Conversion Up For Debate

The NDP's Nuclear Weapons Conversion Bill (C274), which I first introduced in 1989, was finally presented for debate in the House of Commons. But few parliamentarians were present for the debate. The debate was interesting, however, in that both the Liberal and Conservative parties spoke vehemently against the Bill and actually denied that there were any industries in Canada producing components for nuclear weapons systems. Not only that, but both parties praised at length Canada's international role in the use of nuclear power as a source of energy.

Maybe this shows that "Liberals are Tories too." Clearly, the NDP is the only party in the House willing to stand up to nuclear weapons industries in Canada and promote the conversion of their Cold War technologies to peaceful uses.

By Dan Heap, M.P, Trinity-Spadina.

Letter To Clinton

Maj Britt Theorin, president of the International Peace Bureau (IPB) recently wrote a letter to President Clinton. The IPB is encouraging its members to write similar letters to the leaders of the Nuclear Weapons States, and our readers may wish to do likewise. Maj Britt Theorin commends the new administration on its environmental stand, praises the previous administration for passing the moratorium on nuclear testing, and demands that Clinton:

  1. Announce at once an extension of the U.S. moratorium beyond June 1993
  2. Work for an early start to negotiations leading to the rapid conclusion of a CTBT with China, the nuclear states of the CIS, and the other moratorium states
  3. Encourage a clear renunciation of nuclear testing by the British government
  4. Request Congress to bring forward the target date for the complete cessation of U.S. tests, thus removing a major obstacle to the success of the 1995 Non-Proliferation Treaty Extension Conference.

From December 3,1992 letter to IPB members from Colin Archer, Secretary-General of the IPB.

Nonviolence On The Enterprise

According to an article by Francine Blume in the Fellowship of Reconciliation Magazine (December 1992), a new nonviolent attitude is coming to Star Trek. A recent episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation featured a doctor who rejects violence as barbaric and unnecessary in her civilized world. Her captor asks about her North American origins on the planet Earth, and points out that her revered general, George Washington, was no less a terrorist than himself-the only difference was that Washington won. At the episode's end, nonviolence resurfaces when a child soldier drops his weapon at the line "no more killing." At that, one of the heroes says "Perhaps peace begins with one boy putting down his gun.

Blume says that at present a two-part episode is set to air on the Star Trek series dealing with human rights abuses.

The producers worked closely with people at Amnesty Inter-national to bring forth those pertinent issues more responsibly.

Resist ARMX '93

In 1989 about 3,000 activists marched in Ottawa to say NO to the ARMX weapons trade show, where some of the world's most brutal human rights violators perused military goods guaranteed to produce the "lowest cost per kill." The show generated more than $1 billion worth of military trade.

The Alliance for Non-Violent Action initiated resistance across Ontario and Quebec, culminating in a rally of about in which, over 160 people were arrested while nonviolently blockading the site.

The issue raised a public outcry, with the result that Ottawa City Council voted to ban ARMX from municipal property and the arms show was not held in l992.

But ARMX is back-smaller and, they think, smarter. Calling itself by the Orwellian name of "Peacekeeping '93," it is not offering as many large and "offensive" looking weapons, and it promises that countries with the "worst" human rights records such as South Africa will not be invited. In addition Project Ploughshares will be presenting a seminar at the fair. But the weapons manufacturers include many of the same ones present in '89 and representatives of brutal regimes around the world will be returning.

We are also back. We must demonstrate that resistance to this weapons bazaar is as strong as ever. On Monday, March 15 at 1:00 pm., buses will leave Toronto for Ottawa (returning March 16 evening). Cost is 525.00 return. The rally and nonviolent resistance take place on Tuesday. There will be a nonviolent training workshop in Ottawa Monday night for those planning to take part in the civil disobedience. Call 461-2274, 651-5930 or 536-0051 for details and to reserve a seat on the bus.

- Mary Boit, Alliance for Non-Violent Action.

Space Invasion Thwarted

York University lost out to Strasbourg, France, in its bid to host the International Space University. The University would have been a hotbed of military research, strongly subsidized by government, and very expensive to attend.

Peace Magazine Mar-Apr 1993

Peace Magazine Mar-Apr 1993, page 26. Some rights reserved.

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