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      Organizing, Educating and Mobilizing to #StopWar:
      A Month of Building an Antiwar Movement
      with Mobilization Against War and Occupation

      By Janine Solanki

      In Canada antiwar politics is not something widely reflected in people's daily news, their twitter feeds or facebook walls, or dinnertime conversation. Yet, if you look at the situation around the world today, we are living in a world defined by a new era of war and occupation. From Iraq to Afghanistan, Libya to Syria, Yemen, Iran and Palestine to Ukraine, Venezuela and Cuba, these are just some of the countries facing a constant barrage of war, occupation, military intervention, covert operations, foreign destabilization and meddling, and sanctions at the hands of imperialist forces. For Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) here in Vancouver, Canada, and for antiwar organizations around the world, it is our task to use all of our resources, creativity and energy to make antiwar issues reach the headlines, trend on social media and be a topic of everyday conversation.

      On Friday January 15 MAWO organized a public forum titled “Saudi Arabia Hands Off the Middle East and North Africa”, opening a discussion on the role that Saudi Arabia plays in the new era of war and occupation. While it is common knowledge that Saudi Arabia commits heinous human rights violations against it's own citizens and denies women the most basic of rights, what is less known is Saudi Arabia's role in war mongering throughout the Middle East and North Africa. As the US expands their war drive in the region, they are utilizing their close ally Saudi Arabia to do their dirty work. Forum participants heard from speakers Mamdoh Ashir, an Iraqi-Canadian and Muslim community activist, MAWO executive committee member and Tunisian social justice activist Azza Rojbi and Fire This Time newspaper political editor Ali Yerevani. The event concluded with a lively discussion amongst the participants and speakers.

      From education to action, on Friday January 22nd MAWO held it's monthly antiwar rally and petition campaign. The rally focused on demanding “US/UK/Canada/France/NATO No to War on Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan!” as well as “Saudi Arabia Hands Off the Middle East and North Africa!” and “Open the Borders: Stop War & Occupation, Not Refugees!”

      From month to month MAWO continues to organize, education and mobilize to end this new era of war and occupation. We encourage all peace-loving people to join MAWO's events and actions and to get involved! While the mainstream media reflects pro-war propaganda, we have the truth on our side and the desire of people around the world for peace and an end to these brutal war and occupations. For more information on MAWO events and actions check out www.mawovancouver.org.

      No to War and Occupation!
      Yes to Self-Determination!

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