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      Peace-loving people in Vancouver demand end to US-led wars and occupations

      By Janine Solanki

      Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) has been organizing for almost 14 years, and a cornerstone of MAWO's activities have been month after month, coming out in protest with an antiwar rally and petition campaign. Throughout 16 years of a new era of war and occupation, led by the United States, new fronts of war and military intervention have been opened, sanctions imposed, and covert attacks and US-fomented civil wars had laid havoc to countries in the Middle East and North Africa. MAWO has responded each time with our demands and slogans, banners and picket signs, petitions and newsletters.

      On Friday August 25th MAWO held a monthly antiwar rally and petition campaign, with the central demands of “US/Saudi Arabia Hands Off Yemen!” “US/Canada/NATO Hands Off Syria” and “US Out of Afghanistan!” The last month of colonial aggressions gave good reason for these demands to be at the forefront.

      On Monday August 21, US President Trump announced that the US is escalating their war drive and will send 4000 more troops to Afghanistan, in addition to the at least 8,400 already there. We already know what war and occupation has brought to Afghanistan. Today, after 16 years of US/NATO—led war and occupation, the people of Afghanistan face destruction, instability, poverty, unemployment and a society plagued by a foreign imperialist occupation.

      In Yemen, what has become dubbed as the “forgotten war” is continuing with Saudi-led, US-backed airstrikes, and a land, air and sea blockade preventing critical food, water, sanitary and medical supplies from entering the country. This has set the stage for the world's worst recorded cholera outbreak. Since April 2017, over 540,000 people in Yemen have been infected with cholera, and an estimated 2000 have died from the disease.

      Meanwhile in Syria, US military intervention is becoming increasingly deadly for the Syrian people. US airstrikes in the Syrian city of Raqqa have killed many civilians, with estimates as high as 100 civilians killed by US airstrikes in 48 hours, as reported on August 22nd, 2017.

      The August 25th antiwar rally called for an end to the wars in Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan, and an end to all imperialist wars and occupations. Antiwar activists approached passers-by with petitions demanding Canada stop its $15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia for so-call “light” armoured vehicles. An information table was busy with people stopping to talk to organizers, sign petitions and get more information. Mobilization Against War and Occupation encourages all peace-loving people to come out for the next antiwar rally and petition campaign on September 22nd at 5pm, in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery at Robson at Howe Street. For more information and upcoming events visit www.mawovancouver.org , follow on facebook or twitter @MAWOVan

      Follow Janine Solanki on Twitter: @janinesolanki

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