Resisting Canada's Space Warfare Research in Ottawa
By Laurel Smith, Homes Not Bombs, Toronto.
Greetings. Laurel was unable to make it and so she asked me to come in her place. My name is Venesta Libinius Carborum. I am from the Planet Venus.
I am here today to lend our support to your efforts, and to share my grave concerns over something being developed just a few kilometres from this church: you know it by the name, Star Wars.
On Venus, we are watching with great fear the way you have not only militarized your planet, but are now planning to colonize space with weapons of war. Through our interplanetary monitors, we watch with trepidation the research and development for the star wars space warfare system. With great sorrow, we discovered that Canada is part of this destructive enterprise, through its research and development arm, just down the road from here, at the Defense Research Establishment Ottawa (DREO), in Nepean.
We on Venus have long admired one of the great earthlings of the twentieth century, Martin Luther King. In 1967, Dr. King said he could not speak out for peace without first recognizing that his government was the greatest purveyor of violence in the history of humankind.
King declared that nations - and I assume he also meant planets - which continue to spend ever greater amounts on war at the expense of programs of social uplift are approaching spiritual death. He also declared that the gaping chasm between proclamations of peace and the practice of war must be closed.
On Venus, we took his words to heart and worked hard to end the causes of war: the economic inequities. Within a very short time, the diversion of Venusian funds from war to the sustainability of peace is being accomplished.
I hope you don't feel I'm being presumptuous, as a visitor to your planet, but I believe King's words challenge the view of Canada's as a peacemaker. In our view, the facts do not bear this out. For example, Canada spends well over $15 billion annually on war and armed enforcement of injustice, or almost 800% more than is spent on affordable housing programs.
Note the following equation which your UN recently described: The richest 20% of the earth, consume 86% of the planet's resources. The lowest 20% consume just 1.35%. This translates into a perverse result, the failure to address the ultimate violence of global racism: the starvation to death every day of some 35,000 children, and thousands of their parents and grandparents, almost all of them people of colour. I'm here to tell you today that this situation is preventable and can be reversed.
This brings us back to DREO and the Canadian government's complicity and secrecy in the developing space warfare. Billions of dollars are being spent - in your name - on the development of what will turn out to be the most lethal weapon in earth's history. And yet, the Canadian government continues to say that Canada is not involved in Star Wars. This is greatly confusing to us.
Our research has uncovered the following question: "Will technology allow us to fit 70 tons of lethality into a 20 ton package?" This question, whose sickness defies words, comes from a Canadian government document describing the work done at DREO. At DREO, the research and development crucial for the star wars and space warfare plans, is proceeding quietly, in good orderly fashion, guaranteed both by your tax dollars - and by your silence.
Space warfare is about the ability of rich nations to completely dominate earth by planting weapons platforms in space. As the Pentagon admits, U.S. control of space is crucial, because "the gap between the haves and have-not nations will continue to widen, creating regional unrest."
For Venusians, of course, the threat is that one day these weapons will be turned on us.
We have unearthed a copy of the Canadian government's 2000 technology investment strategy which states: "Space soon will by the fourth medium of warfare. It will not only bind all war fighting forces together but will become strategically critical to the survival of warfighters. For future coalition warfare, space superiority will be fundamental."
I have come to earth today to issue a warning that the development of space warfare must stop, to ensure the safety of all life on earth and indeed throughout the galaxy. I'm here today to plead with all earthlings: do not put your money into war, but into mechanisms for sustainable peace and social justice. It is only through a commitment to social justice that security for all is ultimately guaranteed.
On November 9, I will return to earth with some of my sisters in the hopes of persuading the scientists and engineers who work at DREO to stop building weapons of war, and to start creating the conditions for peace. We invite you to join Homes not Bombs in a nonviolent action and festival of life at what we might more accurately call the Canadian Department of Death.
We will be there not to cause violence or damage, or to take anyone's jobs, but to transform the evil genius which would make a desert of this world and call it peace. We want to transform the tools of terror being developed there into the implements of inspiration to help solve the ravages of pollution, poverty and inequality here on earth.
The work of DREO is to create the tools of mass violence and terror that will maintain the gross inequality on this planet. Join us in uncovering Canada's best-kept, most dangerous secret, and put an end to this country's role in an armageddon that will make the great crimes of your 20th century pale by comparison.
Source: Presentatation at the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade's Vigil for Nonviolence, Oct. 6, 2001, in Ottawa.