THE COMOX PROJECT FILE
1. THE STORY OF Comox Project '65
2. Documents of the Comox Project
a. The Comox Project Manifesto
b. Discipline For the March
1. THE STORY OF COMOX PROJECT '65
The Comox Project was the only peace project that included both study of the area involved and direct action. (1) It was also the first to engage in mass non-violent civil disobedience. In May 1965 Voodoo interceptors at Comox Air Base were given nuclear war heads. Vancouver Peace Centre activists decided some action was needed, not just outsiders, but involving the community. The person most responsible for getting this action off the ground was Peter Light, 22, who had already engaged in a number of non-violent protests and marches.(2) The point was to include demonstrations, local support and involvement by local people leading up to an act of civil disobedience.
The actions would be governed by consensus and the participants in each action would plan the next one in these meetings.
Photo of Peter Light
Vancouver Peace Centre
The Vancouver Peace Center was organized by Peter Light and occupied an old three story house at 3148 Point Grey Road in Vancouver. (PHOTO) Support for the Peace Center, and future members of the Comox Project, came from two groups, the League For Total Disarmament (LTD) and the Libertarian League. The former had split-off from the liberal-dominated Canadian Committee for Nuclear Disarmament, (CCND) favoring direct action over marches and lobbying. The LTD was influenced by the anarchist pacifist, Hans Sinn, (3) and had members in White Rock, Gibson's Landing and Vancouver. The Libertarian League was an anarchist discussion group. The CCND, while "repudiating the Libertarian League", did work with the LTD on occasion. (4.)
Most participants in the Peace Centre were young, from 17 to 23 years old. Weekly seminars were held on non-violence with role-playing. Thus, a whole cadre was trained in non-violent action.
Activists from the Peace Centre planned the future Comox action, which included a walk or march from Victoria to the base to gain support and publicity. Hostility toward the Centre had been whipped up by a neighbor, one Gordon Shafer, who claimed the house was "a centre for subversive activities" and "they are degenerating the outlook and spirit of young Canadians." Other neighbors claimed "dirty shirts were hung in the windows", "fires started in the middle of the front room using chairs for fuel" and "free love" went on in the upstairs rooms." I will deal with such accusations below.
Sometime after the end of May 1965 the Peace Centre was evicted by the City using the excuse of not conforming to zoning regulations.
A Preliminary Visit to Comox
In March 1965 a number of Peace Centre activists were delegated to visit the Comox Valley and talk to people, both officials and potential supporters. They found few people concerned about economic repercussions if the base were closed or cut-back on. The main drawbacks were not potential economic problems but ideological – belief in the need for the weapons to supposedly deter the Russians. Leafleting the local Catholic Church resulted in a lot of hostile reactions. Only forty people came to a meeting held by the peace group and the Voice Of Women, a group which opposed war and the arms race, voted thirteen to one not to join the project fearing that such a course would harm their other projects. (5)
The March From Victoria To Comox
The march from Victoria to Comox commenced May 22 and took 10 days to complete. A rally of 500 people preceded the march and Brock Chisholm spoke at it (6) Favorable and hostile reactions were about 50-50 during the march and enough donations came from supporters along the way that the action paid for itself. This was unusual for marches in Central Canada rarely if ever receive[d] donations from passers-by. (7.) Vancouver Island with its long history of socialism and worker's struggle was probably the most sympathetic region in the country for such actions, yet even here, overt support was very much a minority phenomenon.
A two hour vigil was held at Nanaimo's "Diefenbunker" (a facility created to house officials should a nuclear war erupt) in front of the local Army Base on May 27th. That evening, a meeting was held at Harewood Hall and according to the Vancouver Sun, some forty, "mostly elderly people and curious teenagers" attended.
First Action At Air Base
Sixteen people, five of whom joined during the last 4 miles, marched into the Comox Valley on June 2 1965. (The Vancouver Sun said 25 people) They continued to the Air Base and were joined by a number of local people. RCAF officials said the marchers were "polite and friendly." Between June 2 and June 5th there was a large rally in the center of town at Lewis Park. There were hundreds of locals at that rally with speeches and folk music and no overt hostility. The mayor of Courtenay was one of the invited speakers. (Though I don't remember him speaking there. LG)
On June 5, a sit-down, blocking 6 of the 14 gates of the Comox Air Base lasted until 6PM. But no one attempted at this time to enter base property. A good number of local people, including some elderly joined in this sit-down which went peacefully without police harassment. A consensus developed by which two more actions would occur, one in mid-July called a "Teach-down" to combine a sit-down with a teach-in. This was to attract maximum local participation. The action following this, in August, was to be an act of civil disobedience in which all the base gates would be blocked.
