Help us Oppose CANSEC,
Canada's Top Weapons Bazaar!
This is a call for help! Please look over the list below to see how you might participate in our campaign to expose and oppose CANSEC.
CANSEC is Canada's largest weapons trade exhibition, and it will be held in Ottawa, June 2-3, 2010. Many thousands of buyers, sellers, users and promoters of the latest military technologies will be rubbing shoulders at this war industry extravaganza. Ottawa's fairgrounds will be bristling with displays set up by hundreds of companies to showcase cutting-edge military hardware used in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, and all-too-many other killing fields.
CANSEC exhibitors make everything from air-launched missiles and high-tech electronic components for the world's deadliest warplanes, to offensive armoured battle vehicles, multi-million dollar gizmos for the militarisation of space, and down-to-earth automatic weapons, tear-gas rifles and other handy crowd-control devices for keeping pesky protesters in their place. Most of Canada's military production is exported, and -- of course -- most of Canada's war exports go to the United States.
Make no mistake, war is big business, and business will be booming at CANSEC 2010! In fact, making a killing on war has probably never been more lucrative. Ask the so-called "Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries." This Canadian government-funded lobby group, which organises CANSEC, has never been stronger. It now boasts a membership of 800 corporations.
The Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) has brought together a network of activists from many different organisations to focus on CANSEC, and we are now asking for support. Please join us in raising awareness about CANSEC and what it symbolises about Canada's role in helping to fuel wars and repression around the world. Here are some of the ways that you can join our efforts:
(1) Rally for Peace, June 2 (5-7 pm)
While a who's who of Canada's military-industrial-political complex, and their closest foreign friends, are gathering for a fancy-dress dinner inside CANSEC, we will be holding a large peace event just outside CANSEC's gates. If you are in Ottawa, please join us for inspiring music and great speakers at the Bank Street entrance to Lansdowne Park. CANSEC organisers say their gala reception is "designed to optimize interactions with current and potential contacts, clients and stakeholders." Join us in "optimising interactions" with many friends and allies in the struggles for peace, the environment, human rights, democracy and Third-World solidarity.
(2) Don't Sit on "deFence," Decorate it!
Even if you are not in Ottawa, you can help with this project. We have created a website to collect materials to decorate the fence around CANSEC. (See the link below.) Please send us whatever imaginative peace/anti-war symbols, cartoons, photos, famous sayings, quotations, poetry, or a personal statement about peace, and we'll decorate the fence for you on June 2 and 3. This is your chance to send a message to CANSEC participants, peace activists, the general public passing by, and the media. Visit our Facebook web page below to upload peace symbols and messages OR, if you are in Ottawa, please bring your materials to the Bank Street entrance to CANSEC anytime after 8 am on June 2:
"Don't Sit on deFence, Decorate it! Surround a War Bazaar with Peace Symbols"
(3) Help Fill the Day with Activities
We are encouraging a wide variety of organizations to come out to CANSEC's Bank Street entrance sometime during the day on June 2. Be creative! We are hoping different groups will hold their own peace activities to draw attention to CANSEC. For instance, groups could hold a vigil or protest at the entrance to CANSEC for an hour during the day, put on a street-theatre performance, unfurl a dramatic banner, hold a peaceful sit-in, bring some giant puppets or other props, distribute fliers to passers by, or engage in a respectful dialogue with CANSEC attendees as they enter or exit this weapons trade show. Let us know what you are planning and we'll help publicise it.
(4) Take a Stand
Please ask any relevant organisations to take a position on the CANSEC arms bazaar. This may involve passing a resolution, making a public statement, issuing a media release, writing a letter to the government or the media, sending a contingent to join our efforts on June 2, or otherwise supporting or endorsing our campaign against CANSEC 2010.
(5) Spread the Word
Please distribute this email to your lists, and/or link your website to COAT: http://coat.ncf.ca
At our site, you'll find a variety of materials and resources about CANSEC, including materials that you can use to help spread the word, raise public awareness about Canada's war industries, and/or build support for our campaign and the Rally for Peace on June 2.
(6) Read and distribute "CANSEC: War is Business."
COAT has published a 50-page issue of its magazine, Press for Conversion!, called: "CANSEC: War is Business."
This magazine can be read for free online. Hard copies are also available for $8, or at reduced prices when ordered in bulk. Please get some copies for your friends, colleagues, fellow activists, journalists, politicians or anyone else who should know more about Canada's role in the international arms trade. And, while you're at it, you could also subscribe, or renew your subscription! Order online:
(7) Donate to COAT's campaign
Sorry to say but we do also need some financial support to help cover the expenses of this work. Unlike the organisers of CANSEC, we're not funded by the federal government! Please send any donation you can spare, large or small, to the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) and earmark it "Oppose CANSEC." Use the link above to transfer funds online using "Paypal," or just mail us a donation the old-fashioned way:
541 McLeod St.
Ottawa ON K1R 5R2
Thanks for your help in exposing and opposing Canada's largest war industry trade show!
Editor, Press for Conversion!
Weblinks to information about CANSEC and COAT's opposition to it