Many will remember Marion Dewar as the Mayor of Ottawa, the president of the NDP, an NDP parliamentarian and the president of Oxfam Canada.
Marion was also a tremendous supporter and mentor of the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) and she played high-profile roles in many of our largest events and campaigns.
For instance in 1989, Marion was the master of ceremonies at COAT’s huge peace march and rally in which thousands protested against ARMX, Canada’s largest military trade show. That year, Marion also chaired our "Public Inquiry into the Arms Trade and Human Rights."
In 1991, Marion moderated a COAT conference called "From War to Peace: An Agenda for Economic Conversion." When ARMX returned in 1993—under the clever PR guise of a "Peacekeeping" exhibition—Marion was active on COAT’s steering committee and hosted PEACEX, our three-hour program of speeches, music and poetry, which included information tables from 60 organizations.
On November 11, 1995, COAT organized a large dinner to honour Marion. In the following year, she moderated a day-long COAT symposium called "Aiding and Abetting Repression: Canada’s Weapons Trade and the Need for Conversion."
When COAT produced a 30-minute documentary in 1998 on how "air shows" target children and market war by romanticising and glorifying weapons delivery systems, Marion was the narrator.
In October 2001, COAT held a "Vigil for Nonviolence." Six hundred walked from Parliament Hill to a downtown church where Marion cohosted a program of music, workshops and speeches.
Recently, Marion was incensed that the City of Ottawa would allow the return of military trade shows to Lansdowne Park and she was absolutely determined to help COAT to stop these events.
Marion’s tremendous passion to make the world a better place continues to inspire us. We will remember her in our ongoing efforts to oppose war and to build a culture of peace.
The above article is from Press for Conversion! magazine, Issue
#63 (November 2008)
Previous issues of this
Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade publication include:
#62 "Putting the Aid in Aiding and Abetting:
CIDA's Agents of Regime Change in Haiti's 2004 Coup"
#61 "CIDA's Key Role in Haiti's 2004 Coup d’état:
Funding Regime Change, Dictatorship and Human Rights Atrocities, one Haitian 'NGO' at a Time"
#60 "A Very Canadian Coup d’état in Haiti:
The Top 10 Ways that Canada’s Government helped the 2004 Coup and its Reign of Terror"
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