Newsworthy

By Hans Blumenfeld, Barry Stevens, Shirley Farlinger

Franz Blumenfeld Funds

BY HANS BLUMENFELD

TORONTO--The Franz Blumenfeld Peace Foundation was established in November, 1982. Despite two interventions by Hon. David Crombie, it has still not been granted the tax exemption to which it is entitled. However, enough funds have been accumulated to enable the Foundation to grant financial support to individuals or organizations for projects of peace research and/ or education which correspond to its criteria: Funds are provided for specific peace educational projects or events (i.e. not ongoing work) that are likely to reach a broad public. Those applying should give details, submit a budget, and report on the outcome. Apply to Mrs. Jeannette Morgan, 15 Vicora Linkway, Don Mills, Ont. M3C 1A8.

Youth Tour Planned for Autumn

Montréal--This fall, four Montréal students will begin a tour of Canadian secondary schools that will take them from St. John's to Victoria. The aim of the Youth Nuclear Disarmament Tour, which begins in October, is to inform students about the threat of nuclear war, provide a forum for discussion, and encourage local youth to form their own peace groups. The four students are Seth Klein, 18, Alison Carpenter, 17, Maxime Faille, 17, and Désirée McGraw, 16. They are all members of Students Aainst Global Extermination, a big Montréal organization run entirely by students. In the past, SAGE has conducted discussions, shown films, and encouraged young people to make a "pledge for the planet," promising never to vote for a candidate who does not support disarmament. Copies are sent to M.P.s. Klein says that the tour, a SAGE project, will reach as many as 200,000 students, or one in 15 of all high school students in the country. To do so, the group must raise about $20,000.

They also need logistical support in the form of local organizers and billeting for the two or three day visits. If you can help, please write the Youth Nuclear Disarmament Tour, 610 Victoria Avenue, Montréal, P.Q. H3Y 2R9 or call (514) 484-7434 or Seth Klein at 931-5963.

The group feels that the "facade of apathy" can be changed, that through information and action, youth can reinforce their sense of empowerment and responsibility. Quoted Faille, "We don't own this world. We borrow it from our children."

De Jong's Peace Tax Fund

OTTAWA--Conscience Canada, a Vancouver-based organization led by Edith Adamson, has prompted a number of Canadians to withhold the portion of their federal taxes that is otherwise spent for the military. As support grows for this form of protest, so do demands to make it a legal option.

Accordingly, Simon de Jong, MP from Regina East, moved, as a private members' bill in the House of Commons, a motion calling for the establishment of a Peace Tax. The motion proposed that in the opinion of this House, the Government should consider the advisability of introducing legislation whereby the income tax form would provide a specific section enabling taxparyers, who so indicate, to have that percentage of total annual federal expenditures dedicated to national defence transferred to a peace tax trust which would provide funding for peace and disarmament research and education."

In defending his motion, de Jong said, "There is a great need for peace research....Yet it hardly receives any funding at all. I believe it is about $300,000 per year. Of course, our military budget is closer to $9 billion per year...

"The Conscience Canada organization is not unique. There are some 17 countries with similar organizations. In fact, they have achieved some success in various jurisdictions. In Italy, some 17 taxpayers who had been charged with not paying their taxes because of conscientious objections, have been found by the Italian courts to be not guilty. Under the Italian Constitution, they are guaranteed the right of conscience. In the United Kingdom, some 20,000 individuals, including 60 Members of Parliament, have signed a document urging the Government to change its legislation to allow the people to not pay that proportion of their taxes which would go to military spending, and instead have it redirected to peace research. In the United States, the Peace Tax Fund Bill is supported by 42 Members of Congress and four Senators. So the story goes, through some 17 countries where there are organized groups of individuals who are attempting to redirect their tax money toward peace research."

In a warm response to Mr. de Jong's motion, the Hon. Lloyd Axworthy, M.P. for Winnipeg-Fort Garry, responded urged increased support for peace education.

TORONTO--The Senate of York University ratified a set of motions on June 26 banning Star Wars research. In 3 separate votes, the resolutions were accepted that the Senate of York University: (1) rejects in the strongest terms possible the concepts of the Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars); (2) urges all members of the University, as an act of individual conscience, not knowingly to undertake research funded by the Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars) Office of Innovative Research; and (3) urges the administration not to accept such funds on behalf of York University. The motions, which were proposed by two professors, A.D. Stauffer and Michael Lanphier, had given rise to six months of debate at all levels of the university.

To the satisfaction of these scientists, President Harry Arthurs pledged that his administration would accept no SDI funding.

Civil Defence - Again!

NEW YORK--When over 50 percent of the U.S. population refused to participate in 1984, the Federal Emergency Management Agency civil defence plans were buried. Now like the phoenix, Civil Defence is rising from the ashes again. The new $1.7 billion version has given up on asking people to send forwarding addresses while being nuked, but has equally silly ideas. It calls for 3400 blast shelters to protect government officials and land ownership records, while stating that citizens need to "assume greater responsibility for their survival protection." Radiation detectors and instruction manuals will encourage more self-help.

