The Peace Calendar Vol.2 No.6
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Beth Richards — July 1984
Robert Penner — July 1984
On August 6th, 1984, 39 years after the bombing of Hiroshima, Toronto’s labour and peace communities will gather at Litton Industries’ Rexdale plant for a joint demonstration. Co-sponsored by the Labour Council of Metro Toronto (LCMT) , the Toronto Disarmament Network (TDN) and the Cruise Missile Conversion Project (CMCP), this event is the result of several months of cooperation between organized labour and peace activists in Toronto.
The past few years have demonstrated the importance of such cooperation, and Toronto is but one example of this.
Nearly a year ago, the Canadian Labour Congress endorsed and began participating in the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign. Since then, the CLC haS been joined in its support for the PPCC by its major affiliates, by provincial federations of labour and by labour councils across the country.
In British Colwnbia, the labour/peace alliance had a head start with the formation two years ago with the formation of the Trade Union Peace Committee (TUPC).
B.C. peace organizers attribute much of their success in mobilizing huge demonstrations to the contributions of the labour movement there. Last year, trade unions donated huge billboards to the April Walk for Peace, and advertized this year’s Walk with nwnerous bus shelter ads. Even the Vancouver Police Association brings its members out to demonstrations, wearing – “Police for Peace” badges and marching together with protestors.
In Toronto, the Labour Council established a Peace and Disarmament Committee and recently hired a full-time coordinator to work on the PPCC. Trade union leaders supported the PPCC and the Labour Council clearly recognized the importance of reaching local members and enlisting their support and participation in the Campaign. Following a series of Peace Forums, mailings, phone-banks, fIlm nights and speaking engagements at local- meetings, the LCMT unanimously endorsed a resolution to support a demonstration at Litton on August 6, together with the peace movement.
With the August 6 demonstration only five weeks away, local executives and general members are busy circulating shopfloor petitions and flyers, setting up local peace committees and promoting the PPCC in a variety of ways. In addition, fundraising efforts by members of the Peace and Disarmament Committee have resulted in a healthy cash- flow where previously there wasn’t even a trickle.
However, in the words of a recent report of the Committee to the Labour Council, “ … these activities may sound extensive. In reality, they are barely a start! There is a great deal of work that must be done in order to obtain the support of each of the locals affiliated to the LCMT for the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign and to make the labour movement a truly effective partner in the Canadian movement for peace through disarmament.”
Survival is a trade union issue, and surviving – despite often insurmountable odds – is what the trade Ulnon movement knows best. Moreover, there is a very real connection between the issue of peace and “bread-and-butter” issues such as unemployment, cutbacks, equality and social justice. Making the public aware of these connections can only serve to strengthen the peace movement as a whole.
Roy McFarlane — July 1984
The peace movement in the Netherlands scored a major victory in June when the Dutch government accepted a compromise that avoided an immediate decision on the United States-led NATO decision to deploy cruise missiles in that country. By doing so, the Netherlands has become the first country to prevent NATO from adhering to its Euromissile deployment schedule.
The Dutch centre-right coalition government has been under intense , pressure on this question. The largest party, the Christian Democrats, although initially in favour of deployment became sharply divided on the issue, with at least 4 cabinet ministers, 20 members of Parliament and 50% of party opposed to deployment. Defections would have likely brought the government to defeat if it had tried to accept the missiles outright.
Opposing pressure to accept the planned deployment came from other NATO countries, particularly the upper levels of the U.S. government. The smaller partner in the doalition government, the more conservative People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy promised to. bring the government to defeat if the deployment was totally renounced.
A government defeat on the issue could have been devastating for the coalition. The popular anti-missile Socialist Party and more than 70% of the Dutch population oppose deployment and have shown the strength of that feeling in demonstrations of more than 400,000 in a country with a population of only 15 million.
The intense pressure resulted in the establishment of a high level government task force, which was said to be considering 44 possible compromises. Most peace movement organizers thought that the agreed-upon compromise would involve the immediate construction of the missile base and a de-layed decision on deployment. They viewed such an option with the least favour, because a fmal decision could be made at any time without affecting the ultimate deployment schedule. The compromise finally achieved means a certain delay in the missile arrival date and also leaves the door wide open for a future government to totally renounce the missiles.
Wim Bartels, a spokesperson for the leading peace organization in the Netherlands, the Interchurch Peace Council (lKV) ere-dits the relatively long history of the Dutch peace movement and its middle-of-the-road approach for its success on this issue. The pre-sence of a church-related peace organization as the leading force in the Dutch peace movement also appears to have been a major factor.
Unlike religious-based peace organizations in other countries, the IKV has a more activist orientation, and is often the key organizer of protests and campaigns. Nevertheless IKV enjoys the continued formal and. active support of all nine major churches in the Netherlands.
In addition to churches, the Dutch peace movement has the support of the trade unions, and even the Union of Soldiers are part of the anti-missile coalitions. As such the constituency of the Dutch peace movement substantially overlaps that of the Netherlands political leaders and thus it has been able to achieve what has not been achieved in other countries: interference with this current NATO strategy.
The peace movement has be-come so succesful in the Netherlands because “it has become an absolutely institutionalized force which has to be dealt with,” says Jim Wurst, American-born editor of the world-wide magazine Disarmament Campaigns, which is based in the Hague.
The major importance of the Dutch decision is its international impact. Coverage of the stages of the debate have been featured in news reports around the world, and have been watched with great interest by disarmament supporters and opponents alike. From his home in England, E.P. Thompson, a leading disarmament theoritician has said that “a victory for the Dutch would be a very important victory for all the peace movements in Western Europe.”
“The smaller countries such as ours and Canada are becoming increasingly important,” says Bartels. “With more people adding their voices to the opposition it becomes increasingly difficult for NATO to continue in the same way.
John Pendergrast — July 1984
OTTAWA – Dr. Carl Sagan, the award-winning astronomer from Cornell University, spent two days in Ottawa, June 3 and 4, addressing physicians, civil servants, Prime Minister Trudeau, Members of Parliament, and others on I the post-nuclear war scenario known as nuclear winter.
The two days were organized by the Ottawa Chapter of Physicians for Social Reponsibility (PSR), along with Science for Peace, Lawyers for Social Responsibility and Nurses for World Peace.
On Sunday, June 3, Sagan explained nuclear winter to a dinner attended by 300 people, including doctors,. nurses, lawyers, engineers, peace activists and interested members of the public.
Sagan told them that. the probability of nuclear winter fIrst came to the attention of astronomers during the Mariner 9 space mission to Mars. “The original path by which we got into the discovery of nuclear winter was by studying, of an things, dust storms on the planet Mars in December of 1971. “ In these studies, scientists discovered surface temperatures which were much colder than they usually are on ordinarily chilly Mars, because of a dust storm. The observation of the cooling effect of the Martian dust storm on that planet’s. surface led him and.others to postulate nuclear winter.
Sagan explained nuclear winter as follows: “If you put a number of fIne particles up in the atmosphere, especially particles that absorb visible light but are transparent to the infra-red radiation that the Earth radiates away to space, you will cool the surface of the Earth. You will prevent sunlight from getting down to the Earth, and you will not impede the thermal radiation of the Earth escaping back into space. And it turns out that the fIne particles of dust raised by high-yield (nuclear) ground bursts can do that to some extent, but that soot, from the burning of cities, is enormously powerful in creating such an effect. “
Sagan explained that there are two reasons that nuclear war will produce this cooling effect. “First of all,” he said, “soot is very dark in the visible part of the spectrum where sunlight is, but quite transparent in the infra-red part of the spectrum, where the Earth likes to radiate into space. Secondly, human beings have cleverly concentrated burnable materials, in large quantities, in a few locations and then have targetted nuclear weapons -on those locations. This clever arrangement guarantees that in the case of nuclear war. we produce huge quantities of soot.”
Sagan also observed that in a nuclear exchange, the fine particles in the air would be carried first across the northern hemisphere, since the nations presently armed with nuclear weapons – the Soviet Union, the United States, Britain, France and China – are all in the northern hemisphere.
Sagan added, however, that it now appears that the fine particles put into the lower stratosphere and upper troposphere, in a nuclear war, will also transport themselves into the southern hemisphere, embracing the entire planet in the consequence of nuclear war.”
After outlining the well-known effects of nuclear war – blast, immediate radiation, heat, immediate fallout, radiation that is carried downwind, the deaths of millions of human beings – Sagan detailed the added results of nuclear winter.
“What nuclear winter suggests,” he continued, “is that the remainder of the population of the planet appears to be at risk. The temperature declines are (measured in) tens of degrees centigrade, which means, independent of the season of the war, there will be subfreezing temperatures all over the northern hemisphere. As you go further south the effects should not be as severe, but it is important to remember that tropical plants, animals and humans have very few defences against even small temperature drops.”
As well, Sagan explained, the chain of ecological devastation leads to dire consequences. The blocking out of sunlight would not allow for plant photosynthesis. Birds, which are especially vulnerable to cold, dark and radiation, would die in huge numbers. Insects, on the other hand, he said, which are more resistant to these effects, would freeze temporarily, would later thaw out, and would then crawl or flyaway into a world where birds – their principal natural predators – are gone. There would then be a proliferation of insects, many of which would be disease carriers.
