7) VANCOUVER PEACE COUNCIL FORMED TO PROMOTE STRONGER ANTI-WAR ACTION
PV Vancouver Bureau
As the US administration and its allies in Canada and other NATO members escalate their agenda of militarism and threats against a wide range of countries, a group of Vancouver-area peace activists met on May 1 to form the city's newest anti-war group.
The Vancouver Peace Council will be the local chapter of the Canadian Peace Congress, founded in 1949 during the early days of the Cold War. The formation of the Vancouver Peace Council follows a decline in anti-war activity in this city in recent years, in contrast to earlier periods such as the anti-Vietnam War movements of the 1960s, the massive End the Arms Race demonstrations of the 1980s, and the huge protests during 2002-2003 against the US-led invasion of Iraq. During the past fifteen years, most of the major anti-war activities in the city were organized by the StopWar coalition, which recently disbanded.
As the call to the VPC founding meeting pointed out, "Our city has a proud history of opposition to war and militarism, and we need an anti-war organization which can mobilize people against the ongoing military aggressions of the US and its allies in the NATO imperialist alliance, in which Canada plays a key role."
The group which met to form the VPC includes outspoken critics of the US attacks against Syria, who organized the April 15 rally at the Art Gallery against the latest US-UK-France bombing supported by the Trudeau Liberal government. VPC activists have been involved in campaigns against the US sanctions and threats aimed at countries such as Iran and the DPRK, and in movements to build solidarity with the peoples of Palestine, Venezuela and other targets of imperialist and Zionist attacks.
The founding meeting discussed the state of the peace movement here and across the country, and agreed that the Canadian Peace Congress (which is an affiliate of the World Peace Council based in Athens), is the best organization to help renew and strengthen anti-war activity in Vancouver. The VPC will meet again soon to launch a series of activities around the threats to Syria and Iran, and on other issues, such as the dramatic expansion of Canadian militarism under the Liberal government, and opposition to Canadian arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other countries responsible for the devastating war in Yemen.
An announcement from the Vancouver Peace Council states that "we do not wish to replace other existing anti-war groups which hold activities in the Vancouver area; we do hope that our new Peace Congress chapter will help to unite such movements in a broader and more active anti-war coalition or alliance."
Contact information and other details about the VPC will be published shortly.
(The above article is from the May16-31, 2018, issue of People's Voice, Canada's leading socialist newspaper. Articles can be reprinted free if the source is credited. Subscription rates in Canada: $30/year, or $15 low income rate; for U.S. readers - $45 US per year; other overseas readers - $45 US or $50 CDN per year. Send to People's Voice, c/o PV Business Manager, 706 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3J1.)