The New Canadian Peace Movement Grows

From: Gary Morton


Though it got called on short notice today's Walk for Peace & Global Solidarity became the largest demonstration of the year. People from numerous social justice and anti-racism groups chose to show.

Sunshine and warmth filled the day. At the beginning I tried to find a spot where I could photograph the full length of the march as it circled to head off for the US Consulate. That wasn't possible as it was too big. While trying to get that photo I discovered that the event could have been even bigger. People passing through the park complained that they hadn't seen any announcement of it in the media.

Digital Photos:

Part of a pan-Canadian Day of Action Against War And Racism that included rallies in Vancouver, Halifax and Montreal, the demo didn't get much media coverage. With their War on Terrorism banners, the mainstream press has left the concept of peace out of the equation and out of the news. It might even be said that a reason for marches is that so many people are sick of the lies, bullshit and propaganda filling the daily news.

This new peace movement represents an educated culture existing in parallel with the culture of brainwashed warmongers that the pollsters tap. Authorities are treating this movement as illegitimate and began by attempting to provoke a confrontation. The rally was to go down Yonge Street, where it would have been visible to a larger crowd. Police prohibited that and openly threatened to jail the organizers and make mass arrests if demonstrators did not follow a route chosen by them. We had the numbers to disobey police, but organizers were left with little choice other than to avoid an ugly scene that would grant a propaganda opportunity to Toronto's mainstream War Media.

Terrorism is linked to suffering caused by the policies of globalization and arms manufacturing, and though the Mobilization for Global Justice and students made up a large portion of the crowd, none of the other groups thought that peace was a simple matter of avoiding a war in Afghanistan. There are definite links to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Hostility and Terror are not products solely produced by a variety of Islamic extremists. The West is breeding suffering, unrest and terrorism through the implementation of foreign policy designed to allow the rape of the planet by global corporations. And this means that any War on Terrorism has to begin at home.

At Queen's Park Hajera Rostam said that Afghani-Canadians are being targeted, and her talk reflected the concerns of most of the people. One
picket sign said Taliban do not equal Afghanistan. Which is true as most Afghanis don't support the oppressive Taliban. They are impoverished
victims caught between the Taliban and the angry West.

This war is not against visible nations, but against terrorism. At the American Consulate, Tariq Ali attacked the use of that concept. "You do not fight terror with terror," Ali said. "…The rule of the West is to punish the crimes of our enemies but reward the crimes of our friends." Tariq is also concerned about the way these events are being used to attack our civil liberties and to introduce more restrictions for people of the "wrong colour".

The march ended at the City Hall Peace Garden. It proved that we have a large culture of peace in Toronto … and that the challenge is to get
the message to the rest of society. The larger media conglomerates are a formidable foe working to magnify the terror so it can be used by
corporate and government forces to remove civil liberties and grow the same oppressive global agenda that created oppression and terrorism in
the first place.

Protest Info:
Toronto Mobilization for Global Justice


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