Thursday, April 9, 2015

Join Ten Hours Against Terrorism, a Nonviolent Protest at CANSEC15 (aka Torturefest15/Terrorfest15), Canada’s largest weapons fair and host to some of the world’s worst human rights violators and torturers

DETAILS ON HOW TO GET TO THE PROTEST (and how you can support if you are outside of Ottawa) BELOW

"I will kill everything in sight, every single time." CANSEC exhibitor

Join Ten Hours Against Terrorism, a Nonviolent Protest at CANSEC15 (aka Torturefest15/Terrorfest15), Canada’s largest weapons fair and host to some of the world’s worst human rights violators and torturers (Background on visitors and companies below)

Wednesday, May 27, 8 am to 6 pm (come for some or all of the day if you can)

EY Centre, 4899 Uplands Dr., Ottawa

Suggested times to come for highest impact. (But anytime is great.)

8:00 -9:30 am.  The 11,000 delegates will be arriving, many on foot from the nearby Hilton Garden Inn.  Our sound system will be ready for anyone wishing to speak or perform.

11:30 am-2:00 pm.  Again, delegates will be coming and going. Jason Kenney, Minister of Defence is speaking at a luncheon with a sell-out crowd of 4000.  We are lining up speakers, and performers for this key time.
At 12:00 noon, we will do a die-in accompanied by the sounds of war to symbolize the lives lost through the weapons on sale within.

4:30 to 6:00 pm.  This is another prime time to have people at the microphones and to leaflet delegates.  They will be coming and going. The exhibits close at 5:00 pm and there is a “networking” reception from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Please come when you can.  Here is how to get to the E-Y centre.

Best option is the 97 Bus to the Airport. It goes every 15 minutes. Get on anywhere on the Transitway. Get off at stop AIRPORT / UPLANDS (6144). The bus is free for Seniors on Wednesday!

We will be running a shuttle van.  To reserve a spot call us at 613-267-3998.

Going by car will be iffy for finding places to park. You may be able to find a spot at one of the nearby hotels.

(if you cannot make it to Ottawa, consider organizing a vigil at your local weapons manufacturers—there’s hundreds of them across Canada, and we can help you locate the one nearest you

Above, Kuwaiti military officials attending CANSEC weapons bazaar test out the latest in repression before heading home where, according to Amnesty international, "The authorities increased restrictions on freedoms of assembly and expression, including by prosecuting some social media users. Riot police used excessive force, tear gas and stun grenades against peaceful demonstrations by government opponents."


“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.  The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.” Arundhati Roy

May 27 will be a day-long witness against terrorism, war, torture, and the human rights violations that arise from such conspiracies as CANSEC15.

We will be organizing transportation to and from the site, so consider how long you can stay: a few hours, half a day, or perhaps the whole day. (With that in mind, pack a lunch, bring snacks and water)

We will be hanging lots of banners on the fences. Consider making some artwork that is representative of resistance to war.
We will read aloud the reports of human rights groups, the testimonies of the disappeared and detained,  the stories of survivors who have lived in terror under the bombs that come from Canada. We will nonviolently, lovingly lay siege to CANSEC15 by, as Arundhati Roy suggests, telling our own stories and refusing to buy the myths of militarism and CANSEC’s glorification of terrorism and barbaric cultural practices. We will build a large graveyard to commemorate victims of CANSEC’s exhibitors, guests, and hosts. We will sing. We will speak our truth. At the same time, we will refuse to engage in any acts of violence, whether physical or verbal, and will not seek to humiliate CANSEC15 attendees or those hired hands patrolling the vicinity.


1.     1. Coming from out of town? Let us know if you need billeting.

2.     2. Can you provide transportation to help people get to the EY Centre (next to Ottawa airport)? Can you put up out-of-town visitors in your Ottawa home? Can you help provide food and water on the day of the event? Contact or call 613-267-3998

3.     3. Can you donate to help us meet our costs? We are building a large mosaic of the Human Face of War. You can sponsor one of those faces for $60. Cheques can be made out to Homes not Bombs and mailed to PO Box 2121, 57 Foster Street, Perth, ON K7H 1R0 OR you can arrange to send an interac e-transfer to

4.     4. Can’t make it? Send us a poem, an essay, something that you want shared at our day-long speakers’ platform. Let us know if you would be able to organize a vigil in your community art a weapons manufacturer, a federal office, etc.

