If this is victory, what would defeat look like? Three months after the war in Iraq, the US has admitted its soldiers are embroiled in a full guerrilla war. The Iraqi people are subjected to a colonial military occupation. Despite the billions being spent on the war and occupation, the Iraqis are suffering shortages of water and electricity, and face total disruption to their everyday rights. After years of dictatorship, they are denied any democratic voice or say in the running of their country. 

Contrary to everything that Bush and Blair told us, the Iraqis did not welcome the military forces as liberators and every day there are demonstrations in Iraq asking them to leave. 

WOT, NO WMDS? Everything that the anti-war movement said about this war has proved to be true. We were told that the war was to disarm Saddam Hussein, but no weapons of mass destruction have been found. Evidence that Iraq bought uranium from the African state of Niger has been shown to be forged. Tony Blair is continuing to claim that British intelligence had such evidence, but even the CIA has denied this. 

Despite talk of the 'special relationship' between Britain and the US, George Bush clearly doesn't care enough to even release the prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. 

Our movement nearly stopped the war, with millions taking to the streets, including thousands in Ottawa - the largest locally-based demonstrations ever. Now we have to redouble our efforts to push our government to help bring the US and UK to account and to immediately end the occupation of Iraq. 

At the same time, we have to draw attention to the continuing erosion of civil rights here in Canada with the execution of "security certificates" and the arbitrary detention of people who are not even accused of committing a crime. We also denounce the international advance of militarism, violence, and state terror in places as diverse as Palestine, the Philippines, and Colombia. 

NOWAR-PAIX, the Ottawa/Outaouais Network to Oppose War and Racism, along with the Global Peace Coalition of Ottawa University and Carleton University, joins the international peace and anti-imperialist movements in calling an international day of protest for September 27. Help make it a huge protest that our government - and the US/UK governments - cannot ignore.

See www.nowar-paix.ca for more information


For more information, please contact Mick at 523-1077 or email us at nowar_paix@flora.org

NOWAR/PAIX is a network of concerned citizens and organizations in the Ottawa/Hull area who oppose the war     being waged by the US under the pretext of fighting terror. We stand united under three general principles:

1) We oppose terrorism in all its forms, including state terrorism, the U.S. call to war and Canada's participation therein. We understand that the so-called "war on terrorism" is merely an acceleration of established first-world agendas such as globalization, profiteering from the manufacture of arms, and the control over worldwide natural resources. In Afghanistan, Canada is participating in a war that is without UN sanction, and in violation of international law and the international agreements on human rights. In Afghanistan as in Palestine, the Philippines, Iraq and elsewhere, civilian casualties of the "war on terrorism" have barely made the media. Death caused by displacement, and the refusal of safe passage to aid remains unestimated. The Bush administration is intent on expanding their war to many other countries. We must show our opposition in every way that we can. WAR IS STATE TERRORISM 

2) We oppose racism and the racist backlash against people of colour, including attacks on immigrant and refugee rights. Since September 11, 2001, there has been a backlash against the Arab community. Thousands of Arab people, South Asian people and Muslims have been violently attacked inside the United States. Homes, mosques and stores have been defaced. People of Arab and South Asian descent have been pulled off airplanes. Mainstream media outlets, like the Wall Street Journal, have called for legitimising racial profiling. This is racism pure and simple. After Timothy McVeigh blew up the Oklahoma City Federal building in 1995, killing 168 people, there was no campaign to take white males off of airplanes because people felt "uncomfortable" in their presence. White men were not rounded up and held without charges. Since September 11, however, more than 1,000 people, mostly of Middle East origin, have been detained, many since Sept. 11 and many without charges. The racist vilification of people of colour and immigrants, specifically those considered Islamic, is an unacceptable legacy of our society and of this war.

3) We oppose the erosion of civil liberties in the name of national security. Bill C-36, forced through Parliament before Christmas, violates many principles of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Together with the companions, C-35 and C-42, the definition of terrorist activities is broad enough to catch the work of Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Jesus. Here's how the bills work together:

(C-35) "Protection of State Terrorists Act": Expands the definition of a 'protected person' to all visiting ministerial conference delegates, making such people immune from prosecution in Canada.

(C-36) "Suspension of Canadian Civil Liberties Act": As well as suspending civil liberties, this bill, as a companion to C-35 and C-42, makes anyone who interferes with protected persons or their transportation guilty of a terrorist offence, with heavy jail sentences.

(C-42) "Canadian Anytime, Anywhere Martial Law Act": Now replaced by C-55, allows the minister of defence to declare 'military security zones' within Canada, and allow the armed forces to restrict access to these areas, and search anyone in the vicinity. Bill C-55 is part of the anti-terrorism strategy of the Canadian government and is as wide-sweeping as C-42 which it replaces. C-42 was strongly opposed for the depth and scope of powers it would put in the hands of the government and its ministers. In essence little has changed. C-55 still gives the authority to exert repressive measures in matters of surveillance, control and security. Furthermore C-55 amends over 20 laws which were not touched by C-42. "The definition [of terrorism] could include many legitimate activities that disrupt social order like the recent illegal strikes waged by nurses and truckers, anti-globalization marches or First Nations demonstrations," says Eric Rice, president of the Canadian Bar Association. The legislation also gives the federal government greatly enhanced unilateral powers to block Canadians from accessing information on the way our government is run. This will create a screen behind which politicians will be able to avoid accountability and keep secrets from the very citizens they are charged to represent. The sweeping powers given to the police and CSIS strip us of the fundamental right to remain silent, the right to see any evidence used to convict us, and the right to be free unless formally charged by the police. These are just a few of the ultra-repressive and unprecedented measures being pushed through Parliament.

Peace Rally
Saturday, September 27