While the final funerals for the victims of the Newtown, Conn., school massacre have been held, gun violence continues apace, most notably with the Christmas Eve murder of two volunteer firefighters in rural Webster, N.Y., at the hands of an ex-convict who was armed, as was the Newtown shooter Adam Lanza, with a Bushmaster .223 caliber AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. James Holmes, the alleged perpetrator of the massacre last July in Aurora, Colo., stands accused of using, among other weapons, a Smith & Wesson AR-15 with a 100-round drum in place of standard magazine clip.
Quick: What is more heavily regulated, global trade of bananas or battleships? In late June, activists gathered in New York's Times Square to make the absurd point, that, unbelievably, "there are more rules governing your ability to trade a banana from one country to the next than governing your ability to trade an AK-47 or a military helicopter." So said Amnesty International USA's Suzanne Nossel at the protest, just before the start of the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which ran from July 2 to July 27. Thanks to a last-minute declaration by the United States that it "needed more time" to review the short, 11-page treaty text, the conference ended last week in failure.
The violent deaths of Brian Terry and Juan Francisco Sicilia, separated by the span of just a few months and by the increasingly bloody U.S.-Mexico border, have sparked separate but overdue examinations of the so-called War on Drugs, and how the U.S. government is ultimately exacerbating the problem.
Ottawa Raging Grannies, Homes Not Bombs and the Network to Oppose War and Racism protested at the two-day CANSEC 2011 arms trade show at Landsdowne Park. Protesters sang "We shall not be moved" and "We shall overcome." The weapons fair was organized by the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries and Defence Minister Peter MacKay gave the keynote address. One protester told delegates entering the conference site, "Arms are for hugging, not for fighting... Try to have some compassion for other human beings. It makes you feel good at night!"
Canada is 13th Largest Arms Dealer in the World
"Canada is the thirteenth largest arms dealer in the world and one that makes hundreds of millions of dollars each year selling armoured vehicles, aircraft parts and high tech gizmos to customers around the world.."
The following letter to Ottawa City Council comes from an Afghan woman Member of Parliament who expresses her clear opposition to the use of Ottawa facilities for any military trade shows.
Malalai Joya is an elected Afghan Member of Parliament. However, in May 2007 she was barred from Parliament for three years because she had denounced the many foreign-backed warlords and drug barons who dominate her government. While the Afghan Parliament passed a law giving immunity to all Afghan's who have committed war crimes over the previous 25 years, it also passed a law saying that Afghan MPs could not criticise each other.