      5. Consider endorsing our event.

More information: Homes not Bombs,, 613-267-3998,


“When you are engaged in activities that explicitly promote or advocate terrorism, that is a serious criminal offence no matter who you are." PM Stephen Harper

"I will kill everything in sight, every single time, that’s what F-22 and 10 years of it’s employment has taught us." CANSEC exhibitor Lockheed Martin

(see a video on CANSEC at )

“Children are being routinely detained, ill-treated and tortured in Bahrain.” Amnesty International report on Bahrain, an honoured CANSEC guest.

“I thought they were killing Said, and that I was next. I could hear beating and shouting. I didn’t want to die afraid; I wanted to be strong, honourable. I prayed and thought of my parents. I will never forget the sound of the sticks hitting him.” Basimah Al-Rajhi, human rights lawyer, on being detained in Oman, one of CANSEC’s honoured guests.

The weapons sold at CANSEC, when used properly, are tools of terrorism as categorized under Canada's own laws, given that they are designed to cause " (A) death or serious bodily harm to a person by the use of  violence, (B) endangers a person’s life, (C) causes a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or any segment of the public, (D) causes substantial property damage, whether to public or private property, if causing such damage is likely to result in the conduct or harm referred to in any of clauses (A) to (C), or (E) causes serious interference with or serious disruption of an essential service, facility or system, whether public or private."


CANSEC hosted 31 international delegations last year in cooperation with the Canadian Commercial Corporation, with the beheading capital of the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, heading the list. Other regular violators of human rights who are officially touted as 2015 guests include Bahrain (according to Amnesty International, “Children are being routinely detained, ill-treated and tortured in Bahrain.”), Kuwait (repression of women, torture), Israel (well documented by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, as well as war crimes documented by Amnesty International), Mexico (the use of torture has grown by 600% in the last decade), Oman (Human Rights Watch reports “rights routinely trampled” and where “Torture has become the state’s knee jerk response to political expression.”), United Arab Emirates (where torture is commonplace with as many as 75% of detainees experiencing abuse), United Kingdom (intensely complicit in the rendition to torture program) and United States (U.S. Senate report on “ruthless” brutality). Saudi Arabia is not yet officially listed as a guest in 2015 but as the largest purchaser of Canadian weapons, they are sure to be in attendance.   As host country, Canada is also complicit in the torture of its own citizens (as established by two separate judicial inquiries as well as Supreme Court and Federal Court decisions) as well as deportation to torture.


A who’s who of the world largest weapons manufacturers (what used to be more properly called “death merchants”) will be selling their wares, as well as smaller companies who provide key components for weapons systems. What they are selling can properly be called tools of terrorism, for their use is intended to make political points, to create fear, and to coerce governments and societies. Also on display will be the tools used by increasingly militarized police forces.


Under Canadian anti-terrorism law, anything that would normally constitute a terrorist act is exempted if it is committed by a member of the armed forces under the “laws” of war.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Join the Chain Fast Against Canadian Government Racism

(photo from Witness Against Torture's 2014 Fast for Justice)

How it works:

You can fast as per your tradition (some people refrain from eating sun-up to sun-down, others do it for 24 hours. Some people will drink water or other fluids, others not). You sign up for a day (or more) by emailing with suggested dates, which will be publicly posted at the Homes not Bombs blog site ( The key thing is to do this publicly: while the roots of racism are deep in our culture, they receive a huge boost when the racist messages comes from on high.

I am joining the Chain Fast To End Canadian Government Racism

Members of the Harper government are contributing in word and deed to an increased climate of racist tension with comments that equate Islam with violence and abuse the term jihad. Such comments include telling Muslim women to "stay the hell where they came from", declaring that Muslims are connected to a "culture that is anti-women," and tweets like " Niqab, hejab, burqa, wedding veil -- face coverings have no place in cit oath-taking." This is part of a broader attack on racialized communities, including the comment that it makes no sense to pay "whities" to stay home while companies bring in "brown people" as temporary foreign workers, and an incendiary Conservative-sponsored petition insulting First Nations governments.

The Harper government is rushing through legislation (C-51) that will likely increase the targetting, surveillance, harassment, and potential detention and torture of members of Canada's Muslim communities, while also criminalizing/terrorizing First Nations, Inuit and Métis, as well as all racialized communities.

