By (staff) | 1990-08-01 12:00:00

"Freedom for Nitassinan" Walk

TORONTO-People across Canada from various cultural, political and religious backgrounds have united to extend their solidarity to the Innu people of Nitassinan. During the past year, a coalition comprising both Innu and non-Innu representatives have been planning the Freedom for Nitassinan Walk. This initiative has the complete support of the Innu ofNitassinan, whose ancient homeland is threatened by the military activities of NATO and the Canadian government.

The importance of the freedom for Nitassinan Walk cannot be underestimated. Despite the fact that NATO decided not to locate the Tactical fighters Weapons Training Centre in Goose Bay, low-level military flights will still continue through bilateral agreements. According to Nancy Hunter, the Nova Scotia represertative on the coordinating coalition, "the message is even more urgent now because of the NATO decision. With the flights still occurring, the struggle still continues."

The Freedom for Nitassinan Walk will start in Halifax on Hiroshima Day, August 6th. Other walks will leave St.John's, Cape Breton, Sept-Iles, and Windsor. It will travel through hundreds of communities in five provinces for three full months, providing opportunities for walkers and towns people to share information

on both the Innu struggle and issues of local concem. The Walk will culminate in Ottawa with a major rally on November 10, followed by non-violent actions of civil resistance beginning on November 13.

Innu spokespersons have called for unity and a new solidarity among all people to join together for the freedom of their homeland. Rose Gregoire of the Innu Women's Group has been a dedicated member of the coordinating committee for the Walk. In a recent open letter to native peoples, she wrote: "Let us work and act together. We will not stand aside and watch what the government is doing to us. We have too much to lose. Many people support our struggle. They have also gone to jail to stop NATO and their government. These people are organizing the Freedom for Nitassinan Walk and helping raise money for our cause."

A successful walk will involve a great many people in many ways. Supporters of the Innu struggle can walk with them, resist with them, listen to them, speak with them, or offer them shelter or food. Support is need to cover the transportation costs for the Innu who are taking part in all aspects of the Walk. Cheques can be made payable to the "Freedom For Nitassinan Walk" and sent to Nancy Hunter, 2675 Creighton St., Halifax,

Test Ban Treaty Conference Successfully Launched


NEW YORK Five members of the US Congress and two members of the British House of Commons visited New York, June 4, at the invitation of Parliamentarians for Global Action to show support for the Partial Test Ban Treaty amendment effort. In the course of their full day of activities, they were also joined by Georgi Arbatov and, by telephone, Olzhas Souleimenov of the USSR Supreme Soviet. They came away with a deeper appreciation of the international community's commitment to making the Partial Test Ban Treaty Amendment Conference a success. The parliamentarians met with diplomats and UN officials, who were heartened to learn that their amendment efforts will be followed closely not only by politicians from the nuclear powers, but by politicians worldwide.

Congressmen Bill Green, Martin Sabo, and Lane Evans and MPs George Foulkes and Bowen Wells began with a two hour strategy session at Global Action Headquarters. With them was Dr. Olafur Grimsson, President of Global Action, who has been deeply involved in the amendment effort. Among the many decisions reached, the key one was to establish an informal network among parliamentarians on the test-ban and non-proliferation issues. The promising preliminary results of the Open Letter would be the basis for build-mg a core of several hundreds of parliamentarians. Mr. Suleimenov's call from Moscow came at the end of the meeting and he concurred with main decisions. He reported that efforts were underway in the Supreme Soviet and in the republics to ensure that nuclear testing, which has been suspended since October, does not recommence.

The next major event of the day was a luncheon with over 60 diplomats and officials, at which U.S. Congressmen Ed Markey and Bob Carr joined the group. In this "working lunch" the politicians spoke first, followed by the diplomats, and respect and appreciation were evident on both sides. Diplomats were encouraged that leadmg American politicians were prepared to contribute to the amendment effort.

The group then paid visits to the Ambassadors of the three nuclear powers, which are also the three depositary governments. During the meeting at the Soviet Mission the positive policy of the Soviet Government for the amendment was confirmed, and the possibility of a new moratorium on nuclear testing was discussed. The meetings at the U.S. and British Missions allowed a useful exchange of view.

The day ended at New York City Hall, where a reception brought together the politicians and more diplomats as well as test-ban supporters in the New York area. Speaker after speaker underscored the urgent need to end the nuclear arms race and to move forward with pressing social needs, in New York and around the world.

The politicians will meet again in Geneva, during the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, to form the Tripartite Delegation which will deliver the Open Letter to the three heads of government of the nuclear powers in November.

Ottawa Supports Test Ban

OTTAWA- On June 7' at the behest of the Ottawa Chapters of Canadian Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Science for Peace among others, Ottawa City Council approved the following resolutions:

Peace Magazine Aug-Sep 1990

Peace Magazine Aug-Sep 1990, page 29. Some rights reserved.

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