Monthly Archives: November 2004

Bush not welcome in Halifax!

No Harbour for War!

Statement of the People’s Front (Halifax) • 28 November 2004

Halifax, December 1, 2004: Mass protest against visit of war criminal George W. Bush.

George W Bush and his entourage of armed bodyguards, spies, snipers, metal detectors, jet fighters and AWACS radar planes are to pay a lightning visit of several hours to the port of Halifax on 1 December 2004. Halifax is a strategic ice-free harbour regularly used by the US Navy for war exercises and refueling, the headquarters of Maritime Command and the main naval base from which the Government of Canada has been continuously dispatching warships to the far-off Persian Gulf since August, 1990.

The frenziedly-organized visit is purportedly at the demand of the White House. The media is widely spinning it as a “thoughtful” expression of “belated thanks” for the hospitality shown by the people of Nova Scotia (and Newfoundland) for hosting crews and passengers from commercial airplanes grounded during the 9/11 panic in 2001.

Nova Scotians and Newfoundlanders did so not to help the imperial project of George W Bush, but to assist the thousands of people, hailing from many different countries, stranded by the cynical decision of the Liberal government to divert the overseas flights to less populated centres in Atlantic Canada.[1]

This flimsy pretext is to cover up the central reason for Bush’s visit to the most heavily militarized city in Canada, for any cultured and civilized person would have issued heartfelt thanks at the appropriate moment three years ago – as hundreds of the passengers actually did. It presupposes a level of human behaviour that the United States has descended well below – as the whole world sees in the brutality of US actions against the civilian population of Falluja, Iraq, where the casualty level is in the thousands and an ancient city on the banks of the Euphrates has been reduced to rubble.

If it is true, as the news agencies very briefly and originally reported, that Bush is to give public “thanks” to the Canadian navy for its participation in his obsessive crusade on “terror” then such demagogic “thanks,” “reconciliation” and smiles portends further grave danger not only for Canadians but also for the peoples of the world.

George W Bush aims to impose on Canadians the idea of intensifying what he calls the all-consuming struggle against terrorism in the name of “continental security.” Bush sees Canada’s armed forces “defending North America,” not defending Canada. He sees the men and women of the armed forces operating in far-flung countries as cannon fodder for US adventures. He demands more military spending to increase “troop strength” and its “interoperability” with US forces under Northern Command. He wants Canadians annexed to a system which divides humanity as never before and sustains global poverty, famine and continuous war.

Paul Martin’s objective is to integrate the Canadian economy, security, regulations and its conception of rights and sovereignty with those of the American superpower. With his “new multilateralism,” Martin extended the deployment of troops in Afghanistan and intervened in Haiti; placed military trainers in Jordan/Iraq and destroyers in the Persian Gulf; defended Zionist state terrorism as an expression of Israel’s “right to self-defence”; and rejoined the Standing Fleet of NATO whose theatre of operations has been extended into Balkans, the Middle East and Central Asia. Martin is preparing troops for jungle warfare and urban warfare, integrating the military forces, upgrading command-and-control systems, and preparing to extend the field of operation for an interventionist bluewater navy. All of this is going ahead at maximum speed in the name of democracy, peacekeeping, security and human rights. It must not pass!

During the Cold War, the Pentagon named Halifax in 1982 as a ‘forward deployment base’ for its fleets of warships and aircraft armed with nuclear weapons, which came and went together with the “oceanographic” ships of its rival superpower. Open and covert operations were launched against the sovereignty of other peoples too, to carry out aggression from Canadian territory. In 1984 the US used Halifax as a base for the mine-laying forces sent to illegally block the harbours of impoverished Nicaragua.

With terrorism replacing the Soviet Union as the menace, the militarization of the port of Halifax is being accelerated. Citing drug and arms trafficking, organized crime and “new transnational threats,” the media float fear-mongering stories, ludicrous anthrax scares, fictitious Al Qaeda “sleeper cells,” attacks on container shipping, missile-smuggling through the port, and even convict the longshoremen for suspect loyalties. US Homeland Security now extends into the port of Halifax, home to CIA and FBI units protected under Bill C-55 as part of the “national security” state.[2] All these measures are being introduced in conformity with US demands that Canada militarize its harbours, provide safe havens for its warships, and enhance the colossal profits of its global shipping and oil cartels. This is the “thanks” George W Bush demands.

