The Special Extraordinary Renewal Convention of the Canadian Peace Congress in Winnipeg Manitoba October 25th 2008 convenes at a moment when Canadian membership in NATO embroils Canada’s armed forces and commits public wealth to US instigated imperialist wars of aggression and occupation.
We declare our confidence in the deeply held beliefs of the Canadian people who uphold and support a foreign policy of peace and disarmament and express our support and solidarity for all of the progressive forces of peace and anti-imperialist solidarity that oppose aggressive US imperialism and its NATO-EU allies that foment wars and brutal occupations, revive the arms race and destabilize international relations and the global economy.
US imperialism and its NATO and EU allies seek to perpetuate in the 21st century the cycle of wars of aggression, militarization and economic crisis that characterized the 20th century resulting in two world wars, the use of nuclear weapons against civilian populations, the seizure of global resources and markets, the dismemberment of nations and the exploitation and impoverishment, including mass starvation of entire people’s.
US imperialism and its NATO and EU allies are expanding NATO to the former socialist states, installing forward radar systems in Czechoslovakia and Poland, conducting provocative joint military exercises involving Ukraine and Georgia and other former socialist states, all designed to encircle and intimidate Russia.
The US maintains over 700 foreign military bases, is expanding its nuclear arsenal with new weapons and methods of delivery including their deployment to space, and has activated the US 4th fleet to intimidate the people’s liberation struggles of Central and South America and the Caribbean.
Accompanying military aggression are outlandish theories of the threat of global terrorism, and a new cold war with the same old anti-communism, designed to demonize China, justify blockades against Cuba and intimidate all revolutionary, liberation, working class and peace movements.
On the pretext of combating terrorism, US-NATO military forces are conducting brutal wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan to establish their military dominance and control in the Middle East and Central Asia to appropriate the oil resources of the region and control their extraction, transport and marketing.
Accompanying military war is psychological war that demonizes China and Russia and gives support and encouragement to the Israeli expansionists to suppress the legitimate struggles of the Palestinian people, promote aggression against Lebanon and to actively plan for attacks, possibly using nuclear weapons, against Iran.
The sovereign rights of nations and the very existence of smaller nations is increasingly in peril as large imperialist states, including Canada, which occupies the territories of Aboriginal peoples, strive to dominate the world and increase their spheres of influence. This intensification encompasses all the means recognized by the laws against genocide, concerning murder, culture, language, children and education.
From the time of the League of Nations, in the aftermath of WW1, to the Nuremberg Trials in the aftermath of WW2 to the proclamation of the principles embodied in the UN Charter, deliberately fomenting aggressive wars has been defined as a crime against peace and humanity punishable by law.
Such crimes against peace and humanity are not excused because they are undertaken on behalf of a minority of private corporations and monopolies that place their quest for profit above the economic needs of the majority of humanity and by their actions threaten peace and the continued existence of the planet.
Peace is the objective condition necessary for the existence of human life and given today’s arsenals of nuclear weapons capable of destroying civilization, the existence of all life.
Peace and the survival of the planet are conditional upon the ability to overturn aggressive imperialism by the organized political and social actions of the vast majority of humankind.
The forces of peace and human progress in all continents declare that hunger, disease, poverty, lack of education and unemployment and abuse of the environment can never be solved by militarism, wars of aggression and occupation that perpetuate the dominance of a few powerful imperialist states over all of humanity.
The basic necessities of life and human happiness can only be achieved in a society that eradicates all of the causes of war.
A New World In the Making – The Alternative to Imperialist War
The peace movement is struggling for another world, for a new power in the hands of those who labour who have raised the banner of peace, international friendship and solidarity demanding a truly human global order without nuclear weapons, aggressive military blocs, foreign military bases and arms races, the cause of so much waste of productive forces, human suffering and poverty.
The peace movement rejects the imperialist doctrine of entitlement of a minority of financial corporate interests that assert that an elite group should live in comfort as the vast majority live in want.
The peace and anti-imperialist movements assert that a truly human existence is not a privilege of a few but a right of all and that everything is at hand to alleviate all human suffering.
The peace movement fights for a different and better world to achieve those lofty goals.
