Vancouver Peace Forum June 2006 Part 2

From Rosemary Addington

 Saturday lunchtime, in perfect weather, we assembled for a march down to one of the Vancouver waterfronts, There were wonderful colourful banners from all over North America and further afield too. I wished we had managed to bring one of our 2 Kingston Banners from England.  As we approached a junction, we were joined by a second march, and at the head of this one were George Bush and Tony Blair!  George Bush was about 10 ft. tall, and bore an uncanny resemblance to a certain gold statue of Saddam Hussein I'm sure you will remember being pulled over at the "end!" of the war on Iraq.  And whoever was that small puppet dangling from his outstretched arm?   Of course you've guessed it, a very good likeness. ( I do have a photo of this, but unfortunately not digital, so doubt if it will reproduce properly in this newsletter.  I will bring it to the October meeting.)  These 2 figures raised enormous cheers from the generally supportive onlookers as we passed by.  At the Rally down by the sea we were addressed among others by Cindy Sheehan, whose soldier son was killed in Iraq, and had been camping during the summer outside George Bush's Texas ranch.  She also organises peace camps outside The White House in Washington.  

 

On Sunday evening there was a panel discussion that I believe was shown on Canadian televison. It was chaired by one of their top presenters, Erica Johnson.  The title of this was "Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: the Foundation for 21st Century Peace."  It featured among others retired Canadian Senator Doug Roche, who is also a member of the Pugwash Council and chairs the Middle Powers initiative, Trisha Pritkin, an American woman from Hanford, whose whole family have had cancers and other health problems caused by their proximity to the nuclear facilities, and a Japanese man from Nagasaki who was an 18 yr. old postman when the bomb was dropped, and has lived in constant pain from his terribly burned back and arm, enduring many operations.  Trisha was extremely moved by his story, as she remarked that her family and neighbours had all worked on producing triggers for the bombs.

 

Douglas Roche spoke of attempts being made in Ottawa in September to persuade the Canadian Government to join with the Middle Powers initiative to get a fissile materials cut-off treaty, and to get a renewal of the Comprehensive Test |Ban Treaty.  Unfortunately since June Canada has elected a more right-wing Government, so this may not have succeeded.  I must try and find out.

 

Also on the panel was Rebecca Johnson from Britain, who explained about Faslane 365, and made an appeal for 100 Canadians to come to help keep a year long blockade going at the Trident submarine base in Scotland.  For those who haven't heard about this very ambitious project, please look at www.faslane365.org or phone me (number on back of KPC news)  At the last meeting of KPC/CND it was agreed that we will try and get a group together to go to Faslane at the end of April 2007.  More details on this soon.

 

Other participants I will refer to next month were Jackie Cabasso (USA) and Alyn Ware (New Zealand