- Christine Peringer of the Peace Research Institute-Dundas is compiling Canadian peace group activities: what has worked, what hasn't and why? She is collecting critical assessmentS from peace groups of their activities so other groups can learn from their experiences. Topics will include starting and maintaining a peace group; getting educated; having effective meetings; spreading the peace message to the public, schools, media; dealing with politicians; and raising money.
Successful campaigns and proven organizing ideas will be shared, indicating the contributor's name and peace group. Organizing disasters and avoidable mistakes will be described (anonymously if requested) so that other groups can avoid similar pitfalls.
Peringer wrote all groups in the Canadian Peace Alliance mailing list. Please reply soon with suggestions, questions, and submissions.
Contact Christine Peringer, PRI-D, 25 Dundana Avenue, Dundas, Ontario L9H 4E5. Phone 628-2356.
- Asia-Pacific People's Environment Network (APPEN), based in Penang, Malaysia, has sent out a request for peace people everywhere to send letters and cables to President Mitterand requesting an end to French nuclear testing in the Pacific. They suggest releasing all protest messages to the press and organizing demonstrations at local French consulates. And they think it would be good to send copies of these messages to Prime Minister David Lange of New Zealand too.
- Personal peace treaties are an idea that originated in East Germany. Individuals in East and West Europe make a commitment to each other, for instance, that they won't use violence against each other or against each other's country. These constitute a form of ~etente from below." If you want to make a personal peace treaty, contact Groningen Vredeswinkel (peace shop), telling them whether you are a soldier, say, or a conscientious objector, or someone active in the peace movement, and your occupation. (This information is optional.) The Vredeswinkel is keeping a register of personal peace treaties. All names are confidential and they advise parties to a personal peace treaty not to publish it without permission of their partners. Contact Vredeswinkel, P.O. Box 1667, 9701 BR, Groningen, Netherlands.
- An urgent request from the British trade unionists in CND: Attempts are being made in the U.K. to convince workers that their companies' involvement in Star Wars research will mean secure jobs. A high level meeting of trade union officials is being organized by Trade Union CND to mobilize opposition to such propaganda. It is scheduled for November 26. Speakers are ready to discuss the politics of the SDI and the economics of U.K. involvement in it. Briefing papers will be produced, to become the basis of a campalgn to put arms conversion firmly into the Labour Pary manifesto for the next election.
- In the immediate term, as the organizers have to produce briefing material in the very near future, they urgently need information on the recent decision of the Canadian government not to take part in Star Wars research. They ask: Is this connected to the Defence Production Sharing Arrangement? Is it based on lobbying by the Canadian peace movement? If so, which points were most telling in the argument? Send other relevant information - such as the role of the trade unions and the C.L.C. An update on the work of the task force on arms conversion would also be appreciated. Direct your replies to Tony Webb, 27 Windsor Road, London N7 6JG.
- There are two organizations called World Disarmament Campalgn." The better-known one in Canada is the United Nations campaign, but the one in Britain was first to use the title. It is chaired now by Lord Fenner Brocltway, a feisty octogenarian ex4abour leader. On October 24 that group begins its project, World Peace Action Programme." It is circulating a set of proposals for endorsement by peace organizations around the world so that some coordination can be put behind a drive to pressurize governments by showing the unity of the world's peace movements. To obtain a drafi of this rather substantial text, contact World Disarmament Campalgn, 238a Camden Road, London NWl, 9HE, England.
- Many participants in the Moscow Festival of Youth visited with independent peace activists there. In one such meeting, a letter was drafted, signed by 19 delegates, and sent to Mikhail Gorbachev. It thanked him for organizing the conference and inviting them to come; it congratulated him on the unilateral moratorium on nuclear weapons testing, and it deplored the incarceration of various independent Soviet activiStS, notably Alexander Shatravka and Dr. Vladimir Brodsky. A staff person of the Central Committee of the Communist Party promised the group that a reply would be sent by Gorbachev.
- Phil Esmonde is representing Western Canada on the Pacific Campaign International Council. This is an organization that is beginning to coordinate activities among peace activists in the Pacific region, just as the North Atlantic Network is coordinating protest activities on both sides of the Atlantic. An overriding concern of the Pacific network is the their attention to the campaign against Tomahawk sea launched cruise missiles (SLCMs). It seems that peace organizers in Washington, D.C. have failed to put up a good struggle on SLCMs, concentrating more on MX and Star Wars projects, which are generally thought to have a better prospect of being stoppable than the SLCMs.
If Tomahawks are to be stopped, the campaign will have to come by applying pressure outside the ordinary channels of government.
The Pacific Campaign has a coordinating council, which includes Esmonde and delegates from Japan, New Zealand (which the group refers to by an unusual native name, "Aotearoa"), the Philippines, and Australia. Many direct action protests took place in June in almost all these countries. They were small and received little press coverage, but a videotape is being prepared by Not for Profit Television," an activist media group in New York. One demonstrator dressed as a giant cockroach - the only survivor of a nuclear war! Contact Phil Esmonde at 407-620 View St., Victoria B.C. V8WlJ6, Phone 604/381-4131.
- Carol Wells suggests sending positive reinforcement (thanks) to Mr. Gorbachev for his humane treatment of Mrs. Sakharov: Symbolic acts of this sort helps us promote substantive Soviet disarmament proposals."