The Harper government has repeatedly refused to answer calls for an inquiry into the over 1,200 missing and murdered aboriginal women, and done nothing to address the shockingly high rates of suicide in aboriginal communities, nor to end the hundreds of devastating boil water alerts in First Nations communities, some lasting for well over a decade. Instead, this government has targeted First Nations leaders and treated them as security threats.

The Harper government is refusing to act on a motion passed by a majority of the House of Commons in December, 2009, to apologize to, provide compensation for, and clear the names of three Muslim Canadian men – Abdullah Almalki, Ahmed El-Maati, and Muayyed Nureddin – who were found to have been falsely labelled as security threats and tortured with Canadian complicity. All cases were motivated in part by racist/religious profiling.

The Harper government has refused to apologize to, provide compensation for, and clear the name of Canadian Muslim Abousfian Abdelrazik, in whose overseas torture the Canadian government was found to be complicit by  a Canadian court.

The Harper government has continued to demonize and block any efforts seeking justice for detained Canadian Muslim Omar Khadr, who was tortured with Canadian complicity at Bagram Air Force Base (Afghanistan) and the U.S. torture camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and remains behind bars in Alberta based on a fundamentally flawed process.

The Harper government continues pursuing secret trial security certificates against a number of Muslim men (all of which were signed by previous Liberal governments).

The Harper government plays a racist double standard when it refuses to categorize the actions of white supremacists and gun fanatics (such as the targetted murders of RCMP officers in Alberta and New Brunswick and the planned Valentine's Day masscare in a Halifax mall) as terrorist threats, preferring to dismiss them with terms such as "murderous misfits".

Canada's state security agencies (RCMP and CSIS) are pressuring and threatening young Canadian Muslims to spy on their communities and self-censor opinions on social injustice, while those same agencies continue treating First Nations as surveillance targets because of the false connection to  "threats to national security and criminal extremism or terrorism".

The Harper government has falsely, slanderously accused the reputable National Council of Canadian Muslims as connected to terrorism, with one MP openly attacking the group's executive director at a recent Parliamentary hearing.

Recognizing that the latest attacks are part of a long, unfortunate Canadian tradition of provoking fear and hatred by targetting specific groups and spreading racist lies, we believe standing up and speaking out is an obligation.  

Beginning April 15 and lasting until the beginning of Ramadan, June 18, 2015, we pledge to join the chain fast for one full day (or more throughout the time period), explaining to friends, colleagues, and neighbours, as well as local media, why we have undertaken this fast, and educating our fellow residents about the need to reject the dangerous discourse of racism infecting public life and emanating from the highest levels of the Canadian government.

The day after our fasting, as the chain fast passes on to a new member, we will continue to raise these issues in our communities and refuse to stay silent.


