Saturday, May 06, 2006

Exercise Trident Fury and Other Military Demonstrations

PEJ News
- C. L. Cook - The military is everywhere in Canada these days it seems. Despite a growing Canadian unease with the country's newly refurbished military doctrine, it's clear the men on both sides of Parliament's aisle are determined to stay the bipartisan military course and make of the nation a footsoldier in America's self-declared War on Terror. This week, Winnipegers are getting to know what living in a military occupation looks like, while quaint Victoria, British Columbia is the foci of a massing of international armed forces, ostensibly gathered to play war games. It was perhaps with an eye to that growing unease that the public announcement of Trident Fury was released only last week.

Exercise Trident Fury and
Other Military Demonstrations

C. L. Cook

PEJ News
May 6, 2006

Today, I accompanied a determined group of Victorians down to the Canadian Forces Base, Esquimalt to deliver a petition to the base commander making him aware the so-called 'Exercise Trident Fury' is in controvention of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights. On an unseasonably cold and rainy May day, just more than a dozen people, members of the Victoria Peace Coalition and the Global Compliance Research Project, requested the Base Commander accept and acknowledge the petition.

The petitioners are demanding Parliament and the Department of Defence put a halt to the exercise on grounds the war games constitute a promotional event for militarism. The petition says: "a display of militarism like Exercise Trident Fury by States that are involved in offensive military actions constitutes propaganda for war." Under article 20 SS1 of the International Covenant, "Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law."

Trident Fury joins other international operational exercises staged in Canada whose ultimate aim is, as CF Commodore Girouard said of last year's exercise off the coast of Vancouver Island, to demonstrate the "interoperability" of Canada's military with U.S. forces. It's an "interoperability" successive Canadian governements have also been eager to demonstrate to Washington when considering Canada's new role enforcing America's global militarism; both the ousted Liberal and ascendant Conservative administrations favour a greater role for Canada's military, alongside America, overseas.

Exercise Trident Fury commences Monday, May 8th and is scheduled to run until May 19th. A public vigil is planned for outside the gates of CFB Esquimalt Monday, May 8th at 5pm.

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