A Los Angeles organization, "Pro Peace" is planning to send 5000 people on a march across fifteen states over a period of nine months. The marchers plan to set offon their trek on March 1, covering 15 miles a day and generating media coverage along the way. They will sleep in 3000 brilliantly-colored geodesic tents and be served by mobile cafeterias. Pro Peace's fundraisers hope that sponsors will contribute $1 for each mile walked by their chosen marchers.
Some of you who are really brave may want to participate in the peace march through Central America in December. There's probably still time to join in. The march is organized by Trine Eldund, a Norwegian woman who has participated in many women's marches before - to Minsk, USSR, and to Washington, DC. Trine says the march plans are well organized, with national groups from 16 countries, including Australia and Japan. The Canadian contingent is all based in Montréal, so far. Contact Trine Ekund at Spangbergveien 28A, Oslo 8, Norway. Phone 02-23-47-13.
The Cruise Missile Conversion Project (CMCP) has written to a number of teachers and professors suggesting ways in which they can put students to work doing truly useful research projects. They propose as a top priority that students do a corporate profile of Litton Systems. Other significant topics for terms papers or theses include: (1) the Defense Production Sharing Arrangements; (2) the role of the state in military production. (3) identifying arms manufacturers in a particular area and developing a regional conversion strategy; (4) alternative products suitable for the aerospace, electronic, and shipbuilding industries; (6) the role of unions in economic conversion; (7) the role of the peace movement in economic conversion; (8) jobs and military spending (9) Regionalism: Does military spending counterbalance or worsen regional disparity? (10) Identifying the ownership, controlling interest, etc. of military firms operating in Canada.
CMCP offers its own resources for students and researchers who may find them useful. Contact Joe Mihevic at CMCP, 730 Bathurst St. Toronto M55 2R4. Phone 416/532-6720.
Len Desroches represented the Cruise Missile Conversion Program in several public events in Cape Breton this summer. The audiences had more than an idle curiosity about his topic, since Litton Industries is considering moving to Cape Breton and the local people are still trying to decide how to view this matter. Desroches proposed that they reject the plant for three reasons:
Desroches also said that some of the products manufactured at the proposed plant might be used in a nuclear weapon.
Andrew Blair and Douglas Hewlitt plan to propose that an alternative school be set up in Toronto a year from now. Before doing so they want to find out what kind of support to expect and how many students might be interested in attending it -- especially those now in Grade 10. Toronto makes provision for schools with unique approaches. Setting up such schools may be initiated by parents, teachers, students, or others -subject to approval by the board. Blair's and Rewlitt's vision is for a school that would (1) integrate peace education into all subject areas; (2) offer special courses on the ethics of conflict -- particularly conflicts of interest and ideology that threaten the planet; (3) activities promoting care of all human beings - such as corresponding with students abroad, assisting new immigrants, raising money for relief agencies, etc.; (4) affiliating with the United Nations.
The school would present a wide range of views regarding disarmament. There is no desire to create an insular group of idealists perpetually reinforcing each other's naive ideas about how to achieve a peaceful world. The curriculum would focus on the removal of the root causes of war and upon nonviolent approaches to conflict resolution. The school should take only Grade II students in its first year, then add upper grades. Contact Blair and Hewlitt at 34 Saunders Ave., Toronto M6R 1B8.
The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom is carrying out a petition campaign. You can make your own copy and send the petition signatures to WILPF Toronto, 218 Epsom Downs Drive, Downsview, Ont. M3M 1T2. It reads:"We appeal to the Secretary General and all member States of the United Nations to conclude a comprehensive treaty banning all nuclear weapon tests in all environments for all time. We further call upon all nuclear weapon states to declare an immediate moratOrium on all nuclear tests, pending conclusion of a nuclear test ban."
In nuclear-free Manitoba, the history and geography curriculae for schools are being revised to include a global perspective. The material being developed through National Development Education Institute should be of interest to teachers in all provinces. The Canadian Teachers' Federation, representing 220,000 teachers, passed many resolutions supporting peace education at its annual meeting in August. For a copy of the resolutions or peace programs write: Canadian Teachers' Federation, 110 Argyle Street, Ottawa, Ont. K2P 1B4. 613/232-1505.
November 30, 1985 has been declared International Day Against War Toys. On this day, groups and individuals from around the world will be publicly stating their opposition to war toys and the militarization of children.
This Day has already received endorsements from Mobilization for Survival (U.S.), Voice of Women (Canada), the International and Canadian Coalitions Against Violent Entertainment, the Fellowship of Reconciliation (Oregon), and the Northern Friends Peace Board (Leeds, England).
Groups are invited to consider what they would like to do on this Day - a vigil outside a toy store, leatletting shoppers, a public meeting, an alternative toy fair, street theatre, and so on. Let the Canadian campaign organizers know as soon as possible, so that we can let others know of your plans. They are: War Toys Boycott Campaign, 9 Melbourne Ave., Toronto, Ont. M6K lKI. Phone 533-9507.
Andrew Pakula is investigating the possibility of developing a telecommunications network dedicated to issues of peace and nuclear disarmament. The network will include electronic mail, bulletin board announcements, and computer conferencing. If you think this is a worthwhile idea, please send your comments and suggestions to him at 33 Elmhurst Ave., Apt. 504, Willowdale, Ont. M2N 6G8.