Sagan carried the scenario a step further. “We have to remember that the surviving humans will have been subjected to radiation doses which compromise their immune systems, and we also have to remember that this will be at a time when there will be essentially no medical care, and certainly no disease vaccines available. Put all that together and you have…a net consequence…much worse than the sum of the individual components.”
These nuclear winter effects were examined by a number of biologists, notably Paul Ehrlich and others. They concluded, according to Sagan, that nuclear war will produce “very dire consequences not just for humans, but for plants, animals and micro-organisms. They concluded that the effects in the tropics may even be worse than in the north. For the northern hemisphere they predict massive extinctions, including, they say, the possibility of the extinction of all northern hemisphere vertibrates. And they imagine rather small pockets of human beings (in the southern hemisphere) that would survive such a nuclear war in the short term, but in the long term, they argue that the extinction of the human species cannot be excluded.”
On Monday, June 4, Sagan repeated his message to senior federal civil servants from various departments including External Affairs, National Defence, Emergency Planning Canada and the Department of Health.
In a later interview, Bill Snarr, Head of Emergency Planning, discussed the effect Sagan’s talk would have on his department. He said that Sagan’s predictions “go so far as suggesting that one could come very close to the possibility of extinction of very large numbers of species of plants and animals on earth, and perhaps even the human species could be destroyed. Now, obviously, there is no amount of planning or preparation that could overcome that prospect.”
Snarr said he asked Sagan at the Monday meeting if he was “sufficiently confident in his prediction that we should make some substantial change in the rather modest civil defence planning and preparation that we are making in Canada. .. The bottom line was that he was not prepared to say that, on the basis of the current state of his theories, we should make any change in our civil defence preparations.”
Snarr added that Sagan’s nuclear winter predictions had been studied prior to his visit and that the Canadian government “instituted additional studies in Canada to add to the work that is going on throughout the world in an effort to gain more knowledge about these possibilities and to determine what degree of certainty one can put in them.”
Snarr concluded that “the message that is of greatest importance, and the one that Dr. Sagan emphasized, was that the risk… is so horrendous, so devastating, that it warrants redoubled efforts aimed at reducing the inordinate number of nuclear weapons that now exist on both sides of the East-West balance.”
The Sagan visit was wrapped up with a lunch with Prime Minister Trudeau, and an open forum with Members of Parliament. According to Ed Ragan, chairman of PSR Ottawa, Sagan found Trudeau to be well informed on the issues related to nuclear weapons, and the two men did not veer off the topic.
“They didn’t talk about interplanetary exploration, or anything like that; they stayed on the issue of nuclear winter, the number of weapons that exist on the planet, and what’s going on from a scientific point of view” Sagan said.
At the final session, Sagan addressed two dozen Members of Parliament. Despite the low turnout of MPs, both Sagan and Ragan considered the two days of meetings a success in getting across the concept of what is being called the ultimate doomsday scenario: nuclear winter.
— July 1984
On May 22, 1984, after a year of work by Parliamentarians for WorId Order, six world leaders ~ representing four continents issued a joint statement advocating nuclear disarmament.
The leaders — Indira Gandhi of India, Miguel de la Madrid of Mexico, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Olof Palme of Sweden, Andreas Papandreou of Greece and Raul Alfonsin of Argentina — decried the arms race and urged detente. More specifically, they advocated an immediate freeze on the testing, production and deployment of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems, to be followed by nuclear arms reductions leading to general and complete nuclear disarmament.
The specific content of the proposals is not as important as the fact-that countries not directly involved in the arms race have now asserted their right to be involved in the discussions aimed at ending it.
“The people we represent are no less threatened by nuclear war than the citizens of the nuclear weapons states,” the Declaration states. “It is primarily the responsibility of the nuclear weapons states to prevent a nuclear catastrophe, but this problem is. too important to be left to those states alone.”
According to Olafur Grimsson, Chairman of the Council of Parliamentarians for W orId Order (PWO) , “most of the time most other countries have seen themselves as reluctant spectators, passing resolutions urging .the nuclear powers to do ~ better, but doing nothing more. These heads of government .have decided to change that. Success for us means changing the process to one in which the concerns, ideas and suggestions of other countries are actively involved.” .
Representative Thomas Downey, an American member of PWO, concurs: “This is not the same sort of U.N. resolution that people vote on and walk away from and then go back to the people in their country and tell them ‘We have done everything we can on the arms race.’ That frankly is not enough.” .
On the same day that the six leaders launched their “Four Contintent Peace Initiative,” copies of their declaration were delivered at. the United Nations to the delegates of the five nuclear weapons states. This will be followed up by continuing consultation with the governments of those states.
PWO also have an interesting suggestion for altering the negotiating process itself. Rather than relying, as- in the past, on proposals and counter-proposals by the US and the USSR, which turned the bargaining process into “a contest to see which government would be slowest to change its position,” PWO proposes a “single text” negotiating technique.
In this “single text” approach, PWO would assemble an expert working group to prepare detailed recommendations for halting the arms race. This single text would then be circulated for comment and revision among all the nuclear weapons states, with the leaders of the Four Continent Initiative using their good offices to promote agreement. Since no superpower would be seen as yielding to the other, it might be easier to reach agreement.
Even if this specific proposal is not accepted, the leaders of the Four Continent group proposes to act in a more general sense as intermediaries between the two sides, striving to lift discussions above the technical level.
Initial reactions from Washington and Moscow were not unexpected. The American government declared itself in favour of peace but against any kind of nuclear freeze. The Soviet government, in a much longer statement, outlined its own proposals for a nuclear freeze, a no-first-use policy, a ban on nuclear weapons in outer space, and the establishment of nuclear weapon-free zones, and noted that the Joint Declaration followed “the same trend.”
The Soviet government did not, however, directly endorse the initiative, and no member of the Communist bloc participated in it. Direct endorsation did come from the Pope, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the World Council of Churches, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the President of Spain, the SPD Party in West Germany and the Green Parties of seven European countries.
The position of the Canadian government regarding the Initiative is especially interesting, since in many ways it resembles the initiative taken earlies by Prime Minister Trudeau. Mr. Trudeau indeed noted in a written statement that he had “indicated my hope that other leaders would take up the cause” and accordingly congratulated the siX leaders and the PWO as a whole for their efforts. He further concurred with several of the more general statements contained in the Declaration, but indicated that he was not in total agreement with the Declaration as a whole. .
The Commons debate was more revealing. Trudeau remarked that “I think it was expected or hoped that I would be a signatory.”
Obviously, I am. very much in agreement with the over-all thrust and intention. of the statement and so is the Government. However, dealing with some of its specifics, I am quite sure that unless the Leader of the Opposition is successful in persuading President Reagan, as the main force in NATO, “to change some of his policies, it would be difficult to subscribe to it. “ Presumably Mr. Trudeau was referring to the call for a nuclear freeze.
In September, 1985, the NonProliferation Treaty, with 122 signatory nations, will come up for its third review. This treaty, which adjures each signatory to “pursue negotiations in good faith,” is a fitting occasion to press anew for the internationalization of disarmament negotiations, particularly since the superpowers have not fulfIlled their obligation under the Treaty to achieve a Comprehensive Test Ban.
The Four Continent Initiative is clearly only a first step, really nothing more than a declaration of intent. If it signals a move away from superpower confrontation to multinational discussions on global security, then it will be seen in retrospect to have been a profoundly significant event.
It is unlikely that the US and the USSR will be any more willing to give up their exclusive rights to negotiate than they have shown themselves willing to give up ownership of nuclear weapons. If this is to be changed, the leaders of the Four Continent group will have to show considerably more detennination than any leader has shown to date.
Jack Panozzo — July 1984
OTTAWA – Representatives of different Canadian peace groups are reserving judgement on the federal government’s proposed institute for Peace and Security.
On May 17, Members of Parliament ended debate on the second reading of Bill C-32, a bill which, when passed, would create the Canadian Institute for Peace and Security (See The Peace Calendar, May 1984). The bill was referred to the Standing Committee on External Affairs and National Defence for further debate and to receive submissions from interested organizations on the nature of the institute.
During the committee hearings, representatives from the Voice of Women, Science for Peace, Project. Ploughshares, End the Arms Race (Vancouver), the Toronto Disarmament Network and Operation Dismantle presented their proposals for the direction they believed the new institute should take.
An underlying concern for some was the possibility that the institute would be a way for the government to address the concerns of Canadians, without taking substantive action in the field of disarmament.
James Stark, President of Operation. Dismantle, told the committee that “there were not 100,000 people in the streets of British Columbia, of Vancouver, carrying placards that said ‘Study the Arms Race’. What happened was..that there were 100,000 people in the streets of Vancouver saying ‘Stop the Arms Race’, a quite different message.”
Frank Kennedy, President of Vancouver’s End the Arms Race, said that, although he wondered if the creation of the institute may be a political move on the part of the. government, his group was willing to co-operate with the formation of the institute. He stressed, however, that the institute should be dedicated towards peace and disarmament and not spend its time evaluating the different kinds of weapons that exist.
