Thank you to everyone who came out on May 31 2023 to protest North America’s biggest weapons show! Together we blocked CANSEC’s entrances in solidarity with everyone killed and displaced by the weapons sold there. We delayed Minister of Defense Anita Anand’s keynote address by over an hour and made a mess of CANSEC’s opening morning.
Our protest was covered by Democracy Now! (video, text), Hill Times (article, photo of the day), The Breach, Almasirah, Pressenza, and Collingwood Today.

On May 31 we blocked the entrances to North America’s biggest weapons fair, CANSEC, in solidarity with everyone around the world who’s been harmed by the weapons sold there. #protest #defundwar #demilitarize #worldbeyondwar

♬ Clock It - Chris Alan Lee

Additional photos and video by World BEYOND War are available to download here. Photos by Koozma Tarasoff here.

Wednesday May 31 2023. Starting at 7:00am. At the EY Centre (4899 Uplands Drive by the airport) in Ottawa.

CANSEC is North America’s largest arms show and “defense industry” event.

The presenters and exhibitors list doubles as a Rolodex of the world’s worst corporate criminals. All of the companies and individuals who profit most from war and bloodshed will be there.

The world is run (and ravaged) by people who wake up early. On May 31st we need to wake up earlier than them to beat them to their fair. Join us at the convention bright and early as it begins to ensure everyone showing up knows they are NOT welcome in Ottawa or to continue their deadly business as usual.

It’s time to show up in force to oppose CANSEC and the profiteering from war and violence it is designed to support.

Among the 280+ exhibitors that will be at CANSEC:

  • Elbit Systems – supplies 85% of drones used by the Israeli military to monitor and attack Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and infamously the bullet used to murder Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh
  • General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada – makes the billions of dollars of Light Armoured Vehicles (tanks) Canada exports to Saudi Arabia
  • L3Harris Technologies – their drone technology is used for border surveillance and targeting laser guided missiles. Now bidding to sell armed drones to Canada to drop bombs overseas and surveil Canadian protests.
  • Lockheed Martin – by far the largest weapons producer in the world, they brag about arming over 50 countries, including many of the most oppressive governments and dictatorships
  • Colt Canada – sells guns to the RCMP, including C8 carbine rifles to the C-IRG, the militarized RCMP unit terrorizing Indigenous land defenders in service of oil and logging companies.
  • Raytheon Technologies – builds the missiles that will arm Canada’s new Lockheed Martin F-35 warplanes
  • BAE Systems – builds the Typhoon fighter jets Saudi Arabia uses to bomb Yemen
  • Bell Textron – sold helicopters to the Philippines in 2018 even though its president once boasted he had thrown a man to his death from a helicopter and warned he would do the same to corrupt government workers

More information:

Exhibitors this year include General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada (that makes the Light Armoured Vehicles implicated in human rights violations in Yemen), L3Harris Technologies (now bidding to sell armed drones to Canada) and Lockheed Martin Canada (the world’s largest military contractor now in negotiations to sell their F-35 warplanes to Canada).

There will be banners and signs for you to hold at this action. We will meet at the entrance to the EY Centre on Uplands Drive.

CANSEC, and our protest, is taking place at the EY Centre which is located at 4899 Uplands Dr, Ottawa, ON K1V 2N6.
The parking on site is reserved for ticketed conference attendees, so people attending this protest will need to park elsewhere. Here are two parking options:
1) Park at one of the nearby hotels due south of the EY Centre, such as Hilton Garden Inn Ottawa Airport, 2400 Alert Rd, Ottawa, ON K1V 1S1, then walk over to the protest (approximately 10 minute walk)
2) Park at South Keys Shopping Centre, at the south side of the parking lot (2210 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1V 1J5) then take the 6:30am or 7:00am bus #97 or #99 (direction Airport) from South Keys to the EY Centre (get off at stop Airport / Uplands). It is a 5 minute bus ride, and costs $3.75 in cash.

The #97 or #99 bus (direction Airport) will take you directly to the EY Centre. The bus stop name is Airport / Uplands or Uplands/Alert. It leaves from various spots in Ottawa (including Rideau B, Lees A, Hurdman A, Billings Bridge 1A, South Keys 1C, Greenboro 1A). For example, the #97/99 bus passes through Hurdman station at 6:20am or BIllings Bridge around 6:25am on it’s way to the EY Centre in time for the protest. 

Adult fare is $3.75 cash, or $3.70 with a Presto card. Seniors ride free on Wednesdays. Transfer times during the day are 90 minutes.

Get in touch with the Stop CANSEC coalition

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    Hosted by the No CANSEC coalition, World BEYOND War, Anti-Imperalist Alliance, and Canadian Voice of Women for Peace. This protest is happening on unceded Algonquin territory.

    Looking for info on a previous year’s protest? Check out our 2022 reportback here.

    The day before CANSEC – join a webinar from wherever you are!
    Learn about the arms fair, Canadian arms exports, and the militarization of territory at a free webinar at 2:30pm ET on Tuesday May 31.
    The day after CANSEC – join a downtown Ottawa rally and gathering
    Join a downtown rally and march to CADSI (the industry association that puts on the arms fair) and a community gathering.
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