Open Letter to All Peace Activis

Open Letter to the Canadian Peace Congress

For a Principled Anti-imperialist Position on the Democratic Republic of Congo
Halt PM Harper’s Attempt for a New War

Don Currie
Chair Canadians for Peace and Socialism
Editor Focus on Socialism

April 26, 2010

Dear Comrades and Friends

April 26th, 2010

I am writing to you as a member of the Canadian Peace Congress. I am also writing in my capacity as Chair of Canadians for Peace and Socialism and editor of Focus On Socialism,

I am a former member of the interim-executive of the Canadian Peace Congress. I attended and participated in the WPC Conference on Foreign Military Bases in Havana Cuba in October 2005 and there attended the Secretariat of the WPC Council where the Canada Peace Congress formally paid its dues and rejoined the WPC.  I was for a time the acting member for Canada on the WPC Executive. All of the work and expenses associated with Canadian participation and attending the Havana event was the result of the generous and active support of the Regina Peace Council. Others who encouraged and supported the reactivization of Canada’s role in the WPC and supported the costs of my attending were John and Betty Beeching of Vancouver, life long supporters and activists in the Canadian Peace Congress. John Beeching is a former Chair of the Vancouver Peace Council. Canadians for Peace and Socialism also made a generous contribution.  No other groups or individuals participated in or supported that effort.

Along with others I was an active organiser-participant at the Edmonton April 2006 Meeting of the peace activists and former members of the Canadian Peace Congress who came together to re-found the Canadian Peace Congress. It was formally decided to re-found the Congress and work towards a Renewal Convention. Sylvia Bradley Currie, an active life long builder of the peace movement and the Canadian Peace Congress moved the motion to re-found the Canadian Peace Congress. The motion was supported unanimously.

It was at the Edmonton Meeting where delegates decided that the Congress would resume its active work by organizing the World Peace Council Work Shop on Imperialism at the World Peace Forum in Vancouver June 2006. Sylvia Bradley Currie and I assumed the main responsibility for organizing that event making several trips to Vancouver. We met Orlando Fundoro Lopez, President of the WPC and discussed Canadian participation at the World Peace Forum.  Cathy Fischer, Editor of the Saskatchewan Peace News, Peter Gehl vice-president of the Regina Peace Council,  Sean Currie, Chair of the Edmonton Peace Council and Jeanette Hanly Morgan former executive member of the Canadian Peace Congress gave all of their energies to that project.

Sean Currie, Chair of the Edmonton Peace Council subsequently attended the World Peace Council Regional Meeting in Caracas and established the working relationship between the Canadian Peace Congress and the Venezuelan organizers of the World Peace Council Assembly.  It was the result of that work that the organizing of the Canadian delegation to the WPC Assembly was facilitated and actually took place.  The work of organizing the Canadian delegation to the WPC World Assembly, including participation of President Dave McKee at that event was the direct result of that process.

Following the WPC World Assembly, I was an active organizer-participant of the Extraordinary Renewal Convention of the Canadian Peace Congress in Winnipeg Manitoba October 2008 and authored the draft main resolution below.  The Constitution of the Canadian Peace Congress was drafted and submitted for approval by Peter Gehl, Vice-President of the Regina Peace Council.

The website of the Canadian Peace Congress was designed, organized and managed by Sean Currie, Chair of the Edmonton Peace Council. The website is well regarded and is an important populariser of the work and statements of the WPC and the Canadian Peace Congress.

I was organizer-participant of the Canadian delegation to the World Peace Forum Assembly Caracas Venezuela April 2008 and delivered greetings to the assembly on behalf of Canada as the acting member of the outgoing WPC Executive. Sean Currie was Chair of the Forum on Indigenous Peoples.  The Canadian delegation attended the joint meeting of Canada, Mexico and the USA and the Regional Director for the Americas at the World Peace Council Assembly in Caracas where we jointly discussed and agreed on the process that led us to the Tri-Lateral WPC Conference in Toronto October 2009.  I was an active participant in organizing the event and drafted the call to the Tri-Lateral Conference and attended the Toronto meeting as a delegate representing the Southern Interior of the BC.

I am a life long activist for peace and member-supporter of the Canadian Peace Congress since 1952.  Along with thousands of other Canadians, my wife and I gathered signatures on the first Ban the Bomb Campaign and later the Stockholm Peace Appeal and all subsequent campaigns of the WPC and the Canadian Peace Congress.

I mention these things for one reason and one reason only, to forestall any suggestion that what I have to say may lack legitimacy since I am no longer on the executive of the Canadian Peace Congress or hold any formal post in the WPC.  I am a rank and file member of the Canadian Peace Congress and supporter of the WPC and happy to be so.

What is my concern?  I have seen many wars in my time and have a fairly good instinct about when another major one is being planned by imperialism.  Preventing even one war instigated by imperialism from taking place will be a victory for peace.

The Canadian news media is full of speculation about the Harper Conservative minority government considering participation in another imperialist adventure, this time in Africa. What is being discussed and actively promoted by imperialist reaction is some from of new and direct military intervention in the internal affairs of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

We have very little information as to what is happening in the DRC except that the leading imperialist states covet the rich resources of that country, and are involved in meddling and fomenting regional conflict and what appears to me to be a hostile intent towards the current Kabila Government.  

A direct intervention by imperialism in DRC will be under some US-NATO mandate.  It will be undertaken in collusion with the UN Security Council and the UN forces already in the country.  US-NATO sponsored meddling in DRC can result in a major war in one of the biggest countries in Africa where the progressive forces have been struggling from the time they won independence under the leadership of the great patriot and revolutionary Patrice Lumumba.  It will compound the terrible suffering of the people of the DRC and other African countries as well.

The Canadian Peace Congress executive must immediately discuss this turn of events and in consultation with the World Peace Council, and the WPC Regional Director for the Americas, adopt a policy decision and issue a public statement condemning any military participation by Canada that interferes in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Other African countries, in particular the peace forces in South Africa should be contacted through the WPC and be urged to participate in any international effort for peace.

Should Canadian participation in a new military adventure in the DRC take place it will be promoted to the Canadian people under the bogus doctrine of the former Liberal Government and its former Foreign Minister ¬†Lloyd Axworthy the main author of the ‚Äúresponsibility to intervene‚ÄĚ, ‚Äúfailed states‚Äô and other such subterfuges that attempt to justify imperialist military interventionist wars on spurious grounds to cover up the aim of securing raw material resources and suppressing the anti-imperialist forces and oppressing the people.

We are all aware that NATO is presently involved in an effort to recast its image from an aggressive military alliance to one with a ‚Äúsocial agenda‚ÄĚ.

The World Peace Council is well aware of the history of the struggle of the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo against imperialist domination and control of their country and its vast natural resources. The great people’s hero, Patrice Lumumba gave his life for that noble cause.

We are very much in need of a reliable analysis of events in the DRC and in particular any statements from its present government about what its attitude will be to further foreign intervention.  It is very difficult to find reliable information.

I call upon all who receive this message to immediately consider what must be done to become informed, to adopt a principled anti-imperialist position and to make it known publicly.  There is little doubt in my mind that imperialism is seeking a deeper and permanent military presence in the DRC.

The internet is full of speculative articles by reactionary think tanks about where Canada‚Äôs ‚Äúnext war‚ÄĚ will be after it withdraws from Afghanistan in 2011. ¬†The Canadian Peace Congress must condemn such war¬†mongering and call upon the Canadian people to demand its government promote peace, not imperialist war in Africa.

In Peace and Solidarity

Don Currie, Chair Canadian for Peace and Socialism