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[OPIRG-EVENTS] Resist Cdn govt R&D on Star Wars, Ottawa, Nov 9

Resist Cdn govt R&D on Star Wars, Ottawa, Nov 9

Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 12:40:56 -0400
To: Recipient List Suppressed:;
From: TASC <tasc@pop.web.ca>
Subject: The Wizard of DREO November 9, Ottawa

Below is an outline proposal for the anti-star wars action taking place in
Ottawa on friday, Nov. 9. Buses leave [from Toronto] on Thurs. Nov 8 in the
morning, food
and accommodation provided in Ottawa. If you'd like to be part of the wild
journey to the home of Canadian space warfare research and development,
give us a ding on the communicator at (416) 651-5800. The Wizard of DREO: A
proposal for November 9.

Hey folks,

Just because the world has really gone even more totally bizarre on us is
no reason to lose our sense of humour. In fact, it may be our best defence.

One of the most asked questions in relation to the DREO action is the
following: how, in the post-Sept. 11 environment and the "security" scare
can we best protect ourselves against over-reaction by authorities while in
Ottawa? And how can we maintain a confrontational nonviolent action without
giving in to fear?

Much of Homes not Bombs has been about the incorporation of theatre as a
tool not only for involving all participants in an action, but also as a
means of redefining protest from empty, symbolic gestures of testosterone
to truer community-buiilding exercises which put the state in a spot it
doesn't want to be in: one of shame and embarassment that it is marshalling
all of its forces against an image that is non-threatening in the best
sense, but nonetheless terribly subversive ("Mommy, why are they arresting
Santa Claus?" can be a question asked by thousands of youngsters watching
the evening news, forever dashing kids' images of Officer O'Malley,
friendly neighbourhood cop). Indeed, let's disarm them by having a lot of

Hence, we would like to propose inviting you to the Wizard of DREO, a
proposed scenario for November 9 in Ottawa. Since it is a day that is also
in solidarity against the world bank and IMF, we feel it a great idea to
explore the idea of a scenario based on one of the great
anti-capitalist/anti-authoritarian stories of all time, The Wizard of Oz.

The DREO site is perfect for this: there is a long and winding, yellow
brick road (the space warfare road), and the themes of Wizard of Oz (If I
only had a brain, a heart, the nerve) speak directly to the many components
of the action that have been discussed thusfar. We want the scientists
within to have a conscience, a heart, and the courage to stop making
warfare their primary work.

By filming this as well with the aid of our video crews, we will be able to
use this as an educational tool as well about star wars. While this is
certainly not set in stone, one of the big concerns we have about the vast
expanse of the DREO site is that we keep the action moving at a steady
pace, especially given the possibility of inclement weather. Hence, the
idea that things would be fairly scripted in terms of moving from one
"scene" to the next to tell our story of why we have gone to Nepean (the
place outside Ottawa where DREO is located.)  The fact of this scripting,
however, is not meant to tell people what to do, simply to create a
framework in which people can do all manner of creative things.


a proposed action:

People pile off the buses and are greeted by a tour guide who explains the
goal of today. People will set up in their various scenarios and tour
guides with the mobile sound system courtesy of Brian Edgecombe will wander
around interviewing participants and asking why they are doing what they
are doing. The sound system is strong enough so everyone at the site will
be able to hear what's going on as they set up their scenarios.

Step One: The detectives in the refugee camp, looking for clues as to why
such poverty exists--they find the answers on large cue cards--and read
them out, pieces of Canadian economic policy as well as military policy (70
tons of lethality, etc.). For both the media and indy-media (or real
media), this is a great opportunity to creatively explain the serious
issues behind DREO's involvement in space warfare.

Step Two: Scientists working on their large phallic missile with DREO on
it, with white lab coats. Behind them dance the Cash Happy Bastards (who
could also double as munchkins--remember the song from Oz, "we represent
the Cash Happy Bastards, and we would like to dominate you!), a group of
money-loving folks who need DREO to sustain their mission of total conquest
of Earth. They are distracted by a team of dancers (each representing a
symbol of civil society not being funded, who might have a placard around
their necks that reads Affordable Housing, Free Daycare, Clean Air and
Water, Non-GMO Food, etc.)  who take them away for an experience of what
true joy is about in a just world. They might even sign a large Statement
of Conscience which reflects what is being presented to the scientists
during the risk-arrest part of the action.

Then a transformation team comes in and creates a transformation machine
out of the missile which people crawl through and come out the other end
with a symbol of civil society.

Sign reading Definite Research into Ending Oppression (DREO) to be draped
over the large DREO sign).

Step Three: People gather in a circle to welcome the mother ship from
Venus, blowing kazoos and other noisemakers to allow for a smooth landing.
When the circle parts, there are not only Venusians, but also a Cowardly
Lion, the Brainless Scarecrow, the heartless TIn Man, Dorothy Gale of
Saskatchewan, and Toto too! They have been picked up by the Venusians when
their hot air balloon drifted away (you gotta see the movie...)

(What happens if DREO's mission succeeds? The "I'm melting" affinity group?)

They arrive and bring a message from Venus to stop the militarization of
space.  They then announce they will proceed to the space warfare road to
confront the Wizard of DREO to end this war-mongering research and to
support the idea of "There's No Place Like Home," an idea that can only be
realized when we stop spending money on war, and start spending that money
on housing for people through the globe.  It will take more than clicking
the heels of our ruby slippers...

Since there are groups such as Raging Grannies and others who might want to
bring ideas separate from this theme, we would love to hear from you so
that we might be able to incorporate your theme as part of the journey to
DREO. In the Wizard of Oz, the creatures on their journey meet all kinds of
wild and weird things along their way.

For the inspectors, we would wonder if instead of the straight up serious
inspection that we had in the past, that the introduction that can be read
by them to the cops can be more entertaining for those listening (ie, A
ReSeusstance themed citizens inspection poem that gets the message across
in familiar and friendly rhyme, which will then be attached to the more
serious listing of covenants and laws that we are dealing with when we get
to court).

Risk Arrest: If folks are comfortable with this, we would like to see if
those risking arrest as citizen inspectors (and intergalactic inspectors)
would either wear the familiar antennae of the Venusian and/or be dressed
as Oz characters. Again, the imagery of children's characters which are
almost universal in recognition facing down the riot squad at the place
where they make war makes clear our nonviolent intentions and where the
violence clearly emanates from.

We'd like to look at songs which explore new lyrics that are fun and
relevant to DREO based on the classic tunes of the Wizard of Oz (part of
direct action training might include a viewing of the 1939 classic--the
theme song of the storm troopers protecting the bad witch's castle is not
to be missed)

Somewhere over the DREO
If I Only Had a Brain (A Heart, The Nerve...)

Missiles and Lasers and Bombs, Oh My!

Follow the Space Warfare Road (Yellow Brick Road)

Get it?  Would love your comments.  Indeed, we hope the police, the
surveillance folks reading this email, and all those at DREO wll get it
that "we're not in Kansas anymore."

Dorothy Gale and Toto
AKA Laurel Smith and Matthew Behrens
Homes not Bombs, Toronto

This message was forwarded by:
                          Richard Sanders
       Coordinator, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT)
 A network of individuals and NGOs across Canada and around the world
            Tel.:  613-231-3076      Fax: 613-231-2614
     Email: <ad207@ncf.ca>   Web site: <http://www.ncf.ca/coat>

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