TO JOIN: Email with your name, city, and dates you would like to fast

Chain Fast Participants

Thursday, April 16: Michele Schmidt, Toronto, Sadia Jama, Kingston, ON
Friday, April 17: David Heap, London, ON, Tenzin Tharchen, Owen Sound, ON
Saturday, April 18: Tanya M. Gulliver-Garcia, Toronto
Sunday, April 19: Matthew Behrens, Perth, ON
Monday, April 20: Gary Connolly, Brampton, ON, Sadia Jama, , Kingston, ON
Tuesday, April 21: Sue Breeze, Barrière, BC, Jamie Page, Toronto, ON
Wednesday, April 22: Murray Lumley, Toronto, ON
Thursday, April 23: Michele Schmidt, Toronto, Sadia Jama, Kingston, ON
Friday, April 24: Mary Cowper-Smith, Charlottetown, PEI, Judy Deutsch, Toronto, ON, Helga Mankovitz, Kingston, ON
Saturday, April 25: James Campbell, Toronto, ON
Sunday, April 26: Genevieve Gallant, Ottawa, Ontario
Monday, April 27: Gary Connolly, Brampton, ON, Ria Heynen, Ottawa, ON, Deka Omar, Ottawa, ON, Jamie Page, Regina, SK
Tuesday, April 28: Louise Slobodian, Kingston, ON, Nino Pagliccia, Vancouver, BC, Deka Omar, Ottawa, ON
Wednesday, April 29: Murray Lumley, Toronto, ON, Deka Omar, Ottawa, ON
Thursday, April 30: Michele Schmidt, Toronto, Deka Omar, Ottawa, ON
Friday, May 1: Donna Loft and Ed File, Priceville, ON, Deka Omar, Ottawa, ON
Saturday, May 2: Nino Pagliccia, Vancouver, BC, Angelina Martz, Saint John, NB, Deka Omar, Ottawa, ON
Sunday, May 3: Jozef Konyari, Toronto, ON, Deka Omar, Ottawa, ON, Jamie Page, Regina, SK
Monday, May 4: Gary Connolly, Brampton, ON, Deka Omar, Ottawa, ON
Tuesday, May 5: Deka Omar, Ottawa, ON
Wednesday, May 6: Murray Lumley, Toronto, ON, Deka Omar, Ottawa, ON
Thursday, May 7: Michele Schmidt, Toronto, Deka Omar, Ottawa, ON
Friday, May 8: Genevieve Gallant, Ottawa, ON, Deka Omar, Ottawa, ON
Saturday, May 9: Deka Omar, Ottawa, ON, Jamie Page, Regina, SK
Sunday, May 10: Deka Omar, Ottawa, ON
Monday, May 11: Gary Connolly, Brampton, ON, Deka Omar, Ottawa, ON
Tuesday, May 12: Barbara Gordon, Toronto, ON
Wednesday, May 13: Murray Lumley, Toronto, ON
Thursday, May 14: Michele Schmidt, Toronto
Friday, May 15: Jamie Page, Regina, SK
Saturday, May 16: David Heap, London, ON
Sunday, May 17: Matthew Behrens, Perth, ON
Monday, May 18: Gary Connolly, Brampton, ON
Tuesday, May 19: Luke Stocking, Toronto, ON, Ria Heynen, Ottawa,  ON
Wednesday, May 20: Jamie Page, Regina, SK, Helga Mankovitz, Kingston, ON
Thursday, May 21: Michele Schmidt, Toronto
Friday, May 22: Jennifer Deguire, Grimsby, ON
Saturday, May 23: David Janzen, London, ON, Dunia Hamou, London, ON
Sunday, May 24: Marisa Conte, Rome, Italy, Dunia Hamou, London, ON
Monday, May 25: Gary Connolly, Brampton, ON, Dunia Hamou, London, ON
Tuesday, May 26: Jamie Page, Regina, SK, Dunia Hamou, London, ON
Wednesday, May 27: James Campbell, Toronto, ON, Tina Stevens, London, ON
Thursday, May 28: Michele Schmidt, Toronto, Nusaiba Al-Azem, London, ON
Friday, May 29: Juan Davis, Victoria, BC
Saturday, May 30: Chris Stroud, London, ON, Elaine Stewart, Toronto, ON
Sunday, May 31: Marie Lloyd, Kingston, ON
Monday, June 1: Gary Connolly, Brampton, ON
Tuesday, June 2: Jamie Page, Regina, SK
Wednesday, June 3: Paula Marcotte, London, ON
Thursday, June 4: Michele Schmidt, Toronto, Nusaiba Al-Azem, London, ON, Leila Almawy, London, ON (note that a community discussion event on C-51 takes place in conjunction with the chain fast,
Friday, June 5: Sâkihitowin Awâsis, London, ON
Saturday, June 6: Sâkihitowin Awâsis, London, ON Sâkihitowin Awâsis, London, ON
Sunday, June 7: Jamie Page, Regina, SK
Monday, June 8: Gary Connolly, Brampton, ON
Tuesday, June 9: Matthew Behrens, Perth, ON
Wednesday, June 10: Nusaiba Al-Azem, London, ON
Thursday, June 11: Michele Schmidt, Toronto
Friday, June 12: Elaine McIlwraith, London, ON
Saturday, June 13:
Sunday, June 14: Jozef Konyari, Toronto, ON
Monday, June 15: Gary Connolly, Brampton, ON
Tuesday, June 16: Jamie Page, Regina, SK, Barb Campbell, Ottawa, ON
Wednesday, June 17:
Thursday, June 18: Michele Schmidt, Toronto

Week-long march against Canadian government racism, repression and war, Summer, 2002, Hamilton to Scarborough (Homes not Bombs/Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada)