Speech notes

“Wake Up Call” on BMD

Terry Wolfwood - Member of VIPIRG coordinating collective
June 12, 2004

Dear Friends,

As we know we are part of a national “Wake Up Call” across Canada today to alert Canadians of the dangers of the USA’s Ballistic Missile Defense. We know that we are not alone today in our opposition to militarize space – to help the USA get there first – in violation of the word and spirit of several international treaties. Canadians and citizens around the world share our horror at this escalation of the arms race, a whole new dimension of war making.

Canada is already involved and complicit; we are already breaking the spirit of those treaties, for years there have been BMD related research projects hidden away in our north and Arctic.

We are addressing ourselves today to 2 political parties today – indistinguishable in their support of USA military and of vast increases in our military budget. Yet almost 70% Canadians oppose BMD. The majority of Canadians say their top priorities for government are social services, health and education – not the giveaway of our sovereignty for war preparation.

What we have to tell them is that their military policies are failures and that governments and politicians here and elsewhere are fooling themselves if they think militarism solves human problems – the problems of true security for us and our sisters and brothers elsewhere. We elect them to create a just and peaceful world – not to increase the dangers of war and destruction. They are cheating and failing us.

Though many other governments also have fallen for USA government line – from Japan to Chile – where Easter Island, a world archaeological treasure, is promised to be a BMD base – the people are organizing!

It was at the World Social Forum in Mumbai where I joined a vast network of NO TO USA BASES… all more than 725 of them, not including the use of bases like Nanoose Bay, supposedly Canadian or the 14 bases under construction in what Stacy calls the republic of Haliburton (Iraq) – that I learned of the growing peace movement – democracy movement – the unstoppable social movements everywhere – just like our gatherings today! We are the growing success story – a spirit that cannot be crushed.

We want real security – freedom from WANT and FEAR as we agreed to in UN Declaration of HR. We can only end the cycle of violence of injustice by creating justice, not war machines.

16 million children have died in last 15 years – of diarrhoea – easily preventable – more than have died in armed conflict since WW2.

The G-8, including Canada, this week meeting in a USA town of 70,000 whose population has temporarily doubled with military and police to protect 8 men who have lied about health funds, debt relief and aid at previous meeting now make more promises to break.

We are on to them – liars and failures – we want homes, hospital equipment, clean water – here in Canada as well as in the world – we want real security. Let's join the world and send a message: