In today's world defined by a new era of war and occupation, the government of Canada is not just beating the drums of war, but also manufacturing war and along with it, death and devastation. On June 1-2, 2022, the arms industry showed off the latest technology of how to kill, with the CANSEC arms show in Ottawa. These weapons of war are used against the people of Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and many others. The UN Human Rights Council has twice named Canada as one of the states fuelling the war in Yemen by continuing arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which exceeded $8 billion since Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen began in 2015. The CANSEC arms show is a sign that despite the UN condemnations of Canada's arms trade, the government of Canada is continuing its weapons industry full force.
Anyone entering the CANSEC arms show had to pass protesters with signs and banners, chanting for Canada to stop its bloody war machine. In Vancouver on June 2, activists also gathered to support the protests against CANSEC and to demand an end to Canada's deadly arms trade. The Vancouver action was organized by members of the Canada Peace & Justice Network in Greater Vancouver which included the Just Peace Committee, Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO), Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice, Vancouver Peace Council, World Beyond War, Global Peace Alliance-Surrey Society, and ILPS-Vancouver. The protest outside Canada Place in Downtown Vancouver attracted the attention of passers-by, who stopped to talk to protesters and to take literature and antiwar buttons from the MAWO information table.
The government of Canada's support for the war, both politically and through the arms trade, is a long story in the ongoing Zionist Israeli occupation of Palestine. Canada is also quietly guilty of Israeli atrocities against Palestinians, with Israel wielding weapons made in Canada. The total value of arms and components sent from Canada to Israel in 2021 exceeded $26 million Canadian, a 33% increase from the year before.
Self-determination for Palestine!
Struggle and resistance to Israeli occupation and demands for self-determination of Palestine continue in a mass scale with the support of millions of Palestinians in occupied Palestine since 1948, and with the support of activists around the world. In Vancouver on May 15, 2022, peace and justice-loving people gathered together for a protest organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement – Vancouver to mark Nakba day, or “The Catastrophe”. This day marks the massacre and forced expulsion of Palestinians from their lands, following the declaration of the state of Israel, and the ongoing fight for Palestinian self-determination. Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) supported and joined the rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery in downtown Vancouver and marched alongside Palestine supporters and activists to the U.S. Consulate. While this is a historic day of resistance, recent events show the escalation of Israeli attacks against the Palestinian people and the need to keep organizing in support of Palestine. This action took place just a few days after the murder of Palestinian reporter Shireen Abu Akleh by an Israeli sniper, with a bullet later found to be made in the US. While her killing has garnered worldwide media attention, it is not an isolated case. The day she was killed Abu Akleh was covering an Israeli military raid on Palestinians in the Jenin refugee camp, one day in many of covering the ongoing Israeli atrocities and injustices committed again the Palestinian people.
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