This month, there are two letter-writing topics: Star Wars and the Parliament Hill Peace Camp.
In a recent conversation with MP Walter McLean, the Secretary of State, McLean argued that Canada would decide whether or not to be involved in research and development of the Strategic Defence Initiative only after long deliberation. McLean asserted that there was still time left to stop Canadian involvement in Star Wars.
To this end, the first of this month's two letter-writing suggestions is to write to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Jean Chretien (who is heading up a Liberal task force on Star Wars), and Ed Broadbent. Letters to these three individuals require no postage (if you write "MP" on the envelope) and should be addressed to: House of Commons, Ottawa ON, KiA 0A6.
The following are points that you may wish to address in your letters (information supplied by the Toronto Disarmament Network). 1. Strategic experts have said that the Star Wars plan has "no prospect" of achieving its objectives. It can only force the Soviet Union to build more weapons to overwhelm any defensive system. It threatens to violate the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and increases the possibility of accidental outbreak of nuclear war. 2. Canadian involvement would creae relatively few and specialized jobs. Money spent on other areas will do more for the economy and produce products that Canadians need and want. We do not need nor want more weapons systems. 3. The Strategic Defence Initiative will fuel the arms race and therefore make Canada less -- not more -- secure.
For further information, also see the article by Andrew Pakula on page 26 of the May issue of PEACE MAGAZINE.
The peace camp on Parliament Hill has been in operation for the last two years. However, since late April the campers have heen repeatedly arrested under a hastily-enacted regulation which makes it illegal not only to put up a tent, but also a table, chair, or a banner -anything which can be considered a "structure."
Members of the Ottawa Disarmament Coalition have now been arrested for nothing more than setting up a literature table on the hill. This is without question a violation of the democratic right to freedom of speech and peaceful protest of all Canadians, and a contravention of the Charter of Rights.
This month's second letter-writing suggestion is to write to Roch Lasalle, Minister of Public Works, protesting the new regulation as well as the treatment of peace campers. A copy of this letter should be sent to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. These two letters require no postage and should be addressed to the House of Commons, Ottawa ON, KiA 0A6.
This month's letter-writing suggestions come from the Toronto Disarmament Network and the Ottawa Disarmament Coalition.
The NLWC would like to welcome another new member group -- Unionville Peace Awareness. Should your peace group be interested in joining the NLWC (we are now over 250 groups strong!), please write to us at Box 43,70 King St. N., Waterloo ON, N2J 3Z6. Also, please send letter-writing suggestions.
P.S. Remember -- thinking about it doesn't change anything. Please put something in the mail.