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      MAWO’EEN Celebrates 13 Years of Anti-War Organizing in Vancouver!

      By Noah Fine

      It’s not often that a political anti-war group adopts an annual event such as Halloween each year, but luckily for Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO), the two came together naturally from the beginning.

      Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) formed on October 29, 2003 to organize against the US/UK occupation of Iraq. Since then, MAWO has been a constant antiwar voice in Canada and internationally demanding an end to all imperialist wars and occupations as well as self-determination for all oppressed nations. In the last 13 years MAWO has organized hundreds of pickets, protests, petition drives and cultural events. This has also included music and film festivals, as well as participating in countless community and campus events. Both by working closely with, and as a member of international antiwar organizations and coalitions, MAWO has also worked to build a stronger and more united antiwar movement.

      On October, 28th, 2016, MAWO marked 13 years of antiwar organizing with a night of antiwar poetry featuring original pieces by some of Vancouver’s best artists, as well as readings of some of the world’s best poetry against war and occupation. Of course, MAWO’EEN is also an excellent opportunity to get dressed up in a favourite costume and enjoy some special treats!

      Participants were welcomed to the event by MAWO executive committee members Alison Bodine, Janine Solanki and Azza Rojbi who explained the founding of MAWO 13 years before and presented a slide show of MAWO’s history.

      The cultural aspect of the program followed with many local activists and artists sharing their original poetry as well as poetry written by celebrated poets from around the world.

      Iraqi Muslim youth activist and exceptional poet Wala Zaidan read some of her original poetry which explores the realities facing people living under war. One of the poems she read that night appears in this issue of Fire This Time.

      All of the poets were greeted with enthusiastic applause from participants who spent the night sharing stories and reminiscing over the last 13 years of activism while looking forward to where the anti-war movement must go from here.

      The evening came to a close with MAWO chair Alison Bodine welcoming people to get involved in the antiwar movement as globally people come to the realize that wars, occupations and resistance are defining features of the world we live in.

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