Today in Yemen, bombs are dropping on towns and cities, killing innocent people and destroying infrastructure. However this is not just today – nearly every day for the past 17 months, a US-backed Saudi-led war has been bombarding Yemen with airstrikes. Saudi Arabia has also imposed an air, sea and land blockade, with the help of their imperialist allies including the US, which prevents Yemenis from accessing food, fuel, medicines and humanitarian aid.
Despite that the mainstream media has ignored the war against Yemen, to the point that it has been dubbed “The Forgotten War”, the people of Yemen are making their voices heard loud and clear. On August 20, 2016, hundreds of thousands of people rallied in Yemen's capital of Sana'a to protest the US-backed Saudi bombing campaign on their country. Videos and photos of the massive demonstration are awe-inspiring, especially in the face of Saudi fighter jets circling above that launched airstrikes in nearby areas.
While the people of Yemen are heroically resisting the Saudi-led war against them, in Vancouver, Canada antiwar activists and peace-loving people came together to show support for Yemen on August 26, 2016. Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) held their monthly antiwar rally and petition campaign in downtown Vancouver, in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery. With picket signs, banners and chants of “Saudi Arabia Hands Off Yemen!” anyone walking by on the busy street could see that here Yemen is not a forgotten war. An information table was busy with people stopping to ask for more information, and activists talked to many people walking by who signed MAWO's petition demanding that Canada stop its $15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
MAWO chairperson Alison Bodine spoke on the continued US bombing campaign in Syria and their support and funding of the vicious so-called “moderate” Syrian anti-government rebels. Azza Rojbi, MAWO Executive Committee member, reported back from MAWO's delegation to the recent International Conference to Support Yemeni People in London, England. Azza then introduced a voice message from Kim Sharif, a main organizer of the London conference, prominent lawyer and the director of Human Rights for Yemen, who gave solidarity greetings to the rally and thanked MAWO for joining in the London conference to support the people of Yemen. Veteran civil rights and antiwar activist David Whittlesey spoke from his experience from the Vietnam war to today, and encouraged people to get involved. MAWO Executive Committee member Janine Solanki spoke on NATO's increasingly dangerous role as a military tool of imperialism, from Yugoslavia to more recently Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and now it's build up of military forces in Eastern Europe on the border with Russia. Janine also spoke on Canada's increasing role within NATO, especially as Canada will be leading a battalion in Latvia and contributing fighter jets, weaponry and at least 450 soldiers to this war drive.
Mobilization Against War and Occupation continues to organize its monthly antiwar rally and petition campaigns, and encourages all peace-loving people to come out and get involved in organizing against this new era of war and occupation. Check out www.mawovancouver.org or on twitter @mawovan for upcoming events, recent newsletters, and more information.
Saudi Hands Off Yemen! Stop Bombing Yemen!
Canada Out of NATO Now!
US/UK/Canada/France/NATO: No to War on Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan!
Follow Janine Solanki on Twitter: @janinesolanki
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