Residents downwind from Chernobyl were told not to let their children play on the grass, eat salad, or drink cows' or mothers' milk. Not very helpful in a war when there would be no grass, salad, or milk to abstain from.

The New Abolitionist June/July 1986.

Soviets Offer New Arms Cuts

MOSCOW--At a meeting of the Party's Central Committee on June 16, Mikhail Gorbachev announced the Soviets' new proposal for the arms talks in Geneva: (1) that both sides adhere to the Anti-Ballistic Treaty for at least 15 more years and limit Star Wars work to laboratory research; and (2) that equal ceilings be established on strategic offensive weapons (long range missiles, heavy bombers).

This proposal is less dramatic than the one announced on January 15, which called for cuts by 50 percent of strategic offensive weapons. The Soviets saidthat they prefer the stronger measures, but offer this new variant as an intermediate option. The offer came four days after a meeting of Warsaw Treaty leaders in Budapest where a proposal was issued for sharp reductions in armed forces and conventional arms in Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals.

President Reagan, at a press conference, signaled a benign reaction to the Geneva proposals. The U.S., he said, could not accept all its terms, but he suggested that some agreement might be possible. He did not comment on the proposals for troop reductions.

Conscientious Objection Limits

WASHINGTON--The selective service system rebuffed pacifists by passing new regulations that reverse 46 years of practice by barring conscientious objectors from performing alternative (rather than military) service in programs designed for persons with religious commitments. Other new rules also limit the options for those who refuse to kill.

submit to examination by the military prior to their CO hearings; closing local draft board hearings to the public; making those with expired exemptions or deferments the first to be drafter, up to age 35; and permitting local boards to refuse to consider CO claims if the claimant does not appear at a scheduled hearing. Numerous religious and peace organizations objected before, and are continuing their resistance to these new regulations.

Do It Yourself: A Deal for Peace

TORONTO--A nation-wide observance of U.N. International Day of Peace is planned for September 16. Everywhere people will pause to join with the U.N. Assembly and with people in over fifty countries for a minute of silence followed by a moment of sound. During the silence people ponder peace or pray for peace. During the sound (e.g. a peal of bells) -people celebrate belonging in peace to humankind.

Help is available for those who want to organize autonomous local committees to co-operate with mayors in encouraging observances. in their communities. Materials are available from the UN, The Canadian Mission to the UN, San Francisco, Toronto and London, England concerning the observance. Contact Don Evans, "A Peal for Peace Toronto," 395 Markham Street, Toronto, Ontario M6G 2K8.

Nuclear Ships to Visit Toronto?

BY SHIRLEY FARLINGER

TORONTO: Two warships will be visiting Toronto this summer, the HMCS Nipigon, August 8-10 and the USS Groton, carrying the nuclear-capable missile ASROC, August 15-17. The U.S. government refuses to confirm or deny whether its ships carry nuclear weapons but Retired Admiral Eugene Carroll says, "Prudent military planning requires an adversary to assume the presence of nuclear weapons on nuclear-capable warships at all times." deny whether its ships carry nuclear weapons but Retired Admiral Eugene Carroll says, "Prudent military planning requires an adversary to assume the presence of nuclear weapons on nuclear-capable warships at all times."

Soviets Release Trust Group Member Alexander Shatravka

MOSCOW--One of the founding members of the independent peace movement in the Soviet Union, Alexander Shatravka, has been released from prison and allowed to emigrate with his wife, Anna. This was announced by Dr. Yevgeny Chazov about three weeks before. Chazov reported that the case of Dr. Vladimir Brodsky is also being reviewed favorably and his release can be expected too. As of this writing, this has not yet occurred. Dr. Chazov made it clear that the release is a gesture of good will to western peace activists. Accordingly, those who have requested this may wish write to him or Mr. Gorbachev, acknow-ledging this contribution.

This happy news was offset by the harassment of other members of the Group for Trust. Larissa Chukaeva has lost custody of her child and is charged with forgery. Drs. Yury and Olga Medvedkov have been fired from work.

Ethics of "Amerika" Debated

TORONTO--On Sunday, June 29, Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament held a public forum,"The Greening of Amerika: The Artist and Social Responsibility."

"Amerika" is a $40 million ABC - TV mini-series currently shooting in Toronto, concerning life in the U.S. after a Soviet takeover. Panelists included Donald Wrye, the writer/producer/director of the show, Barrie Zwicker, media critic, and Laura Sky, filmmaker. The media were forbidden access by ABC, but PEACE attended anyway. Mr. Zwicker claimed that the show would be a "match thrown into the global gasoline can." Mr. Wrye said that the show was "an entertainment" and when challenged that the premise of an Russian invasion was false, said that the use of Russians as villains was "analogous" and would have no effect on policy, since few Americans fear a Russian invasion. Ms. Sky said that such film productions "were not welcome at my table," and called on the audience for more concrete action against "Amerika." She also decried the role of women in the production (three of the four principal women collaborate by sleeping with occupying soldiers). Mr. Wry assured the audience that no Toronto performers would be "blacklisted" for refusing to work on "Amerika" on ethical grounds.

Peace Magazine Aug-Sep 1986

Peace Magazine Aug-Sep 1986, page 24. Some rights reserved.

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