WAND Canada, "Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament," founded by Dr. Helen Caldicott, has a branch in Calgary now. Besides publishing a newsletter, Quest for Peace, the group is organizing a peace resource centre. For further information. contact Bettie Fox, WAND Canada, 233 10th Street NW, Calgary T2N 4J5.
The Canadian Council for International Co-operation (Ontario Region) has a working group that is extending the work they began with the Elections Priorities Project. It has agreed to act as a clearing house of information related to the Foreign Policy Review in Ontario. This summer they have been encouraging peace groups to participate in the public hearings that are part of the formal review of Canada's foreign policy. This has been difficult, however, since the summer schedule of hearings has been far too limited. The committee was supposed to report back to Commons no later than August 23 on its review of Star Wars and bilateral trade with the United States. Groups that have not been able to express their views to the committee can, of course, still write to their Members of Parliament and the appropriate ministries. For more information on the work of CCIC's Disarmament and Development Working Group, contact Dwight Burkhardt, c/o Christian Movement for Peace, 427 Bloor St. W., Toronto. Phone 921-2360.
Tok Blong SPPF is the name of a new publication coming from the South Pacific Peoples Foundation of Canada. Its title is pidgin English for "This talk belongs to SPPF" or "SPPF Newsletter." The organization exists to educate the Canadian public about critical South Pacific issues and to organize Canadian assistance for that region. Its July issue focuses on New Caledonia, particularly the struggle of the native Kanak people against their colonial status as a dependency of France. President Mitterand has said that France will build a major naval base in the pleasant capital city, Noumea, large enough to accommodate nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers, plus an airfield for Jaguar attack planes.
The newsletter also reports on the plant of a New Zealand organization, Le Groupe (P.O. Box 5510, Auckland, N.Z.),to boycott all French goods for the month of September. This is a protest against French testing of nuclear weapons under the fragile atoll of Moruroa. A peace fleet it to be stationed off that island to protest throughout September. It was to be led by the Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior, which of course was bombed before it could participate in this flotilla. Tok Blong SPPF is available to donors (of over $10) to SPPF. Its address it 407-620 View St., Victoria B.C. V8W 1J6.
From our Paranoia Desk, via The Nation, June 22, 1985. European disarmament activists wonder how many "peacenik provocateurs" are in their midst. One John Philip Wood, a 44-year-old Canadian, was named in a report to the Dutch Parliament as an informant for the secret service. He was extradited to Belgium, tried and sentenced for stealing howitzer shells. He had tried to convince peace activists to use some of the shells to bomb a military base. Former British intelligence officers have acknowledged that phones are tapped and dossiers kept by British security services on CND leaders. The business in Belgium and the Netherlands may, however, be the first time efforts have been made to provoke peace groups to violence for the sake of smearing the movement.
Last Remembrance Day, Paula Rochman poured 100 millilitres of her own blood on the site at Rexdale, Ontario, where Litton Industries manufactures cruise missile components. She was charged with "damaging" private property. In her July trial her defence argued that any damage the had done was negligible in comparison to the significance of what she had to say. Freedom of expression in such a debate justifies such actions. Paula's witnesses were Dan Heap, M.P., Settuko Thurlow, a victim of the Hiroshima bombing, and Major General Leonard V. Johnson. The court dismissed the charge, greatly to the satisfaction of the peace movement spokespersons. The Crown it appealing the decision, claiming that the judge erred in hit interpretation of "damage." Should the decision be reverted, Paula will, in her turn, appeal that.
Wave to Doug Mohr as he pedals past you on his fundraising journey, RIDE FOR PEACE. Doug's itinerary will extend from Vancouver on August 1 to Ottawa six weeks and 5000 kilometers later. He plans to arrive in time for the second annual Ontario Peace Conference there. It's probably not too late to collect pledges-and it's a fine way to open a conversation with your neighbors about the disarmament issue. The pledged money and the talk are both contributions to communication about the nuclear arms race. Funds raised will pay for television and radio ads that will inform Canadians about the effects of the arms race and put them in touch with local peace groups. The ads will bring thousands of new people into the Canadian peace movement. Do not collect any money-just pledges. During the first two weeks of fundraising, the Ride for Peace collected over $10,000 in pledges. Send pledge sheets to RIDE FOR PEACE, 524 Palmerston Blvd., Toronto, Ont M6G 2P5. For information about Doug's progress, phone Jennifer Yust at 416/639-5954 or Lori McElroy at 416/536-2025.
Probably the most profound reader response we have ever received was the concern generated by our interview with Sr. Rosalie Bertell. Many people want to know what they can do to support this work. You're lucky:
There's a lot. Dr. Bertell prefers to work in an independent research setting, free from the constraints that so often limit scientists. Her small institute publishes papers that would not be circulated otherwise, and helps people get radiation tests that few physicians know how to order, or why to order, or how to interpret. She helps in lawsuits involving public health by, for example, locating physicians in New York State to testify in Canadian cases and finding Canadian physicians to testify in American cases-thereby providing testimony unconstrained by the fear of retaliation against future research funding applications. Accustomed to living simply as a nun, Sr. Bertell is emulated by her staff, who all accept only about $6 per hour in pay. Still, the work needs regular sources of funds, which cannot be obtained in the way that academic or corporate researchers find support. The organization will be pleased to hear ideas for new ways of meeting expenses. In addition, Dr. Bertell can use the services of volunteers who are good writers and who have a moderate background in technical scientific matters. Her goal is to have many important scientific papers "translated" into everyday English and sent to newspapers, magazines, television producers, and similar media, so that the general public can become more aware of the dangers that should be worrying us all. Such volunteer editors need not live in the Toronto area. If interested, contact The Institute of Concern for Public Health, Suite 343, 67 Mowat St., Toronto M6K 3E3. Phone 533-7351.
Filmmaker Peter Watkins's latest work, A Film for Peace: The Nuclear War Film is almost finished. Shot in 12 different countries around the world, it includes representative families discussing the impact of a possible nuclear war. Support groups have been raising money for two years to pay for this film and in Canada, NFB has offered its laboratory and editing facilities. Another $50,000 is needed to finish the project. Cheques (eligible for tax-receipts for income tax purposes) can be sent to Sky Works Charitable Foundation, 566 Palmerston Ave., Toronto M6G 2P7. Or phone Barbara Moffat at 416/536-6581.
A letter has gone out to all peace-related groups in Canada inviting them to put their names on the mailing list. Those responding will be kept informed about the formation of a Canadian peace alliance. If you haven't received a card, contact Peace Alliance Planning Committee, c/o TDN, 736 Bathurst Street, Toronto MS S 2R4. Phone 535-8005.