Newsworthy

By Arnold Simoni, Hans Sinn, Metta Spencer

Turning the Tables on Verification

BY ARNOLD SIMONI

GENEVA -- The Soviets have reversed their long-standing aversion to intrusive measures of verification. On August 9, Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze called for more extensive verification practices than the U.S. had ever proposed, including mandatory access to Soviet and U. S. military facilities in third countries where missiles could be stationed, a complete ban on chemical weapons and the elimination of their stockpiles ...[with] mandatory challenge inspections without right of refusal. " Later, the Soviets proposed that each superpower conduct tests in the other's sites to calibrate devices for verification.

Their shift prompted a change in U.S. policy. On August 25, the White House announced that the U.S. no longer wanted as extensive a set of procedures for verification as it had demanded before.

Major Donation Toward U of T's Peace Studies

TORONTO -- University College, at the University of Toronto, has been carrying on a fundraising campaign with a goal of $1.3 million, to endow a chair of Peace and Conflict Studies. In May, Mr. and Mrs. Vern Heinrichs of Toronto made a gift of $600,000 toward that fund, Principal Peter Richardson announced.

Nanoose Group Joins Civil Disobedience Actions in U.S.

By Sunshine Goldstream

NANOOSE BAY BC: The Nanoose Conversion Campaign will participate in civil disobedience actions at a number of U.S. military installations on October 26.

Charges were dropped against Brian Mills of the group, who was arrested in July, after boarding the U.S. nuclear attack submarine, Guardfish, at Nanoose Bay, in an attempt to deliver a letter to its commander asking a confirmation or denial that nuclear weapons were on board. To date, all of the arrests made in conjunction with nuclear capable vessels visiting Nanoose, and the campaign's various civil disobedience actions, have resulted in charges being dropped.

A peace walk will take place on November 11 to the base gates of the Canadian Forces Maritime Testing Range -- CFMETR. Call 468-7335.

Sixth Annual END Conference: Success

COVENTRY, U.K. -- More than a thousand peace activists from thirty different countries took part in the 6th annual European Nuclear Disarmament (END) conference July 15 -18 at Coventry England., where over 100 workshops and seminars were held. The END Liaison Committee had sent invitations to East European Communist Parties without insisting upon representation by independent peace and human rights groups from Eastern Europe. The history of the committee's decision-making, unrepresentative of the non-aligned peace movement as a whole, came to a boil at the conference and led to a series of unscheduled late-night meetings. Here guidelines were worked out for the preparations of the 1988 END conference, to be held in Sweden and organized by the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society. Members of the nonaligned movement, together with those East bloc independents who managed to work around their governmental travel restrictions, resolved that in the future, East bloc independents will be directly involved in preparing the annual event. It was not made quite clear how this resolve was to be translated into practice. The acceptance of an invitation by the CSSR human rights organization Charta 77 to hold a pre-conference meeting a Prague was among the measures being considered.

Among the conference highlights was the speech by former END spokesperson E.P. Thompson during which he reviewed the achievements of the international peace movement pointed toward future opportunities. "The paranoid scenario of the superpowers and cold warriors is coming to an end and the possibilities for peace-minded people to have a decisive impact on the future has never been as great." Thompson said that it may be time to reformulate END's founding statement to reflect the new world situation -- a growing internationalization and coming together of peace and human rights movements.

A surprisingly strong Canadian representation at the END conference bespoke of the health and vigor of the Canadian peace movement.

Ups and Downs for Eastern Activists

BY METTA SPENCER

The Moscow Group for Trust survives, and has proposed these democratizing measures: complete political amnesty; constitutional revisions to guarantee civil rights and freedoms without conditions; prohibition of the use of punitive psychiatry; abolition of capital punishment and softening of prison conditions; publication in the USSR of the best samizdat, and ensuring of the right to buy any book from abroad. Also suggested are a tourist program for inexpensive travel in East and West by exchanging houses; an expanded exchange program for children and hired workers; and TV shows in which Western and Eastern politicians together would reply to phoned-in questions.

The group has experienced ups and downs lately. In May, some members set up an art show, exhibiting about 25 works, mainly on Christian and ecological subjects. After two hours, plainclothes police brutally assaulted the artists, including one woman in the eighth month of pregnancy. The next day, the police raided other pacifist and counter-culture youths. Many were assaulted, several requiring hospitalization, and over sixty were taken in by the police.

Only a week later, on the other hand, at a Dialogue with Western peace activists, the Soviet Peace Committee allowed one Trust Group activist, Irina Krivova, to attend the meeting and to speak for about ten minutes. The Western visitors (though none of the Russians) termed this concession "historic."

Peace Magazine Oct-Nov 1987

Peace Magazine Oct-Nov 1987, page 46. Some rights reserved.

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