Friday, September 26, 2008

The Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) is an Ottawa based group that has been organizing since 1988 to end the arms trade in Canada. Their most recent success is the cancellation of the 'Secure Canada 2008' arms trade show, but they have many more things to oppose, including the CANSEC arms show scheduled for may next year. Here is their latest news release, including a link to their petition to end Canada's involvement with the merchants of death.
Campaign Update: "Stop Ottawa's Arms Shows"
"Secure Canada 2008" arms show cancelled, but our anti-war campaign continues!
We are redoubling our efforts to oppose the hosting of arms shows on Ottawa City property because:
(1) "Secure Canada" could easily return, and
(2) "CANSEC" scheduled for May 2009, is negotiating with the City to locate their huge military trade show at Ottawa's Lansdowne Park facility.
Online Petition gaining momentum!
We have now surpassed 800 names. Help us reach 1000 today! Spread the word!
Arms Show Cancellation in the News!
"Gag order: Privy Council Office tightens muzzle on public service for campaign," Ottawa Citizen, Sept. 20, 2008.
"Defence show cancelled over protests," Ottawa Citizen, Sept. 25, 2008.
"Controversial exhibit cancelled," Ottawa Sun, Sept. 25, 2008
"Canadian defense shows cancelled after speakers bow out," EXPO magazine, Sept.25, 2008
Media release: Tech Net North announces cancellation of arms show, Sept.18, 2008.
Councillor's positions?
If you have received responses from Ottawa City Councillors indicating where they stand on this issue, please forward to COAT:
Legal stuff
In response to his formal questions to Ottawa's Legal department, Ottawa Councillor Clive Doucet has received unsatisfactory responses. Read them here:
Are you a lawyer? If so, can you lend us a hand in this struggle? Please contact us at email above.
Other COAT news
Press for Conversion! magazine
COAT's issue (#63) is nearing completion. It is the fourth and final in a series on Canada's role in overthrowing the democratically-elected government of Haiti. This next 50-page issue is called: "Lies without Borders: How CIDA-funded 'NGOs' waged a propaganda war to justify Haiti’s 2004 coup."
Canada's Secret War in Iraq
Two articles by COAT coordinator, Richard Sanders, are featured in this month's issue of The CCPA Monitor, published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. One of these articles is featured as the magazine's front cover page. The articles, with all the footnotes, are here:
"George Orwell meets Canada’s General Walt Natynczyk in Iraq"
"Canada's Covert War in Iraq"
In Memory of Marion Dewar (1928-2008)
(Former Ottawa mayor, NDP MP, president of the NDP) Marion was a beloved COAT patron/mentor who played a leading role in many of our campaigns in the late 1980s and 1990s. In 1989, Marion was the MC at COAT's huge rally against ARMX, a military trade show at Lansdowne Park. That year, she also chaired our "Public Inquiry into the Arms Trade and Human Rights." In 1991, she moderated a COAT conference: "From War to Peace: An Agenda for Economic Conversion." When ARMX returned in 1993, under the PR guise of "Peacekeeping," Marion was active on our steering committee and hosted PEACEX, our three-hour program of speeches, music and poetry with 60 info tables at what is now Ottawa City Hall.Recently, Marion was incensed that the City of Ottawa would allow the return of military trade shows to municipal facilities and she was determined to help us stop them. Her tremendous passion to make the world a better place continues to inspire us with hope and determination.
On Nov. 11, 1995, COAT organized a large dinner to honour and roast her. See the fun program here:

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