The handful of people in Courtenay who supported the action were very generous; supplying food, cars., beer, and places to crash. Most marchers camped in the field of Spenser's Farm in Comox.
Later, a group of ten or so, rented an old farm house several miles outside of Courtenay on the road from Royston to Cumberland. This was a good choice as there was room for vehicles and campers, and it was far enough from town not to be harassed by idlers. There were no close neighbors to disturb either in a real or imaginary way.
This house became the local "Peace Centre" and about a dozen local "peaceniks" hung out there along with the ten project members.
The July 18th Teach Down was called a "teach down"; was scheduled for a Sunday when there was the least possibility of arrest. The idea was to try to involve a great many locals in civil disobedience and at the the same time educate people about nuclear war and pacifism. Unfortunately, there were fewer locals at the teach down than at the first demonstration. (8) Perhaps this was due to the fact that mid-July was summer vacation time for many people.
Throughout July, people came in from all over Canada to visit and prepare for the final demonstration. Several issues of a project bulletin were mimeoed (9) and sent off to about a thousand people. This was one means of raising money for the project.
Project members went from door to door with petitions to stop the nukes, but many were afraid to sign. Displays were also set up at local public affairs. Support began to pick up again locally. A public relations officer at the base was fired for fraternizing with the demonstrators. The military had made a ruling that none of the force were allowed to talk to us. (The rule was ignored by many military personnel, some of whom were sympathetic.)
One activist, Andy Dalton, 21 year old son of a Naval chaplain, decided to go on a fast for peace. He erected a tent next to the sidewalk across from the main gate of the airbase. He had to move his tent. He set up on a grassy area near the base entrance but was told to move by someone driving a Dept of Transport truck. He then moved to another spot nearby. His fast lasted two weeks, during which time he was subjected to harassment, including gangs of hooligans threatening him and having a large boulder thrown through his tent.
Photo of Andy Dalton
On August 21, Project members went to the wharf in Comox where the HMCS Antigonish was moored, as part of the Comox Bay celebrations. Interrupting a discussion, sailors grabbed a peace sign and threw it in the water as well as the peace leaflets. They also threatened to throw the Project members in the bay as well. Project members left feeling that "the tension was too high." (Colonist Aug 22)
The Base Sit-in
Two people, Peter Light and Ingrid Erhard, made an attempt to talk to the base commander, on Wednesday August 25, but he refused to see anyone, even though they sat waiting for 24 hours outside the guard house. The following day, Peter and Ingrid decided to go on to the base to see him and were immediately arrested for trespassing.
They were later convicted by magistrate Capt. John Ryland. The prosecutor, Jack Caldwell, asked for leniency, calling it a nuisance charge rather than a criminal offense. Ryland ignored this sage council, declaring that Light and Erhart were "two young people with dangerously muddled thinking." and sentenced them to six months with the option of a suspended sentence if they left town immediately and signed a $250 peace bond. Ingrid Erhard left the Comox Valley, but Light spent 10 days in Okalla Jail for refusing to sign the peace bond.
Light was charismatic and energetic and his absence was regretted. But the anarchistic consensus method of decision making meant that his absence did not harm the organization in any way. After the arrests of Light and Erhard, Preston Denny and Douglas Robinson staged a vigil in front of the Courtenay Police Station with signs reading " We Must Break the Law to Negotiate" and "Negotiation Leads to Understanding." They were arrested on the bogus charge of "unlawfully loitering in a public place" and released on $250 bail. The charge was later dropped.
Saturday morning August 28, all 14 gates of the Comox Air Base were blocked by 57 people. The military decided to pass through one gate. Eight people were dragged out of the way and arrested by the RCMP. They were Fran Malcolm, Don Brown, Sue Scott, Naren Karter, Adrian Bilivid, Andre Rheaume, Jacques Broreseau, and Bill Fletcher. These were the only arrests.
