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GoPetition to Cancel military display at PeachFest

GoPetition to Cancel military display at PeachFest

Postby f/22 » Jun 27th, 2017, 7:45 pm

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE ORGANIZERS AND SPONSOR OF THE PENTICTON PEACH FESTIVAL MILITARY DEMONSTRATION

As organized by Don Kendall and Fred Trainor, and sponsored by Dave Kampe, the opening night of this year’s Penticton Peach Festival will feature the Canadian Forces Snowbirds precision aerobatic team, as well as the Canadian Army’s SkyHawks parachute team. The CF-18 Hornet jet fighter team will also perform, according to the Penticton Western News, “a pyrotechnic, simulated battle scene.”

We the undersigned have numerous areas of concern about your planned program, including:

• The disturbing effect military air shows can have on vulnerable viewers
• The significant cost to taxpayers of the RCAF military demonstration teams
• The stated purpose of the Snowbirds aerial demonstration team, and
• The explicit linking of the CF-18 demonstration with a celebration of Canadian Confederation.

<snip>

https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/ca ... tival.html

Last edited by f/22 on Jun 28th, 2017, 5:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GoPetition to Cancel military display at PeachFest

Postby Fancy » Jun 27th, 2017, 7:53 pm

Good grief. Have watched these types of shows for decades and all I get is a catch in my throat for the pride I have for these amazing pilots.

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Re: GoPetition to Cancel military display at PeachFest

Postby f/22 » Jun 28th, 2017, 5:45 am

The shows scare me. And the scale is intimidating from anywhere within range.

Here’s the rest of the reasoning from the petition.

<snip>

Mr. Kendall seems to believe the three-part military demonstration will have entertainment value equal to the musical act that will follow it. “Having this type of a show on opening night is going to be incredible,” he said in promotional materials. “It will make for a great opening night with headliner 54-40 taking the main stage later that evening.”

The undersigned believe that it’s a serious mistake to promote aerial military demonstrations as entertainment. Military air shows are disturbing for many, and are potentially traumatizing for newcomers who have escaped war. Toronto filmmaker Maya Bastian documented the reactions of people observing the 2016 Canadian Air Show, including Tamil refugees. Many of them suffer from post-traumatic stress, and the air show can be triggering, she says. Academic researcher Craig Damian Smith works with refugees and is also familiar with the Canadian Air Show. He considers air shows “insulting, invasive, and violent” for those who have experienced the trauma of war.

According to Canadian author and historian Yves Engler, the Snowbirds are one element of a “massive military cultural outreach” conducted by the federal government. The Snowbirds’ annual operation costs of $4.3 million dwarf any that the local sponsor has absorbed. In addition, the Canadian Forces plan to spend another $755 million on a new fleet of demonstration aircraft, he says.

Just as significant as taxpayer costs is the purpose of the Snowbirds. The government acknowledges they are an important public relations and recruiting tool for the Canadian Armed Forces. Engler finds recruitment is a major driver of a multi-million dollar public relations behemoth that celebrates and commemorates so-called “glorious” wars and battles, builds war monuments, and funds Remembrance Day services and ongoing war-related “awareness” programs such as Canada Remembers; and whose personnel “write press releases, organize press conferences, monitor the news, brief journalists, befriend reporters and editors, or perform various other media-related activities” destined to fill news stories.

“It’s time for a concerted challenge to this unbridled militarism,” says Engler, and we the undersigned agree.

It’s impossible to understand the full range of problems with the planned military display unless one takes into account historical considerations. The RCAF explicitly links the CF-18 demonstration with Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. “Specifically, the RCAF will honour the history of the Canadian Armed Forces, including the RCAF, as a part of Canada’s proud history,” they say. “The upcoming air show season is a special opportunity for the RCAF and the Demonstration Team to join Canadians in celebrating shared values, achievements and Canada's place in the world.”

But there are many in Canada, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, who question what there is to celebrate about Confederation. Dixon Terbasket is an Okanagan resident and member of the Indigenous-led, inter-cultural project Rethink 150: Indigenous Truth that seeks to raise awareness of alternative narratives about the last 150 years. Drawing a line from the arrival of Columbus to the Canadian Confederacy, all the way to contemporary resource extraction, he sees a history of colonization that includes genocide, destruction, exploitation and oppression by church and government. “The history of Canada is not a proud one,” he says. “The things that happened to us, we have to acknowledge them. If you don’t acknowledge what’s going on, you’re not going to be able to start fixing it.”

It’s coincidental that opening night of the Peach Festival, August 9, falls on the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. At the time of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Canada's prime minister Mackenzie King reflected, “it is fortunate that the use of the bomb should have been upon the Japanese rather than upon the white races of Europe." It’s not at all coincidental that racism informed that military strike as much as it informs Canada’s conquest and ongoing colonization of Indigenous peoples.

In consideration of the need for reconciliation between Canada and Indigenous peoples; and in consideration of the expense to taxpayers of this military program and its intention to recruit; in consideration of the potential of the air show to upset members of the public, particularly those who have experienced war; and in consideration of the need to repudiate military response to conflict and first-strike military aggression in a world that’s steeped in war, we call on the organizers to cancel the air show component of the 2017 Peach Festival and to ensure that Penticton’s skies will never again be pierced by war planes on a mission to enlist innocent youth.

<snip>

https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/ca ... tival.html

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Re: GoPetition to Cancel military display at PeachFest

Postby f/22 » Jun 28th, 2017, 7:13 am

In fact, with all that money flying around, I want compensation for leaving the area while the show is on.

Oh, and . . ..


