leave downtown Toronto at 11 am sharp (location TBA)
Organized by Homes not Bombs, www.homesnotbombs.ca
If you can drive folks out to the Etobicoke site and back, or if you would like to book a seat in one of our vehicles, please call (416) 651-5800. Tell us how many would like to go, and how many people you can transport.
If you would be interested in taking part in the "civilly disobedient" portion of the rally (which could result in arrest) and would like nonviolence preparation, contact us as well at 651-5800.
1. War Crimes are clearly being committed in Iraq and Afghanistan by occupation troops (see testimony at bottom of this email). Groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have confirmed as much.
2. Those war crimes are being committed in part with bullets supplied by Canadian corporation SNC-Lavalin's SNC-TEC subsidiary.
3. To aid and abet war crimes is to be complicit in war crimes.
4. To know that war crimes are being committed and do nothing to stop them is also to be complicit (which means not just SNC-Lavalin, but you and me, too) (see below*)
4. SNC-Lavalin must divest itself of its bullet manufacturer SNC-TEC to end complicity in war crimes
*According to the Canadian (in)Justice Dept.'s Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Program, "A person is considered complicit if, while aware of the commission of war crimes or crimes against humanity, the person contributes directly or indirectly to their occurrence. Membership in an organization responsible for committing the atrocities can be sufficient to establish complicity if the organization in question is one with a single brutal purpose, e.g. a death squad."
On Monday, January 17, we wish to bring the war home to SNC-Lavalin with street theatre, a nonviolent rally, and an attempt by some folks to enter SNC-Lavalin's HQ in Toronto for an urgent teach-in on the war and occupation, international and Canadian law, and how to divest the corporation of its military arm.
The lines will be VERY CLEARLY drawn in terms of areas of risk of arrest and "legal" protest areas.
IMPORTANT: Many SNC-Lavalin employees are already onside, and we ask those attending the rally to be open to dialogue with them. These folks do not produce the bullets themselves. They are part of a corporation which profits from their production (in Le Gardeur, Quebec). We are encouraging SNC-Lavalin employees to divest themselves of company stock in an attempt to pressure SNC-Lavalin to divest itself of its military arm. It is management (surprise!) at SNC-Lavalin which is most enthusiastic about weapons sales. In November, Toronto region President Marylynne Campbell wrote that her company had a "mandate" to produce these dreadful weapons and that the company was "proud" of these products.
For more information see http://www.homesnotbombs.ca/sncremembrance.htm and http://www.homesnotbombs.ca/sncdiemaco.htm
Below are recent testimony excerpts from Staff Sergeant Jimmy Massey, a U.S. Marine, at the Refugee Hearing for War resister Jeremy Hinzman. It is quite possible that SNC bullets were used in the murder of some 30 civilians which Mr. Massey describes below.
MASSEY: My Commanding Officer, Captain Schmidt, Dan Schmidt, actually came to me and he said... Staff Sergeant, you're looking a little under the weather. He said, what's wrong? I said, well, sir, today has been a very bad day. We killed a lot of innocent civilians, and he looked at me straight in my face and he said no, today is a good day, and he walked off.
COUNSEL: Okay. During the time that you were in Iraq did any of your immediate superiors in the military talk to you about the need to comply with the Geneva Conventions or chastize you for violating the Geneva Conventions?
MASSEY: No, sir.
MASSEY: Apart from your several hours that you stood down from your command, did you receive any penalties whatsoever for the 30 plus [civilian] deaths that occurred during those days?
MASSEY: No, sir.
MASSEY: There was an incident where we had a young Iraqi man that did stop his vehicle and as he was exiting out of the vehicle we were still firing at him and he jumped out with his hands up and we continued to discharge our weapons and we killed him.
(Describing how thousands of rounds were fired into a number of civilian vehicles at a checkpoint)
MASSEY: We had -- in the Marine Corps we have three different types of rating systems when you discharge your weapons. You have a cyclic, a sustained and a rapid. A sustained being the slowest, rapid being the second and cyclic being pull the trigger and you don't stop. We fired at a cyclic rate.
COUNSEL: So can you give me a sense of -- I know you can't be exact, but how many bullets were there sent into these vehicles?
MASSEY: At least 500.
COUNSEL: Per vehicle?
WITNESS: Per vehicle.
(On the shooting deaths of young Iraqi protesters)
COUNSEL: Okay. And what was the result of your investigation? Were there deaths or injuries?
MASSEY: All four of the protesters expired.
COUNSEL: Do you have a sense of how many bullets were fired at the protesters?
MASSEY: Two to 500.
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