By Deborah Ferens, Donald Craig | 1989-08-01 12:00:00


SUMMER has been full, with a new chapter of Veterans Against Nuclear Arms (VANA) forming in the Comox Valley, many B.C. groups participating in Hiroshima / Nagasaki Day Commemoration events around the province and with the Raging Grannies lightening our peace activities with their lively humor and colorful apparel. Last April, Vancouver City Council passed a resolution requesting that the Federal Government declare the Port of Vancouver a nuclear weapons free zone. At press time we are still waiting to hear if the Federal Government will respond to this challenge by actually enforcing Canada's status as a non-nuclear weapons nation.

The monthly vigils at the Nanoose Bay Test Range continue with various groups around Vancouver Island and the lower mainland organizing a vigil with their own particular theme, actions (such as planting a cherry tree) and members. Details are not finalized yet, but Vancouver and Nanaimo are both expecting a visit from Philip Berrigan in late September or early October. Members of the Vancouver Island Network for Disarmament are planning a major conference on the topic of conversion -an issue that the Nanoose Conversion Campaign has done a great deal of research on - and which is very timely, given the Federal Government's decision to close several military bases across Canada. End the Arms Race will be hosting the fall CPA Steering Committee meeting in Vancouver and various individuals in the Nanaimo area are working on getting an accredited Peace Studies course offered at Malaspina College.

Many B.C. peace activists continue to draw the links between global issues of militarism and environmental degradation by supporting the B.C. Environmental Network's call for a public inquiry into the environmental and social impacts of the exploration, production and transportation of oil and other dangerous substances in Canadian coastal waters. The network is calling for an end to logging in the beautiful Carmanah Valley on Vancouver Island, and hopes to participate in the September 16-19 conference, "MISITU - The Environment of Africa's Sustainable Development" which is being sponsored by the Canada-Africa International Forestry Association and being held in Victoria.

Many of us are already missing two very highly-regarded, dedicated peace and justice activists - Dr. Ernst-Ludwig Iskenius who left Vancouver in July to return to his home in West Germany after spending a year at the Vancouver Children's Hospital, and Phil Esmonde of the South Pacific Peoples Foundation in Victoria who is leaving that organization in September after several years spent informing us about the situation in the South Pacific. Good luck to both of them and we hope to remain in contact, whatever their future activities may be.

Deborah Ferens

THE MV GREENPEACE, flagship of the five-vessel Greenpeace fleet, is scheduled to make port in Halifax the first week in September, to join in a protest against use of the harbor by U.S. nuclear powered and weaponed warships. The local demonstration is a project of the newly formed Coalition for a Nuke Free Harbor, sponsored by Halifax-area peace and environmental activists and groups. The Coalition launched its campaign in mid-July with a parade, through Halifax Port, of a flotilla of boats calling for an environmentally safe, nuclear-free harbor.

MV Greenpeace is spending this summer making similar visits up and down the eastern seaboard of North America, to ports frequently visited by nuke-equipped vessels. Halifax had 29 such visits in 1988. The flagship usually operates out of its World Park base in the Antarctic. It is engaged there in a long-range campaign to make the entire Antarctic a true world park, free of pollutants, where the delicate balance of organic life will be protected. To participate, contact Peter Davison, 902/ 434-1354. My number: 902/634-8619.

Donald W. Craig

Peace Magazine Aug-Sep 1989

Peace Magazine Aug-Sep 1989, page 27. Some rights reserved.

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