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Request for "Dialogue" with Canadian Bullet Maker Met with Massive Police Presence

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April 1, 2005

Request for "Dialogue" with Canadian Bullet Maker Met with Massive Police Presence

Photos by John Bonnar
About 10 protesters who showed up at SNC Lavalin's Toronto headquarters last month requesting "dialogue" were met with dozens of police, some equipped with riot gear on horseback. The protesters, with Toronto group Homes Not Bombs, were there to request that the Montréal-based engineering firm divest from its subsidiary SNC Technologies, which is manufacturing bullets used by the US military in Iraq. They arrived with placards calling for an end to SNC Lavalin's complicity in war crimes. Some protesters went further, suggesting that the firm "transform itself into something socially useful."

According to the demonstrators, many passers-by and several employees expressed support for their peaceful action. Demonstrators also said that some SNC Lavalin employees spoke to the protesters but were called back inside by management.

SNC Technologies reports annual revenues of $266 million and is part of a multinational consortium of small-caliber ammunition producers who are charged with producing 300 to 500 million bullets per year for occupation forces. SNC Lavalin has operations in 100 countries and reports annual revenues of $3.3 billion.

According to media reports, between 17,000 and 20,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the beginning of the US-led occupation. A report published in the Lancet, a peer-reviewed medical journal, estimated the body count at over 100,000.

According the Canadian Defence Industry Association, revenues from the Canadian defence industry grew from $3.7 to 4.08 billion between 1998 and 2000. Weapons manufacturing is one of Canada's fastest growing industries.

» Chris Spannos: Canadian Bullets, Dead Iraqis

» Washington Post: 100,000 Civilian Deaths Estimated in Iraq

» Matthew Behrens: SNC-Lavalin Declares War on Homes not Bombs!

» John Bonnar: Photos of SNC-Lavalin March Protest

» SNC Technologies' official web site

» Iraq Body Count

» Stephen James Kerr: Meet Canada, the Global Arms Dealer

» Justin Podur: War Profiteering and Us

» Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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