The peace and anti-imperialist movement declares its solidarity and support for the liberation of oppressed peoples, for the struggle of those who labour for economic and social justice, for an end to all forms of exploitation and human oppression, for the elimination of racism and the degradation and exploitation of women and children.
Not withstanding the power of imperialism, the peace movement declares that the combined forces of peace, labour and democracy organized and united in mass actions requiring great courage, resolve and sacrifice, can curb and eliminate the root causes of war and usher in a new era of peaceful human development.
New Trends Emerging in the 21st Century
The doctrines of a small group of imperialist states led by the USA that rely on military power and political and economic threats, and proclaim their “right” to violate the sovereignty of people’s and nations to exact “regime change”, to intervene militarily and unilaterally in international affairs is being challenged.
More peoples and countries, recognizing that imperialism cannot be reformed, reject its tenets and are taking matters into their own hands, declaring peace as their right and boldly establishing new forms of governance that utilize their own natural resources and peaceful creative labour to provide for the economic and social needs of their people.
A group of states, the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the People’s Republic of Viet Nam, the Republic of Cuba, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Republic of Bolivia and have chosen socialist models of political, economic and social development based on state ownership of the commanding heights of the economy combined with other innovative forms and methods of production to overcome problems of underdevelopment.
The socialist states emphasize economic cooperation, the application of science and technology to increase productivity and ease labour to meet the rising needs of the people for necessities, while at the same time systematically improving the health, advanced education and cultural life of the people and implementing vigorous programs to preserve the environment, conserve energy resources and avoid the worst aspects of consumerism.
Other states such as Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Argentina and Brazil, Russia and India, South Africa and Byelorussia (Belarus) and many others that are considering joining them, represent nations in transition that are not fully in the orbit of imperialism and opt for a non-belligerent stance in international relations.
Such states resist tacitly or openly, the pressures and actions of the imperialist bloc of states led by the USA and promote independent regional economic cooperation and foreign and diplomatic relations based on mutual interest, non-belligerence and respect for the principles of non-interference, sovereignty of the peoples and their right to peace and independent economic and social development.
Such states recognize the importance of the principles embodied in the United Nations Charter, the Declaration of Human Rights, the declarations of the meetings of Non-Aligned States, international treaties on disarmament and do not accept the doctrines of NATO based on the use of military force to impose imperialist solutions on all problems confronting the people of the world.
These realities show that the world is neither an undifferentiated “international community”, nor a static one dimensional global economy, euphemisms of the corporate media for the self appointed leadership of the world by the USA and a small group of imperialist states.
Rather the world community of nations, states and people’s is much more complex, evolving new international relationships that challenge all theories and practice of the imperial imperative.
These non-imperialist trends in global economic and social development are in stark contrast to the predatory precepts of mega-finance corporate interests that presume to dictate all global economic and social development.
The non-imperialist trends demonstrate in practice the determination and creative ability of the people themselves to solve economic and social problems without the oversight and dictat of a handful of powerful imperialist states.
Such new trends in global economic and political development challenge and resist the edicts of the outworn and failed imperialist schemes of the IMF and the WTO, symbolized by the recent collapse of WTO negotiations in Geneva, and their records of manipulation and disadvantaging the impoverished and exploited and developing nations.
The new trends in international development attract the attention of the majority of the people of the world and raise high the hopes for peace and economic progress free of war and oppression.
These trends also arouse the enmity and hostility of the old discredited imperialist centres of power and privilege and their dominant role in global affairs and cause them to resort to threats, militarism and war and to inflict unspeakable crimes against the people, as they attempt to emerge from poverty and exploitation.
The new trends in global economic and political development pose the question to all peoples and states, whether to support what is old and dying and offers nothing but militarism and perpetual war and has no answers to the problems confronting humanity or to study what is new, support it and adapt it to ensure peace and progress in all countries.
Canada – An Independent Force for Peace or US Imperialist Accomplice?
Such questions are beginning to be asked and discussed in the advanced capitalist states that are also afflicted with serious economic and social problems and where stagnation, parasitism, militarism, racism and chauvinism have gained the ascendancy in society.
Canada is an advanced capitalist state integrated economically, politically and militarily within the global system of imperialism with close ties to the leading imperialist state, the USA.
The dominance of private finance capital over the entire profit system and the Canadian state, determines the main aspects of economic development, foreign policy and military doctrine.
