Montreal Peace Activists Say Yes to Peace, No to NATO

On October 14th, around 200 peace activists marched in down­town Montréal to oppose Cana­da’s participation in NATO and Trudeau’s pro-war agenda, in a global context where US and NATO’s actions lead the world closer to the bringe of globalised war everyday.

Organised by the newly created Mouvement Québécois pour la Paix, the march reached out to different progressive activists and also cultural personalities from Québec. It benefited from the endorsment or participation of Dominique Daignault, Presi­dent of the Montreal CSN La­bour Council, Yvon Deschamps, famous humorist, Roméo Sa­ganash, Cree activist and mem­ber of parliament from the NDP, Mario Beaulieu, President of the Bloc Québécois and Amir Khad­ir, member of National Assembly from Québec Solidaire amongst others.

This march was the first public and official event organised by the Mouvement québécois pour la paix, a broad coalition of peace activist and peace-loving organi­sations. It was officially created last June after several months of discussions that reached a con­sensual basis of unity articulated mainly around the opposition to NATO and for Canada’s with­drawal of this imperialist and ter­rorist organisation as well as the total withdrawal from NORAD. This is a key demand that no other Québec peace organisation have yet identified as a priority or even endorsed.

The MQP also calls for solidar­ity with peoples victims of wars of aggression, for their rights to self-determination without for­eign interference (starting with the Indigenous Nations at home), the dismantlement of Canada and Québec’s industrial and military complex, promotion of integral and universal disarmament start­ing with nuclear, biological and chemical disarmament, the with­drawal of all Canadian soldiers in duty in foreign countries and for massive transfer from Canada’s military budget towards more so­cial programmes.

The founding of the MQP re­sponds to a concern of different Québec peace activists who were concerned about the need to mo­bilise peace-loving forces with with a breadth similar to the one that forced, in 2003, Canada’s government to refuse participa­tion to the US invasion of Iraq. Groups that participated since the begining to the formation of this coalition include Women of Diverse Origins, Artistes pour la paix, the Parti communiste du Qubec and the Ligue de la jeunesse communiste, retired journalist and specialist of in­ternational issues Jooneed Khan and community activist Dimitri Roussopoulos.

Considering that today’s main obstacle in the mobilisation of peace forces is the rhetoric around so-called “humanitarian interventions” and the “Respon­sibility to Protect” or R2P, this march, although modest, was able to bring progressive people and groups of different orienta­tions together to assert that the main threat to peace, the main obstacle to a just and lasting peace in the world still is US and NATO imperialism and their al­lies, including Canada.

MQP’s view is that the best con­tribution Canada could make in this situation is to withdraw from NATO and NORAD now, to massively cut its military budget and adopt an independent foreign policy based on the principles of International Law, which include the absolute respect of sovereign­ty and mutual respect, on peace and sustainable development.

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