From the Editor
- Last year we published a letter from a young Canadian woman, a Peace Brigades volunteer in El Salvador. It was a funny story about how she had convinced some tough local officials that she was not dangerous by proving that she was a professional clown. She made little animals for them by twisting balloons, and soon they were joyfully drawing faces on them, and validating her visa without any further hassle.
It was far harder for Karen Ridd to sustain peace in her subsequent dealings with Salvadorean officials but when you read her moving story in this issue, you will agree that she largely succeeded. Love is probably never really absent from the torture chamber, but few of us know (as Karen does) how to make it reveal itself there.
- Central America was on our minds a lot as we prepared this issue. Graeme MacQueen has his own stirring stories to tell-his memory of four places in El Salvador. And Shirley Farlinger reports on the event that kept Central America on the front page the elections in Nicaragua, where she served as a (not indifferent) observer.
- John Mecartney has provided us with our first "nonviolence Sci-Fi" story. He tells what might have happened in India, had it continued to use the nonviolent means of struggle and self-defence that Mahatma Gandhi developed.
- Car radios can accidentally detonate bombs. See p.23!
- In October, the founding conference will take place in Prague for the Helsinki Citizens Assembly. This organization will provide a forum whereby citizens of all countries belonging to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) can discuss issues relating to peace, environmental protection, economic, and democracy. If you feel like endorsing the founding document and keeping posted on local conferences connecting with this assembly, drop a note to ACT for Disarmament or to the World Federalists, who are serving as the Canadian secretariat.
- The peace activists in Manitoba have been participating in actions with theirAmerican counterparts, who recently occupied a nuclear missile launching silo.
- The nuclear arms race isn't over. See Canada's plans for Lahr, and the Soviet fleet's presence near Norway.
- Our business office has a unique ambiance. We share a room with the Voice of Women and a vegetarian group. Besides lots of other social reformers, our building is populated with actors, who can be heard singing and dancing down the hall. Jean Smith, who has managed the office for about four years, loves her job but wants more time off for other projects. To make that possible, we need another capable office volunteer for about five hours, two or three days each week. There are usually a few young trainees on hand who rely on the presence of a more experienced person. If you're interested, call Jean at 533-7581.
- We are grateful to you wonderful people who have responded to our request for financial support and who have written supportive letters on our behalf. Thanks also to Ralph Lysyshyn, Peggy Mason, and Shannon Selin at External!