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October peak for peace campaigns

Bob Penner — August 1983

On October 22 and 23, millions of people in Europe, the United States and Canada will participate in demonstrations against the deployment in Europe of the cruise and Pershing II missiles, now scheduled for December of this year.

At international meetings held last fall, it was decided to coordinate the opposition of national peace movements to these first-strike weapons. The October dates were chosen because they represent a peak in the campaign to prevent deployment, and because they are at the start of this year’s United Nations Disarmament Week.

At present, coalitions in 20 major cities from Vancouver to Halifax have begun preparations for the October 22 demonstrations.

In Toronto, the campaign is being co-sponsored by the Toronto Disarmament Network and the Against Cruise Testing coalition. An office has been opened at CANDIS in Holy Trinity Church, behind the Eaton Centre. Organizing work has been going on since May to prepare for a 2-month public campaign publicizing the October 22 demonstration.

Initially, the TDN-ACT coalition focussed their attention on the publicity blitz and door-to-door canvass set to begin in September. In August, they will be recruiting the 50-100 volunteers needed for this effort. Regular orientation nights are planned for new volunteers, who will not only mobilize support for the demonstration, but also create an unprecedented public presence of the Toronto nuclear disarmament movement.

The peace movement has shown no signs of weakening, despite the July 15th Cabinet decision to permit cruise testing in Canada. According to Beth Richards of CANDIS, in the days following the government announcement, the CANDIS phone lines were busy with calls from people who had never before attended a demonstration, but who were enraged by the decision.

To find out how you can actively contribute to the success of the October 22 demonstration in Toronto, call the TDN-ACT coalition office at xxx-xxxx.