canadian industries that wish to participate in overseas trade shows (such as the annual Paris Air Show). The High Technology Export Conference held in Ottawa during March was described as promoting “increased interest and participation by Canadian manufacturers in foreign defence and high-technology markets.”
Economic times may be tough, the argument seems to be, but at least there is an arms boom to exploit and, if we are aggressive enough, we may just manage a measure of militarized prosperity.
Canadian arms trade officials don’t much like the suggestion that they are “merchants of death” — in fact, they don’t even like to be described as “arms trade officials.” Their sensitivities aren’t entirely unjustified. Canada, as former Defence Minister Barney Danson used to say, makes. very little that “goes bang,” and no sector of Canadian industry has a primary dependence upon military production. The most heavily militarized Canadian industries, the aerospace and electronics industries, are about one-fifth to one-quarter dependent upon military sales.
On the other hand, those same government. officials insist that it is impossible to have a competitive high-tech industry without having a firm hand in military production – and they, together with public subsidy programs, such as the Defence Industry Productivity Program, are working hard at increasing Canadian military production in the interests of Canadian prosperity.
This has meant that Canada participates industrially in the full range of weapons that are now deployed in the escalating international arms race – that includes participation in the production of components for strategic nuclear weapons, intermediate-range nuclear weapons, tactical nuclear weapons, conventional weapons sold to the Third World and conventional weapons used by major powers for military intervention in the Third World.
The MX missile, the cruise missile, tactical missiles and nuclear submarines all have the benefit of Canadian components. While the Canadian government chooses not to divulge the amounts and destinations of Canadian military commodities to the Third World, a fair estimate is that about 10% of total exports go to the Third World, (In the 1970s, almost 20% went to the Third World, and since then officials have informally conceded that 10% is a reasonable rule of thumb for current sales).
Some Canadian military commodities go directly to countries in the Third World, while others go to the arms industries of other countries and from there enter the armed services of the Third World.
In addition, Canada is supplying the US rapid deployment force, designed to give the US enhanced capacity for military intervention, with armoured personnel carriers and components for other armoured vehicles and aircraft.
In the current economic climate, it is likely that the military proportion of Canadian aerospace and electronics exports is growing rather than declining. Civilian aerospace sales in particular have suffered in recent years, while military sales have grown rapidly. Total Canadian military exports have gone from $722 million in 1980 to about $1.5 billion in 1983. About 80% of these sales are in the aerospace and electronics sectors.
Canadian arms trade officials prefer to think of high-tech military production purely as high-tech production – to be promoted on the premise that Canada, with a manufacturing sector that is admitted to be weak, will benefit from high-tech sales whoever the customer may be. That may be so, but military commodities are also political commodities, and as such communicate political and moral approval of the military objectives of the recipient. At the very least this should require full public disclosure of all Canadian military sales and an end to military export promotion as a purely commercial activity.
— April 1984
The United States bombed Japan twice with atomic weapons during World War II*.* Between 1948 and 1956 the United States bombed Bikini and Enewetak Atolls in the Marshall Islands sixty-six times with nuclear and hydrogen weapons. Six islands were vaporized, others have been severely contaminated with nuclear fallout, and the people are now suffering from radiation-related diseases and birth defects.
Speaking in Toronto on ‘Tuesday March 20th, 1984, Darlene Keju-Johnson of the Marshall Islands called her people the first victims of World War III, and made a plea for medically-trained volunteers to assist in the independent health survey being organized for the islands.
The Marshall Islands lie in Micronesia in the South Pacific. Since 1947, the US has administered Micronesia under a UN strategic trust in which it promises to protect the health of the inhabitants and safeguard ~ their lands and resources. Keju-Johnson says the US has betrayed this trust.
As the government was signing the UN agreement in 1947” the military were evacuating the Marshallese from their islands as a safety precaution for the first nuclear test. But these most rudimentary precautions were ignored in 1954 when the US exploded the world’s largest hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll. Downwind from the fifteen-megaton blast hundreds of Marshallese, twenty-eight American weathermen and twenty-three Japanese fishermen were contaminated. The US government maintained that the contamination had been accidental due to an unexpected shift in the winds. However, for the entire week prior to the test, the weather conditions had been alarming, with winds blowing east across the inhabited islands.
