Please distribute this very widely, thanks!
Ottawa Arms Show will face Show of Peace, on Wed. May 27
CANSEC 2009, Canada's largest military trade show, is not going unnoticed or unchallenged. Next Wednesday, May 27, when two hundred of Canada's top military exporters descend upon Ottawa's fair grounds for their big war show, they will face a formidable show of peace.
Activists from dozens of peace and religious organizations have been meeting for months to plan a complex campaign countering the CANSEC arms show. Efforts include preparing for a vote at a City Council Committee on June 2, collecting thousands of names on paper and online petitions, sparking discussions in countless grassroots organizations, provoking newspaper articles, doing radio interviews and churning out detailed reports exposing CANSEC's role in fueling wars.
There will be a continuous, day-long VIGIL with banners and signs near CANSEC's Bank St. entrance to Ottawa's Lansdowne Park. Between 4:30-6:30 pm (while international arms dealers, war fighters, government bureaucrats and foreign military attach? gather for a gala black tie celebration), there will be speakers, poetry and music outside the gates.
Interfaith Peace RALLY (followed by Candlelight Procession)
There will then be a large interfaith Peace Rally at 7 pm on May 27, just across the Bank St. bridge from CANSEC, at Southminster United Church (15 Aylmer Ave). The program includes music, poetry and speakers from various faiths: Buddhist, Christian (Catholic, Quaker, United Church), Jewish, Moslem and Unitarian Universalist. Following this large indoor peace rally there will be a Candlelight Procession across the Bank St. bridge to Lansdowne Park.
Honour Ottawa's 20-year Ban on Arms Shows
CANSEC will be the first arms bazaar held at a City facility in exactly two decades. All such war industry exhibitions were banned by City Council in 1989. Weapons dealers and users can thank unelected City of Ottawa Staff, who claim to have found a convenient legal loophole large enough to drive a battalion of tanks through to get to the arms show at Lansdowne Park! Lansdowne is Ottawa's biggest municipal facility. It resides in a peaceful downtown residential neighbourhood. It will host this country's largest war show despite the 20-year ban that was passed 11 to 1 by City Councillors in 1989. Peace activists intend to stop this from ever happening again. Anti-war activists do not want CANSEC held anywhere. The first step is to remove CANSEC from publicly-funded facilities. Your help is needed to ban Ottawa's arms shows, for good!
CANSEC Exhibitors, Weapons Exports and War
Canada is the world's 7th largest military exporter and CANSEC is the biggest event in Canada helping to facilitate this international trade in military equipment. Corporations exhibiting at CANSEC manufacture everything from ammunition, automatic weapons, armed battle vehicles, warheads, rockets and missiles, to sophisticated electronic components embedded in virtually all major U.S. weapons systems, such as warplanes, warships and main battle tanks.
In recent years, 90% of the total value of Canada's military exports was sold to 39 countries that had troops engaged in wars and armed conflicts now raging around the world, most notably in Iraq and Afghanistan. These wars, that have claimed the lives of more than a million innocent civilians, are fueled by Canadian military exports and facilitated by CANSEC.
CANSEC is run by Canada's top lobby group for military industries. In recent years it has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the federal government to promote exports and international marketing opportunities for this country's war-related manufacturers.
Please distribute this widely and link to the URL: http://coat.ncf.ca/ARMX/cansec/Show-of-Peace.htm
For more information on CANSEC, the campaign exposing it and how you can help, please visit the website of the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT).