Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, World Without War, CPC (M-L) and others are holding a protest at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto on Sunday, September 5 to oppose the use of the CNE to promote war and militarism in Canada as “family entertainment.”
They demand an end to the Canadian International Air Show which highlights U.S. and Canadian fighter jets. Participating NATO military groups are the Canadian Forces Snowbirds and CF-18, the United States Air Force Thunderbirds and the British Royal Air Force Red Arrow. The main sponsor of the event is Lockheed Martin which is currently bidding for the contract to manufacture 88 new fighter jets for the Canadian military with 88 new fighter jets at an estimated expenditure of $19 billion ($77 billion over the lifecycle). The jets will be used against countries targeted in U.S. and NATO wars of aggression.
Meeting time: Sunday Sept 5, 1pm
Meeting Place: Shrine Peace Memorial. The memorial is within the Rose Garden at Exhibition Place, just north of Lakeshore Blvd W and just south of the bottom of Dufferin St (See map here).
After gathering at the Shrine Peace Memorial we will walk to a few nearby spots where we can pass out fliers to people gathered to watch the air show, and write sidewalk chalk messages.
Bring: A mask, an umbrella in case of a drizzle, ear plugs if you want to muffle the jet noise. Any No Fighter Jets signs and banners you have. We will have sidewalk chalk for writing messages, and fliers to hand out.
Arriving late and looking for us? Call 647-769-2472
VOW states that it opposes the Toronto Air Show for a number of reasons:
• Re-traumatizes victims of war
• Glorifies and markets weapons as well as militarizes entertainment
• Creates environmental pollution and harm to birds and other wildlife
• Outdated, unnecessary and dangerous with 14 people dead and many put at risk over the decades
Constant war preparations and war is no way for humanity to live and develop.
Canadians Need an Anti-War Government!
Out of NATO and NORAD!
The needs of the time
The crucial issue of opposing the militarization and politicization of public space must be taken up keeping in mind who controls public space and the decision-making processes.
The CNE resides on a municipal site known as Exhibition Place, which is governed by the Board of Governors (BOG) of Exhibition Place, a local board of management of the City of Toronto.
The CNE and the Air Show was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic lockdown and the CNE was again cancelled in May due to provincial and city Covid lockdown. However, the Air Show has been re-instituted without any discussion by residents of Toronto. This shows the real content of the Trudeau government’s cynical and irresponsible election promotion that Canada is “back to normal” and the “humanitarian intervention” of NATO in Afghanistan. In this system the people are cast as passive spectators and cheerleaders to both the militarization and the election, despite continuing protests and without any discussion whatsoever. Such concrete actions show that Canadians are refusing to turn the cheek and are bringing forward their just demands and concerns to make Canada a factor for peace. This also helps break the taboo which forbids any broad discussion of Canada’s membership in NATO. None of these arrangements under which Canada is bound to NATO and NORAD are going to serve their interests, which is why they are being opposed.
2019 Protest Opposes Use of the Canadian National Exhibition to Promote War and Militarism
In 2019 Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, the Parkdale Free School and others held a two-hour protest at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto on August 31 to oppose the use of the CNE to promote war and militarism in Canada. They called for an end to the Canadian International Air Show which highlights U.S. and Canadian fighter jets which have been used by Canada to wage war on other nations. For example, on display was the CF 18 jet that was used, in violation of international law, to bomb Libya in 2011 as well as Syria and Iraq from 2014 to the present. The USAF A-10 was also on display that bombed Iraq and was used in the NATO war of aggression against Yugoslavia.
Photos: Canadian Voice of Women for Peace and Toronto Wolfpack, with a file from Renewal Update, No. 5, September 7, 2019