Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2001 23:03:14 -0400
From: TASC <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Open Letter to Canadian Star Wars Researchers
Below is the text of an open letter sent to DREO, Canada's home of space
warfare and star wars research and development, located just outside of
Ottawa. DREO will be the focus of a nonviolent direct action and festival
of creative alternatives to war on November 9.
Please consider joining us!
Homes not Bombs
Homes not Bombs
"Because Canada should build homes, not blow them up"
PO Box 73620, 509 St. Clair Ave. West
Toronto, ON M6C 1C0
(416) 651-5800; email@example.com
Kitchener-Waterloo: (519) 745-1681, Guelph: (519) 836-2409
Hamilton: (905) 528-5925, 627-2696, firstname.lastname@example.org, Windsor: (519) 258-1555;
Ottawa (613) 237-0730
OCTOBER 15, 2001
OPEN LETTER TO THE EMPLOYEES OF THE WAR RESEARCH ESTABLISHMENT OTTAWA
(DREO) REGARDING NOVEMBER 9 NONVIOLENT FESTIVAL AND
CITIZENS' INSPECTION OF WAR FACILITY
We are writing with some good news and an invitation to attend a Festival
of Creative Alternatives to War which will help you overcome some serious
problems with the facility known as "Defence" Research Establishment Ottawa
First, the good news.
On Friday, November 9, nonviolent peacemakers from across Ontario, Quebec,
and some parts of the intergalactic network of planets which orbit the sun
(don't worry, they're mainly Venus-ians) will be gathering at the entrance
to DREO at 3701 Carling Ave., in Nepean. We plan to begin the first steps
in a process of transforming the war research facility and the neighbouring
electronic warfare centre into a Civil Society Research Institute.
For too long, DREO has done nothing but contribute to the very problems
which plague society so deeply: poverty, war, and environmental
destruction. By draining away precious social funding so that institutes
such as DREO can conduct research that will aid in Star Wars and space
warfare, Canada violates both international and domestic laws which require
us to care for all members of society, not to bomb them.
Our specific disagreement with DREO centres around your mandate and your
goals. As the host site of Canada's Electronic Warfare Centre and as a
facility which does contract work for the Bush-administration led Star
Wars, you have asked, in a recent annual report, "Will technology allow us
to fit 70 tons of lethality into a 20 ton package?" This is extremely
dangerous thinking, and under Canada's criminal code would constitute
conspiracy to commit mass murder.
The standard dictionary definition of "lethal" is deadly, or causing death.
70 tons of lethality is a lot of death. Upon consulting with our friends
from Venus, we were told that 70 tons of libidinousness in a 20 ton package
would be far safer and a lot more fun. We hope you might agree.
Unfortunately, DREO prides itself as a centre of "exploiting the
electromagnetic spectrum" for military purposes and boasts a diverse range
of warfighting technologies, including "Electronic Warfare, Information
Warfare, Space Systems and Technologies for Defence[sic] Applications,
Detection and Identification of NBC [nuclear, biological, chemical] Agents."
We wonder why you do not wish to instead exploit the capacity of the human
brain to uncover ingenious solutions to hunger, homelessness, and the
economic disparities and consequent hatreds which divide us.
While you might claim that DREO is only a bit player in the space warfare
scene, a January, 2001, Ottawa Citizen article reported that DREO is
involved in a Star Wars research program called the Quantum Well Infrared
Photodetector. "This project is a key contributor to the collaborative work
with the (U.S.) Ballistic Missile Defence Organization [the key U.S.
government branch pursuing NMD]," read military research reports obtained
by the Citizen. The Canadian QWIP system has "significant implications for
future exploitation to support U.S. Space-based Infrared Surveillance
Systems, surveillance from space and missile defence applications."
Meantime, we are concerned as well about your relationship to the "Defence"
Research and Development Canada Technology Investment Strategy of 2000,
which clearly states "Space soon will be the fourth medium of warfare, it
will not only bind all war fighting forces together but will also become
strategically critical to the survival of warfighters...For future
coalition warfare, space superiority will be fundamental."
The annual report of your parent group, "Defence" Research and Development
Canada, notes that one outcome of the Canadian Defence Industrial Research
program has been the development of products useful for, among other
things, the Star Wars "Exo-Atmosphere Kill Vehicle." Related technology
being developed in Canada, including space-based radar and use of Canada's
RADARSAT-2 satellite to produce "a ground moving target indication (GMTI)
capability" will "provide an improved operational picture to the war
fighter." The report notes without any sense of irony that "there is a high
level of US interest in the Space-Based Radar GMTI Project," as the
employment of such sensor technology is key to any space warfare capacity.
As hundreds of thousands of Canadians face another night on the cold
streets of their cities because we spend almost 800% more on the military
and armed enforcement of injustice than we do on affordable housing, we
feel DREO is a very appropriate place to begin transforming our economy and
You see, if you stop coming up with newer and deadlier forms of warfare, it
will make it more difficult to conduct that warfare. And if folks across
the globe take up similar projects of nonviolent transformation, we will
finally make it impossible for wars to be waged.
Perhaps you have been too long separated from the results of your work.
Because of this capacity to separate your work on warfare from the victims
of war and the victims of a war economy, we extend a very sincere
invitation to you to join us on the front grounds of DREO, near Carling
Avenue, on the morning of the 9th of November. At that time, we can take
you on a guided tour of some of the alternatives to war, as well as the
symbols of the victims of war.
We would also like to inform you that citizens inspectors, trained in
nonviolence and with a good understanding of international, humanitarian,
and moral law, will be entering the DREO facilities the morning of the 9th
to conduct an inspection of the facilities and to present scientists
working within with a pledge of conscience not to participate any longer in
research and development of warfare.
These inspectors are well-trained and have attempted to conduct similar
inspections at War Dept. HQ in Ottawa, Fort York Armoury in Toronto,
Diemaco Weapons Manufacturing in Kitchener, and the Hamilton International
War Show. Because DREO is funded by the public purse, these inspectors have
a right to enter and ensure that any violations of international and
domestic law that result from your warfare research and development are
noted and corrected.
This action is undertaken on behalf of the great majority of the world's
population, who are victims of militarism's one-two punch: they are starved
to death to pay for these weapons of war, and then they are targeted with
Recent events only confirm that tragedy upon tragedy results from a refusal
to break the cycle of violence.
We look forward to meeting with you, engaging in dialogue, and working
together to transform DREO from a place of war to a place of real social
justice, real peace, real hope.
Homes not Bombs
P.S. The large grassy area at DREO will be used as a landing pad for
visitors from Venus. These Venus-ians, who have begun to find ways of
diverting war funding into social spending, are finding life to be quite
wonderful, and have promised to help us with our terrestrial
transformation. Because the spacecraft is invisible to those who have not
pledged themselves against war, we will have air traffic assistants on hand
to assist in the landing and make sure no one from DREO is in harm's way.