In the view of Bob Penner, an organizer with the Toronto Disarmament Network, “If the institute engages in not only technical research, but popular education, and if it makes the resources available to other kinds of peace groups across the country, then it’s valuable. If it’s set up as another strategic studies institute, and if it’s going to be a way of pacifying the peace movement, then it won’t be successful, and nobody will take it seriously.”
Peace organizers acknowledge that the committee and the government are earnestly trying to steer the bill through the committee and then third reading in order to allow its passage before the current season of Parliament ends and before an expected federal election is called.
Metta Spencer — July 1984
OTTAWA – Jean-Luc Pepin, Minister of State (External Relations) met with a delegation from the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace on May 7 at his offices on Parliament Hill. The seven-member delegation presented Mr. Pepin with over 26,000 Petitions and Letters of Support) endorsing Development and Peace’s three-year nation-wide campaign on militarization, especially as it affects and is an obstacle to development in the Third World.
Prior to meeting Mr. Pepin, the delegation spoke with Progressive Conservative Alberta MP Doug .Roche, Ms. Peggy Mason of Joe Clark’s Peace Commission; and with B.C. MP Pauline Jewett. of the NDP. The delegation urged the government to limit arms trade with the Third World, and discussed how militarization has become a primary obstacle to development.
Both Mr. Roche and Ms. Jewett praised Development and Peace’s efforts, saying that the national campaign was helping to make Canadians more aware of global militarization and its effects on both the Third W orId and the industrialized nations.
The meeting with Mr. Pepin, originally scheduled for only 30 minutes, went on for more than an hour. Mr. Pepin and his aides had carefully read and underlined the points in Development and Peace’s position paper on militarization. The Minister was accompanied by three government officials who are responsible for military exports and export permits.
Mr. Pepin said Development and Peace’s statistic which stated that 10070 of Canada’s world military exports went to Third World countries was “right on.” In 1982, Canada’s world military exports were $1.43 billion: $1 billion went to the U.S., and over $400 million to countries other than the United States. Of the $400 million, some $150 million reached the Third World.
Development and Peace. as the official Catholic overseas development and relief organization, has a volunteer base across Canada. Established by the Canadian Catholic Bishops in 1967, it is the largest non-governmental organization of its kind in the country.
Hamish Wilson — July 1984
TORONTO – After three and a half months in the Eastern and Western blocs of Europe, a group of 15 pacifists from Canada, the United States, and Norway is now completing a tour of this continent. On June 4, the group, called the International Peace Caravan met briefly with Prime Minister Trudeau and on the following day with Toronto’s Mayor, Art Eggleton. Later that day they shared their impressions in a meeting with a small group of peace activists.
During this meeting, spokespersons for the caravan explained how a conviction that international tensions are based on fear and ignorance had influenced them in deciding to promote two specific suggestions during their travels -people-to-people exchanges (especially of youths), and the creation of a network of sister cities. They have discussed these ideas primarily with other peace groups, but also with government representatives.
Members of the caravan cited Aalborg, Denmark and Sheffield, England as the Western cities that had most successfully twinned with Eastern counterparts. (In Aalborg, the money for all events is raised by clubs and other nongovernmental sources). However, the group cautioned other cities not to expect quick results in organising such a relationship, since it took Aalborg and Sheffield years to reach their present degree of intense activity.
Douglas Cowell, a member of the caravan from Victoria, B.C., mentioned that Canada is greatly respected in Europe. However, members of the group were often asked how Mr. Trudeau could be for peace and yet for the cruise testing. Other Europeans found it remarkable that Canada could manage to do so much for peace while remaining the closest ally of the Unite States.
Cowell also said that the West German peace movement reminded him of Canada’s: too fragmented, and run by grass roots organisations. He noted that membership in the West German movement dropped after the missiles began to go in, and West German peace activists are in the midst of reevaluating their approach. A large contingent of the West German movement has decided that it’s time to become violent.
In East Germany, the caravan group met with representatives of both the official and unofficial peace movements. The latter is allied with the churches, especially the Catholic church.
Cowell also mentioned the aspirations of the peace movement in Scandinavia. While it is widely believed that Iceland has too many U.S. bases on its territory for it to be part of a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (NWFZ) (See The Peace Calendar, June Issue) there is much talk of a mainland NWFZ which would include Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Norway is viewed as the weak link in organising such an agreement.
While the group spent only 16 days in the Soviet Union, they found themselves warmly received everywhere, and were able to meet with many members of the Soviet Peace Committee, both the national leadership and the local workers. (People contribute one day’s work per month to the committee, which provides it with a very large fund to use for conferences and publications.) They also met with peace groups organised through the workplace.
The caravan found that peace education is stressed in Soviet schools, but with a different angle from the pacifist approach that predominates in the West. Thus Soviet people insist that they are willing “to fight for peace to the last drop of my blood,” and their “peace monuments” are the war monuments in memory of those who fell in a war that happened because they didn’t have enough guns and tanks. Although now they have the guns and tanks, they bitterly resent having to pay for such military outlay, and blame the U.S. for inventing more and more new weapons and “forcing” them to keep up when they need to spend the money on better things.
The caravan members stressed the importance of consensus to the Soviets. They said that they never heard anyone in any of the peace groups disagree with another member, although behind closed doors there are supposed. to be vigorous disagreements. :
The group happened to be on hand when an election was held to choose a new member of the Supreme Soviet. Voting day is declared a holiday, and in the area around the booths, singers and dancers were performing. The voter turnout is about 85 percent, and voters get to vote yes or no for the single candidate who is named on the ballot. (It doesn’t often happen, but sometimes candidates have been replaced when too many people vote “no.”) Moreover, the voters have a place to write messages telling the government what they want; 70 percent of the voters in the election the caravan witnessed called for more peace initiatives.
While the caravan had decided from the outset not to raise such thorny issues as human rights with their Soviet hosts during their short stay, another group from the American Friends Service Committee arrived in Moscow a few days after their visit and did bring up that question, and the Caravan members felt that the two groups had complemented each other nicely in that regard.
Matthew Clark — July 1984
The June rally against the continued construdtion of the Darlington nuclear power plant and the civil disobedience action at Ontario Hydro headquarters on University Ave. were coordinated by the Campaign for a Nuclear-Free Ontario. The CNFO is a coalition of peace, environmental, and safe energy groups.
As a result of its broad support, the Campaign has developed a comprehensive approach to the nuclear issues, emphasizing Ontario’s contribution to the arms race.
CNFO feels that stopping the Darlington station is the first step in creating a Nuclear-Free Ontario. This station is regarded as being unnecessary and the key to the continued existence of a nuclear power industry. The CNFO also wants Darlington stoppedto prevent the creation of an additional 60,000 kilograms of plutonium (the equivalent of 6,000 bombs) during the course of its 40-year deisgned lifetime.
Those who spoke at the rally included Mike Breaugh MPP, Margaret Boake-Hancock, Lisa Chipps-Sawyer, Norm Rubin and Dave Martin. Norm Rubin of Energy Probe emphasized the lack of a real need for Darlington, its expense and the general lack of support it has in Ontario. Rubin warned of a direct connection between nuclear power and the arms race coming from the possible separation and export of tritium from Hydro’s reactors for use in renewing atomic warheads, and urged greater eductional activity.
Outreach was attempted at the rally as well, although those passing by were not always receptive or interested in the issues involved. Somewhat heated discussions did take place between anti-nuclear people and local residents. The people in the area were quite concerned about the jobs and economic benefits of Darlington and tended to see the energy questions involved as being a choice between nuclear power or acid rain.
The rally was attended by approximately 600 people, from Guelph, Hamilton, Peterborough, Ottawa and Toronto.
The civil disobedience action at Ontario Hydro headquarters was in some ways more successful than the rally. Approximately 30 people protested at Hydro by blocking the main revolving door and occupying the main lobby. Some people attempted to meet with Hydro Chairman Milan Nastich and others attempted to leaflet internal Hydro employees but were prevented from doing so. By the end of the day, all involved were charged with trespassing and the building was cleared. These protests were well reported in the mainstream media.
It is likely that the Campaign for a Nuclear-Free Ontario will continue operations beyond these initial events. Dave Martin of CNFO hopes that the coalition can “make an impact on the electoral process” as he feels Darlington has “big scandal potential.”
Walter Dorn — July 1984
On Friday and Saturday, June 8th and 9th, the Canadian Institute of International Affairs hosted a conference, “Disarmament Dialogue,” at the University of Toronto. Participants included activists in the peace movement, academics, civil servants, journalists and politicians.
The purpose of the conference, according to CllA research associate Kim Killeen, was to “provide an opportunity for all those involved in the security debate to discuss their concerns and objectives ‘off the record’ and on neutral territory.”
Killeen and his colleague, Michael Pearson, had conducted extensive interviews during the past year among parliamentarians, bureaucrats and peace activists, and their findings were presented to conference participants in a series of four papers.
