Your help is needed – Canada is under pressure from Trump to back his nuclear threats…

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Your help is needed, please contribute to Ceasefire.ca by visiting http://www.ceasefire.ca/donate

Dear Ceasefire.ca supporter

The leaked U.S. nuclear weapons memo to Canada and NATO is ugly, shameless, and utterly bullying . . .

These shocking five pages obtained by peace campaigners in Europe expose – in black-and-white – how the United States is cracking down to keep Canada, NATO members or any other countries from questioning the legitimacy of its horrific nuclear arsenal.

[Nuclear] deterrence remains a core element of NATO’s overall strategy . . . NATO will remain a nuclear alliance,” the Americans warned Canada and other non-nuclear NATO states forcefully last October.

The Americans were furious about an upcoming vote at the United Nations to authorize talks about a ban on nuclear weapons:

We strongly encourage you to vote ‘No’ on any vote at the UN First Committee on starting negotiations for a nuclear ban treaty.”

So, what did Justin Trudeau do in response to the unconscionable bullying from America?

The day of the big UN vote arrived last December. And when the time came to show leadership for a nuclear weapons-free world . . . Canada voted ‘No’ for disarmament talks – just as the USA had wanted.

U.S. strong-arming of NATO states to support its position is incredibly revealing. The U.S. military establishment is scrambling . . . governments and people are asking too many questions about the big powers’ plans to modernize their nuclear arsenals.

There is a growing peace movement that is challenging the nuclear weapons states, and it includes people like you and me!

And now, with President Trump threatening to launch an actual nuclear attack against North Korea, every U.S. ally, including Canada, is being forced to make a choice:

Stand with the peace movement . . . or stand with Trump’s nuclear “fire and fury.”

It is horrifying that Trump and Russia’s Putin together control almost 15,000 nuclear weapons, with the other seven nuclear-armed states combined accounting for an additional 1000. It only takes one nuclear weapon to threaten the very future of humankind. And the only way to guarantee that nuclear weapons are never used – by desire or error – is to completely eliminate them.

So, where does Justin Trudeau stand on nuclear weapons? Canada’s ‘No’ vote was, frankly, both alarming and incredibly disheartening.

Fortunately, dozens of other countries voted in favour of starting talks and they went on to negotiate a new global treaty to ban nuclear weapons.

Peace groups around the world played a key role in making it the strongest possible agreement. Can you imagine that?

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, more popularly called “The Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty,” was completed on July 7 and was supported by 122 countries. A huge achievement, it will open for signatures from every UN country on September 20, 2017.

Now, Canadians are asking whether Justin Trudeau will belatedly show his support for nuclear disarmament, and sign the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty . . . ?

When questioned by a reporter about the Treaty, Justin Trudeau said that it was “sort of useless” because the United States and other nuclear weapons states want to keep their weapons and don’t support the Treaty.

But that was the same situation when Canada famously pressed to ban landmines (not supported by the U.S.), and worked equally hard to ban cluster bombs (also not supported by the U.S.). The Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty – like most treaties – is not perfect, but even the Americans admit it strikes a political blow against their nuclear arsenals.

Ban advocates seek to shift the focus . . . to one that aims primarily to stigmatize nuclear weapons . . .” the U.S. memo says. “Efforts to negotiate an immediate ban on nuclear weapons or to delegitimize nuclear deterrence are fundamentally at odds with NATO’s basic policies,” the Americans added in alarm.

But the Americans are dead wrong that NATO cannot function without nuclear weapons. A nuclear weapons-free NATO is exactly what Canada should be working to achieve – by signing the treaty, by ending any role in NATO’s nuclear policies and practices, and by working to convince other NATO members to do the same.

And make no mistake, this is what the Americans really fear – that they will no longer have the convenient cover of states like Canada, ostensibly dedicated to pursuing nuclear disarmament but, in reality, going along with NATO’s obsolete and dangerous nuclear weapons policies.

Simply put, how can NATO members convince others, like North Korea or India and Pakistan, to ever give up their nuclear arsenals, if the world’s most powerful military alliance in conventional weaponry terms is not prepared to do the same?

Since its adoption in July, Ceasefire.ca has been promoting the historic achievement of the Ban Treaty. We will continue to keep up the pressure on the Prime Minister to show real leadership in NATO by breaking away from Donald Trump’s nuclear madness, and instead supporting the Ban Treaty.

I want to thank you for your generous support in the past that has allowed us to take on this crucial work. We do not receive any government funding, and we are not a registered charity (we’re a non-profit), so that means we are free to speak out forcefully on your behalf.

Here is how we have used your donations:

  • Organizing demonstrations, social media campaigns and online petitions in support of the Ban Treaty
  • Honing strategies for how Canada can work to end NATO reliance on nuclear weapons
  • Helping organize Hiroshima and Nagasaki commemorative events to educate and mobilize people for nuclear disarmament
  • Engaging the media on the vital role that Canada should play in support of the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

I have been uplifted by the sight of so many young people attending events calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Many participated in a “ban the bomb” picket in December, and slowed traffic at the annual arms trade fair in Ottawa in May. Even more attended the annual Hiroshima and Nagasaki ceremony in August of this year.

Let’s work together to further engage these young people and deepen their connection with the peace movement.

Here is our plan to use your donation:

  • We will use the opening weeks of Parliament in September to put nuclear weapons high on the political agenda, combining digital actions online with organizing and demonstrating across Canada.
  • We will lead other groups in organizing a nation-wide Day of Action to call on Justin Trudeau to sign the Ban Treaty forthwith. Peace supporters in communities such as yours will hold meetings and other actions at MPs offices.
  • We will meet with MPs in Ottawa to give them the solid, reasoned arguments detailing why, and how, Canada can support the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty and start the process of ending NATO reliance on these abhorrent weapons.
  • We want to show the world that even though Justin Trudeau has not yet signed the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, many, many Canadians are ready to do so – including you!

The Ban Treaty reaffirms the important role of “public conscience” in the battle to rid the world of nuclear weapons. Watch for an upcoming email letting you know how you can sign your own Declaration of Public Conscience for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

To help us with this vital work, please consider enclosing a donation to the campaign.

Give $9 each month, right now. http://www.ceasefire.ca/donate

Together, you and I and thousands of others have built one of the largest peace groups in Canada, with the capacity to connect 25,000 people who want Canada to be a peace leader once again. Not since the end of the Cold War have we had such an opportunity to make real progress on nuclear disarmament. Let’s keep building the peace movement in Canada and working to rid the world of nuclear weapons once and for all.

Thank you for everything you do for peace. Onward!

peggy-mason-sig-10pxleft
Peggy Mason,
President
Rideau Institute and Ceasefire.ca
(Peggy Mason is Canada’s former UN Ambassador for Disarmament)

P.S. Please renew your support and join our Peacekeepers monthly donors club at just $9 each month. You can choose to receive a free copy of Naomi Klein’s latest book entitled No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need (a $20 value, min. donation of $12/month). Or make a special one-time gift of $45. Thanks for your support, and everything you do for peace!

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