Why is a U.S.-based company that works to produce an antiobiotic-resistant strain of anthrax for military purposes partnered with a downtown Toronto research institution (MaRS, or "Medical and Related Sciences") with links to the University of Toronto?

Do you feel that a company that's working on "solutions" to the challenges of star wars ("missile defence"), guided missile systems, and directed-energy weapons deserves a spot at an institution that's supposed to help people, not kill them?

And what, exactly, is REALLY going on at the MaRS?

Join us to demand some answers.

Just Say to to War, Tuesday, May 2, 12 noon (our monthly anti-war vigil)

MaRS, 101 College Street (just east of University Ave., near the Queen's Park subway station)


End the Partnership with the Battelle Memorial Institute

Raking in billions of dollars of Penatgon money, the U.S.-based Battelle Memorial Institute, as per its own website, "delivers proven capabilities in science and technology solutions for rapid transition to the [U.S.] Air Force warfighter." They boast of things like the development of "infrared missile electromagnetic interference shielding for Air Force guided missile systems," because as we all know, no missile system should be unshielded! Among their areas of research and "innovation" are "advanced weapons ... Energetics/explosives operations ... Missile defense ... Weapons development."

Battelle says it "serves the [U.S.] Army as a trusted agent, providing an independent perspective backed by unequaled depth in critical fields of science and technology. Battelle provides unmatched core capabilities in a number of mission critical areas, from CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) and advanced weapons to missile defense and development of specialized hardware and equipment."

With more than $3 billion in contract work for the Defense (sic) Department and Service branches since 1990, they boast of "core capabilities in chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives defense work." During the anthrax scare in 2002, the BBC reported, "The private contractor companies linked to the military and jokingly referred to as "beltway bandits" because they're sprinkled around the Washington beltway ring-road ... Some of these contractors are now known to have been involved in classified bio-defence projects. One of these secret projects, carried out in the Nevada desert, was part of [a] series of three[.] In the first few days of September [2001] &emdash; immediately prior to the [kamikaze] attacks of the 11th, the New York Times carried a major investigation which at any other time would have been a story of huge significance... It revealed three secret bio-defence projects at a time when the American people believed none was taking place. One &emdash; run by a contractor &emdash; Battelle &emdash; was to create genetically altered anthrax. [Battelle was hired by the CIA for this project.] ('Anthrax attacks', BBC Newsnight, 14 April 2002)

World renowned international law expert Francis Boycle of the University of Illinois, in an April, 20002 speech "BioWarfare, Terror Weapons and the US," pointed out that "The Pentagon just laid out a contract to Battelle now to develop anthrax that will be resistant to any type of treatment. Right now fortunately what we are dealing with in Washington can be treated by conventional antibiotics. What we are now developing by the government at Battelle, it is a matter of public record, you can read about it in the Wall Street Journal, anthrax that would be antibiotic resistant."

Science Magazine, Nov. 28, 2003, reported that "As subcontractors, Battelle scientists have made anthrax powders for use by the Army and U.S. intelligence agencies."

Battelle is in charge of the U.S. Chemical and Biological Defense Information Analysis Cente, whose motto is "Bringing the Chemical and Biological Defense and Homeland Security Communities together." Their mandate is to provide chemical and biological warfare research to "Combatant Commanders, warfighters...[and] the CB (chemical and biological) Defense Research, Development, and Acquisition community."

And Battelle proudly makes lots of money coming up with "Homeland Security" ideas, such as an expert panel they convened in 2004 that recommended, among other things, "Non-Lethal Directed Energy" weapons. In a company press release, Battelle boasted, "In the arsenal of non-lethal weapons, the VMADS, or Vehicle Mounted Active Denial System offers much promise over the next decade. Now in advanced development, VMADS uses high-powered directed energy that is capable of stopping people and machinery. It has the potential to interrupt a signal between a terrorist and a detonating device or to set off land mines-all from a remote location. 'The high powered microwave also has potential law enforcement use as the directed energy can be adjusted to focus on making a person's skin uncomfortably hot, but causing no dermal damage,' said retired Air Force Gen. Lester Lyles. 'The current challenge with this technology is power supply-certainly not an insurmountable obstacle.'" Indeed, such weapons have long been touted as the answer to pesky peace picketers.

In December, 2005, the Toronto Star reported: "The Battelle people are up here quite often," says Ross McGregor of the Toronto Region Research Alliance (a MaRS tenant). "They've identified some high potential R&D venues in the world and they're interested in bringing their model to them. Canada is at the top of their list." At the peak is U of T, where an NRC-led Centre for Biomedical Innovation could collaborate with Battelle. David Naylor, president of the U of T, says the university has been talking to Battelle for two years. "Battelle does contract research and manages research for many institutions, often in partnership with universities. They know how to do it."

If you are concerned about the potential for chemical and biological warfare research being carried out at MaRS (under the benign-sounding cover of biomedical innovation), join us March 7, and contact as well the group taking on the ongoing campaign, People Against Militarization of Life (paml4peace@gmail.com, 416-760-6107)

More info available at: http://publish.indymedia.org/en/2006/02/834073.shtml  

BATTELLE INSTITUTE and ANTHRAX DEATHS AND SCARE IN THE U.S. IN 2001 http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/3/2002/31 http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A36408-2001Nov29 http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/bioter/anthraxsuesgov.html http://www.tetrahedron.org/news/NR011214.html http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/3/2005/1221

"BATTELLE PANEL'S TOP TEN INNOVATIONS FOR THE WAR ON TERROR" http://www.battelle.org/news/04/5-10-04TopTenTerrorInnova.stm 


BATTELLE INSTITUTE, BUSH AND ANIMAL TORTURE http://www.peta.org/mc/NewsItem.asp?id=6066  


BATTELLE INSTITUTE FUNDING UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO http://www.nationalreport.utoronto.ca/national/1999/friends_investment.htm  

BATTELLE INSTITUTE IS A TENANT AT MaRS (Medical and Related Sciences - College St./University Av. intersection in Toronto) http://www.marsdd.com/ (links: Explore MaRS; MaRS Centre; MaRS Centre Tenant Directory)  

BATTELLE INSTITUTE A MAJOR INVESTOR IN PRIMAXIS TECHNOLOGY VENTURES INC. - ILSE TREURNICHT, THE PRESIDENT AND CEO OF MaRS IS A FORMER PRESIDENT AND CEO OF PRIMAXIS http://www.futureforum.ca/about_speakers.htm , http://www.battelle.org/news/02/02-12-02optimer.stm    


BATTELLE INSTITUTE DOES ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ANALYSIS AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT FOR EXXONMOBIL  http://www.exxonmobil.com/Corporate/Newsroom/Newsreleases/xom_nr_171203.asp http://www.battelle.org/environment/industry/exxon.stm http://www.battelle.org/environment/geneva/  

MaRS "mandate": "Ensure made-in-Canada discoveries make a positive difference to the health and quality of life of Canadians and others around the world. Strengthen Canada's ability to commercialize its substantial investment in academic research to benefit the health and economic future of Canadians. MaRS will ensure that Canadians receive the full economic benefits of their investment in science and technology research and development."


Homes not Bombs mandate: Canada should build homes, not blow them up


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