A few hours after the explosion, snow-like radioactive ash began falling. At Rongelap, one hundred miles from the bomb site, the ash was two inches deep by evening. Since they had not been warned of any danger, children played in the ashes. Within hours, people were suffering from nausea and diarrhoea.
On March 2, 1954, radiation monitoring personnel arrived on the island, measured the radiation and told the people not to drink the water. The people were never told what to expect from radiation poisoning. Eventually the people from Rongelap were relocated to Kwajalein Atoll. …
When the scientists allowed the Rongelap people to return home in 1957, three years after the Bravo test, they observed:
Even though the radioactive contamination of the people of Rongelap Island is considered perfectly safe for human habitation. The levels of activity are higher than those found in other inhabited locations of the world. The habitation of these people an the island will afford most valuable ecological radiation data on human beings.
133 Since returning home, the Rongelap people have developed alarming rates of thyroid cancer over 70% of the children require thyroid operations. Leukaemia, cataracts, growth retardation and severe birth defects also plague the people. Island women speak of babies born with horns, and with “no place to go to the bathroom.” They tell of the “jellyfish babies” – no legs, no arms, no faces, their bodies breathing and covered with hair.
“We believe we are being treated as guinea pigs,” says Keju-Johnson, who has had two operations to remove tumours and admits she is frightened of having deformed children.
An American medical team visits the Islands twice a year to make limited tests of the people. But they refuse to explain the health problems to the people or to test the children because they maintain that there will be no long-term effects. Unlike American citizens, the Marshallese have no right to their own health records.
The Marshallese urgently need independent medical treatment. At the request of the Marshall Island government, Sr. ‘Rosalie Bertell has initiated the Pacific Island Assessment Project, which hopes to return to the Islands in the summer of 1984 with teams of health workers to assist the people.
“It took thirty years for the people to have their feet get hurt, to get really upset,” says Keju-Johnson. But now they are beginning to organize. The people of Belau endorsed ,a nuclear-free constitution in overwhelming numbers, which would prohibit American military activity on their island. At Kwajalein, the people gathered their belongings and occupied some of the restricted islands for four months in the summer of 1982 to- protest the military presence on the island. Recently, the Americans have begun testing the MX missiles at Kwajalein.
These abuses of the Marshall Islands are common to other islands in the South Pacific, which are used to test weapons by the French, -Chinese and Russians, as well as the United States. In fact, because of the frequency of missile tests in the South Pacific, Japan has re-routed its commercial air travel. Now Japan is surveying the deep Marianas Trench for a site for an experimental nuclear waste dump.
As one of the Pacific Rim nations, it is incumbent upon Canada to support the efforts of the Marshallese towards a nuclear-free Pacific.
For more information about the Pacific Island Assessment Project, contact Sister Rosalie Bertell at the Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice, 947 Queen. S~. E., Toronto On. Phone: xxx-xxxx.
— April 1984
OTTAWA – A growing fear of nuclear war is driving Canadians to support the US more readily on foreign policy issues, .according to one of the country’s leading pollsters.
Public opinion “is much more pro-US in foreign policy than it has been in the past,” said Allan Gregg, president of Decima Research Ltd. of Toronto. “But the root of that hawkishness is not truculence – if anything, it is a wish that the problem would go away,” he told a meeting of the American Association of Political Consultants March 22. Gregg said that ,an overwhelming number of Canadians – particularly young Canadians – expect to see nuclear war in their lifetime. “They don’t buy the notion of limited nuclear war” he added. “They believe that if they face such a war, it’s total destruction.
The first reaction is to want to do something about the problem, he explained, but the second is to take sides. Given a choice between the US and the Soviet Union, Decima polls. indicate that most Canadians jump to the US.
Decima counts the federal Progressive Conservative party and several major corporations among its clients.
— April 1984
- May 4-13 is “National Week for Pursuing Peace with Justice” in the US. It will unite groups working against militarism and for jobs, human rights and equality. Canadian peace groups wishing to promote joint actions with neighbouring American groups can find out more through the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Box 271, Nyack, NY 10960.
- Costa Rica has invited representatives of Operation Dismantle to the UN to help lobby for about 25 days. Jim Stark will speak to a mission chaired by its Ambassador, Emilia Barish, in support of its resolution calling for the International Year of Peace, which includes a proposal for a world referendum on disarmament. This resolution will be introduced in December, and it would be very gratifying for Canada to be one of the cosponsors of the resolution. People wishing to urge this can do so by contacting the Prime Minister’s office at 613/xxx-xxxx.
