Tuesday, 7 June 2022

100s Protest Canada Weapons Show

OTTAWA. June 1 — About 250 people, the most ever in recent years, protested ‘Canada’s Largest Global Defence & Security Trade Show’ for 2022. This year’s protest theme was: ‘Oppose CANSEC Weapons Fair’. It began at 7 am and ended about 10:30 am. A few activists continued next day. 

The event was hosted by Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, Anti-Imperialist Alliance and World BEYOND War. Many peace groups participated.

See my 122 photos — More photos + videos #Cancel CANSEC

The David and Goliath scenario unfolded quickly. While hundreds of participants gathered outside the EY Centre in Ottawa to deliver peace messages as cars arrived, an estimated 12,000 members of Canada’s military-industrial-parliament complex conducted their lethal business inside.

Collage of most of the signs and banners. Some were in French and other languages.

What struck me this year was how many young people turned out, and the protest was global. A cluster of signs protested conflicts in India, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico.

The youth exerted much more energy than most of my generation of protesters did in the past. Using a loud speaker, they chanted “Who? WE! When? NOW! We’re going to bring imperialism down!” (17 sec. video)./div>

Some persistently blocked pedestrians and cars, shouting sharp words:
  • ‘Go Home.’
  • ‘Terrorists.’
  • ‘Shame on you.’
  • ‘Stop Having Blood on Your Hands.’

Three courageously laid on the street to block traffic.

Some used blow horns to shame the warmongers. All proudly emphasized our many peace messages against escalating wars. Among the two dozen police present were a few liaison officers who made sure the protestors rights were respected. No one was arrested, but a few were given warnings.

Inside the EY Centre, arms dealers, international buyers, government officials, and others came to negotiate lucrative contracts, and lobby for larger military budgets as NATO is preparing for a possible WW3. The Ukraine war was much on their minds sparking large profits on the stock market. The profit motive seems to have taken over for any chance of getting to know the stranger and working cooperatively for win-win solutions. The threat of a nuclear catastrophe was ignored. Is anyone listening?

The next day, June 2, a few protesters came and they were prohibited from posting signs on the fences used for many years. They decided to move across the street and hold their signs where they could be seen by entering cars.

Since 1989, the business of arms trade shows have faced strong opposition in Ottawa, but the government always gave in to big business. In 2009 I began to volunteer as a peace photographer and reporter for these annual events.

See all my illustrated CANSEC Ottawa Reports Since 2009 and links to reports on 13 Ottawa Peace Festivals from 2007 to 2019. For the 2022 event, see my 122 photos, and more photos and videos at #Cancel CANSEC.


#CancelCANSEC, Facebook

Protest against the CANSEC arms fair "The people united. We'll never be defeated!", YouTube (video 16 sec) National Observer.

Protest denounces CANSEC arms trade show, by Brent Patterson, rambble.ca, May 24, 2022


  1. The protest claims to be anti-imperialist, yet these 250 protesters live in an imperialist country. What are their political views then: are they anti-imperialists, radicalists, or something else entirely? 3.5 hours doesn't sound like a particularly strong protest. Who sponsored this event? Maybe next time they should better allocate their funds and have at least a day-long protest? Okay, at least until lunch. Well, I know we are in a global crisis but it's no reason to half-ass an anti-weapon event. Oh, I know! It's a true Anglo-Saxon show, like a circus, right?

  2. Some protesters came back later in the day and on subsequent days. It was a great protest with so many new young people there; encouraging to us older generation.

  3. Murray Lumley, Toronto, Ontario8 June 2022 at 14:24

    Thanks for all your photos and links to articles. I looked at them all. I was the 81 year old, manhandled by an Ottawa police officer who attacked me from behind; never spoke to me except to threaten my arrest if I didn’t stop yelling that he was hurting me. I’m still receiving treatment for my right shoulder injury.

  4. Thank you Koozma, for your photos and your presence at CANSEC
    I live in Saskatchewan and plan to be in Ottawa for next year’s weapons exhibition.

  5. Thanks for your constant search for a non-killing society, dear Koozma.
    Pierre Jasmin
    secrétaire général
    Artistes pour la Paix