During the evening local hoodlums pelted some of the sit-downers with rocks and eggs and on Sunday afternoon air force personnel using the excuse of watering the lawns near the base entrances turned garden hoses on some of them.
"The August action went very well. Fifty-seven people from across Canada took part in civil disobedience. (Only six of these were from Courtenay-Comox.) After a brief mass demonstration at the main gate we proceeded to occupy all 14 gates of the base, effectively blocking all exit and entry. We were determined to make it a 36 hour blockade. Everyone was equipped to camp overnight at the gates and cars came by
with food for us. Interestingly enough, one of local young people taking part was the son of an officer at the base. Soon after the action began, 8 people at one of the main gates were arrested. Others soon took their place. The cops decided not to arrest any more of us; instead, whenever they wanted to get a truck through the guards would drag people out of the way and hold them until the vehicle had passed.
[Scott Lawrence also remembers, "I think that at the gate where I was dragged ( it was about 30 times), there were just four of us for quite a spell and those
four, I think, were myself, Mike, Sonya Makaroff and Drew Tait."]
The guards were rather rough in the dragging; in fact one person (Scott Lawrence) suffered a broken nose. Several times the guards played water hoses on demonstrators and taunted them about beatniks needing baths.
At night the guards would drive trucks up to the gates and rev their motors, blow horns, throw stones, and generally harass us. One airman recognized me and tried to "talk some sense" to me, claiming we were a bunch of dupes being led by criminals and communists. (Only one of the 57 participants, in fact, was a Communist, and he was not even a member of the Project) One young man in particular was pointed out as being a some kind of thug. I later learned this "criminal" was none other than the Vancouver poet Scott Lawrence.
A small militant faction wanted to storm the base at night but this didn't get any further than talk.
Not all the guards were unfriendly. One group of airmen invited the demonstrators to sit around a fire they had built and talk.
[Peter Light recalls, "This event happened earlier, at our peace camp at Spencer’s farm, either just before or just after the first action, and before we moved our base of operation to Cumberland. The pilots, off-duty, came to check us out. We had a very cordial time with them for a number of hours, and were very impressed and excited that they had come to visit. They were reprimanded for this visit, and fraternization of this kind never happened again."]
After 32 hours the civil disobedience was called off. Spirits were quite high. Later in early September, the 8 people arrested were tried and fined $25 each for trespassing. Fran Malcolm spoke in her defense saying, We will be back again, only next time there will be thousands of us. I recalled her prophetic statement 17 years later when over 100,000 of us marched against the cruise missile in Vancouver."
Newspaper coverage of the Comox Project by the Vancouver press was bitterly hostile. This was not the case with the Victoria papers, who gave us almost daily coverage, usually fair and often excellent, during the month leading up to the first actions, and covered all the events and printed most of our press releases thereafter. We invited both Bertrand Russell and Linus Pauling to address our rally, and we received good coverage when they both wrote to tell us that they regretted that they could not make it, but expressed support for our campaign! Our spot in the papers was usually on the front page of the second section, I guess the B.C. news section. Fair too, was the Comox District Free Press, whose editor was sympathetic. He was later fired for his editorial support of the peace movement. The Vancouver dailies, however, fabricated outright lies and tried to create hysteria against the peace movement.
See newspaper clippings
The Peace House
We have already seen the claim, "dirty shirts were hung in the windows", "fires started in the middle of the front room using chairs for fuel" and "free love" went on in the upstairs rooms." One wonders how it was that these "neighbors" were able to get so close as to see ring around the collar on a shirt hanging a the window! Not to mention seeing "free love" upstairs. The claim of starting fires in the middle of the floors is just absurd. These are fantasies and projections of people filled with hatred, fear and sexual repression.
Peace Marchers As Murderers
"Peace Marcher Killed Seven -Year Old" screamed the headline in the Vancouver Sun of Friday May 21 1965. Five American peace activists were banned from entering Canada for supposedly having criminal records. In reality, only 3 had records, one was for possession of marijuana, the other for possession of a concealed weapon and the third for killing a child when he was fifteen. He had been declared insane at the time and was now cured. Both he and the fellow with the weapons charge had been converted to pacifism, rejected violence and had never had any trouble with the law since. Eric Robinson, the spokesperson of the group, was denounced as having been “morally unfit” for the military, failing to mention that it was his pacifist beliefs that caused the US Army to classify him so! (10) Robinson was described as the "ringleader" of the group by the government, a pejorative term indicating leadership of a criminal gang. The five actually belonged to the American Committee for Non-Violent Action, at that time the most important of US pacifist direct-action groups. (11)
Tommy Douglas, the NDP leader, raised the issue about the Immigration Department's refusal to allow the peace demonstrators entry on the floor of Parliament. The result - no change of policy and the Immigration Minister's highly distorted version of events which were reported as facts in the Vancouver Sun article.
