No Harbour for War*
Picket at the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo • Wednesday, July 1 – 12:30 pm • Corner of Barrington and Duke Streets, Halifax
Canada Day comes to Halifax and once again the Royal Nova Scotia Tattoo spectacle unfolds at the Scotiabank Centre, formerly the Halifax Metro Centre, for the entire week. First staged in 1979, the Tattoo has become a significant military-culture event on the calendar.
It is not coincidental that the Tattoo is supported by subsidies and in-kind support from the Government of Canada, the Province of Nova Scotia, the Canadian Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and corporations. HRM, for example, has increased its annual subsidy to the event by $10,000 to $100,000.
Halifax is the most militarized city in Canada and the Royal Nova Scotia Tattoo is cited as the world’s largest annual indoor show.
From the get-go, starting with the demonstrations mounted against and outside the very first Tattoo, anti-imperialist, anti-war activists from the workers’ movement, the youth and the ranks of progressive film-makers (among others) took and maintained a firm stand against Canadian involvement in the war preparations, including the militarization of culture. Today, for the fourth Canada Day in a row, No Harbour For War is proud to continue this legacy of resistance to imperialist war.
Before the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, progressive humanity stood against war preparations. Since then, the imperialists have plunged the peoples into war, such that today, much of the world across large swaths of western and central Asia, as well as northern, western and central Africa, and even southeastern Europe (Ukraine) is in, or being dragged willy-nilly by hook or by crook into actual war. We are in war, and with this shift, the front of struggle against the “militarization of culture” has acquired a new front: the struggle against the “culture of militarization.”
What Is the Culture of Militarization?
If you want secure employment, you must accept production of warships or other materiel that have no end-purpose other than to destroy or be destroyed, as the most highly-desirable source of steady years-long high-paying employment, without rights, and under the supervision of those whose sole purpose is to follow orders – that is the culture of militarization. Indeed, this year’s Tattoo comes amid “job fairs” being put on by the Irvings here in the Maritimes and especially out in the Alberta oil patch, where falling world oil prices have produced unprecedented layoffs driving people to accept positions that are skilled mostly beyond entry-level – only at wages that the employer is trying to keep locked at close to entry-level. The “culture of militarization” is a wage cut riddled with all the routinization, naturalization and normalization of war as an inevitable and unavoidable fact of daily life. Yesterday, to oppose the Tattoo was to oppose the militarization of culture. Today, to oppose the Tattoo is also to oppose the culture of militarization.
With their Tattoos etc., the U.S.-NATO imperialists and their henchmen in the Harper regime are further trying Canadians’ patience.
Down with the Culture of Militarization!
Canada Needs an Anti-War Government!
*No Harbour for War is a Halifax-based organization that fights for the rights of all and for an anti-war government in Canada. For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Slightly edited for this publicataion