First Published: People’s Canada Daily News Release, November 5, 1971
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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Toronto, (PCDN), November 5th. – Amchitka has become a house-hold word in Canada. People from all walks of life are vigorously discussing the significance of AMCHITKA. Political leaders, bourgeois as well as proletarian, businessmen and workers, rich and poor, professionals, housewives and students have all come forward to denounce the planned underground nuclear testing in the Aleutian Islands of Amchitka, Alaska, on November 6th at 5.00 p.m. Never before except during the days of the U. S. imperialist war threat to Cuba in the fall of 1962, have so many Canadians come forward to denounce U.S. imperialism. Why are the Canadian people so much aroused against this nuclear test?
Some people suggest that the reason for the indignation is that the nuclear test poses a danger to the environment; it may trigger an earthquake or a tidal wave which may threaten the west coast communities, or there may be radioactive fall out arising out of it. All these reasons, while correct in themselves do not present the full story. We hold that the principle cause of the indignation of the Canadian people from all walks of life against Amchitka nuclear testing is that they don’t like the U. S. imperialist policies of war and aggression and of trampling underfoot the sovereignty and territorial-integrity of other countries. It is because of the bellicose nature of U. S. imperialism that it has disregarded all public opinion on its war in Indo-China, on the question of restoring the rightful place of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations, the imposition of surcharge on foreign goods, (Nixon’s “New Economic Policy”), and innumerable other questions and now that it is arrogantly going against the public opinion in Canada and the rest of the world against the Amchitka nuclear test. It is this bellicose policy of U. S. imperialism which Canadian people are up in arms against. We would suggest that the issue is neither Amchitka nuclear testing nor its environmental effects – the issue is U. S. imperialism and its policies of war and aggression.
During the fifties and sixties, the slave ideologues in Canada, those who were propagating the lie that “Canada cannot live without big brother”, tried to mystify the role of U.S. imperialism in Canada and lauded it to the skies as “Canada’s most powerful neighbour and best friend”. With this sell-out policy of the Canadian compradors, (middlemen between U. S. imperialism and other countries), U. S. imperialism took over the economics, politics and culture of Canada, dictated and imposed North American Defence (NORAD), and other unequal treaties on the Canadian people and openly interfered in the internal affairs of Canada. The Canadian economy which was previously dependent on English colonialism became dependent on U. S. imperialism. Canada was a nation only by name.
While the Union Jack flew as the symbol of English colonialism, the Maple Leaf was given birth to as the symbol of American domination of Canada. But things are already turning into their opposites – there are already people existing in Canada who are using the Maple Leaf to oppose U. S. imperialism and for these sections of the Canadian people this Maple Leaf, which was intended to be the flag of sell-out, is being hoisted as the flag of resistance to U.S. imperialism.
With the general crisis of world capitalism deepening and the naked escalation of U.S. imperialist policies of aggression and war, the Canadian people underwent a new awakening. They first attacked the U.S. imperialist aggression in Indo-China, then raised the question of the economic domination of Canada by U.S. imperialism, went further and denounced the imperialist cultural control and by the end of the sixties and the beginning of the 1970’s have taken a position of overall opposition to U.S. imperialism. Anti-imperialism became the main trend in Canada. Canadian people slowly and slowly realised that the “big brother” brought into Canada as the “saviour and friend” was in fact a monster intent on gobbling up the whole of Canada and Quebec. The consciousness is now focusing on how to wipe out this monster.
When Richard Nixon announced his “New Economic Policy” on August 15th, Canadian compradors became panic stricken and at once began rushing hither and thither to undo the vicious attack launched by Richard Nixon on the Canadian economy. So the cat came out of the bag. With unemployment soaring to new heights, Canadian people realised the extent to which the Canadian economy is controlled by U.S. imperialism. Apart from the cautious notes from the Canadian compradors and the constant warning against taking hasty action against U.S. imperialism, people from all walks of life demanded that we take action against U.S. imperialism. Since August 15th the anti-imperialist consciousness of the Canadian people has deepened and broadened at an unprecedented scale and it is common knowledge to all anti-imperialist fighters that those who were viciously propagating the imperialist lie that “people don’t want revolution” have been proven wrong, and that increasing numbers of people are standing up against U. S. imperialism now. This trend of history is irresistable.
It is because of the overall development of anti-imperialist consciousness in Canada that masses of people in Canada are getting angry at the Amchitka nuclear test. To our estimation, over a quarter of a million people have already demonstrated against U.S. imperialism, in one way or the other, this week. Over fifty thousand people from Vancouver to Halifax took to the streets and loudly condemned U.S. imperialism in one day alone, November 3rd, 1971. Even trade-unionists have come forward to denounce the Amchitka test. In B.C., it is estimated that over 150,000 workers stopped work for half an hour to protest this nefarious policy of U.S. imperialism. In Toronto, several hundred trade-unionists marched to the U.S. Consulate and denounced the Amchitka test. Even Radio announcers like Pierre Berton and Templeton in Toronto (CKEY) have voiced their opinion. Daily newspapers have written editorials and the young students have made it a glorious festival to denounce U.S. imperialism.
Opposition to the Amchitka nuclear underground testing is part of an overall struggle against U.S. imperialism. Progressive people are utilising this opportunity to forge closer links with the masses, build groups to further analyse and debate how to organise against U.S. imperialism and several groups and organisations have come up as a result of this campaign. There is a tiny minority amongst the left wing circles who are using this campaign for their own ends. There are the usual rightists who are attempting to popularise social-chauvinist and anti-communist ideas and impose pro-imperialist “leaders” onto the mass movement. And there is the ultra left with their usual tricks of sham militancy and real capitulation trying to split the ranks of the people. This tiny minority will suffer the same fate as U.S. imperialism and their lackeys.
The spirit of the people and the mass movement is not only good but excellent. It is against U.S. imperialist policies of war and aggression, against their domination of Canada and for progressive humanity, This spirit is invincible and cannot be destroyed. In one university in Ontario, all week the employees have been busy opposing the Amchitka nuclear test and causing debates and discussions on many important national and international political questions. One of the employees humbly remarked, “I did not know I was so much against U.S. imperialism. Just to think about it, I always thought in the back of my mind how bad they were. I guess I am not that apolitical after all, It is good to be political ”, Another employee cut in, “Can you imagine me doing anything political! But when I think of Richard Nixon it burns me up!”
On the streets, in the factories, all over cities and towns in the educational institutions and offices, masses of people have come forward on their own to denounce U.S. imperialism. One of the Canadian Revolutionary Youth, who is engaged in active mass work, told PCDN very excitedly: “TODAY THEY ARE TALKING TOMORROW THEY WILL BE ACTING! IT IS JUST GREAT! LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE!”