The August Action
The Vancouver Sun, August 30, had a great time sneering at the August sit-down and mis-representing the effectiveness of the action. In "Peaceniks Nicked, Nabbed and Watered", quote "Poor peaceniks. Nobody here loves them... The peaceniks had a weekend that was anything but peaceful. They were rejected, ejected, stoned and washed out." The hostile reactions were way over dramatized in this account and no one "disconsolated, gave up." To block a base for 32 hours in 1965 was a major success.
Sleazy Lay-out As a Tactic
Two stories, one entitled "Ban The Bombers Draw 40 at Nanaimo" appeared next to "Marijuana – Beatnik Guilty of Trafficking". This naturally linked drug using (and remember the Reefer Madness insanity about pot at the time) with pacifism in the mind of the reader.
Peace demonstrators were also ridiculed as dirty long-hair weirdos or red-baited as stooges of the Communists.
See Cartoon and Photos
The How and Why of Hate Propaganda
The majority of older (over 35) Canadians at this time had been raised in an authoritarian and sexually repressive environment. For such mentalities, difference, non-conformity = disruptiveness, messiness and hence dirt. The ideal was a society as a well oiled machine where "everyone knew their place." Dissidence was something bacterial to be extirpated. Thus, all minorities (minority=different) have been slandered as being dirty. Sexual repression, of course, gives rise to repressed and hidden sexual desires. These desires are then projected upon the dissident or minority group. Hence, authoritarians have always accused the poor, racial minorities, bohemians and radicals, of licentiousness and sexual perversity.
Hate propaganda seeks not to convert the reader, but to fortify the beliefs of the system's True Believers. This is the reason why it does not matter if the propaganda seems cruel or ludicrous to the open-minded, on the contrary, the more vicious, the better it serves the purpose. The True Believers will believe just about anything about the targeted group, providing it justifies their underlying hostility toward such dissidence or difference. These slanders also give a sense of superiority to a group which been beaten-down from infancy. (I may be a poor office clerk, but I am not a beatnik, peacenik, Communist, nor for that matter, a Jew or an Indian.)
"The lies in the newspaper really embittered me. For years I kept a newspaper clipping with all the lies underlined. This lying propaganda (and the hateful rumours) did more to radicalize me than anything else. Previously I had been a liberal, and only so-so interested in social action. I favoured the Peace Movement but did not see belonging to it as a priority. The newspaper's cruel and deceitful propaganda made social action my vocation."
As well as the newspaper's campaign against the Peace Movement, there was also vicious rumor mongering. We have already seen some of this in reference to the Vancouver Peace house, but this also occurred in the Comox Valley, site of the protests.
"I was shocked by the perversity of the rumours circulated about the Peace People. Having spent many hours visiting the Peace House and becoming friends with some of the occupants, I never saw any sign of "loose" sexuality. On the contrary, pacifists are an earnest lot, and rather than given to orgies, favoured folk-singing or poetry reading. Of course, some men and women did form couples without the blessing of either State or Church, and for the authoritarian mind, so given to black and white dichotomies, this was as bad as nightly bed-hopping."
"According to rumour when the marchers were camped out in a field (I believe it was the Spencer's (12) property) people were moving from sleeping bag to sleeping bag in some sort of orgy. Later when Andy Dalton started his fast the story went round that Andy was seen at a near-by hamburger joint eating a big burger and fries."
The Significance of the Comox Project
This was the first action in Canada to engage in mass civil disobedience. It was the forerunner of such actions as Clayoquot Sound and organizations like Greenpeace.
Allowed a significant number of pro-peace people to "come out." Overt opinions and overt action were no longer a problem. The Great Fear dissipated.
The Establishment, and most particularly the media, were de-legitimated in the eyes of a small, but significant minority. The vilification of peace people, dissidents, beatniks, and later hippies created the need for an alternative media, giving rise to the Georgia Straight and a host of other publications.