According to Killeen and Pearson, government bureaucrats generally believe that the peace movement is composed of two groups: “(I) concerned but naive citizens motivated primarily by the fear of mass annihilation; and (2) concerned citizens generally informed but unfortunately lacking in concrete, realistic alternatives -which take into account the existing realities of our economic and political relations. “
“The views of the disarmament movement regarding the government’s response to their positions and activities can be classified under three simplified categories: (A) Inflexible officials aware of public concern but who are ‘locked into’ and actively defend a traditional security analysis of Canadian defence requirements, the nature of deterrence, and the threat posed by the Soviet Union; (B) Officials exhibiting isoIationist tendencies who do not respond to the disarmament movement, but rather, continue to implement pre-existing policies as if public discontent was non-existent; © Officials who recognize the changing nature of the nuclear arms race and the need to re-evaluate existing security policy, but who have been unable, as yet, to develop a more innovative response to the emerging threat.” It would be interesting to know to what extent the conference changed these perceptions.
In order that the exchange of ideas could be frank and open, the proceedings were off the record, so my report must be somewhat general. For the most part, I found that everyone said pretty much what one would have expected – the peace activists argued that the testing of the cruise missile in Canada suggested that the government’s commitment to disarmament was less than wholehearted, while the government representatives defended the testing as strategy to work for peace with the Western alliance.
Several peace activists tried to extend the definition of security beyond the military sphere, but I feel they met with little success. Within their terms of reference, however, the government representatives did seem to cover a fair range of opinion, from complacent defense of Reagan’s policy to somewhat anxious concern that current political institutions may not be adequate to deal with the dangers. The peace activists, however, seemed largely in agreement.
The program of the Peace Petition was a part of their consensus, but it also extended to include a concern for development issues and opposition to U.S. intervention in Central America. Several activists felt that the whole conference had an air of unreality, and I suspect that some government representatives, from a different perspective, shared that feeling.
I had hoped that more parliamentarians and more journalists would have attended the confer ence; only one of each showed up. As soon as the conference opened, several participants noted that women were rather less than equally represented; further, all the women present were peace activists – not a single woman from the government came; and of the people who had been asked to present positions, not one was a woman. The conference organizers made some attempts to rectify this situation, but an unfortunate tone had been set which to some extent lasted throughout the conference.
I personally found the conference very interesting, if somewhat inconclusive; but I know that some other peace activists who attended did not find it particularly worthwhile.
I feel that the willingness of government representatives to attend demonstrates the impact of the disarmament movement. I also believe that this dialogue was only part of a continuing process which is necessary for our success.
The peace movement must convince the mainstream; we should not dilute our message, but we cannot remain a political fringe. Most of our efforts, of course, should be directed to the grass roots, but bureaucrats are also a part of public opinion, an’d perhaps we have been too willing to dismiss them.
The conference also provided an opportunity for peace activists from around the country to gather and talk to each other. Informal discussion occurred during breaks and meals, and in addition, a more formal meeting was arranged for Sunday, June 10th, for those who could stay. Representatives were present from Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax.
Much of the discussion concerned the current state of the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign, and also future plans, including the cross-country caravan and election strategy. The possibility of forming a national co-ordinating committee was discussed; most agreed that some co-ordination would be a good idea, but there were some fears and reservations, particularly about the creation of a peace bureaucracy and about the dominance of major centers, such as Vancouver or Toronto. Others, however, felt that a properly constituted committee could help to protect the interests of smaller communities. We all agreed that it was important to take every opportunity to improve networking across the country.
Cathy Laurier and Paul Ogresco — July 1984
Science for Peace began its formal affiliation with the U.N. on July 6, 1983. In U.N. terminology S4P is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) associated with the Department of Public Information (DPI). Other GO’s include the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, the United Nations Association, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Sri Chinmoy Centre and a number of Canadian peace groups including the Voice of Women, Project Ploughs hares, and the Canadian Peace Research Institute.
From the U.N.‘s point of view, associations with NGO’s help to disseminate basic knowledge and understanding of U.N. goals and to publicize news of U.N. activities. The Department of Public Information was created (in 1946) “to actively assist and encourage national informational services, educational institutions and other governmental and non-governmental organizations of all kinds interested in the United Nations.”
For Science for Peace, this association with the U.N. not only will allow for an increased aware-ness of international efforts for disarmament, but also will be a means to contribute to disarmament projects. .
Science for Peace is a member of the NGO Committee on Disarmament. The most recent activity of this committee was the seminar “Preventing an Arms Race in Outer Space,” held at the U.N. headquarters (transcripts available). This committee also publishes a newsletter called Disarmament Times. It is the hope of Science for Peace that they can be of service to the United Nations in the search for peace on our planet.
Dwight Burkhardt — July 1984
ZAPOROZHYE – A conference of Soviet and Canadian youth was held in the Soviet Union from May 17 to 31. It was organized by the Committee of Youth Organizations of the Soviet Union and the CanadaUSSR Association to bring youth of both countries together to acquire a better understanding of each other’s cultures, traditions and perspectives.
In open discussions, involving people from a broad spectrum of Soviet society, participants in the conference expressed a wide range of views on issues such as the economic, social and moral consequences of the arms race, detente and cooperation between Canada and the USSR, and the role of youth in securing peace.
The Canadian representatives came from a wide variety of backgrounds. Delegates included peace and student activists, leaders in the Inuit and Indian communities, and representatives from the Junior Farmers of Ontario, the Doukhobors, the Young Communist League, and the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians.
Despite variances of opinion, all the delegates felt that the most urgent task confronting young people today is the prevention of nuclear annihilation.
All stressed the need for putting a halt to the arms race and channelling resources toward meeting human needs. It was also concluded that international relations should be based on peaceful co-existence and detente. The renunciation of aggression and of interference in the internal affairs of other nations was seen as one of the principal means of achieving these aims.
The trip offered Canadian delegates the unique opportunity to learn first-hand about the many organizations and committees actively working for peace in the Soviet Union. Much of the work is carried out at the grassroots level, through committees organized in the workplaces, schools, youth groups and professional associations. Organizing mass rallies is seen as one of the key ways of consolidating the movement, Iand expressing solidarity with peace activists throughout the world. Last year eleven million Soviets took part in peace marches.
Although peace groups have the support of the government, they receive no funding from either the state or the Communist Party. Rather, fundraising depends entirely on voluntary contributions.
People can contribute to the S0viet Peace Fund, which was set up to handle the finances of peace groups, in a number of ways. For example, a workplace collective might vote to donate the proceeds from the day’s work, an author might donate the proceeds from publishing one of her works, or a youth group might organize a concert for peace or a walkathon.
Youth play a very prominent role in the Soviet peace movement, comprising about two-thirds of its activists. Besides mobilizing people for demonstrations, youth organizations also sponsor such activities as concerts, athletic events, and competitions for artwork, poems, songs and so on, around the theme of peace. The Committee of Youth Organizations, together with the Soviet peace Committee was instrumental in having the first day of school at all levels devoted to peace education. It is also quite common for students and youth working, for example, on summer construction brigades, to vote to donate some of the earnings to the Peace Fund.
In summary, the conference was a very worthwhile and everyone learned a tremendous amount from each other. The willingness to engage in constructive dialogue and our mutual desire for peace and understanding certainly made this conference a success, and paved the way for future cooperation through the Third Annual Conference of Canadian and S0viet Youth to be held next year , as well as through the World Festival of Youth and Students which will be held in Moscow next summer.
Michael Galler — July 1984
COMISO – In the early morning of May II, Corniso police raided all three of the peace camps (La Ragnetella, women’s camp, Vigna Verde, ecology farm, and IMAC international camp) near the cruise missile base at Comiso Sicily. In total, 23 people were detained of which nine were ultimately arrested, on suspicion of planning illegal activities against the base.
Of those arrested, three Sicilian men from Vigna Verde were released within 36 hours, three women from Ragnatella were held for five days, then deported, and three German men from IMAC were tried, convicted and given suspended fines for possession of weapons (knives exceeding three centimetres and a can of Mace). Two of the men left Italy; the third (the one with the Mace) was still in jail at last report. All other non-Italians of the 23 detainees were expelled from Italy.
The following day, May 12, police returned to the camps and applied “sigillo” (legal seal), fencing them with barbed wire. The camps re-opened five days later after appeals were lodged.
The raids are undoubtedly a reaction to a successful action carried out by women from Ragnetalla on April 20. By night, the women entered the base, painted peare and feminist symbols on the fifty-foot water tower and escaped without detecti,Qn. The next morning, roads around the base were closed as their handiwork was quickly painted over. The military denied the incident, at first, but the women had taken pictures of their work and distributed to groups around Italy. When the press began to publish the story, the military looked. increasingly foolish.
anon — July 1984
At least fifty-three communities across Canada have declared themselves Nuclear Weapon-Free Zones (NWFZs) as a result of referenda co-sponsored by Project Ploughshares and Operation Dismantle.
The citizens of these municipalities, which include Toronto, Vancouver and Regina, have declared that their cities will not be the sites of production, transit, testing or deployment of nuclear weapons. This is part of a g10bal strategy to progressively increase the area of the world that is free of these weapons, while at the same time promoting grassroots awareness of the peace issue.
According to David Cleary of Project Ploughshares, the declaration that a city is an NWFZ is the first step in the range of possible anti-nuclear activities that can be undertaken at the municipal level. A resolution is drafted for vote in the city or town council, in which the community avows itself to be an official Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone. (If some councillors prove intransigent, citizen support can be raised in order to make local Wards or districts NWFZs.) After that a committee can be set up to examine what legislative measures can be taken to give teeth to the declaration.
