In late September, the United Nations reported that there are nearly 700,000 suspected cases of cholera in Yemen, and over 2,000 people have died from the disease since April 27, 2017. Yemen is facing the world's worst cholera outbreak on record, and one must ask how can this happen? This humanitarian crisis is one of the devastating consequences of the two and a half year-long Saudi Arabian-led, US-backed bombing of Yemen. Saudi Arabia and their allies have also imposed a land, air and sea blockade on Yemen, contributing to the crisis.
With all eyes on the United States and US President Trump's war-mongering rhetoric, his speech at the United Nations on September 19th stepped up the US agenda of wars and occupations. Trump's speech was full of threats and dangerous provocations, especially against North Korea, Venezuela and Iran.
The job of antiwar organizations is to respond to and protest against these imperialist threats and military interventions, and that is what Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) is doing. This October, MAWO will mark 14 years of antiwar organizing, educating and organizing. As the new era of war and occupation continues to wreak havoc on the lives of oppressed people around the world, it is up to all antiwar and peace-loving people to stand against war.
On September 22nd, MAWO organized their monthly antiwar rally and petition campaign, with the demands: “US/Saudi Arabia Hands Off Yemen!” “US Out of Afghanistan!” and “US/Canada/NATO: Hands Off Syria, Iraq, Venezuela, North Korea, the Middle East and North Africa!” This action, happening every month for 14 years, is a cornerstone of MAWO's antiwar organizing, and is an important opportunity to raise antiwar demands in public protest, and to reach out to the general public with antiwar information and petitions.
The rally included MAWO chair Alison Bodine who spoke about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen that has been created by the Saudi-led war, and encouraged passers-by to sign the petition against the Saudi-led US-backed war on Yemen. This month, participants got to hear from Estea Elements and Trevor Mills, two talented local Hip Hop artists whose music reflects social justice struggles. The rally also included poetry read by a local Iraqi poet.
Join MAWO for the next monthly antiwar rally and petition campaign on Saturday October 7, 2pm outside the Vancouver Art Gallery in Downtown Vancouver. The upcoming rally will be part of International Days of Action called by the United National Antiwar Coalition and other antiwar groups in the US, marking 16 years of the US-led war and occupation in Afghanistan. For more info and other MAWO events, visit www.mawovancouver.org, on Twitter @MAWOVan or find MAWO on Facebook.
No to War and Occupation! Yes to Self-Determination!
US/Saudi Stop Bombing Yemen!
US Out of Afghanistan!
Follow Janine Solanki on Twitter: @janinesolanki
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