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[OPIRG-EVENTS] No to NATO! Festival of Creative NonViolence Oct 6 Ottawa

Calling all Activists!     This is an urgent  "Call to Dis Arms!"

>>>>>>  NATO PA* is coming to Ottawa!  October 5-8, 2001   <<<<<<

          Please join us in building towards the:
"No to NATO! Festival of Creative NonViolence"    <------<  what
      Saturday, October 6, at 1 p.m.              <------<  when
 Gathering at the US Embassy (MacKenzie Ave.)     <------< where

JOIN THE FESTIVITIES!  Celebrate the diversity of creative nonviolence!!  
Here are some of the ideas we've been discussing.  We need your help now to
turn these and other ideas into reality:

> large puppets and street theatre
> symbolic conversion of police barricades around NATO mtgs. into prison
walls to contain war criminals
> poetry/spoken word/musical performances
> speaker phone/sound system creating a live connection to anti-NATO
activists around the world
> radical cheerleaders, the Raging Grannies and the Grumbling Gramps (?)
> interfaith peace service
> distribution of free vegetarian food
> civil disobedience to attempt citizens arrests of NATO war leaders
> boycott of corporations sponsoring/supporting the NATO visit
> projecting images of NATO's war against Yugoslavia (slides, videos) onto
exterior walls of significant buildings

GET BUSY!  Start preparing for Olympics of nonviolent action!
We are inviting activists from far and wide to come together to build this
celebration of peacemaking!  We would like to see as many creative
activities as possible to counter NATO's warmaking.  Let's demonstrate to
NATO, corporations, governments, the general public and the media, that
there is a vibrant, dynamic, diverse and lively movement opposed to
militarism and corporate globalization.  Please work with others to take on
a project (large or small) to prepare the most imaginative action,
performance or display that you can muster!  Embrace your spirit of
creativity and nonviolence to send the message loud and clear:  We are
holding NATO leaders accountable for their crimes against peace and humanity!

Please help to promote this Festival.  Spread the word to friends and
colleagues:  Circulate this email announcement to your contacts, to
listserves, make phone calls, put notices in publications, make
announcements at meetings, shout from the rooftops and generally encourage
as many people as possible to attend!

Please ask organizations to endorse the Festival so that our list of
sponsoring groups is as comprehensive as possible on future publicity
materials.  Please consider asking for endorsements from groups focused on
peace, anti-globalization, human rights, the environment, social justice,
poverty as well as labour unions and religious, youth and feminist
organizations, to name but a few.

Please urge groups to bring their creative energies, props and performances
to the Festival. Get together with others to plan some particular activity
that creatively conveys a message that you feel strongly about.  (We're
hoping to see puppets, costumes, street theatre, satirical songs, clever
banners, flags, photos, signs and many other diverse symbolic
representations to dramatically conveying who we are, what we stand for and
why we think NATO should be behind bars!)  Please let us know what you're
planning so we can compile a list to help publicize your activities and
possibly direct some volunteers your way for a specific project!

Of course, some money would help too!  We have received no funding for this
event.  If you can't make it to the Festival, or even if you are attending,
please remember that any donation -large or small -- would be very much
appreciated.  Please ask unions, NGOs and other individuals for grants or
donations to help us make this festival a great success.
Cheques can be made payable to the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (or
just COAT), and mailed to 541 McLeod St., Ottawa Ontario K1R 5R2 Canada
(earmarked "Festival of Creative Nonviolence.")  

The Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade has created the "no_to_nato" list
serve to discuss and build nonviolent responses to NATO's visit to Ottawa.
To join our list, just send the following message to <majordomo@flora.org>:
   subscribe no_to_nato  
(Then, when you receive an automated email simply reply to it and you're
You can connect to the "no_to_nato" archive of email postings from the COAT
website: <http://www.ncf.ca/coat> or view it at

Please join us in helping to organize the "No to NATO!  Festival of
Creative NonViolence."  This is a special meeting of the Coalition to
Oppose the Arms Trade to focus on planning for this event.
Tuesday, August 28, 7;30 p.m. 
91A Fourth Ave. (just east of Bank St., in Ottawa's Glebe) 
(If you are not in Ottawa, please MEET LOCALLY to discuss bringing buses,
cars, trains, unicycles and your creative talents to our fair city!  If you
are too far away from Ottawa to even think of attending or arranging
transportation, then refer to items 1 to 5).  

We will gather across from the new U.S. Embassy on MacKenzie Ave. on
Saturday, October 6, at 1 p.m.   This is only one block from the Conference
Centre where the NATO PA meetings are being held.  
We could stay at that location, in Majors Hill Park (a beautiful treed park
where many festivals are held) or we could organize a peace march to a
series of fairly nearby, potent symbolic locations.  We could, for
instance, visit the following:

(1) Canada's Military Peacekeeping monument (MacKenzie Ave. and Sussex Dr.)
(2) Canada's War Department (between the Laurier and MacKenzie King bridges)
(3) the UK embassy (Elgin St.)
(4) the War Memorial (Elgin St. and Wellington St.)
(5) the Parliament Buildings (Wellington St.)

Whether we will venture from the Park to visit some or all of these
locations is not yet decided.  Any input?  

* The NATO PA (Parliamentary Assembly) is comprised of pro-NATO politicians
from NATO member states.  Check out their website at <http://www.nato-pa.int>

The NATO PA meeting in Ottawa this October was referred to by the "Ottawa
Citizen" (June 13) as a "dress rehearsal," "warm up," "dry run for [the]
G8" meetings to be held in Canada next summer.  
Links to this article and the "no_to_nato" archive of discussions can be
found at COAT's website <http://www.ncf.ca/coat>

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
                        Richard Sanders
       Coordinator, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT)
              A national peace network supported by 
           individuals and organizations across Canada
          541 McLeod St., Ottawa Ontario K1R 5R2  Canada
            Tel.:  613-231-3076      Fax: 613-231-2614
     Email: <ad207@ncf.ca>   Web site: <http://www.ncf.ca/coat>

 Help build opposition to NATO PA meetings in Ottawa, Oct. 5-8, 2001!  
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