The best known example of effective bylaws in support of such resolutions are those enacted by the City Council of Vancouver, where, as a result of fire and building code bylaws, it is now illegal to make or transport nuclear weapons. These bylaws could be subject to constitutional challenge on the grounds that navigation, shipping and international relations are federal powers. However, until successfully challenged, these laws exist and effectively prohibit nuclear war industries from doing business in Vancouver.
Legal considerations aside, Project Ploughshares would like to see people bring the nuclear issue home by declaring their churches, classrooms and workplaces to be Nuclear WeaponsFree Zones, in this way making their concern. visible and spreading the peace message through their communities. More information can be obtained by writing to Project Ploughshares at 450 Rideau St., Ottawa, ON, KIN 5ZA or at xxx-xxxx West 4th Ave., Vancouver, BC, V6J IM7.
The New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone Committee has enjoyed great success with their campaign in New Zealand. They attribute this success to the rapid and thorough dissemination of information and as such, favour increased communication internationally. They welcome exchanges of information. Their address is P.O. Box 18 – 541 Christchurch, New Zealand.
— July 1984
By Robert Penner
As one of the strongest and most effective peace movements in the world, the powerful peace movement in West Germany provides an ideal case study for peace activists in other countries.
The peace movement in West Germany has mobilized over a million people for a on~day d~ monstration, elected members to federal parliament, helped to put the deployment of cruise and Pershing II missiles in Western Europe on the world-wide political agenda and caused a severe break in the previously existing defence consensus among those who are powerful in West Germany.
The recent resurgence of the peace movement in Germany grew out of a strong local base built up through a decade of strong environmental and anti-nuclear organizing. That base became the foundation of the peace movement at the time of the NATO “twotrack” decision of 1979.
But the German movement has found that the principles adopted when it was much smaller do not necessarily address its needs now that it has achieved some of its primary goals and is many times as large. The contradiction between the organizational theory on which it is based and its present practise presents one of its most serious challenges to date. The resulting problems are particularly obvious in the constant debate on one of the most prominent facets of the West German movement: the Green Party.
“We are facing our most serious crisis,” says Petra Kelly, the most prominent individual in the Green Party and the focus of the current debate. Kelly stubbornly adheres to the fundamental principles adopted in the infancy of the Green Party, despite mounting opposition within her own party and the peace movement in general.
Kelly and others, for example, see the role of the Greens in Parliament as a kind of “fundamental opposition,” and criticize those who have suggested that the Green Party could form anti-missile coalition governments with the S0cial Democratic Party on either the provincial or the federal level.
Opinion runs high not only on this question but also on other possible compromises. Three public spokespeople who are supposed to represent the opinions of the Greens in Parliament have publicly expressoo differing views on these issues to the outrage of other party members. The relationship of these three (Joschka Fischer, Otto Schilly and Kelly) was of great concern and they were rotated out of the speakers’ role and replaced by a team of 6 women. It was felt that this team, although not as experienced, would represent the view of all Greens, and would work together more effectively.
This effort, as well as other attempts to avoid the creation of a party hierarchy, while seeming good in principle, have failed miserably when implemented. One such plan was the “office community.”
In an effort to avoid hierarchy and stagnation within the party leadership, it was decided that those elected first for the Greens would leave their post half way through their term and be replaced by their alternates. In addition the sitting member and alternate would work together and share salary and office staff during the entire term.
However, this system has resulted in competition and frustration rather than cooperation. The sharing of salaries has caused financial difficulties for some, and the prospect of future roles within the party has caused some competition between members and their alternates.
The main problem, however, is that making the most effective use of the parliamentary process is difficult and rotation after two years wastes most of the lessons learned. Committee work on parliamentary projects may lose momentum as active and familiar Greens are replaced with alternates whose expertise and involvement may be different. A continuation of this process might mean that many of the most able Greens will be rotated out of the most important positions.
Most Green MPs now agree that the rotation period should have been the entire four year term, rather than two years, but the possibility of reversing a principle so fundamental to the Greens’ philosophy is causing a highly divisive debate within the party.
In addition, process questions which deal only with the few Greens in leadership and how they get along with each other leaves out the millions of supporters of the peace movement in West Germany. It is probably mistaken to define the main issue of the interaction among party leaders, rather than the interaction between the party leaders and the movement that supports them. This latter definition of the process problem would have the advantage of dealing with the overall effectiveness of the party in advancing the concerns of the disarmament movement.
In a recent provincial election the Green Party did not campaign effectively. Preoccupied with internal debate, they simply forgot to field candidates in some of their strongest districts. Despite this, they doubled their vote while all other candidates declined in popularity.
“The typical Green is looking to the issue behind the Greens and not the internal debate,” says Andrea Zurnach, one of the key organizers in the West German peace movement who is active outside the Green party in the Action Reconciliation for Peace.
Zurnach is critical for many reasons of the Greens, but acknowledges that the role they have played in Parliament has been extremely valuable, particularly on occasions such as last November’s parliamentary debate on the deployment issue in ‘which millions listened to the speeches of the Greens and other parties on live radio.
Zurnach is an inactive member of the Social Democratic Party who is becoming more active in the Greens, as are others outside the party who see this as a p0litical experiment too important to fail.
Many people like Zurnach feel that if the Green Party falters any similar initiative would be doomed for years to come. “With the Greens, their responsibility goes much farther than their own experience,” says Zurnach.
The Greens are a vital part of the movement in West Germany but they do not represent all or even a majority of it. “To see the Green Party and the peace movement as identical is absolute nonsense,” adds Zurnach.
The major campaigns and demonstrations are organized by the Co-ordination Bureau, which represents 30 national peace groups and is elected by “action conferences” of up to 2000 delegates from West German peace groups. The action conferences set the direction for the movement and the Co-ordination Bureau implements the decisions. The Green Party participates in this process, but not as actively as other group because they set their own work as a priority, have a distrust of some of the other elements involved in the Co-ordination Bureau and generally favour a more decentralized local approach over mass action.
“The Green Party is a party within movements,” says Roland Vogt, one of the leading Green parliamentarians. “We should try to be servants for these movements; to find out what is wanted. “ V ogt favours a closer int~ gration of the peace forces and regrets the “many misunderstandings between the Greens and the Co-ordination Bureau.”
Despite these reservations, the situation in West Germany approaches one of the ideals set out for many years by West German activists. A large extra-parliamentary mass movement supported by a parliamentary wing that can be used as a vehicle to argue for and advance their positions. Unfortunately the internal disputes and differing ways of organizing have hindered the development of this situation.
The internal debate in West Germany has been the focus for observers who are quick to pronounce the death of the movement. This is clearly not the case. Despite its difficulties the movement is extremely strong. It is just not as strong as it could be. It is a movement that has developed more quickly than its understanding of itself. As a result it is held back by concepts that require re-evaluation. The increasing power of the movement in the broadest sense is forcing that re-evaluation to occur. The question for the West German peace movement is whether that re-evaluation will occur quickly enough to achieve the pressing task that it has set itself.
Rosemary Cooke — July 1984
Recently I attended a symposium on pornography arid violence. Of the various people presenting I was most impressed with Maude Barlow, an advisor to the former Prime Minster on women’s issues. The presentation by Barlow not only discussed the profound impact that pornography has upon women but also linked the prevalence of violence in pornography to the broader issue of violence as a way of resolving conflict. Rarely do peace activists make connections between the violence that pervades our own communities and the violence we see at the international level. That an advisor to the former Prime Minister was making these connections was for me one of the most encouraging signs that I have seen in months. So that’s the good news. The bad news is that a week after hearing Maude Barlow speak I learned from Dorothy Rosenberg (Voice of Women) that Maude Barlow and Bonnie Diamond were destined to lose their positions as advisors to the Prime Minister on women’s issues with the election of a new liberal leader. To lose two women that have argued vehemently on issues of disarmament, pornography, and social justice, and who have the ear of the Prime Minister would be a great loss to all Canadians concerned with these issues. So as you’ve probably guessed by now this month’s letter writing suggestion is to write to John Turner asking him to retain Maude Barlow and Bonnie Diamond. No postage is required in writing to the Prime Minister, and letters should be addressed to Prime Minister Elect Turner, House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario K1A OA6.
Finally, the NLWC would like to welcome five new groups: Citizens for Peace – Orangeville, a group from Hartington that hasn’t as of yet decided upon a formal name for itself, Rimbey organization for Universal Nuclear DisarmBJTIent, University of Toronto Newman Centre Development and Peace Group, and West Islanders for Nuclear Disarmament. 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 commun. ity to write letters. Also, please send suggestions of individuals you would like to see targeted for letters.
301-103 Church St. Kitchener, Ont. N2G 2S3
P.S. Remember: Thinking about it doesn’t change anything. Please put something in the mail.
Gordon Ball — July 1984
The 13th annual Grindstone Island School for Peace will ‘be “held from Sunday August 12 through till Thursday August 16, 1984. The intention of the School for Peace is to offer an opportunity for those who have recently become involved to broaden their understanding or analysis of peace issues, to develop their skills for effective peace work, to share their ideas and exPeriences with others, and to learn about nonviolent alternatives.