The Comox Project was the most media-effective manifestation (in terms of publicity) of the New Left until the strikes and occupation at Simon Fraser two and three years later.
What was then very much the consciousness of a small minority would in several years become the consciousness of hundreds of thousands. This peace-consciousness would then give rise to an environmental consciousness which would then effect the majority of British Columbians.
Protest demonstrations ceased to be the venue of a despised and vilified minority, but the normal course to take when governments and corporations ignored the will of the people.
The Comox Project was purely Canadian in membership and organization. (Countering a view voiced by some Canadian Nationalists that the Counter-culture was a US import.)
After the Comox Project wound up, many participants felt that demonstrating was not enough, they wanted to live a peace-oriented and communal life full time. These people helped create the first mass counter-culture – the Hippie Movement. Other members became involved in the student movement and helped build the New Left at SFU. Some of these – with a tip of the hat to the anarchist-pacifists who influenced the Comox Project – would later give rise to the Vancouver Anarchist Movement.
From 1965-on, we would never look back. In spite of decades of neo-con reaction, we have not returned to the climate of fear and sheep-like conformity that prevailed in the years up to the Comox Project. It helped create what we have now, a large, vocal and active movement for peace and environmental sanity.
TWO LESSONS OF THE COMOX EXPERIENCE
1. Don't hide your light under a bushel. We were told our actions were harmful to the cause, that it was youthful foolishness and we would fail. The politics of "moderation", of letter-writing and petitioning, of not appearing "extreme" was the dead-end, not radical direct actionism. The ideas of the New Left, of which the Comox activists were an early example, would predominate among progressive youth. And the Old Left, which had rejected our actions? We would influence them. In the 1970's, Labour and social democracy would be radicalized, in part due to the New Left.
2. Don't conform. "Cut your hair, wear a tie, and people will then listen to you," liberals would tell us. WRONG! Within a few years thousands of people would embrace our ideas, furthermore, just about everyone would adopt the "bohemian" look that some but not all of the protestors sported. Indeed, they would eventually take it so far that a 1965 beatnik would look square by comparison. There was a distinct advantage to having a markedly different sartorial and dress style from the mass. It was like a walking advertisement for our ideas. It also gave youth a style to identify with and adopt, as the young people, especially in this time period, sought to clearly demarcate themselves from the older generations. It helped also, that the idols of the youth, the folk and rock muscians, shared this appearance and many of the same ideas, as the peaceniks/beatniks, having come out of , or at least been influenced, by that milieu.
1. It is overstated to say that there was a “study of the area” undertaken. I made a preliminary trip to Victoria and up the island to Comox, making contact with known peace supporters and arranging billeting and meetings in the small towns along the route of the Walk. There was advance work, education and communication, and no doubt attempts to understand the concerns of local people, but no more so, I think, than what was done at La Macaza, although I can’t remember that for sure, because I wouldn’t have participated in that aspect, not being able to speak French. (Peter Light)
Ch’an (John Dilday) says (2008) concerning this:
“Four of us - Peter Light, Ray Harrison, Phyllis Bassett, John Dilday - were community workers in Comox for six weeks before the initial action.... For those six weeks, we met with local supporters and tried to have personal contact with as much of the local community as we could reach. I remember going to explain our intentions and plans to block the entrances and shut down the base to the Air Force base commander [I believe this to be mistaken. I think that it was the public relations officer, not the base commander, who always met with us. It was for that reason that Ingrid and I made a point of asking to see him and attempted to enter the base to do so before the third action. (PL) ] We talked to news media, politicians, and business people, and spent most days in the city park at Courtenay talking peace, disarmament, and our upcoming nonviolent resistance to anyone who wanted to discuss these things.”
2. Vancouver to Berlin Peace Walk, 1963; March on Washington, 1963; Albany, Georgia, 1964; La Macaza Base, Quebec, 1964; Selma, Alabama
3. Moffat, Gary, "History Of The Canadian Peace Movement" Grape Vine Press, 1969, page 103. Hans Sinn, 1929 - was the co-editor of Sanity magazine, the publication of the Canadian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. In the 1960s, he was part of the Grindstone Island Training Institute in Nonviolence... In 1981, Hans was one of the 11 founders of Peace Brigades International, or PBI. He is still active in the Peace Movement. (Peace Magazine, April-June 2005)
4. Moffat 103
5. Moffatt p. 142
6. Brock Chisholm, (1896-1971) was a Military Cross winning First World War veteran, director of the World Health Orgainization, advocate of libertarian child-rearing practices and peace.