Hi Major,

I haven’t seen you or Wayne in ages. Despite what's happened, I hope all is well now, and I look forward to seeing you inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in Wetaskiwin some time.


http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/en/new ... n/ildcip2l


<snip>

Captain Brasseur, later major, along with Captain Jane Foster went on to become one of the first women to pilot a CF-188 Hornet. She is also noted in the annals of military aviation history for being the first woman to investigate a military aviation accident in Canada.

<snip>


Cheers,
f/22

P.S.

Gads, the vitriol is just pouring out over on 'another channel'.

Not much depth of thought going on over there.
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Re: GoPetition to Cancel military display at PeachFest

Postby seewood » Jun 28th, 2017, 8:09 am

I love it. Like it or not, the military has had a part in Canada over the past 150 years. I love watching the Snowbirds and if a few of our aged CF 18's are zooting around, all the better.
I'd be thinking the majority like it remembering the line ups on the hwy, in town and on Munson Mt. last year or was it the year before. To cancel because it might be "traumatizing" for a few is rather inconsiderate in my opinion....sorry but perhaps they can stay inside, they are not forced to watch.
Political correctness gone mad....again.
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Re: GoPetition to Cancel military display at PeachFest

Postby RupertBear » Jun 28th, 2017, 8:32 am

Same fellow and same protest prior to a Snowbirds' performance in Toronto last year. I think he has a schedule of performances and rolls his little protest into each town prior to the 'Birds arrival.
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Re: GoPetition to Cancel military display at PeachFest

Postby fluffy » Jun 28th, 2017, 8:51 am

RupertBear wrote:Same fellow and same protest prior to a Snowbirds' performance in Toronto last year. I think he has a schedule of performances and rolls his little protest into each town prior to the 'Birds arrival.


A man on a mission. I admire his tenacity in willing to take on an unpopular position in the face of overwhelming oppostion, but do not support this particular cause even one tiny little bit.
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Re: GoPetition to Cancel military display at PeachFest

Postby Jflem1983 » Jun 28th, 2017, 9:24 am

Be nice if he got a proper welcome for his efforts . Wonder what could be done for this man .
We don't reach for handouts we reach for those who are down . "Garth Brooks "

You have got to stand for something . Or you will fall for anything "Aaron Tippin"
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Re: GoPetition to Cancel military display at PeachFest

Postby Osoyoos_Familyof4 » Jun 28th, 2017, 10:33 am

I have wondered about the Snow Birds before too.

So, is it sponsors who cover the costs of everything except a small 4.3 million operating budget?

I have become increasingly uncomfortable celebrating our colonialist past, including confederation. I get it.
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Re: GoPetition to Cancel military display at PeachFest

Postby What_the » Jun 28th, 2017, 10:55 am

I remember my dad telling me during Abbotsford air show one year that when the WWII fighter formations flew over the hair would stand up on his neck. He was just a child then in Europe but left an indelible mark to this day. I can see that point of view.

I've always questioned the use of funds for aerobatic teams. In one hand it's valuable experience for these guys that we send to war but the cost, using those obsolete sub sonic two seat trainers I didn't pay much thought but have trouble swallowing $775 million with so many Canadian lives that would benefit from that sort of cash injection.


At the same time my ego is stroked seeing the power and lines of these beautiful machines; even though they've all been made to kill. It's definitely a conundrum.

I fall on side of modest displays.
Would so rather be over educated that a knuckle dragging Neanderthal bereft of critical thought and imagination. Although in the case of Neanderthals, that's quite the insult.

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Re: GoPetition to Cancel military display at PeachFest

Postby seewood » Jun 28th, 2017, 11:49 am

Jflem1983 wrote:Be nice if he got a proper welcome for his efforts . Wonder what could be done for this man .



I'll buy him a set of ear muffs, perhaps even with a built in radio so he can listen to the announcer describing the show. If he doesn't want to look, I'll throw in a set of welding goggles as well.
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Re: GoPetition to Cancel military display at PeachFest

Postby f/22 » Jun 28th, 2017, 1:26 pm

Yes, the origins of the ‘protest’ seem to be ‘Trontocentric,’ as the following article on filmmaker Maya Bastian indicates.

She’s making a film on the issues there.

So it’s worth the read by way of a preview.

Also I agree with her conclusion.

And I’m glad to see the ‘civil’ discourse that's going on here.

My expanded stance is that, for the public, a lake venue is probably safe enough for the Snowbirds show. And I do admire them for their artistry and the technical challenge. But I think any military displays should be reserved for Remembrance Day when the objective is intended to be more reflective of war, and our striving and hopes for peace.

I've sat in the stark and spartain cockpit of a CF-104, an interceptor bomb of a rocket, so I appreciate the purpose and the bravery it would have taken to fly it as a deadly weapon towards taking life in order to save life--not for show.

The article:

Is it time to rethink Toronto's air show?

'Any time a plane flew over, I was paralyzed,' says local filmmaker after returning from a conflict zone

<snip>

Bastian is now working on a film based on the air show and people's reactions to it.

<snip>

It's an event whose purpose was very clear when it began, she adds. The question is whether that is still the case.

"It's part of the Canadian fabric ... In the '40s it was necessary; we needed it. Now I don't know that it is ... It's a complex question, and I'm not advocating to shut down the air show. What I'm looking for is discourse."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/p ... -1.3747293

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Re: GoPetition to Cancel military display at PeachFest

Postby Jflem1983 » Jun 29th, 2017, 4:28 am

*removed*
Last edited by ferri on Jun 29th, 2017, 5:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Making it personal
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Re: GoPetition to Cancel military display at PeachFest

Postby jimmy4321 » Jun 29th, 2017, 4:51 am

I think they are great also.
My also reason for questioning whether it should go on is the cost.
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Re: GoPetition to Cancel military display at PeachFest

Postby f/22 » Jun 29th, 2017, 5:31 am

*removed*
Last edited by ferri on Jun 29th, 2017, 5:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: response to removed post
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