"We are deeply affected by their lack of respect for the Nanoose First Nation, "said Nanoose Elder Andrew Callicum, referring to military actions at Nanoose Bay this summer.
Callicum was on board the 35-foot wooden yacht "Dove" with some speakers representing trade unions, the Nanoose Conversion Campaign, Whiskey Golf Yacht Club, and End the Arms Race when a military police boat rammed and holed the Dove. The group had just arrived as invited guests to an "Open House" at Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental and lest Ranges (CFMETR) when the attack occurred. Brian Bob, officially representing Nanoose First Nation Hereditary Chief Wilson Bob, had planned to present CFMETR Commanding Officer Mike Dalzell with a ceremonial offering of tobacco, and to discuss the First Nations Declaration of Sovereignty over the land and water used mainly by the U.S. Navy. Members of the group had received letters from CFMETR's Environmental Assessment Project saying "We look forward to meeting with you at the CFMETR Open House, and discussing your concerns regarding range operations."
But on arrival, the entire delegation was aggressively and at times violently prevented from approaching the dock. Military police and U.S. Marine Corps personnel rammed at least three other boats, forcibly towing one away at high speed, ripping a banner (reading "Convert Nanoose") from another and verbally threatening the visitors. "You don't know how much I'd like to shoot you," former Canadian Airborne paratrooper Sgt. Lyver told Whiskey Golf Yacht Club member Elaine Johnston. Proudly displaying his Airborne insignia, Lyver said ".. if you knew those (Somalia) people like we did, you'd know they got exactly what they deserved." Lyver was being assisted by a US. Marine Corps sergeant in camouflage battle dress.
Whiskey Golf Yacht Club seeks peaceful, environmentally responsible uses of Georgia Strait and fully endorses the parting message to Commander Dalzell from First Nations speaker Brian Bob, a message which tin fortunately had to be conveyed by radiotelephone: The offer of peace that we were bringing is still open, to be presented to the Commander whenever we can do that."
For more information contact Uri Cogan 653-4563 (WGYC), Nanoose First Nation, 390-3661 or fax 390-3365.
Source: Whiskey Golf Yacht Club
Since the Abbotsford International Airshow began in 1961, it has become the third largest airshow in America. Each August up to 300,000 people attend this mecca of militarism. And yes, the Trade Show was back again this year. The Vancouver Sun and Abbotsford Times predictably extolled all the economic benefits this biennial aerospace show brings to the Lower Mainland, and, of course, to the government.
The airshow once again drew some of the most expensive and powerful war birds to Abbotsford. The F-117 Stealth (Lockheed) that cost $65 billion in research and development touched down on the tarmac for a few days. The A-10 Thunderbolt arrived. This bird of prey uses shells that leave behind radioactive dust and, like the Stealth, was used in the Gulf War. The CF-5 Freedom Fighter, a standard Third World counter-insurgency jet, was present, along with such other lethal warplanes as the CF-18 Hornet (McDonnell Douglas), B-I Bomber (Rock-well), F-4 Phantom (McDonnell Douglas) and B-52 Superfortress (Boeing). Each of these killing machines has been responsible for the death of thousands.
Most of the major defence industries in the world, such as British Aerospace, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, Lockheed, Hughes, and Mitsubishi, were at the airshow, as were such Canadian industries as Computing Devices, Bristol Aerospace, Canadian Marconi, Composites Atlantic, and Bombardier. Many of the military "met and did business" in Abbotsford. In fact, the military presence has dramatically increased at the airshow; 37 major military firms attended in 1989, 102 in 1993. This year is even bigger.
The new initiatives for 1995 include SICOFFA (the military wing of the Organizations of American States) and Com Def (a major American presence at arms bazaars, now relocating to Vancouver).
The U.S. Justice department has stated that the "defense companies remain the worst offenders in fraud, exceeding half a billion in 1994." Nevertheless, Airshow Canada invited some of these "offenders" to join us.
Has the ledger of profit-and-loss become the only criterion Canadians use to make decisions? Have we become moral cripples? This is what the airshow is about.
By Ronald Dart, Abbotsford, B.C.