The theme for this session of the School for Peace is Solidarity: North-South; East- West. The School’s planning committee decided that this year is a critical one for understanding the reality of global militarism, and for developing solidarity with independent peace and resistance movements around the world.
During the four day session, experienced resource people will discuss topics including, an overview of the connections between militarism, underdevelopment and human oppression, an in-depth investigation of a current global “hot spot,” a look at the EastWest dimension of the arms race, an exploration of practical skills for peace work such as working together in a group, decision making processes, agenda setting, facilitating meetings and a workshop in popular education.
The School for Peace will provide ample opportunity each day for group and informal discussions and question periods. A couple of films on related topics will also be shown and there will be an abundance of literature and printed materials available.
Resource people will include representatives from Eastern European and Latin American solidarity groups; Lee Cormie, professor at St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto, Marsha Sfeir of Christian Movement for Peace; Margaret Boake- Hancock, International Women’s Day Committee; Rosemary Cooke of the Cruise Missile Conversion Project and Juliette Huntley, member of Project Ploughshares.
Registration is limited and will be confirmed on a first cornel first served basis. For further information please contact: Grindstone Co-op, P.O. Box 564, Station P, Toronto, On., M5S 2Tl. Telephone (416) xxx-xxxx.
— July 1984
Project Ploughshares (National) and the Orillia Ploughshares group will be sponsoring the Couchiching Peacemakers Conference which is scheduled for August 17 – 21 at Geneva Park YMCA Centre on Lake Couchiching, near Orillia, Ontario. The conference is designed for members of local peace groups who are looking for ways to increase their effectiveness as peacemakers.
Organizers of the event are intending to reach people interested in building their emotional and spiritual resources to overcome despair, either in themselves or in people around them, and who are seeking to develop a clearer, more positive vision of the peaceful and just world they are trying to create.
They are also placing an emphasis on hard information, so that participants will have opportunities to increase their confidence and competence as informed and skilled disarmament I development educators.
The Couchictiing Peace Conference aims to assist local groups to move beyond simply being a force “against” toward becoming part of a positive, constructive social movement.
Geneva Park, (long-time host of the annual “Couchiching Conference” organized by the Couchiching Institute for Public Affairs) is located. 90 miles north of Toronto. For more information, or to register, contact Adam Thompson at 705/xxx-xxxx, or Jacqueline Jenkins at Geneva Park (Toronto direct line), xxx-xxxx.
Ken Hancock — July 1984
Edited by Mary Vrantsidis
- World-wide Sing Out for Peace… join people in at least 16 countries to sing out at dawn on August 5th. Nine men and women in Milwauke Wisconsin planned and held the first world sing out last year. It’s easy, non-political and appeals to both secular and religious groups. A logo and flyers are available. Most important, let the group know of your plans for 1984. Contact: Ruth C. Johnson, 4360 N. 133 St., Brookfield, WI., 53005, phone 608-xxx-xxxx.
- Pedal for Peace… a group of cyclists from Galiano Island. B.C. will leave Vancouver August 24th, on bikes, headed for Ottawa. Their goal is to gather signatures for the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign. Support cyclists, financial donations, sponsorship and signing of the petitions are welcome. Watch for them in your community between August 24th and October 9th and help out if you can. Contact: Pedal for Peace, Box 231, Galiano Island, B.C., VON 1P0, or phone 604-xxx-xxxx.
- The women of the Cole Bay Saskatchewan Peace Camp invite the women of Canada to join them in continuing their efforts this summer. The camp, with strong support from the local native women is on the edge of Primrose Airforce Base, the test range for the U.S. cruise missile. Men are welcome during the day. For more information write to: Women’s Peace Camp, Cole Bay, SK., SOM OMO, or phone 306-xxx-xxxx. Donations welcome.
- Toronto Parents for Peace have a new kit available… “Facing the Nuclear Age: Parents and Children Together.” It contains articles, activities and resources lists to help parents talk to their children about the nuclear threat. The cost is $4 plus $1 for postage if mailed. Write to Parents for Peace, Box 611, Station P, Toronto, ON M5S 2Y4.
- The curriculum committee of the Toronto chapter of Parents for Peace has submitted a package to the Board of Education’s ‘Thinking and Deciding in a Nuclear Age’ Committee. It’s called “Preamble to a Peace Curriculum.” It suggests a new direction for Remembrance Day. They feel the future lies in the hands of children and in order to understand and “remember” what war is about, they must also be provided with the tools and strategies for understanding peace. For more information call Magda Lewis at xxx-xxxx. The Curriculum Committee welcomes any contributions you have.
- For a different summer vacation… try a peace camp… Study non-violence as it relates to international justice and peace and labour along side other concerned people at the work/study camp of the Fellowship of Reconciliation in New York State. Participants must be 17 or older. It’s at the Stony Point Centre from August 6 18th. For more information, write to Fellowship of Reconciliation, Summer Work/Study Camp, Box 271, Nyack, NY. 10960.
- Veterans for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament, a national organization for war veterans, has just released its “Statement of Position,” available for the asking. The group is also interested in recruiting other vets. Members have spoken at peace rallies in Toronto, Vancouver and Halifax. They are also planning a meeting between Soviet and Canadian veterans in Berlin and the USSR, on the 40th anniversary of the end of World War II in early May, 1985. For a copy of VMND’s Statement, write to them at P.O. Box 8252, Halifax NS, B3K 5L9.
- Jim Garrison, author of the new book The Russian Threat: Its Myths and Realities will be on a speaking tour of Canada in the Fall. Professor Gordon Campbell of the University of lethbridge is asking the Canadian peace movement for its support. What is required is for each community to set up a co-ordinating committee to organize meetings, inform the media and arrange for Mr. Garrison’s accomodations and travel. Garrison is the co-founder of East-West Reach in London, England. He has written extensively on the nuclear situation in Hiroshima and the Soviet Union. He’s also done two TV specials for the BBC on Hiroshima and theology in the nuclear age. For more information, contact Campbell at the University of Lethbridge, 4401 University Drive, Lethbridge AB, or call 403/xxx-xxxx.
- Congratulations to WILPF… The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom celebrated its 69th birthday on April 28, 1984.
- A demonstration is planned in response to the presence of American nuclear-armed submarines in Halifax Harbour. The next demo will include a water protest. When a submarine is spotted in the harbour, call Beverlee Rach. at 902/xxx-xxxx for information.
- The Edmonton Peace Information Service is expanding its service to include all of the province. It’s gathering information on various peace groups and helping the peace movement network in Alberta. A monthly calendar of events is the next project. Please submit your activity plans to them and all events will be submitted to various community calendars, including The Peace Calendar. The staff of The Peace Calendar wishes them the best of luck in this endeavour. For more information, contact Frank Brab, 10765 98th St., Edmonton AB T5H 2P2, or call 403-xxx-xxxx or xxx-xxxx.
- New location for PAND in Toronto … Performing Artist for Nuclear Disarmament is now in the Bathurst St. United Church, 736 Bathurst St., Toronto, M5S 2R4, 416-xxx-xxxx. Buttons, t-shirts and posters are available.
- There are still three episodes to be aired of Gwynne Dyer’s series WAR. It’s on CBC, Tuesday nights, 8 pm across the country, 8:30 pm in Newfoundland. The series is also available on film or videocassette from the National Film Board.
- PBS has acquired Gwynne Dyer’s WAR series. It will be presented in the U.S. by the PBS Seattle affiliate with some editorial changes. Vicepresident of programming, Suzanne Wei!, says the. editorial changes will be “nothing significant, but some points have to be stressed or made clearer for American viewers. That’s all. “
- Both the Saskatoon and Regina Peace Councils hold regular monthly neetings, contact Ed Lehman in Regina, 306-xxx-xxxx or Edna Meakes in Saskatoon, 306-xxx-xxxx.
- By the way, the Regina Peace Council made a comprehensive submission in early May, 1985. For a copy of VMND’s Statement, write to them at P.O. Box 8252, Halifax NS, B3K 5L9.
- The biggest military parade in the world is held in France, on July 14, on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. It’s four hours long with thousands of soldiers, tanks, airplanes and the newest nuclear rockets. Jacques Suchet is organizing a peace carnival across France with plans to block this parade and celebrate a world without weapons. Watch for it. Everyone is welcome.
- The Muskoka Peace Group is alive and thriving, judging from their annual report. Public meetings have been very successful, local governments have supported referendums on disarmament and groups keep springing up in towns across the county. Future activities will focus on education, the Peace Petition Caravan, teachers and youth and expanding Nuclear Weapon-Free Zones.
- Nurses for Peace in Ottawa will be holding their first meeting on Wednesday September 12. Mark your calendar and invite others who might be interested. For more information call Loris Jordan at 613-xxx-xxxx.
- Twenty-eight people, representing seven federal ridings in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island attended a workshop organized by Project Ploughshares in Saint John on June 9th and 10th to prepare for the Election Priorities Campaign. Jamie Scott presented materials provided by the Campaign staff and led the discussion. The network is expected to spread to the remaining ridings by election time.
- From Comox, B.C. — Look for the departure of the Genie missiles from CFB Comox sometime in July.
- Courtenay, B.C. – Tuesdays during the summer a booth will be set up in front of the Courtenay Library on behalf of the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign.
