A lively rally organized by No Harbour for War was held in Halifax on November 23 at Peace and Freedom Park, across from the Westin Hotel, site of the annual war conference, the Halifax International Security Forum (HISF). This marks the 11th year that peace activists in Halifax have come out to firmly reject their city being used as the venue for this war conference.
A representative of No Harbour for War recounted the steadfast opposition by Haligonians to the war conference when it first began. It was pointed out, “It is important to oppose this war conference for a number of reasons. Firstly, since its beginning with Peter MacKay, who was Canada’s Defence Minister, this so-called ‘Halifax’ conference was based in Washington, DC and serves to support the aggressive war policy of the U.S. imperialists while being paid for by the Canadian taxpayers. Secondly, it is part of the movement to integrate Canada into the U.S. empire and its war machine. In this, Halifax has played a key role.
“During the First World War Shearwater was established as an advance deployment base for the U.S. military. Today Halifax hosts visiting NATO fleets and allied foreign warships on their way to wars of aggression and military exercises. Recently, the Cutlass Fury exercise, the largest in recent years, was an example of military exercises connected to Halifax in the interest of U.S. imperialist aggression around the world. And there is a list of such exercises and wars around the globe connected to Halifax. This is why we are demanding that Halifax Be No Harbour for War! and that Canada should no longer be a factor for future wars.
“Within this framework, this war conference, the so-called International Security Forum, plays the role of an international strategizing session where leaders in the field meet to discuss topics of interest to the empire and possible courses of action. For example, Bolivia has just experienced a coup d’état. Plans to deal with countries which have been a thorn in the side of the empire for many years were discussed here in previous conferences. So was the South China Sea, Venezuela, Libya, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, and so on.
“No Harbour For War salutes you for coming out today – let us march on, unite in action with others and build the anti-war movement.”
Actions to oppose the HISF were also held in Ontario.
In Toronto on November 23, a picket was held out front of the headquarters of the NATO Association of Canada, an organization whose purpose is to impose NATO’s warmongering agenda on the Parliament and the general public. The event was organized by the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) and the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace and took place at the same time as No Harbour for War held its annual protest against the HISF in Halifax.
The picket in Toronto attracted the attention of many people who stopped to express support for the action or to find out more about the U.S./NATO-sponsored HISF and Canada’s involvement.
Philip Fernandez, speaking on behalf of CPC(M-L), noted that HISF is an instrument of war and aggression in the service of NATO and U.S. imperialism, which this year is focused on containment of China. He added that in the next year the U.S., NATO, Canada and others intend to create an aggressive strategy to challenge China under the pretext of defending so-called freedom and democracy. He said that Canadians want peaceful relations with all nations and peoples and will oppose these war plans.
The picket received a warm message of greetings from No Harbour for War, which was read by Tony Seed, one of its founders.
In concluding the picket, the participants expressed their determination to step up their work in the new year to oppose NATO and the Anglo-American imperialists and warmongers, to oppose Canada’s interfering role in the affairs of other nations to foster regime change, and to organize to make Canada a Zone for Peace.
Also on November 23, the Windsor Peace Coalition used the occasion of its weekly picket to draw attention to the Halifax war conference, with signs calling for NATO to be dismantled.
(Photos: TML, Robert Devet, Chronicle Herald, Windsor Peace Coalition)
TML Weekly, November 30, 2019 – No. 29