The two Canadian political parties that have shared power continuously since Confederation in 1867, the Liberals and the Conservatives, assert through legislation, policy documents, foreign and defense doctrines, fiscal and monetary policy that in the 21st. Century there can be no security or prosperity for Canada and its people independent of US economic and military power and its global strategy.
The struggle for the sovereignty of Canada cannot be separated from the struggle for the full national rights of the Aboriginal peoples and the achievement of equal and voluntary relations of all nations in Canada, since only their co-operation, friendship and solidarity can rebuff U.S. and other imperialist encroachments. The wholesale sell-off of resources claimed by Aboriginal peoples is helping to feed the U.S. war machine, creating added cause for all peace-supporting people to demand the immediate and just settlement of land claims.
This outmoded world view of Canadian ruling elites based on self interest promotes Canadian US integration and collaboration, voluntarily surrenders aspects of Canadian sovereignty, the sovereignty of Aboriginal people and all nations and places the vast natural resources of the country, in particular its energy resources at the disposal of a foreign power the USA and determines the broad outlines of Canada’s economic development with reliance on resource extraction industries and the neglect of all other economic sectors.
The integration of Canada with the USA is the main obstacle to Canada becoming a force for peace and progress in the 21st Century, restricting its trade opportunities and threatening to embark the country on the path of war, predation and adventurism in international affairs.
US-Canadian military and foreign policy collaboration has led Canada into membership in imperialist military alliances of NATO, NORAD and NORTHCOM and adapts and integrates Canada’s military and foreign policy in step with US imperialist global ambitions.
The Canadian Government actively participated in the US imperialist war of aggression in Korea in 1950-1953, refrained from direct participation in the US wars in Viet Nam 1961 – 1975 and the first Gulf War 1990-91, participated in the NATO bombing of Belgrade in 1999 but stood aside from the US invasion of Iraq and now participates fully in the US instigated war on Afghanistan.
Capitulating to US imperialist pressure, both the Liberals and the Conservatives commit Canada to the US-NATO-EU war in Afghanistan to 2011 resulting in misery and death for Afghans and rising casualties for Canadian military forces and the squandering of the federal treasury at the rate of over $100 million per year with no end in sight.
Shamefully the Canadian Government supports the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, condones the brutal suppression of the liberation movements of Columbia, condones the illegal incarceration of US prisoners, including Canadian citizens at Guantanamo Bay, participates in the occupation of Haiti and the active suppression of the just demands of the Haitian people for democracy.
So long as Canada is a member of NATO and NORAD Canadians will be dragged into future foreign US imperialist wars and occupations.
Governments Promote Militarism, the People Demand Peace and Friendship
A majority of Canadians stubbornly resist policies of Canadian governments, past and present that subordinate Canada’s sovereignty, its wealth, vast natural resources, in particular its energy resources, its military and defense doctrines, its diplomatic and foreign policy initiatives to the strategic goals of US imperialism.
Canadian public opinion is also opposed to Liberal and Conservative Government policies that deliberately distance Canada from what is perceived by many of its citizens to be Canada’s traditional non-belligerent stance in international affairs.
Canadians have a long association with the United Nations, support its founding principles and its reputation as an international organization concerned about the preservation of peace and the human condition.
Canadians uphold the belief in Canada as a state capable of independently establishing normal relations with countries having political and economic systems and societies different than Canada such as China and Cuba and during the Trudeau years promoting aspects of peaceful coexistence with the former Soviet Union and the European system of socialist states.
Canadians have an abhorrence of nuclear weapons and give support to all initiatives for nuclear disarmament, for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, for strategic arms limitation treaties, oppose the testing of nuclear weapons, opposed cruise missile testing on Canadian territory, opposed the presence of US nuclear armed vessels in Canadian waters and have thus far prevented the stationing of US nuclear weapons delivery systems on Canadian territory.
Canadian public opinion compelled the Martin Liberal Government to formally refuse to participate in the US sponsored destabilizing space based weapons systems Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD). Despite this, the Government of Canada is still part of BMD through NORAD related agreements and by allowing Canadian companies to enter BMD related contracts.
Because of the broad peace sentiment among Canadians, Government policy makers, the military elites, the arms industry and the corporate media resort to gross distortions of the truth to justify Canadian participations in US-NATO wars and occupations.
