War on Iran
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called Iran “the world’s most serious threat to international peace and security” and claimed that the major threat for Canada is “Islamicism.” Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird recently announced complete severing of diplomatic relations with Iran, while Immigration Minister Jason Kenney claimed Canada is a haven for persecuted Iranians.
The US has long wanted to attack Iran but the military quagmires in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the economic crisis have stretched its capacities and made a direct attack difficult. However, the economic crisis is sharpening inter-imperial rivalries and the Arab Spring has threatened Western control of the region. The US threatens to use its proxy power, Israel—the region’s most serious threat to peace and security—to attack Iran and reassert its role in the region. The Canadian state, a supporter and beneficiary of US imperialism, is keen to support the war ideologically, if not militarily.
In 2003 the anti-war movement stopped Canada from officially participating in the Iraq War so we need to mobilize again to stop Canada from joining the new war. October 6 is a day of action against war on Iran, and as we challenge the war abroad we also need to fight Harper’s war at home—against people and the planet.
War on choice
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney banned Muslim women from citizenship ceremonies if they wear a veil, claiming Islam is the major threat to women’s rights across Canada. But by joining nine other cabinet ministers—including Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose—and a majority of Tories in supporting anti-choice motion 312, Kenney has made it clear the major threat to women is the anti-choice movement and its Tory supporters.
Harper was not confident to directly support anti-choice Motion 312 but as the motion’s instigator, Stephen Woodworth, said after the motion’s defeat, “I want Canadians to remember that no great issue is ever determined by a single vote in the House of Commons. It remains for the Canadian people to rise up even more strongly.” Motion 312 was not designed to win in Parliament but rather to encourage the anti-choice movement to mobilize.
Anti-choice forces are not resting after the defeat of Motion 312 and neither should we. October 20 will be a pan-Canadian day of action for choice, which will be critical to showing the pro-choice majority across the country and building the resistance to Harper’s war on choice.
War on the planet
Wars abroad are fought for oil, and with oil. The largest consumer of oil is the military, and war threatens the planet both directly through bombs and indirectly through climate change. While Harper blames Iran, he ignores the tar sands and climate change—which is truly one of the most serious threats to international security.
After years of sustained campaigns, indigenous communities have put the issue of tar sands on the national agenda and now there’s a broad-based opposition on the West coast—which is threatened with oil spills. On October 22 there will be a mass Defend Our Coast sit-in at the provincial legislature against tar sands tankers and pipelines—including First Nations, environmentalists, students and workers—to oppose tar sands and demand a green future.
“Tens of thousands of unionized and other jobs depend on healthy river and ocean ecosystems,” said Susan Spratt, Canadian Auto Worker Area Director for BC and Alberta. “On October 22 we will be standing in solidarity with thousands of working people in BC and our First Nations sisters and brothers.”
We need to oppose all these wars while uniting the resistance—demanding an end to militarism and the oil economy that supports it, and building movements for a future of reproductive justice and a peaceful, healthy planet.