7. Moffatt 143.
8. Moffatt 143
9. A primitive form of copying used before photocopy became common and inexpensive
10. Moffatt, 143
11. CNVA was formed in 1957 by A.J. Muste and after more than a decade of action merged with the War Resistors League in 1968. [Its] "pioneering use of nonviolent direct action would have a significant influence on movements to follow. Notably...Greenpeace..." (Wikipedia)
12. Henry Elvins Spencer, 1882-1972, farmer, prairie populist, director of United Farmers, MP 1921-1930, retired to Comox in 1948. Mr. Spenser was a supporter of the Peace Movement.
The "Memoir" sections are by Larry Gambone
Members of the Comox Project and Participants in the August Sit-Down Whose Names We Can Find or Recall
Christian Sivrel Sonya Makaroff Drew Tait. Wendy Murphy
2. DOCUMENTS OF THE COMOX PROJECT
a. Manifesto – Comox Project '65
(Note: The following document, although outlining all the various parts of the Comox Project, presents the philosophy and the basic principles motivating only those people participating in and aiding one aspect of the campaign – the non-violent direct action.)
The campaign to prevent Canada from acquiring nuclear weapons is now five years old. For five years, people across this country have colected thousands of names for petitions, written countless letters to Members of Parliament, lobbied politicians at all levels, marched and picketed by the hundreds and thousands.
During this period we said that Canada could lead the way towards disarmament and create a break through in the Cold War by unilaterally refusing to accept these weapons.
We argued that Canada was particulay well qualified to make such a meaningful contribution to hope and world peace because other countries did not classify us as imperialists. We belived that we might become an example and an inspiration to the world.
And yet, on New Year's Day, 1964, Canada acquired nuclear arms. The peace movement had failed in its limited objectives.
The Developing Approach
This failure to convince and move people and the government demanded a critical examination of goals and methods. We still don't know all the answers, but the nature of the peace movement has changed. It is realized now that a peaceful world cannot be separated from other fundamental social issues. Peace is a radical proposition, and means more than just an absence of war. It means a state in society and the world where people are not suffering from starvation, unemployment and disease.
In Canada our irreplacable natural resources must be devoted to fulfilling the needs of man. If our government was not spending billions of dollars on useless and dangerous weaponry, think what could be done by putting the unemployed back to work developing our vast, untouched north-land. If we did not have to pay fror Bomarcs and H-bombs, think of the slums which could be cleared, the homes for the poor which could be built, the hospitals that could be constructed, the money which could be used to find a cure for cancer, hear disease, tuberculosis, cerebral palsy, the retraded children which could be helped and made happy. Are we for life or for destruction?
The Nature of Government
It is also realized that in many respects, members of parliament, are, in theory more progressive than the public, but because of the nature of political structure, they are unable or unwilling to speak out or act on their convictions. The hands of our representatives are tied by public opinion, by considerations of party unity, by a concern for re-election, by vested economic and political interests.
People Must Act.
Because governments cannot take important steps towards peace, it is up to people everywhere to demonstrate their concern and commitment. Further, it is up to the peace movement itself to solve the problems that a country will meet in a move from a war-oriented society to a peaceful, non-violent society.
Because the changes necessary to bring about a warless world will be radical and fundamental ones, we believe that only radical action can initiate these changes.
Our action is not taken against any individual – whether of the public, the government, or the military. Our action is against obsolete institutions that are unable to come to grips with the problems with which we are confronted. We must demonstrate in as powerful a way as possible that a concern exists in our world for bold and fundamental changes to remove the threat of war. And we must show to people everywhere methods whereby this concern can be manifested, a non-violent way of confrontation inherited and developed from Christ, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, whereby evils and injustices in our society can be opposed and eliminated. We must impress upon the military that their methods are outmoded, that new ways of dealing with conflicts must be found. We must show them that we do not support killing and destruction any more.
TO BE CONTINUED.....
Corrections to “THE COMOX PROJECT FILE” - First Draft