York University political science professor Ann Crosby met with members of Science for Peace in Toronto in June to discuss the proposed National Missile Defence program. Following on that debate, the organization launched a program to encourage Canadian citizens to visit their parliamentarians and assure that Canada's political decision on the issue is well-informed.
American scientists are also actively engaged in dealing with this new version of "Star Wars." The Center for Defence Information prepared a TV program on the subject which aired in early July. A transcript can be found at the CDI web site: www.cdi.org/adm/1330.
After 17 years of civil war, there were in late June hints of peace in Sudan. The government and the Sudan People's Liberation Army have reportedly worked out a tacit deal to lay aside hostilities. The government has kept quiet as the rebels have taken advantage of renewed international aid. Most foreign NGOs have begun treating the rebels as the legitimate government.
A proposal has been developed by Quakers to create a nonviolent peace force consisting initially of 200 trained volunteers ready to be deployed. Eventually the force would comprise some 2000 standing voluteers. These people would carry out tasks in conflict situations, such as accompanying, training trainers, monitoring elections, cease-fires, and treaties, and interpositioning between conflicting sides.
Members will be recruited from such people as: former peace teams, veterans for peace organization, retired people, and other ordinary people willing to volunteer a couple of years.
Canadians who are interested in the project should contact Carl Steiren in Ottawa. His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can read the entire 17-page proposal in English at: http://www. nonviolentpeaceforce.org/english.htm.
For the third consecutive year the United Nations is planning to host a one-day conference on human rights for students of grades 5 to 12 on 8 December 2000. This year's meeting will focus on student action in the following areas: landmines, child labor, rights and responsibilities, and education.
Canadian teachers can pre-register a class for participation through Le Page Education Consultants, 705/ 726-2973 or e-mail: lepages @home.com. All registrations must be received by sponsors by 24 October 2000. Reports will be posted on the United Nations web site and conference link sites. The United Nations will not be responsible for travel arrangements and accommodations. No individual applications will be accepted.
Citizens and First Nations groups are taking the federal government to court over the unlawful manner with which it is importing weapons-plutonium MOX fuel into Canada.
The government explicitly fuled out air transport of American plutonium fuel in January, then flew the plutonium at the last minute, placing communities along the route at risk. They did this without prior consultation or notification.
To date, 155 municipalities in Quebec have passed resolutions calling on the federal government to scrap the plutonium import plan. Some of these communities worry that the government also will change transportation plans in the case of the Russian plutonium shipment.
For further information: Kristen Ostling, Campaign for Nuclear Phaseout, 613/ 789-3634 or Larry White, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, 613/ 575-2377.
Israeli defence forces revealed in mid-June that the country has test-fired cruise missiles that are capable of carying nuclear warheads. It is rumored that the arms build up is occurring because of Israel's continuing sense of vulnerability. Intelligence sources believe Tehran will develop nuclear weapons within two years.
Moreover, Israel has carried out tests of missiles launched from German-built submarines in the Indian Ocean. Israel ordered these Dolphin-class subs and assembled elite crews to man them.
On Father's Day 22 activists were arrested in Hamilton, Ontario for their effort to end the 26-year-old war show. The weather also helped to make the show a fiasco, for heavy rain made for a poor turnout. The protest group included clowns, stiltwalkers, and others who held pictures of the human victims of aerial bombardment, saying "this is what these planes do."