CAW Members Flash Mob and Rally to Save Gun Registry

October 11, 2011, 2:30 PM EST


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CAW members across southern Ontario took to the streets and called on the Harper government to save the national long-gun registry.

Local union women's committee members held community rallies and organized flash mobs to raise public awareness on the important role the registry plays in Canada's gun control efforts. The Harper government (now with a majority of seats in the House of Commons) has promised to move quickly to dismantle the long-run registry now that Parliament has resumed in Ottawa.  

The national long-gun registry, first introduced in 1995, collects information about gun owners (those who own rifles and shotguns) and keeps a check on these weapons through a mandatory registration program.  

"Keeping a tight check on gun ownership in Canada is fundamental to our efforts to end gun violence and, specifically, violence against women," said CAW Women's Program Director Julie White. "The Harper government's commitment to kill this registry sends a clear signal that we're moving backwards on this important issue. That's simply not good enough."

CAW rallies and flash mobs, which brought together union members and community allies, were held in cities across southern Ontario, including Windsor (August 28), London (September 15) and Kitchener (September 21). CAW activists in Windsor and London held separate flash mobs (carefully timed, and seemingly spontaneous, public demonstrations that can take various forms) recognizing the 14 young women slain in 1989 during the massacre at L'École Polytechnique in Montreal. In Kitchener, CAW members held a public rally in the city's downtown core that generated widespread local media coverage.

"These actions are the first of many targeting, what the majority of Canadians believe, is the Harper government's wrong-headed social and economic agenda," said CAW Membership Mobilization and Political Action Director Jenny Ahn.

CAW Local 1106 women's committee chairperson Shannon Tobin said that at its core, the union's campaign to save the long-gun registry is aimed at making sure dangerous weapons don't fall into the wrong hands.

"If you can register a short gun, a car, a cat, a dog, what's the difference? Why can't you register a long gun?" Tobin told the Kitchener Record.

Government plans to kill the registry were thwarted when Bill C-398 was defeated by a narrow margin in the House of Commons last year.

More information on the CAW's Save the Long-Gun Registry campaign can be found at: http://www.caw.ca/en/8182.htm, as well as photos and videos from the events.

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