North Bay Joins International Day of Action Against War on Iraq

Saultites join global peace protests

Sudbury joins global protests

North Bay Joins International Day of Action Against War on Iraq
North Bay - For the second time within one month, North Bay joined dozens of other communities across Canada and hundreds around the world holding vigils, marches and protests against the threat of the U.S. attacks on Iraq.

February 15th events in North Bay were on the theme of "calling for peace", in response to growing threats of military attacks on Iraq. North Bay residents are being encouraged to join the international call for peaceful resolution of conflict through participating in local events, writing to world leaders, and signing a pledge of commitment to peacemaking.

The North Bay Peace Alliance organized a series of events for Saturday, February 15th as part of the International Day of Action Against War on Iraq. Events  included a 1 p.m. rally at North Bay City Hall, the launcihing of Neighborhood Peace Teams that went door-to-door delivering  window signs with a peace message, and a 3 pm screening of a documentary video, "Hidden Wars of Desert Storm",  on the effects of the Gulf War in the early 1990's.

The peace community in North Bay has been holding weekly peace vigils for the last 15 months, meeting each Wednesday at 6 p.m. in front of Nipissing MP Bob Wood's office to reflect on the week and continue their peaceful protest against military attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq.

Saultites join global peace protests
Anti-war demonstrators trekked from the Sault courthouse to MP Carmen Provenzano’s office on Saturday. Other demonstrators also took to the streets across Canada and around the world to protest a possible U.S.-led war against Iraq. See stories on Page A5. 

Students, veteran protesters answer Justice Coalition’s call 


Monday, February 17, 2003 - 09:00 

Local News - The turnout may have appeared modest compared to hundreds of other anti-war protests across Canada and around the globe, but it spoke volumes to seasoned Sault Ste. Marie peace activists.

About 150 local residents answered the call of the Sault and District Social Justice Coalition to join the international community and send a message to U.S. President George Bush in opposition to immediate war with Iraq.

“I’ve been involved with local peace rallies since the early 1980s and this has got to be one of the largest rallies ever staged in the Sault,” said Liza Suhanic, among several members of the former Sault Peace Association attending Saturday’s walk under sunny, yet frigid, conditions.

Suhanic recalled the Peace Association, which was active in protesting the cold war and nuclear threat, “but we usually only got 50 to 60 people out to protest at the best of times.”

Shawn Meades, a Sir James Dunn student and driving force behind the local rally, was another pleased with community participation.

“It’s a solid turnout considering we organized on short notice,” said Meades. Her group decided to participate in the global day of protest only a week ago following a workshop at Algoma University College.

“I’ve been involved in similar rallies and the most difficult part is convincing people to participate — (Saturday) shows me the people want to be seen and heard.”

Protesters marshalled in front of the Sault Courthouse, did a loop of the roadway in front, then marched a short distance down Queen Street to Sault Liberal MP Carmen Provenzano’s constituency office.

Following brief speeches from Gayle Broad, president of the Ontario New Democratic Party, and Tony Martin, NDP MPP for the Sault, dozens of protesters entered the office building housing the constituency office and plastered the office’s glass entrance with personal anti-war messages on red heart-shaped paper.

“The people of Sault Ste. Marie, the people of the world, are making a statement,” said Theresa Sweezey, as the hour-long gathering wound down.

“We’re letting the government know where we stand as we’re taken down the road towards war . . . don’t get involved unless there is compelling evidence of a threat.

“UN inspectors have found no evidence of Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction, as indicated by the Americans; they (the U.S.) are itching for war and bullying the rest of the world in the process.”

The protesters were a cross-section of the community, youth, middle-aged and seniors, some carrying union flags and banners and several with placards.

Among the placard messages: Give peace a chance; Dump Bush, not bombs; Go solar, not ballistic; Read between the pipelines; Send peacemakers, not bombs.

“Only time will tell whether the rallies have any impact but even if they fail (and Iraq’s invaded) it’s better to have at least made a statement of protest than do nothing,” said Gillian Trowbridge, another member of the former Peace Association, who attended the march with her husband, David.

Their daughters were attending massive anti-war rallies Saturday in London, England, and Montreal, Gillian said.

“The consequences of war will be terrifying in terms of death and destruction and the American position of conflict over negotiation will only make the world that more unstable,” she said.

Arlene Pitts, an AUC student and social activist, looked back on Saturday as a coming-out party for the local peace movement.

“The threat is clear and immediate enough that people will no longer quietly stand in the shadows — we’re very concerned about the path we’re going down and want our voices heard,” she said.

Sudbury joins global protests

By Laura Stradiotto/THE SUDBURY STAR
About 250 people marched through downtown Sudbury on Saturday, protesting a possible war in Iraq. 

Bitter cold fails to chill Sudbury’s peace march 

By Laura Stradiotto/THE SUDBURY STAR 

Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 11:00 

Local News - Bundled up in winter clothes and singing anti-war slogans, 250 people took to the streets of Sudbury yesterday to take part in worldwide protests against war in Iraq.

Marchers of all ages and colour, some carrying children on their shoulders, departed Tom Davies Square yesterday afternoon, chanting “Drop Bush, not bombs,” as they marched in chilly —21 C temperatures.

“But we’re dressed for it,” said marcher Kay Barrett. “It’s nothing compared to the suffering in Iraq if there was a war.”

Barrett was visiting Sudbury from Ottawa, and said she would have been one of millions of peace marchers who took to the streets yesterday, regardless of where she was. Marches took place Saturday in hundreds of cities across the world.

“I would be marching in Ottawa if I was there,” she said.

Protesters hoped that the international day of action would send a strong message to political leaders everywhere that ordinary people do not support military action in Iraq.

“Anything we can do is better than nothing,” said Jean Salidas of Hanmer. “It’s the women and children of Iraq that will suffer (the most) from a possible war.”

The group marched through the downtown core, stopping at three locations: the Government of Canada office on Larch Street, Liberal MP Diane Marleau’s office and The Sudbury Star.

Protesters criticized The Star for its editorial stance supporting military action to contain Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The protesters criticized Diane Marleau and the federal government for not representing constituents’ desire for peace.

Rick Grylls, president of CAW Mine Mill Local 598, was one of many union leaders who marched for peace Saturday afternoon.

“Even though the weather’s chilly, it’s good to have people of like minds join together,” said Grylls. “Sanctions themselves are weapons of mass destruction.”

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