- Edith Adamson of the Peace Tax Fund is planning to be in Ontario on a speaking tour in mid-April. Groups interested in organizing talks for her or in offering support should phone her as soon as possible. 502-620 View St., Victoria B.C. V8W 1T6_._ Phone: (604) xxx-xxxx or xxx-xxxx.
- The Labour Council of Metropolitan Toronto has won the endorsement of its delegates for t he Peace Petition Caravan Campaign. The affiliates and locals have agreed to contribute funds to that drive, to promote its educational forums and to organize other meetings for study of its proposals. They have also agreed to recruit members to work on the campaign canvass, to affiliate with the Toronto Disarmament Network, and to contribute to the funding of a labour co-ordinator for the campaign. A search is underway for a person to fill that position, and by about April I, the coordinator will probably be hired and starting the job that will last until October, when the PPCC effort will be complete.
- New group: Lawyers for Social Responsibility. This organization is open to all persons working within the legal profession. Its goal is to educate the legal profession, policy makers, and the general public about the dangers of war. It will examine government policies affecting peace, encourage legal research into security, and promote peaceful strategies for conflict resolution among nations. For further information, contact David W. Wright, Q.C., Box 80, I First Canadian Place, Toronto M5X 1B1.
- Syracuse University will offer a summer institute on conflict management, consisting of 3 separate 3-credit courses: Communication and Problem Solving Skills (May 22-June I), Negotiation and Mediation Skills (June 415), and Conflict Management for Leaders (June 23-27). Each course is offered for undergraduate or graduate credit. Contact Prof. Neil Katz, 249 Physics Bldg., Syracuse University, Syracuse NY 13210. 315/xxx-xxxx.
- The European Convention on Disarmament and the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation will hold a conference in Perugia, Italy, between July 17 and 22. Write Disarmament Campaigns, Anna Paulownaplein 3, 2302 The Hague, The Netherlands. Tel: 7xxx-xxxx.
- “Economic Conversion: Transforming the Economy for Jobs, Peace and Justice” is a conference to be held at Boston College, June 22-24. Panels of specialists will discuss conversion with “Nonviolence in Education and Action: A National Networking Conference” will take place in the Black Hills of S. Dakota between August 5 and 9. For details, contact “Nonviolence Conference,” 802 11th Avenue, Brookings, SD 57005. 605/xxx-xxxx.
- The Peace Petition Caravan Campaign is well underway in Antigonish, Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Local committees are being struck, volunteer canvass organizers are coming forward, and education throughout the campaign is being planned.
- On March 23, Olga Medvedkova, a member of the Moscow Group to Establish Trust, was found guilty of assaulting a police officer. However, she was given a suspended sentence a disposition that is remarkably lenient for such cases in her country. Moreover, her associates were not, as they had expected to be, charged with perjury for testifying as witnesses on her behalf.
This outcome was welcomed with satisfaction by several Canadian peace activists who had written letters of support for Medvedkova. They called it a favourable sign of Soviet responsiveness to Western concerns, and a major gesture that is certain to help improve relations between the Soviet and Western movements.
— April 1984
Whitley Streiber and James Kunetka. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 374 pages. $19.95. Publication DATE:April 16, 1984.
Reviewed by Roy McFarlane
Warday reads like a lament for a nation destroyed by nuclear conflict. This soon-to-be-released novel surpasses ABC-TV’s The Day After in effect, and ranks with Jonathan Schell’s The Fate of the Earth. .
Whitley Streiber _ and James Kunetka _(City of Fire: Los Alamos and the Atomic Age; Oppenheimer: The Years of Risk) combine their talents to create a vision of America as it would be Jive years following Warday.
Warday is October 28, J 988. As a result of political and strategic miscalculation. the USA and the USSR engage in a nuclear exchange. After half an hour, millions are killed outright, vast areas of land are left uninhabitable, and the chain of command of both superpowers is destroyed. The war is over, and the book begins.
Unique in a novel depicting the future, the authors set no distance between themselves and their subject. The central characters are the authors themselves: Streiber and Kunetka. Thus their vision of the future is extremely personal.
