By World BEYOND War, October 28, 2022
Across Canada, the U.S. and around the world, peace activists were on the streets from October 15th to 23rd, demanding an end to imperialist wars, occupations, sanctions and military interventions. This call to action was initiated by the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) in the U.S. and has been taken up by the Canada-Wide Peace and Justice Network, a coalition of 45 peace groups across Canada. The Canada-Wide Peace and Justice Network also released a public statement on the week of action in English and French. Cliquez ici pour lire la déclaration en français. Activists demanded that Canada withdraw from wars, occupations, economic sanctions, and military interventions, and choose to reinvest billions of dollars of military spending in life-affirming sectors including housing, health care, jobs and climate.
From October 15th to 23rd, at least 11 actions took place in 9 cities including Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Waterloo, Ottawa, Hamilton, South Georgian Bay, Winnipeg, and Montreal.
While Canada is gaining ill-repute as an arms dealer to the world’s most despicable war-mongering governments, the Trudeau Government is also bolstering its own arsenal. Since 2014, Canadian military spending has increased by 70%. Last year, the Canadian government spent $33 billion on the military, which is 15 times more than it spent on environment and climate change. Defence Minister Anand announced military spending will increase by another 70% over the next five years on big-ticket items such as F-35 fighter jets (lifetime cost: $77 billion), warships (lifetime cost: $350 billion), and armed drones (lifetime cost: $5 billion).
Across the country, activists chose to speak out against the issues of militarism that most impact their communities. For example, activists called for:
- An end to the Saudi-led war on Yemen and demanding that Canada Stop Arming Saudi Arabia!
- NO new fighter jets, warships, or drones! We need billions for housing, health care, jobs and climate, NOT for war profiteering!
- Canada to adopt an independent foreign policy free of all military alliances, including NATO.
- Washington and Ottawa to stop provoking war with Russia and China, and asking that MP Judy Sgro cancel her planned trip to Taiwan!
- Canada, US and UN out of Haiti! No to New Occupation of Haiti!