- Dorothy Morrison (B. Ed.) has written a pamphlet/book for children called ABC for Peace. My favourite letter is X. “Xx is for xylophone. Plink, plink – plink, plink – the little hammers are playing a peace tune. A peace song written by a Canadian goes like this:
Last night I had the strangest dream
I’d ever dreamed before;
I dreamed the world had all agreed
to put an end to war.
The children in the Soviet Union sing a peace song that goes like this:
May there always be blue skies; May there always be sunshine;
May there always be Mama;
May there always be me.
Do you know some peace songs?”
Copies are available for 2.50 + 50q: postage, write to Dorothy Morrison, 3419 West 7th Ave., Vancouver, B.C., V6R IW2.
- Unitarians for Peace will be hosting a weekend of “Firebreaks: A Game of War and Peace,” at Unicamp of Ontario in Honeywood, on the Bruce Trail. Eryl Court of Toronto First Church will be facilitating. Starts Friday July 6 at 7 pm, goes to Sunday July 8 at I pm. Cost is $72.00 (or $5.75 x age.) Price includes accomodation and board. For more information call (519) xxx-xxxx.
- The 26th regional chapter of Project Ploughshares was founded on June 4th at 71 Broad St., Sussex, N.B. Anyone interested in joining can contact: Beth Downing at xxx-xxxx.
- Hampton, N.B. residents interested in studying Peace and Development in the Nuclear Age will meet the first Thursday of each month to familiarize themselves with specific issues and to further the aims of PPCC. For more information call Kathy Hooper, xxx-xxxx or Peggy Land, xxx-xxxx.
- Fenalla McGregor writes from london England: “When we were in Vancouver everyone was saying they had heard the news that the women had been evicted from Greenham and it was finished. Yes, the women have been evicted, and they continually are, but they always go back. No sooner have the police moved people from one area than they appear at another. So the women’s peace camp is alive and well and flourishing.”
- And while we’re on the subject… The Greater London Committee Against Nuclear Disarmament wants as many women as possible to go to Greenham Common in Berkshire, England to attend the Women’s Peace Camp from Sept. 20th to 30th, 1984. Contact: Margaret Mclean, 416-xxx-xxxx.
- Canvassing for P2C2 is now completed on Salt Spring Island. The canvassers were able to get signatures from about 70 per cent of the people they canvassed. Among those most negative about the petition were exservicemen. Some former Europeans were afraid to put their names on anything, fearful that their names would end up in the ‘wrong hands.’ Others responded that it was “God’s will,” or that “God will take care of everything.” It was also obvious that many people fear a direct Russian invasion, at worst, or communist subversion, at least. Canvassers were very surprised by the fact that in many households women would not sign without asking their men. In at least one case, the woman called back and made an appointment to sign out of sight of her husband. The Salt Spring Island Nuclear Disarmament Group reached the following conclusions: I) The canvass provided discourse with people not normally contacted. 2) Other ways of reaching people, and education, must be found. 3) A political candidate could not win on the peace issue alone. The economy is the prime concern and people do not see the two issues as being linked in any way. The SSND Group is now turning its efforts in the direction of the CCIC Election Priorities Project.
- Resolution 364, declaring New York City a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone, is currently in the City Council Committee on Environmental Protection. Council Member Abraham G. Gerges invites letters of support. Please write to Abraham G. Gerges, Council member, 29th District, Brooklyn, 111 >Court St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201.
— July 1984
One of the issues which I have always seen inherent in nuclear power is that it signifies (often, but not always) the fact that the nuclear cycle is actually invading the daily lives of the white, middle-class North American. In many ways, the Darlington nuclear power plant actually presents a more daily and omnipresent nuclear threat to the lives of the people of Ontario than that presented by cruise missiles.
Of the many serious political weaknesses of the peace movement, this fact is surely one of the most glaring. That is to say, we have been unable (or unwilling) to articulate how the nuclear cycle, including nuclear weapons deployment, is a fact of life for people which now – today – is destroying people’s lives and land. Our obsession with a futuristic moment of holocaust has blinded even our best efforts to resist the nuclear age.
Perhaps no issue reflects this reality better than that of cruise missile testing in Canada. For in all of the rallies, public statements, petitions and protests about cruise missile testing, hardly an audible whisper has really addressed the fact that the Primrose Testing Range (where the cruise is tested) is the land of the native peoples of Canada. The fact that they cannot return to their land is, of course, not only a result of cruise testing. However, it is another clear (but oft-forgotten and unmentioned) example of how the nuclear cycle turns people into refugees from their own lands.
Any detailed examination of nuclear refugees around the world would reveal that, in the large majority, they are Third World, non-white peoples. They are displaced from their land and homes because of the strategic military interests of the powers who maintain and expand global nuclearism. To these peoples of the world, nuclearism is not an issue of weapons systems only. Nor is it an abstract debate of first strike/ second strike. And it is surely not a question of future possibilities of war and death, but rather a daily immediate threat to the lives of its victims.
And indeed, it is global. From Namibia (where huge transnational corporate interests such as Rio Tinto mine uranium) to Australia to Canada, indigenous peoples are experiencing oppression and violence to maintain that which threatens all our lives. In Namibia, the apartheid South African government is, by international law, maintaining a racist grip over the majority black population. Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest mining conglomerates (which also holds substantial interests in uranium mines in northern Saskatchewan) has important economic interests in the region, and uranium is a key to those interests. Rio Tinto is so large that, when several nations in the I 970s (Canada included) gathered to form an international uranium cartel, Rio Tinto, as a company, was invited to join.
Racism and nuclearism link together in other parts of the world. The testing of nuclear weapons (by the French as well as the Americans) in the Pacific has, and still does, leave a deadly legacy upon the lives of the Pacific peoples. The Bikini Islands were used as testing. sites after the Second World War. The people had to be evacuated from their lands. When the people of the Bikini Islands were “allowed” to return to their homes, it was found that radiation levels were still far too high for human habitation. The people developed cancers and other diseases from the radiation still present from the bomb testing era..
The French government, after it “lost” its nuclear testing ranges in the Sahara, moved its experiments to French Polynesia, where tests were carried out from 1966 to 1974. Information about the effects of these tests was suppressed from the local people. Also suppressed were any democratic movements which would have removed the French from the area. In fact, Poovanaa a Ooopa, a Tahitian political leader, was jailed by the French on trumped-up charges.
The island of Belau is another example of nuclearism and the suppre5Sion of democratic self-determination. Here, the United States wants to build a Trident submarine base. The US government is pouring millions of dollars into the island to try to defeat the independence movement that is now underway.
Since the 1950s, the US government has fired nuclear weapons from Vandeburg Air Force Base in California at the atoll of Kwajalein. The atoll, a string of 90 islands, is not, it seems, to be considered the actual home of the people who originally inhabited them. They have been removed to another island, where they live in inhumane conditions. In fact, many believe that the testing of these nuclear weapons, the forcible removal of the people and the extreme poverty in which they live have created a Pacific apartheid system. The local people are, for example, not allowed on the nearby US military bases. Many, as in the Philippines, live off the garbage of these bases. Four of the islands of the atoll have been evaporated from the face of the Earth. The people are confmed to a life of being eternal refugees. Once again the rights of Third World peoples to their homelands and the fact of nuclearism are in direct conflict with one another, and the people will not be allowed to win.
The United States military is constantly upgrading its plans to intervene in the Middle East. These interventions will include the use of tactical nuclear weapons. In order to “facilitate” these invasions, new massive airfields have been or are now being constructed in the region. One such airfield is on the (formerly..”“. matriarchal) island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. The people have been evacuated to Mauritius, where they live in slum dwellings. Their land was taken from them to build the large airfields necessary to accomodate the nuclear-equipped F-Ills and 8-52s necessary for invasion support purposes. A whole society has been dismantled, removed and impoverished to complete the nuclear combat readiness of the U.S. miIi tary .
Too high a price
The list, unfortunately, could go on and on. Rio Tinto also owns mines in Australia where the dislocation, killing and pacification of the aboriginal peoples reaches levels paralleled only by war crimes. By contrast, the only “crime” perpetrated by the aboriginal peoples is to live on land that contains uranium. The same can be said of the native peoples of Northern Saskatchewan, and of the peoples in the Great Plains and northwest regions of the US.
Since the “birth” of the atomic era the mining of uranium and the testing and deployment of nuclear weapons systems has consistently meant the evacuation and oppression of Third World peoples. Nuclearism and racism are two interchangeable realities of their personal and political lives. The maintaining of the nuclear systems will require even more oppression and violence. The ending of it will require the linking of the termination of a racist, expansionist political and economic system with the termination of the nuclear era. This era has made millions of people refugees from their own homes and lands. Any peace movement which. does not understand or addreSs the fact that today the bomb (and all of its interlocking components) is killing people, is doomed to irrelevancy and political failure. For most peoples of the world, this failure, this irrelevancy, is too high a. price to pay.
And, of course, it is too high a price to pay for ourselves as well. For in many countless ways (moral as well as political), the continuation of the nuclear cycle makes< all of us refugees from our own earth.
