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      4 Years of War on Yemen
      Activists in Canada & Internationally Demand:
      End the Bombing on Yemen

      By Azza Rojbi

      March 26, 2019, marked 4 years of suffering for the people of Yemen under the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition war on their country. With the full backing and help of the United States, Saudi and Emirati fighter jets have bombed and destroyed homes, schools, hospitals, roads, mosques and all sorts of infrastructure. This indiscriminate bombing and war has caused the death of over 68,000 people since 2016, with more than 30,600 killed in 2018 according to data from the UKbased independent research group Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED).

      In addition to this inhuman bombing, Saudi Arabia and its coalition have been imposing a naval, aerial and land blockade on Yemen, which severely hinders the Yemeni people’s access to desperately needed food, fuel and medicines. This blockade aggravates the already dire situation that Yemenis have to face daily. The United Nations declared Yemen to be the world’s worst humanitarian crisis with nearly 80% of Yemen’s population in need of aid to survive. Tens of thousands of Yemenis have died from starvation, poverty and preventable epidemics. The U.N.’s World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that the number of suspected Cholera cases has doubled in March 2019 over previous months, and doctors are worried that there will be a repeat of the Cholera epidemic that ravaged through Yemen in 2017.

      Saudi Arabia would not be able to carry out its war and aggression on Yemen without the political and military support of imperialist countries such as the U.S., U.K., Canada, France and other EU countries. In addition to being silent in the face of crimes committed by the Saudi-led coalition against the people of Yemen, these imperialist countries continue to support the war by selling bombs, weapons and military equipment to Saudi Arabia and, of course, providing the necessary training to Saudi Arabian forces.

      To mark the 4th year anniversary of this inhuman Saudi-led war on Yemen, people from around the world took to the streets on March 26, 2019, in an International Day of Action demanding an end to the war. The heroic Yemeni people led the way as they held a massive rally in Sana’a, Yemen despite the threat of Saudi bombardment. Events, rallies and marches took place around the world including in Houston and New York, U.S.; London, England; Brussels, Belgium; Geneva, Switzerland; Flensburg, Germany; Stockholm, Sweden; Paris, France; and Ottawa, Canada.

      Vancouver’s anti-war coalition Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) participated in the march and rally that took place in Ottawa, Canada. The protest was organized by Canadian Defenders for Human Rights (CD4HR) and the Yemeni and other Middle Eastern Communities in Canada. Members of the Muslim community and peace-loving people from different cities in Canada gathered in Ottawa to join the protest. Protesters held signs demanding an end to the Saudi-led war on Yemen and pictures portraying the atrocities committed by Saudi Arabia against the Yemeni people.

      Protesters chanted “Hands off Yemen” and “Canada Cancel All Arms Deals with Saudis” as they marched in the streets of Ottawa, stopping in front of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia, the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates and the U.S. Embassy to condemn their role in the war on Yemen and finally gathering at the footsteps of the Canadian government on Parliament Hill to highlight Canada’s complicity in the war.

      At every stop, participants heard human rights activists and Muslim community leaders call for an end to the brutal Saudi-led war on Yemen and condemn the governments of the U.S. and Canada for their support of the war. MAWO executive committee member and Tunisian social justice activist Azza Rojbi spoke in front of the U.S. Embassy on the importance of this protest in Ottawa and the International Day of Action for Yemen as a show of unity in Canada and internationally against the war on the people of Yemen. As the protest arrived at Parliament Hill, protesters heard the testimony of a member of the Yemeni community in Canada on the hardships and daily struggles that her family and the Yemeni people face daily under this Saudi-led war on their country.

      Firas Al Najim and Aliya Hasan co-managers of CD4HR, read to participants excerpts from a letter they delivered to the Canadian government and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to demand an end to Canada’s arms sale to Saudi Arabia and the cancelation of the $15 billion arms deal to supply Saudi Arabia with “light” armored military vehicles. The letter was endorsed by a dozen of anti-war groups and human rights organizations in Canada including, Mobilization Against War and Occupation, Rideau Institute on International Affairs, Amnesty International, the New Democratic Party and the Yemeni Community in Canada.

      The protest in Ottawa and the International Day of Action against the Saudi-led war on Yemen set the tone for more collaboration throughout Canada and internationally, to unite our organizing against the Saudi war on Yemen and expose the complicities of our respective governments in this war.

      Let’s join the brave Yemeni people in their resistance in defense of their selfdetermination and independence! “This is a message to the world, that at the start of the fifth year [of the war], Yemenis will be stronger ..., a message that the Yemeni resistance will be even greater,” said Mohammed Haidarah, a protester at the March 26, 2019 massive rally in Yemen, as reported by Reuters.

      From Yemen to Houston to London to Ottawa, we demand:

      Hands Off Yemen!

      Stop Bombing Yemen!

      Canada, Cancel All Arms Deals with Saudi Arabia!

      Follow Azza on Twitter: @Azza_R14

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