Liberal and Conservative Governments promote the discredited and bogus Bush Administration “war on terror” to justify the militarization of the economy, the restriction of rights guaranteed to the people under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the tolerance of extra-territorial laws of the USA that impinge on the rights of Canadians including permitting the operation of US forces on Canadian territory and most egregious, the weakening of the oversight of the elected Parliament of Canada on matters of war and peace, security and foreign policy.
The divide between the Government and the people is exemplified in the proclamation of the Stephen Harper minority Conservative Government of the Canada First Defence Strategy (CFDS).
The Harper Government foreign policy doctrine is the manifesto of the most aggressive, chauvinistic and reactionary circles of Canadian finance capital seeking with a bigger military budget to strengthen its influence at the imperialist round tables in Washington and Brussels.
CFDS promotes the growth, modernization and combat readiness of the Canadian military and its interoperability with US military forces for one main reason, to commit Canada to current and future US-NATO wars, interventions and occupations as the first principle of Canadian government foreign policy.
CFDS boasts of the experience gained by Canadian forces in Afghanistan as a “military that can operate far from home on a sustained basis” that according to Prime Minister Harper is the path that will return Canada to the international stage as a “credible and influential country.”
CFDS elevates commitments to NATO, NORAD, NORTHCOM, the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) and the Civil Assistance Plan, the latter permitting US troops on Canadian soil in the event of a “civil emergency”, above all other Canadian international obligations and treaties.
As such CFDS actually weakens Canadian sovereignty by subordinating Canadian defense policy to the global military strategy of the US imperialism and its principal NATO allies.
Fear mongering about alleged threats to Canadian security is the method used by the Harper Conservatives to justify massive transfers of public finances, without Parliamentary approval, to foreign and domestic defense contractors to stimulate a speculative expansion of the economy.
CFDS is profoundly undemocratic and has been implemented without seeking Parliamentary approval and commits $492 billion over 20 years on top of the $5.3 billion allocated in budget 2006 approaching 2.2% of GDP all to guarantee the profits of defense contractors and investors.
The Harper policy of the rapid militarization of the economy is the only job creation project the Government has to offer the youth, the unemployed and the underemployed.
CFDS cannot be implemented without sacrificing the needs of public health care, pensions, child care, senior’s needs, low cost housing and the peaceful development of the country that includes illegal attempts to give away aboriginal resources that have never been ceded.
CFDS is devoid of any pretense to even consider the deep desire of the majority of Canadian people for foreign policy free of the domination of US imperialism.
In spite of years of right-wing indoctrination, Canadians continue to reject the tenets of the Bush “war on terrorism” and uphold the belief in the potential of Canada for promoting an independent Canadian foreign policy of peace and disarmament.
Prime Minister Harper, brought to power to serve a powerful cabal of energy investors, militarists and speculative financiers scorns the belief of ordinary Canadians in the capacity of our country to contribute to the reduction of international tensions through negotiations based on the principles of non-interference and respect for the sovereignty of nations, the United Nations Charter, international disarmament treaties, or international law.
CFDS is an invitation to the Canadian people to abandon the struggle for all alternatives to war and the militarization of the economy and to voluntarily cede our vast natural resources, our social wealth, democracy our independence and sovereignty and peace itself to militarism.
The most recent incursion into Canadian sovereignty is the policy of the Conservative Government to collaborate with the US Government in declaring the territory and resources of the Arctic to be matters that will be decided by militarism and power instead of international negotiations based on protecting the Arctic and the rights of its indigenous people, the fragile environment from all forms of rapacious and anarchic corporate development.
The Arctic must be declared a great zone of peace, free of all weapons of mass destruction, of massive military installations, and advanced weapons delivery and communication systems and its development as a joint project of all nations involved with the active participation of the indigenous people and the oversight of responsible international agencies utilizing the foresight of advanced science and environmentalism.
Before development of the Arctic is viable the interests and demands of the Aboriginal People of the region must be addressed; justice and compensation be obtained; and self-determination be attained. Only then can the active participation of indigenous people be a reality.