On Warday, Streiber, in New York City, receives a heavy dose of radiation. Kunetka is in Houston, Texas. His family is lost to the nuclear detonations over San Antonio.
In 1993, Streiber and Kunetka set out on a journey across the country to chronicle the aftermath of the 1988 nuclear war. The mixture of fact and fiction blends into a contemporary portrait of America as it might be. (In California, Meryl Streep produces and acts in the play Chained in defiance of the police.)
Warday is a novel written for an American audience; it is a warning to the American people. It warns of the effects of nuclear war: death by fire, death by cancer; new diseases and plagues, economic collapse, the end of the USA.
Readers outside of the U.S. should remember, though; that Warday is the authors’ speculation. What befalls San Antonio could befall Thunder Bay, Kansas City could be Saskatoon. New York could be London, England.
Warday is not a novel about a full-scale nuclear war. The war is a limited one. More than anything else, Warday is a sad song about where the human race is today, and where we may be tomorrow.
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE. UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO. TORONTO. ONT M5S 1AI
The mandate of Science for Peace is “to conduct and encourage educational and research activities relating to the dangers of war waged with weapons of mass destruction.” ‘The responsibility Science for Peace has assumed to educate the public about these basic issues is discharged in the Toronto area at several levels of educational activity:
- The Chair of Peace Studies. From its founding, Science for Peace has been committed to bringing about the establishment of a Chair of Peace Studies at the University of Toronto. The work, though incomplete, is ongoing, and is marked by a series of heartening successes: University College has determined to establish the chair; the University has agreed; and although. the chair has not yet been endowed, it is virtually occupied – and by the world-renowned scholar we most hoped to attract when the funding was to have been secured – Professor Anatol Rapoport, Professor Emeritus of Psychology in the University of Toronto, former Director of the Institute of Advanced Study in Vienna, game theorist and Gaming Editor of the Journal of Conflict Resolution, author of such varied works as Strategy and Cosncience (I 969J, Clausewitz on War (ed.) (1968), N-Person Game Theory (1970), has become a Fellow of University College, taken an office in the College and made a gift to the College of his time and energy in forwarding peace studies there. Science for Peace and University College will cooperate in attempting to secure funding for the Chair, so that Professor Rapoport may have a suitably qualified successor. His presence and reputation will make our task easier.
- The University College Lectures in Peace Studies, co-sponsored by Science for Peace, are scheduled monthly during the academic year. The speakers have included distinguished scientists and leaders in peace studies: both Elise Boulding and Kenneth Boulding (on different occasions); Kosta Tsipis, M.l.T.; William Epstein, UNITAR; Seymour Melman, Columbia; Lynn Sykes, Columbia; James O’Connell, Bradford, England; Nobel Laureate Alfonso Garcia Robles; and Anatol Rapoport (two lectures). Most of these lectures have been recorded and they are available on request from the Science for Peace office.
- The Science for Peace Seminars are held weekly at 5:30 pm on Wednesdays in University College, Room UC 244 (except for one seminar per month held at York University, Downsview). These seminars have increasingly exploited the resources of the Universities of Toronto and York: many professors contribute within their own discipline to an understanding of the issues of war and peace, and Science for Peace provides a wider audience with the fruits of their professional knowledge. Several of these seminars have been recorded and tape cassettes will be made available in due course. Some of the talks will be broadcast by CJRT radio.
- The Science for Peace Speakers Bureau is based mostly on the Seminar speakers. We now have about 50 speakers and the list will be supplied on request. We invite schools, service associations, peace and disarmament groups, newspapers, radio and TV, etc. to call upon us to supply speakers.
- Science for Peace and the Media: We should learn how to reach out to a far wider public through the radio and TV media. We have submitted our Speakers Bureau to the CBC and we have also made specific proposals for programs.
- Education of the “Decision-Makers” is perhaps the. most important responsibility of Science for Peace and other professional groups such as Physicians for Social Responsibility. Members of Parliament need even more than the rest of us to understand how the nature of international relations has been transformed by the advent of genocidal nuclear, chemical and biological warfare.
MEMBERSHIP: We extend an invitation to join Science for Peace to all scientists (social and human as well as physical — a definition which 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, Ontario, M5S 1A1. S4P can be contacted by calling Eric Fawcett at 416/xxx-xxxx.