— July 1984
New York 1984
Wm. Morrow & Co. $14.95
Reviewed by Wayne Preston
Although very little new information is presented in this book, the author ingeniously dangles the tempting morsel of self-interest before American businessmen as a reason for stopping the arms race. He cleverly and. concisely compares the United States to a company going bankrupt mainly because of poor business practice.
“Militaritis” and “Russophobia” are two major ingredients sapping America’s funds, wasting her best minds, and diverting her energies from the quintessential task to develop the best product she can. This product will take the form of a re-vitalized, democratic free-enterprise system that will leave the Soviets in her dust.
The author argues that a diversion of funds from the arms race to a “Marshall Plan” for the Third World will serve as the best guarantee that these countries will not be seduced by Marxist ideologies.
The second fascinating aspect of .the book is the concept that businessmen can be the turn-around catalyst in American attitudes and policies. Much like a ‘trim-tab’ acts on the large rudder of ships or aircraft, business will provide the small but significant nudge that can alter the direction of the seemingly unyielding mass of American opinion and deep-seated prejudices. This is the essence of his treatise – a call for those “who have done well to now do some good.”
The author’s past (born in Russia and a refugee from the Bolshevik Revolution) hardly makes him a typical “peace activist.” However, his belief in the virtues of re-invigorated free enterprise, unsullied by ideological hang-ups, brought him to lead ~he 1982 California Bilateral Nuclear Weapons Freeze Initiative. Not an advocate of total disarmament, at least not in this chaotic world, he does offer specific solutions that embrace a nuclear freeze and incremental bilateral arms reductions. The book is a compelling quick read that one can easily get through in a night or so, but it is outrageously over-priced.
The inspirational call to a segment of society that has traditionally been highly resistant to the peace movement is exciting. The demand for diversion of funds from the arms race to socially useful production is timely in the light of the recent (June 22 – 24) first International Economic Conversion Conference in Boston. It appeared to be dominated by academics, politicians and labour leaders. Perhaps we will see better representation by business at future conferences.
Amy Kaler (reviewer) — July 1984
Foreword by Cyrus Vance
A Council on Foreign Relations Book
Reviewed by Matthew Clark
This little book — only eighty-five pages of original text – is about what the Soviet leadership thinks about the Reagan Administration. The subject is interesting, and the author ought to be knowledgeable, at least: Strobe Talbot is diplomatic correspondent of Time and author of two books about arms negotiations (Endgame: The Inside Story of SALT II and Deadly Gambits, a forthcoming book about the. recent strategic and intermediate-range nuclear weapons talks.) One might expect from the author either inside information or extensive research, but Talbot offers not much more than a chronological summary of new stories and speeches. Nothing in this book will be new to anyone who reads the papers.
The best part of Talbot’s own original work is his discussion of the Reagan Administration’s “transparently onesided” attitude to arms control. His summary of the SALT and SALT II negotiations is useful, but it would be much more useful if it were longer and more detailed.
Talbot’s conclusions are not comforting; as Vance says in the Foreword, “Mr. Talbot concludes there is reason to believe that at the end of last year the Soviet leadership had been persuaded ‘finally’, by the rhetoric and actions of the Reagan Administration that the United States was bent on destruction of the Soviet form of government, and that the objective of the Reagan Administration in the arms control negotiations was to turn back the clock on military parity and regain for the United States the superiority it had enjoyed before the era of detente.” I think that good evidence exists for such a conclusion; Talbot gives some but Robert Scheer is much more complete in his excellent book With Enough Shovels.
The Russians and Reagan also includes the texts of three speeches by Ronald Reagan and one by Yuri Andropov. These are important documents, and unquestionably the most valuable part of this publication.
Talbot’s topic is important and interesting — it’s unfortunate that he promises more than he delivers.
— July 1984
John G. Fuller. Published 1984 by New American Library of Canada (New York and Scarborough). 268 pages; $20.45.
This book broaches one of the most potentially explosive topics in the arms race debate: the deliberate – and successful – conspiracy of a government against its own people.
Fuller examines the human costs of the A-bomb tests conducted by the American Atomic Energy Commission in Utah and Nevada; mostly III the 1950’s, but occuring as late as 1970. Similar tests, with similarly disastrous side-‘effects, which took place in Melanesia have received much recent publicity, partly due to nationalist movements in that area.
The US government was as harsh on its own citizens as on those of Melanesia. Fallout from the first tests conducted in the western states resulted in the (gruesomely detailed) deaths and deformity of many sheep – thus destroying the economic base of the community.
According to Fuller, the AEC suppressed the results of studies which linked the sheep deaths to fallout, insisting instead that the losses were attributable to malnutrition and neglect. Fuller provides excerpts from lab reports, court transcripts and memos as corroboration for his conclusions; and in the end, his documentation of the cover-up leaves a greater impact on the reader than the account of the effects of the bomb tests themselves… with the exception of one effect – the hugelyincreased incidence of cancer; in some areas as high as twenty times the national average.
According to Fuller, the victims of this plague were not only the inhabitants of the testing areas, but also the personnel of the AEC – both of which had received instructions from the AEC on the precautions to take during tests. This aspect of Fuller’s subject is still relevant, as survivors and victims of fallout-induced illnesses are currently organizing and contemplating legal action against the US government. (As a bizarre sidelight on history – the AEC may have been inadvertently responsible for the death of John Wayne, who filmed The Conqueror in the radioactive dustbowl region of Utah. All the stars, and many of the cast and crew of that film subsequently died of cancer.)
Fuller has managed to come up with remarkably damning evidence against the AEC, notably excerpts from AEC memos, issued during the lawsuit which was brought against the AEC by the sheep farmers – memos which explicitly detail the steps necessary for the cover-up, and for concealing all evidence which was not AEC-approved.
Fuller has managed to make the data and documentation of these events accessible to readers with little techical background, and mild sensationalism aside (the title in particular made me wince) this is a very strong book. It is forthright enough to confirm the worst fears of anyone with anti-nuclear sympathies, and credible enough to convince anyone without.
- If You Love This Planet: 1982 26 min. col. NFB. Winner of 1982 Academy Award for Best Documentary!! A lecture given to American students by Dr. H. Caldicott, U.S. President of Physicians for Social Responsibility. The message: Disarmament cannot be postponed.
Videotapes available at CANDlS, film available at Toronto Public Libraries, the National Film Board (xxx-xxxx), CANNEC (xxx-xxxx), Dave Wright (xxx-xxxx, xxx-xxxx) and Oscar Rogers (xxx-xxxx).
- War Without Winners: 1980, 30 min. People in the street are questioned about nuclear war. The film goes on to examine the economic, medical and social ramifications of the arms race in a good popular introduction to the issue.
Film available through AVEL, 85 St. Clair St. E., xxx-xxxx. $22.50.
- In the King of Prussia: 1982, 90 min., co\. A feature length film starring Martin Sheen about the trial of the Ploughs hares Eight… who play themselves’. It is a film about peace activism in confrontation with a prejudiced court system.
Film available from Development Education Centre, 427 Bloor St. W., xxx-xxxx.
- The Time Has Come: 1983, 25 minutes, American Friends Service Committee. This fIlm shows how groups of people can get together to organize for nuclear disarmament. It is appropriate for both high school students and parent groups. Available from CFSC: xxx-xxxx.
NOTE:16mm projectors and screens are available from the Toronto Public Libraries.
- Nuclear Madness: by Dr. Helen Caldicott. An overview of the nuclear fuel cycle and its damaging effect at each stage and what people can do, by one of the most compelling spokespeople for nuclear sanity.
Available at SCM bookstore, 333 Bloor St. W., $3.65.
- What About the Russians – and Nuclear War? by Ground Zero under the direction of Roger Molander. This title represents a question too often asked in a simplistic and paranoid context. This book recognizes it as a legitimate concern and attempts to answer it through a careful analysis of Russia’s people, their historical, social, political, economic and military structure and international relations.
- Make Canada a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone: Canadian Peace Congress, this 36 page pamphlet outlines the history of the NWFZ movement and suggests ways of building the campaign across Canada.
- The Economics of Militarism, by Dan Smith and Ron Smith. Explains who profits from the arms race, its social consequences and the economic feasibility of disarmament. $11.95.
- How Effective are Peace Movements? Bob Overy, Harvest House 1982. $2.95 paperback. Drawing on his twenty years of experience with the British peace movement, Overy provides a sympathetic and critical review of the effectiveness of a diverse range of types of peace groups.
- Communications Guidelines for World Peace Activists, by Ross Smyth. This booklet contains information on effective oral presentations; handling questions and objections; letters to editors and politicians; writing articles and handling publicity.
Copies may be ordered for $2.00 from World Federalists of Canada, 46 Elgin St., Suite 32, Ottawa.
- Arms Maker, Union Buster; Litton Industries: A Corporate Profile, By Len Desroches, Tom Joyce and Murry MacAdam. Litton’s products may be what we’re rallied against, but their methods are just as deplorable..The book is a fine expose of the madness in the method of arms making and the meanness of union busting, accomplished by Litton Industries on a breathtaking global scale.
- Peace and Disarmament: Resources for study.
Available from the Anglican Church of Canada, xxx-xxxx.
- Disarmament Campaigns – c/o G. Vandenhaar, 3554 Boxdale, Apt. 3, Memphis, Tenn., 30118. U.S. $17 for 12 issues.