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      As The New Era of War and Occupation Continues,
      So Does Vancouver's Struggle to End it. Mobilization Against War and
      Occupations continues to educate, organize and mobilize for peace!

      By Sarah Alwell

      Usually when you walk the streets of Vancouver's downtown core, you can hear the bustle of street vendors, the chatter outside coffee shops and the music of street performers. But once a month there is a different voice that fills the downtown air, and it's mad as hell.

      Its the voice of Vancouver's antiwar coalition Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO), and in this new era of war and occupation the reasons to be outraged are only growing.

      Over the last month the people of Palestine have intensified their protest and resistance to the Israeli occupation. They have been marching in tens of thousands throughout all of Palestine in the face of increased Israeli attacks and the constant violence, harassment and humiliation caused by the occupation, already 48 Palestinians have been killed.

      The crisis of refugees fleeing from the Middle East and Africa to Europe has also continued, bringing into focus the harsh and tragic result of over 14 years of the new era of war and occupation. Countries such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen which have been the target of imperialist war, occupation and foreign intervention are now so dangerous and unlivable that their people have no other choice but to risk their lives and become refugees.

      That's why, on October 26th, dozens of peace-loving people gathered in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery for MAWO's monthly antiwar rally and petition drive. With bright picket signs and colourful banners that read “Self- Determination for Palestine!”, “Hands Off Syria!” and “End the Occupations Now!”, petition signatures were collected, hundreds of informational leaflets were handed out and many conversations were had with passers-by, calling for an immediate end to imperialist war and occupation.

      This months antiwar rally and petition drive was followed by a more creative and different kind of action. Now, towards the end of October Vancouver becomes very familiar with pumpkins, ghouls, tricks and treats. Well all of these were to be found at Joe's Cafe on the eve of October 30th as MAWO marked something much greater than Hallowe'en. This was the date that MAWO marked 12 years of consistent and active antiwar organizing in an evening, not accidentally, titled MAWOe'en. Surrounded by glowing ghosts and miniature frankenstines, antiwar banners and dozens of posters representing the hundreds of events organized over the years, MAWO supporters and organizers reflected on the last 12 years of fighting for peace with photo slide-shows, poetry, live music, and a vow to never give up, giving a whole new, and more important, meaning to this time of year.

      As threats to human life around the world continue at the hands of the imperialist war mongers, MAWO continues to educate, organize and mobilize against war and for peace.

      For more information or to get involved please visit the website: www.mawovancouver.org

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