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Quinte chapter sponsors screening of ‘Shadow World’, a film about the weapons industry

The Council of Canadians Quinte chapter will be sponsoring a screening of Shadow World at the Belleville Downtown DocFest on Saturday March 4.

The DocFest website notes that the film examines, “How the international trade in weapons fosters corruption, determines economic and foreign policies, undermines democracy and creates widespread suffering. The film reveals the real costs of war, the way the arms trade drives it and how the weapons of war are now being turned against the citizens of liberal democracies.”

A review in Variety highlights, “Shadow World is a superbly edited, angry documentary about the global arms trade that will energize politically-minded audiences. Director Johan Grimonprez doesn’t want audiences to get out their handkerchiefs; he wants them to get out their protest signs, their megaphones and their voting ballots. Grimonprez and his editors are exceptionally clever at clearly presenting information and then following through with the consequences, so a discussion of C.I.A. funded right-wing coups leads to an interview with El Salvadorean activist Marta Benavides, who talks in concrete terms about the results, followed by a section on the Iran-Contra scandal to help connect the dots.”

The Council of Canadians has raised previously concerns about Canada’s involvement in the international weapons trade.

Canada is the second biggest arms exporter to the Middle East and the sixth biggest seller of weapons and military equipment in the world.

While the Liberals had promised “to better help those affected by war and violent conflict” by contributing to United Nations “conflict-prevention” and “post-conflict reconstruction” efforts. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau supported the sale of $15-billion of armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia, despite evidence that shows that government commits human rights violations against its own citizens.

Canada also sells about $1 million a year of weapons to Mexico where the government has repressed people protesting against Canadian mining companies abusing human rights and the natural environment.

During the last federal election, the Liberals promised to “end Canada’s combat mission in Iraq”, but between their election win on October 19, 2015 and November 23, 2015 (weeks after they took office), at least 16 air strikes by CF-18s had taken place. And while those fighter jets were eventually removed by April 2016, Canada still provides refuelling and reconnaissance airplanes to support US and UK aerial-bombing missions in Iraq.  iPolitics has reported, “Canadian trainers are calling in airstrikes, Canadian planes are scouting targets, and Canadian officers are on the ground in Baghdad working with the Iraqi military and other members of the U.S.-led international coalition.”

We have also expressed concerns about Trudeau’s announcement that Canada would send up to six CF-18s, naval frigates and 450 soldiers as part of a NATO (not UN) mobilization in the Baltic region to block Russia expansionism, even though many analysts say the NATO buildup will only serve to destabilize the region.

The Trudeau government is also now considering joining US President Donald Trump’s multi-billion dollar so-called ‘Star Wars’ missile ‘defence’ plan that dates back to the Reagan era in the early-1980s.

Over the years, the Council of Canadians has campaigned for Iraq war resisters from the United States who have sought refuge in Canada, opposed the war in Afghanistan, and supported the Canadian Peace Alliance.

The festival’s website notes, “Belleville Downtown DocFest is a community oriented documentary film festival featuring outstanding films that celebrate life and human dignity around the world and right here at home. DocFest’s mandate is to promote awareness of what is happening in the world through the screening of documentary films that wouldn’t otherwise come to this community, to promote awareness of global and local issues with social, cultural, economic and environmental consequences, to educate audiences and ultimately to be a catalyst for civic participation and action-taking resulting in positive change.”

To watch a trailer for Shadow World, please click here.