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Anonymous — December 1983

I would like to respond to the article by Beth Richards on the E.P. Thompson meeting which appeared in the September issue.

The World Assembly for Peace and Life, Against Nuclear War held in Prague. Czechoslovakia last June was certainly not a “stage show” as quoted by Mr. Thompson. As a participant with 72 other Canadians representing church. labour. women, youth, peace groups, elected civic and provincial officials of diverse views, I take exception to such a statement.

If one were to read the reports of the 11 Dialogues, 13 Special Meetings and the Final Appeal any objective person would not support such conclusions. Unfortunately, the mass media in this country failed to give due coverage to this important conference: (perhaps CANDIS as a concerned peace group could see fit to do this).

The Assembly was organised by an International and national organisations. The Assembly had 3,265 participants from 132 countries and was open to all. The only restriction was placed on European and Czechoslovakian participation because of limited space. However not one organization from any country was refused participation.

This cannot be said of Mr. Thompson’s European Nuclear Disarmament Meeting (END) in West Berlin which refused participation from peace organisations of Eastern and Western Europe.

Such actions by Mr. Thompson will only create division in the peace movement and assist the supporters of a return to the Cold War.

Gordon Flowers
Executive Director,
Canadian Peace Congress

In response to the “Millions protest deployment” article that mentioned the question of demonstrations versus lobbying ( TPC, November 1983 ), I would like to state ACT’s views on the importance of large demonstrations.

Demonstrations have a huge impact on both the public and the government leaders we are trying to affect. After the demonstration last April, Trudeau was heard to remark to U.S. vice president George Bush that “there is a slight problem — 80,000 demonstrators.” In contrast to this, lobbying is a private activity that does not have an opportunity to affect public opinion.

The testing of the cruise has now been delayed until March of 1984. We must continue with our most effective strategy; we cannot look as if we are disappearing if we want to get the testing cancelled. If the testing does go ahead, we will have to build the largest demonstration yet, shortly after the start of the tests, to show Trudeau the mistake he has made. But if the peace movement unites to stop the testing, we will be successful.

Michael Rosenberg
Against Cruise Testing coalition