The People’s Front calls on Nova Scotians to take responsibility for what is at stake for the harbour of Halifax, the country and all of humanity as a result of the darkest reaction which George W Bush represents.

All out against the “visit” of George W Bush to Halifax!

This war criminal is not welcome in Canada!

US out of Iraq!

US and Canada out of Haiti!

No to the US state terror in which Canada participates!

No Harbour for War!

1. As revealed by former federal transport minister (and Toronto MP) David Collenette , 11 September 2002, The National, CBC TV

2. Bill C-55 provides that a “controlled access military zone” can be established around US warships in the ports of Halifax, Esquimault and Nanoose Bay.

Demonstrate against War Criminal George Bush and for Justice, Freedom and Equality

Wednesday 1 April 2004

– Meet at the Dalhousie Student Union by 9:30 AM for a rally and march to Pier 21

– Meet at the Grand Parade square (1841 Argyle St. in front of City Hall) by 10 AM for a brief rally and march at 10:15 AM to Pier 21.

Tuesday 30 November 2004

On Tue, Nov 30, Halifax Peace Coalition is holding a mock trial of George Bush at Victoria Park at 5 PM. March on the US consulate office at Purdy’s Wharf Tower II.

Also join the picket from 12-4:30 pm, office of SNC-Lavalin, Park Lane Mall on Spring Garden to denounce its participation in manufacturing 300-500 million bullets for the US military for their illegal occupation of Iraq. http://www.hfxpeace.chebucto.org

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Joint ‘anti-terrorism drills” and the integration of civilian and military agencies between Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

(3 November 2004) – ON OCTOBER 26, Canadian and officials met in Essex, Vermont along the Canada border to begin a series of “cross-border terrorism drills.” The exercise took the form of a day-long “table-top drill” called Operation Border Safe in which participants responded to a mock terrorism incident that was played out on a screen with audio-visual equipment.

More than 150 people from Vermont and Quebec participated in the meeting, including nine federal and state agencies, as well as 20 counterpart agencies from Quebec and Canada. The agencies involved ranged from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Sûreté du Québec and the Bedford, Quebec ambulance service.

According to the Globe and Mail, the scenario was developed by police and other agencies that work along the border and are aware of the threats they could face but officials would not describe the specifics of the mock attack because of security concerns. It was also reported that the exercise cost the Department of Homeland Security about US$75,000 and that it had authorized similar exercises for all 16 states along the Canadian and Mexican borders. The Vermont exercise was the first.

The exercises are part of the pressure by the United States to integrate border security under US command as part of agreements such as the “Smart Border Action Plan” signed between Canada and the United States following September 11. According to the Globe and Mail the aim of the exercises was to sort out difficulties that would follow an attack along the border and to allow officials on both sides of the border to “get to known one another.” Highlighted was the necessity to establish those norms and regulations which would prevent “seamless” co-operation of different agencies.

One example was the necessity to sort out whether local firefighters or police can cross the border to respond to an attack on the other side. Under existing law and practice, fire departments routinely cross between Vermont and Quebec to fight fires, but police and border agents from the United States cannot carry their weapons into Canada. Peter Prouty, chief of the volunteer fire department in Swanton, Vermont, said his department has a mutual-aid agreement to fight fires in Philipsburg, Quebec but that under existing rules he cannot take the state-provided hazardous materials response truck into Canada.

TML Daily, November 3, 2004 – No. 173

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No Harbour for War: Québecois oppose NATO warships in Port of Montreal

MONTREAL (3 November 2004) – ACTIVISTS firmly held two large banners reading “No Harbour for War!” and “One Humanity, One Struggle!” at a picket at the Port of Montreal on October 30 to denounce the presence of NATO warships docked there. In a single snapshot, visitors to the port could see Canada’s involvement and participation in wars of aggression and the alternative which anti-war activists are presenting by firmly opposing Canada’s involvement in the moves for world domination. Continue reading

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