FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2012
Niagara Coalition for Peace
Contact: Saleh Waziruddin, co-convenor
905 394 0029 (cell)
Niagara Coalition for Peace Marches Against NATO Summit as part of World-Wide Actions
ST. CATHARINES, ON – Niagara residents marched in downtown St. Catharines from the library to MP Rick Dykstra's office at 4:30 pm on Saturday, May 19th as part of world-wide demonstrations against the NATO Summit in Chicago. The Chicago authorities have already opposed the plans of demonstrators there but the Niagara Coalition for Peace has organized this demonstration in St Catharines to show local opposition to NATO and the wars in Afghanistan, Libya, as well as potential wars on Syria and Iran. The march is endorsed by Ploughshares Niagara, Council of Canadians (Niagara South), and also features as a speaker Dave McKee, President of the Canadian Peace Congress, who has just returned from a regional World Peace Council meeting in Caracas, Venezuela.
“The Canadian Council of Churches, representing 140,000 Canadians such as those in the Anglican, Presbyterian, and United Churches of Canada, has asked NATO to withdraw nuclear weapons from non-nuclear countries and stop 'nuclear sharing' which gives nuclear-tasks to non-nuclear members” said Fiona McMurran of the Council of Canadians (Niagara South). Niagara Coalition for Peace co-convener Saleh Waziruddin explained that “three years ago even Stephen Harper admitted the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable, yet now he wants Canadian soldiers there even beyond the 2014 withdrawal date. It is through NATO that Canada is in Afghanistan, where we are complicit in torture, and it is through NATO that we launched war on Libya and are in danger of wars on Syria and Iran. To stop these endless wars of destruction and torture, Canada must withdraw from NATO.” Dave McKee, Canadian Peace Congress President, added that “NATO has a nuclear first-strike policy and so does Canada through being part of NATO. The US recently announced that the F-35s will carry a specially re-designed B61 nuclear bomb, and we must know if our F-35 dollars are also being used for the re-design of a nuclear bomb.”
Chants from the downtown march and rally included:
“No to NATO, No to War!
We won't let you torture any more!”
“Not one dollar for fighter jets,
spend our taxes on hospital beds!”
“If we're out of NATO, out of war
Then for education, healthcare we'll have more!”
The Niagara Coalition for Peace (NC4P) is a regional peace organization which is part of the Canadian Peace Congress and Canadian Peace Alliance, and its past anti-war resolutions were adopted by the city councils of Welland, Niagara Falls, West Lincoln, and Thorold, and in a revised form in St. Catharines and the Regional Municipality of Niagara. The Canadian Peace Congress was founded in 1949 for world peace and disarmament and is part of the World Peace Council, which is organizing a World Peace Assembly in Kathmandu, Nepal for June 20-23.