From September 20 – 27, 2019, one of the largest coordinated global protests in history took place, with 9 million people and counting who took to the streets in 185 countries, demanding action on climate change. It is not only the sheer number of people uniting and protesting for a single cause that these mass mobilizations have in common. In both cases, the perpetrators are the same and acts of war are hand-in-hand with the destruction of the environment.
The single largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels in the world is the US Department of Defense (DoD) which uses 4.6 trillion gallons of fuel every year. Canada’s Department of National Defence also uses 57% of all the fuel used by the Canadian government. However, the U.S. military, as well as the Canadian military, don’t disclose these figures when they report the amount of greenhouse gases and pollution they emit. International agreements from the Kyoto Protocol to the Paris Agreement, already inadequate and fundamentally flawed, hold even less weight when the elephant in the room, military emissions, are exempt from these agreements.
The governments of the U.S., Canada and their imperialist allies are destroying our environment at an unprecedented rate and are destroying the lives of people in oppressed nations around the world through brutal wars and occupations, sanctions, military interventions and bloody coups. Alongside, occupations and military interventions, there are over 800 foreign U.S. military bases around the world, polluting our oceans with their aircraft carriers and releasing fuel into the atmosphere with their jets, planes, tanks and military vehicles. In addition, the military uses all sorts of toxic and radioactive substances that kill our environment as they kill the victims of war, from nuclear and chemical weapons to depleted uranium coated bullets.
Around the world, antiwar and environmental activists and human-loving people are standing up to the war and environmental degradation. Today, more than ever, it is more and more important to bring those forces together. On Friday September 20, Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) added an action to the Global Climate Strike to protest the devastating impact that wars and occupations have on climate catastrophes.
This action took place in the busy downtown Vancouver Robson Plaza, and drew the attention of people walking by with signs and banners reading “Stop the War! Stop the Occupation! Stop Environmental Degradation!” The MAWO info table was busy with passersby who stopped to talk to organizers and pick up antiwar literature. MAWO had several petitions ready for people to sign, including one demanding Canada stop its $15 billion deal with Saudi Arabia for so-called “light” armoured vehicles – which in reality are heavily weaponized military vehicles.
For the next action visit www.mawovancouver.org or follow on Facebook and Twitter @MAWO_Van
Follow Janine on Twitter: @janinesolanki
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