The Circumpolar Region is inhabited by indigenous groups that are closely related and aligned and share interests and culture across state borders that are not share southerners in their respective countries. This Arctic Culture must be respected in active and practical ways, the people fully consulted before decisions are made in their homelands.
For A United and Active Canadian Movement for Peace
The Canadian Peace Congress formed in 1949 has a long history of struggle for peace.
Throughout its long history it has been part of the World Peace Council (WPC) and subscribes to its world view and its commitment to peace and anti-imperialist solidarity that has placed it in the forefront of the global struggle for peace.
The Canadian Peace Congress participates in joint actions sponsored by the Canadian Peace Alliance, the World Peace Forum and other peace groups, actively participates in local peace coalitions, supports the international campaigns of the World Peace Council and conducts peace initiatives in its own name.
The Canadian Peace Congress:
Demands the immediate return of Canadian occupying forces from Afghanistan and Haiti and condemns Canada’s participation in the imperialist military interventions, occupations and wars of aggression led by the U.S. and NATO.
Opposes the militarization of the Canadian economy and increased military spending for wars of aggression and occupation and calls for deep 50% cut in arms spending.
Demands the Government of Canada respect the Charter of the United Nations, supporting the sovereignty of nations and working to prevent war.
Draws attention to and opposes the systematic attempts of the leading imperialist states to revise the statutory principles of the United Nations to weaken the authority of General Assembly and fully supports the declarations and warnings set out in the statements of the WPC General Secretary at the WPC World Assembly in Caracas Venezuela, April 8-13, 2008 that uphold and defend the original intent, principles and purposes of the UN Charter.
Supports the just demands of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada and the indigenous peoples of the world for the inalienable rights of complete self-determination and sovereignty.
Supports the right of the people of Quebec to sovereignty and self-determination up to and including the right to secede.
Opposes all attempts to militarize the Arctic and calls for the Arctic to be declared a demilitarized zone of peace in accordance with item 74 of this resolution.
Calls for Canada’s withdrawal from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), North American Aerospace Command (NORAD) and US NORTHCOM (U.S. Northern Command) and their dissolution.
Opposes the establishment of Canadian military bases outside of Canada’s territory and the use of Canadian military bases for the training of NATO, NORAD and U.S. detachments of military forces.
Demands the closure of all US and NATO foreign military bases.
Opposes the militarization of space and opposes Canadian participation in Ballistic Missile Defense.
Condemns the US-NATO-EU policy of re-igniting a global nuclear arms race and the stationing of US radar installations in Czechoslovakia and Poland.
Demands the Government of Canada adhere to all international agreements promoting nuclear disarmament and preventing the proliferation of nuclear and all weapons of mass destruction.
Demands that the Government of Canada abandon illegal imperialist military doctrines such as “preventive” war, the “responsibility to protect” and the “right of first strike use” of nuclear weapons.
Upholds the right of all peoples to resist imperialist military aggression and occupation, regime change and the seizure of natural resources and proclaims its solidarity with all liberation struggles.
Calls for the repeal of anti-terrorist legislation that violates Canada’s human rights obligations in international law and infringes Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms and by the compiling of lists of alleged “terrorist organizations” infringing the rights of Canadians to express their support and solidarity for organizations of people’s engaged in just struggles for liberation from imperialist oppression.
Condemns state and corporate surveillance of Canadians and civil society under the pretext of “border and internal security.”
Supports the right of US war resisters to stay in Canada as political refugees.
Condemns Canada’s shameful record of harboring war criminals from the Second World War and other imperialist wars.
Accepts the scientific evidence of global warming and climate change and supports the struggle of Canadian people to end the current wasteful exploitation and export of Canada’s energy resources which serve only the needs of the U.S. market and military and ruin the vital economic and environmental interests of Canadians.
Expresses its support for normal relations with Cuba and expresses it solidarity and support for the Cuban Five illegally incarcerated in US prison.
Supports the just struggle of the Palestinian People
Fully endorses the Final Declaration of the World Peace Council Assembly held in Caracas Venezuela April 8-13, 2008.
- Agrees to host a Tri-Lateral Conference of the member organizations of the WPC and invited guests from Mexico, the USA and Canada in Toronto Canada on October 2,3,4 2009.
Adopted at the Extraordinary Renewal Convention, Winnipeg, Manitoba ~ October 25, 2008