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      MAWO Actions Continue into Summer Opposing Imperialist War & Occupation!

      By Noah Fine

      As the summer arrives in Canada, many of the tragedies and suffering caused by war and occupation around the world seem further away than ever. As thousands of families in Canada pack tents and other necessities to enjoy the peaceful wilderness of this country, millions of Syrians who have had to flee from their homes, now live in the desperate conditions of refugee camps due to the imperialist forged civil war in their country. As many in Canada begin to enjoy some of Canada’s incredible tourist attractions, the Saudi/US bombing and war on Yemen has continued to level cities to the ground bringing with it the destruction of thousands of years of history, civilization and human life.

      With this in mind, Vancouver anti-war coalition, Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO) has on its agenda to maintain consistency in the fight against war. June was another busy month of MAWO’s program of activities and actions to educate, organize and mobilize against imperialist war and occupation.

      On June 9th 2015, peace activists and supporters gathered in East Vancouver’s Joe’s Café for MAWO’s monthly public forum and multimedia event. This month’s featuring guest speaker, Nita Palmer, author of the book “War & Occupation in Afghanistan: Which Way Forward?” (Battle of Ideas Press, 2010). The title of the forum, “From Afghanistan to Yemen: More Than One Decade of War, Occupation and Bloodshed - Where Are We Today?” gave participants an opportunity to look back to over a decade of continuous war and occupation. “Since Afghanistan was invaded and occupied in October 2001, we have seen 14 years of one country after another devastated by U.S. led wars, occupations, sanctions, covert and overt military operations.” Stated Nita during her talk. A lively discussion took place afterwards where participants discussed the future of imperialist war and occupation and the necessity to build an antiwar movement to oppose it.

      The public forum also gave a great educational base for MAWO to move on to its next activity that month. On June 19th, 2015 MAWO held its’ monthly anti-war petition drive and rally in downtown Vancouver. Joined by members of the Iraqi, Syrian and Yemeni communities, activists spread out in the busy area of downtown to encourage people walking by to sign petitions against war. The group collected hundreds of signatures while engaging thousands on the busy Friday in discussion, handing out fliers or just seeing the visual antiwar display set up by MAWO. A short program of speakers also gave talks during the activity of which included Iraqi activist Mamdoh Ashir, Yemeni activist Asaad Al- Jaboubi and Tunisian activist as well as MAWO executive committee member, Azza Rojbi.

      Besides organizing their own activities, MAWO also participates in a number of other groups events and city-wide festivals. Every year MAWO sets up a table at the popular “Car Free Day” festival on Commercial Drive in East Vancouver. The festival brings tens of thousands to enjoy this community event. The MAWO table received hundreds of visits and distributed hundreds of fliers and information against war while collecting petition signatures and engaging in many great antiwar discussions.

      As the crisis of war and occupation grows around the world, MAWO has committed to continue organizing in protest and encouraging new people to get involved in the struggle to end suffering, war and occupation.

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