Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

Archive for November, 2007

‘Support Our Troops’ Decals

Posted by strattof on November 23, 2007

‘SUPPORT OUR TROOPS’ DECALS TO APPEAR ON ALL CITY VEHICLES

On September 17, Regina City Council voted to put ‘Support Our Troops’ decals on all city vehicles. The motion was passed in a 10-1 vote, with Fred Clipsham being the only councillor to vote against it.

Do you agree with City Council’s decision to place ‘Support Our Troops’ decals on all city vehicles?  

  • ‘Support Our Troops’ is not a politically neutral statement. It is a political message of support for Canada’s military engagement in Afghanistan. Prime Minister Stephen Harper makes this plain in a remark he made at a support-our-troops rally: ‘You cannot say you are for our military and then not stand behind them in the great things they do’ (22/9/06). It is unacceptable for public vehicles to carry any political message. 
  • 74 Canadians have already been killed in the conflict in Afghanistan. Hundreds more have been injured, many of them seriously.
  • Since the war began in 2001, over Afghan 7000 civilians have been killed. In the south alone, where Canadians are fighting, over 200,000 Afghans have been displaced from their homes and are in refugee camps. 
  • Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan run the risk of exposure to depleted uranium, a chemically toxic and radioactive dust which is known to cause cancer, kidney damage, immune system failings, and congenital abnormalities. Soldiers in combat zones also frequently suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • War brings death and destruction. The occupation of a country by foreign armies does not bring freedom and democracy.

If you disagree with City Council’s decision to place ‘Support Our Troops’ decals on city vehicles, please contact your city councillor or the Mayor’s office.

Mayor Pat Fiacco 777-7339

Ward 1 Louis Brown 531-5151

Ward 2 Jocelyn Hutchinson 584-1739

Ward 3 Fred Clipsham 757-8212

Ward 4 Michael Fougere 7895586

Ward 5 Bill Grey 761-0919

Ward 6 Wade Murray 522-8683

Ward 7 Sharon Bryce 949-5025

Ward 8 Mike O’Donnell 545-7300

Ward 9 Terry Hinks 949-9690

Ward 10 Jerry Flegel 777-6689

 To send an e-mail to city councillors: 1) Log on to the regina.ca website.  2) Click on ‘Council & Committee Meetings.’  3) Click on ‘Contact Us.’  4) Click on ‘Questions About Your Ward.’  

SUPPORT OUR TROOPS! BRING THEM HOME!

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Why is the Canadian Military in Afghanistan?

Posted by strattof on November 20, 2007

WHY IS THE CANADIAN MILITARY IN AFGHANISTAN? 

We are told that it is to help the Afghan people. 

  • Since the war began in 2001, over 7,00 Afghan civilians have been killed.
  • In the south alone, where Canadians are fighting, 200,000 Afghans have been displaced from their homes and are in refugee camps.
  • Of the estimated $6 billion Canada has spent on the war, less than 10 per cent has been allocated to aid and reconstruction.

 We are also told that Canadian troops are in Afghanistan to liberate Afghan girls and women. 

  • War is never good for women and children.
  • Killing their fathers, husbands, and brothers does not liberate women.
  • Like Canadian women, Afghan women have developed their own organizations and strategies to combat gender oppression.

What about the claim that the war will bring freedom and democracy to Afghanistan? 

  • In earlier centuries, European powers justified their colonization of other territories by claiming to be “bringing the light of civilization to the dark places of the earth.” The idea that western values and practices are superior to those of other nations is the height of arrogance. Each nation has its own definition of freedom and democracy. We cannot impose our version on Afghanistan. 
  • In Afghanistan, Canada has been complicit in the violation of human rights by handing over detainees to US and Afghan authorities to face possible abuse. The Department of National Defence has moved to stop releasing any documents related to detainees captured in Afghanistan, citing “national security concerns.”

Why then are Canadian troops in Afghanistan? 

