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    Join the Struggle Against War & Occupation at Home & Abroad!

    By Alison Bodine

    If you were walking down Robson Street in Vancouver this Saturday, December 15th you might of come across the Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) monthly antiwar rally and petition campaign. Large banners demanding “U.S./U.K./Canada/E.U./NATO Hands of Syria! No to Sanctions! No to War!” and “No War on Iran! U.S. Out of the Middle East and North Africa!” lined the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery that afternoon. D e s p i t e the cold and rain, antiwar a c t i v i s t s were holding picket signs high, as peaceloving people in Vancouver stopped to sign a petition against war and sanctions in Syria or a petition against war and sanctions on Iran and came to the MAWO table to get more information.

    Educate Against War and Occupation!

    Alongside the sanctions, murders, violence, torture, rape and humiliation caused by imperialist governments, mass media also wages campaigns in step with the march of war and occupation. Before the invasion of Iraq it was the mass media that cried wolf for “weapons of mass destruction” and it is now the same media that is demonizing the governments of Iran and Syria, crying crocodile tears for the people of Syria and Iran in order to gain public support for further covert and overt intervention and sanctions. To counter the vicious lies and manipulations of mass media, MAWO organizes twice a month public forums and discussions.

    On Tuesday, December 4th, MAWO held a forum called “The Occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and Canada: What are the Similarities and What are the Issues at Stake?” Featured speakers at the forum were MAWO co-chairs Janine Solanki and Alison Bodine, who spoke about the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, and Aaron Mercredi, a Metis organizer with the Indigenous Rights and Action Project (IRAP) and member of editorial board member of the Fire This Time newspaper who spoke about the occupations of Palestine and Canada.

    From the genocide of Indigenous people in Canada to the recent 8-day brutal Israeli assault on the people of Palestine, and from the legacy of birth defects caused by d e p l e t e d u r a n i u m bombs in Iraq t o t h e drone bombings of weddings in Afghanistan, each speaker outlined a common thread of destruction and humiliation brought on by colonial occupation, but also a common thread of resistance to occupation. As the forum concluded it was clear that basic conditions for life under occupation all point to a disaster conclusion with only one solution – an end to occupation and self-determination for all oppressed nations!

    The following week, on Tuesday December 11th, MAWO came together once again for “the Evolving Political Map in the Middle East and North Africa: The Dynamic Role of Iran, Turkey and Syria!” This public forum and discussion was held in order to discuss recent developments in the threats, sanctions and manoeuvrings against Syria and Iran within the context of the imperialist war drive in the Middle East and North Africa.

    The speaker for the evening was Ali Yerevani, the political editor of the Fire This Time newspaper and the Battle of Idea’s Press. Ali was also a participant in the 1979 Iranian Revolution and has been a long-time social justice organizer in Iran, Europe, the U.S. and Canada and brought this experience to give a total picture of what really are the roots of the current imperialist strategy against countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Ali began by explaining the importance of three historical events, the 1979 Iranian Revolution that overthrew the U.S. backed dictator in Iran, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the mass movements in the Middle East and North Africa against imperialist puppet regimes that continue on to this day. With these three events, Ali was able to illustrate the struggle of the U.S. and their allies for complete domination in the Middle East and North Africa, as they manoeuvre against independent governments, like the governments of Syria and Iran.

    Organize Against War and Occupation!

    In a world characterized by the struggle of oppressed people against colonial powers, we as people in Canada need to take a stand. When the government of Canada increases sanctions against Syria, maintains over 1000 troops in Afghanistan, they are also cutting back on the basic social services and democratic rights of people in Canada. We must join together to end the war at home and abroad. For more information on how to get involved visit www.mawovancouver.org

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