What about an unarmed New Brunswick Day?
Armed Forces Day will coincide with New Brunswick Day festivities again this year in Fredericton. Children playing with weapons will be one of the government organized activities of the day.
The Fredericton Peace Coalition encourages all to attend an alternative unarmed family fun day happening on our provincial holiday, August 3, at Wilmot Park, from 1 pm to 4pm. The family fun day will include face painting, drumming, juggling, interactive activities for children, and literature for adults.
According to the Canadian International Development Agency, 45% of all victims of war are children. Referring to the NATO invasion of Afghanistan, UN Envoy for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy said, “children are bearing the brunt of this conflict and also experiencing physical and psychological trauma”.
Despite the attempts by the Department of National Defence to increase future enrollment in the military and to normalize war, opposition to Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan is decisive. The latest Ekos poll released on July 16 showed that 54% of Canadians oppose Canada’s military mission. The percentage of women opposed to the mission is even higher at 60%.
The Fredericton Peace Coalition notes that Armed Forces Day is only one example of how Fredericton has become increasingly militarized in the past few years. Mayor Brad Woodside has conferred the freedom of the city for the military again this year. Military recruitment is found throughout the city, on university campuses, in high schools and shopping malls and at cultural events.