Canada does not wish to alienate the United States, the most powerful nation in the world. In 2001, as part of the US Operation Enduring Freedom, Canada sent a small contingent of 750 troops to Afghanistan. In 2003, after saying “no” to Iraq, Canada began to increase its military presence in Afghanistan. Currently there are 2500 Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

 

Canadian corporations benefit from US military contracts.

 

Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, a US strategic goal has been to gain control over the vast oil reserves of Central Asia by building a pipeline through Afghanistan to India and Pakistan. Canadian corporations are invested in this project.

 

Afghanistan’s mineral deposits, which include copper and iron, are of great interest to Canadian mining companies.

 

THESE ARE THE REAL REASONS CANADIANS AND AFGHANS ARE DYING 

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Nuclear Weapons: The Canadian Connection

Posted by strattof on November 16, 2007

NUCLEAR WEAPONS: THE CANADIAN CONNECTION

          Canada was a major source of the uranium used in making the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The uranium came from Port Radium, North West Territories.

            Between 1945 and 1963, uranium from mines in Ontario and Saskatchewan played a central role in the creation of the United States arsenal of nuclear weapons.

          During the 1970s and 1980s, Saskatchewan uranium became the primary source for the United States nuclear weapons industry.

            Currently, Saskatchewan is the world’s largest producer of uranium, accounting for 30% of the world’s annual production of uranium. Officially, Canada exports uranium exclusively for the generation of electricity. However, Saskatchewan uranium is the primary source for the depleted uranium weapons used by the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan.

            Depleted uranium is a waste product produced when uranium is enriched for use in nuclear power plants. It can be used to coat bullets and rockets, making them hard enough to penetrate tank armour and concrete underground bunkers. On impact, depleted uranium produces a chemically toxic and radioactive dust that enters the air and the water. Exposure to depleted uranium may lead to a range of illnesses, including cancer, kidney damage, and immune system failings, as well as to congenital abnormalities. Depleted uranium remains radioactive for about 4.5 million years.

            The United States used depleted uranium weapons in Iraq in 1991, the first time such weapons have been used in warfare. Since then, cancer rates in Iraq have increased ten-fold and birth abnormalities eighteen-fold. Many American veterans from that war have also developed serious illnesses.

            In the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the use of depleted uranium weapons intensified. The United States has also employed depleted uranium weapons in Afghanistan.

In 1970 Canada signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The only way to stop the manufacture and use of nuclear weapons is to stop the trade in uranium. Without uranium there can be no nuclear weapons.

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VIGIL INFORMATION

Posted by strattof on November 15, 2007

MAKING PEACE VIGIL

Bearing witness to our society’s involvement in violence and injustice

Committing ourselves to creative action for change

Every Thursday

until peace breaks out

From 12 noon to 12:30 pm

On Scarth Street at 11th Avenue 

EVERYONE IS WELCOME

The Making Peace Vigil is loosely modeled on Women in Black. We are committed to peace and justice and to opposing war and all forms of violence and injustice.

Our vigil takes the form of standing once a week, at the same hour and at the same location, holding a banner, carrying placards, and handing out leaflets.

 The vigil protests a range of issues on the national, provincial, and local levels: 

  • The deployment of Canada’s military in Afghanistan
  • Canadian Pension Plan investments in corporations making weapons
  • Saskatchewan’s involvement in the uranium industry
  • The suspension of human and civil rights in the name of national security
  • The failure of the Canadian government to settle First Nations land claims
  • Social inequity in housing and employment in Regina
  • Violence against women in Canada and worldwide
  • The lack of a national early learning and child care program
  • The unequal distribution of wealth both in Canada and worldwide
  • War against the earth systems that give us life

For further information please contact

Catherine Verrall: tel 569-7699; e-mail cvtransport2000@yahoo.ca

Florence Stratton: tel 522-2310; e-mail florence.stratton@uregina.ca

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