In only the first few weeks, 2018 has already proven to be one of increasing war and occupation. The US government and its allies are leading an aggressive campaign of threats and genocidal sanctions against North Korea. Yemen continues to face the world’s worst humanitarian crisis with daily bombing from US-backed Saudi Arabia. Iran is also once again a primary target of US government war-mongering.
Yemen today is in the grip of a devastating humanitarian crisis. The World Health Organization (WHO) has labeled the cholera epidemic in Yemen as the worst in the world, which is now at over one million cases. On top of this, Yemen is facing famine, which UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock warns will be “the largest famine the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims.
On January 27, 2018 Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) gathered activists and peace-loving people together for an antiwar rally and petition drive. MAWO has been organizing these demonstrations every month for over 14 years, campaigning for an end to the new era of war and occupation, which features the United States and its imperialist allies organizing for war, occupation, sanctions, and threats against oppressed nations. Since the beginning of the so-called “war on terror” in September 2001, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Iran and many others have all been targets of American led imperialist campaigns for more war and destruction.
During the January 27 action in downtown Vancouver, activists approached passers-by, inviting them to add their signatures to a petition demanding that Canada end its $15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. The deal is for so-called “light” armored vehicles which in reality are heavily armed military vehicles, similar to ones which Saudi Arabia has used to crush protests in Bahrain and against its own people. MAWO’s information table was busy with people stopping to find out more and to open discussions with organizers, attracted by banners setup demanding “US/Saudi Arabia Hands off Yemen!” and “US and Canada Hands off North Korea!” To wrap up the rally MAWO chair Alison Bodine spoke, bringing in more people at the busy downtown plaza, against the increasing wars and occupations and encouraging people to get involved to organize against these wars and for the self-determination of all oppressed nations!
MAWO was also out on the streets bringing antiwar demands to the January 20 “March On Vancouver” rally and march. The event started last year in protest of US President Trump’s actions against women’s rights, and on the day after his 2017 inauguration demonstrations were held in cities and towns big and small around the world, bringing out over 4 million people in coordinated protest. This year’s action was in the same vein, with huge numbers mobilizing especially in US cities, and thousands in Vancouver. The Vancouver event started out with a rally and speakers at the Jack Poole Plaza, where MAWO had an information table, and then marched through downtown Vancouver, including to pass by the infamous Trump Tower. MAWO activists marched with a banner reading “Women of the World Unite Against War and Occupation!” and called attention to the fact that women are both victims of war, and vital in the struggle against war. The demand was one that resonated with those on the march, and many people stopped to get their photo in front of the banner.
MAWO encourages all peace-loving people join events and actions against this new era of war and occupation. To find out more visit www.mawovancouver.org or follow MAWO on Facebook and Twitter @MAWOVan
Follow Janine Solanki on Twitter: @janinesolanki
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