On March 19th, 2003 the U.S. war on Iraq began, with the infamous “shock and awe” bombing campaign that was the starting point for the next 15 years of brutality and destruction under U.S. occupation. 15 years on, over 1.2 million Iraqis have been killed and every single quality of life indicator, from health to education to employment, have taken a nosedive for the worse. Today, after so many years, the U.S.-led war is still plaguing the people of Iraq. The crisis in Iraq is only deepening, still under the grip of U.S. occupation, and today Iraqis make up a significant amount of the largest refugee crisis the world has ever seen, as the result of imperialist wars and occupations.
On March 16th, 2018, the Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) monthly antiwar rally and petition drive marked 15 years since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and demanded an end to the continued occupation of Iraq. With an information table, banners and activists holding picket signs reading “U.S. Out of Iraq Now!” people walking by the busy downtown square couldn’t miss that here in Vancouver, peace-loving people are coming together to demand an end to the war on Iraq. Many people stopped by the table to get more information or stopped to talk to activists out collecting signatures on the MAWO petition demanding that Canada end its military involvement in Iraq.
After collecting petition signatures and handing out information, activists gathered together and heard from speakers, including MAWO executive committee member Janine Solanki, who spoke about the impact that 15 years of brutal war has had on the people of Iraq. Azza Rojbi, also a MAWO executive committee member and a Tunisian social justice activist, also spoke about yet another upcoming date marking yet another war. March 26 marks three years of the Saudi-led, U.S.-backed war and bombing of Yemen. Azza spoke against the indiscriminate bombing campaign that has led to Yemen facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and encouraged people to sign on to the MAWO petition demanding Canada end its $15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
The rally came to a close with chants of “no to war and occupation, yes to self-determination”, “U.S. out of Iraq now!” and “stop bombing Yemen now!” Every month MAWO is out on the streets, rallying and petitioning to demand an end to imperialist wars and occupations. To find out about MAWO’s next action visit www.mawovancouver.org or follow on Facebook or Twitter @MAWOVan
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