By Deborah Ferens, Saul Chernos | 1991-09-01 12:00:00
- Abbotsford Air show: Tens of thousands of people annually trek to Abbotsford, B.C. to watch the Air Show. In 1989 a new component to the Air Show was added: the Trade Show which included 37 military contractors. The organizers hoped it would develop into the leading Aerospace Show in the Pacific. For the 1991 Trade Show they lured the Stealth Fighter F-117.
Participating countries at this year's show included known human rights violators-China, Indonesia, Iran, Argentina, and Brazil. Protesters leafletted the gates of the Airshow in opposition to the growing militarization of this annual event.
- A nonviolence conference in Argenta, B.C. during the last week of July drew together activists from all over B.C. Presentations ranged from a world view of nonviolence to nonviolence in domestic relationships.
- Two Vancouver Island residents, Jean Mclaren and Dave Bigelow joined the Gulf Peace Team's peace walk from Jerusalem to Amman, Jordan. Jean was arrested twice by the Israeli military along with several of the other walkers. The walk took several days to complete and both Dave and Jean have been busy talking to various groups about their experience.
- The nuclear submarine acoustic test facility on Back Island [southeast Alaska] will be ready to receive its first visitors this fall-most likely Trident and Seawolf submarines. Besides the risk of nuclear accidents, natives are concerns about their claim to Back Island as part of its traditional territory and the threat to the fishing and recreational industries by the increased submarine traffic-the submarines will have to pass through Canadian waters in Dixon Entrance to reach the facility. A dispute about the international boundary in the Dixon Entrance is heating up as some Canadian fishing boats have been boarded or threatened by armed U.S. coastguard patrols.
- The United Nations Human Rights Committee has agreed to hear Victoria resident Dr. Jerilyn Prior's peace tax test case. The decision could take up to two years.
The trial of three activists arrested for carrying a small protest banner at a rally for Brian Mulroney in 1988 took place in Nanaimo from Jan. 7 to 11, and the judgment, released on Jan 21, went against them. The implications are that the police have the right to arrest and jail anyone first, then look for evidence to justify the arrest. Because this is an unacceptable and dangerous precedent the case will be taken to the BC Court of Appeal. For the RCMP to stop enforcing the law in order to actively participate in stacking a political meeting is incredibly damaging to the democratic process in Canada.
Losing the trial was a shock. We expected to win, since our case was strong; our lawyer, Don Crane, and our seven witnesses were excellent; and the law against false arrest and imprisonment was, we thought, clear.
We filed a Notice of Appeal on February 14. It will be heard in Vancouver by a panel of three judges of the B.C. Court of Appeal early next year. No new evidence will be allowed; rather, we will need to prove that Judge Cowan erred in his judgment based on the evidence that was presented during the trial.
- Deborah Ferens 604-247-8335
- A conference on weapons conversion, planned by the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade, is proceeding Saturday, Sept. 21. The arms bazaar ARMX was to be held towards the end of September in the Ottawa suburb of Carp, but it has been put off to October or the spring of 1992. Saturday's events run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and a strategy meeting is planned the following day. Both events will take place at St. Paul's University at 223 Main St. in Ottawa. Contact COAT at (613) 231-3076, 489 Metcalfe St., Ottawa K1S 3N7 for details about the conversion conference or about ARMX.
- The Toronto Disarmament Network has chosen Saturday, Oct. 26 for its annual day of protest, but details weren't confirmed at press time. TDN is also the Toronto contact for the Citizens Inquiry into Peace and Security. Contact TDN at (416) 535-8005 or any member group for information.
If your local peace group's campaigns are not mentioned here, it's because we have not heard from you. Contact the Ontario Notes Hotline at (705) 327-7809 or by mail at P.O. Box 611, Orillia, Ontario L3V 6K5
- Saul Chernos 702-327-7809