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      The New Era of War & Occupation
      Vancouverites Demand: U.S. Hands off Venezuela, Yemen & Syria!

      By Janine Solanki

      On April 7, 2019, 14 Yemeni children were killed and many more injured when two schools in the capital Sana’a were targeted by Saudi-led bombing. This is not the first time Saudi bombings have made going to school deadly for Yemeni children. On August 9, 2018, Saudi airstrikes killed 40 children aged six to 11 years-old on a school bus. Eleven adults were also killed, and many more were wounded. The weapon used was a 227kg laser-guided bomb made by Lockheed Martin, supplied to Saudi Arabia by the United States.

      These are only two of countless horrendous attacks that the Yemeni people have suffered, as they now enter the fifth year of the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led brutal war on Yemen. In addition to the bombings, Saudi Arabia and their allies have imposed a blockade on Yemen which prevents desperately needed medicine, food and fuel from reaching the Yemeni people. With the support of the U.S. and other imperialist countries like Canada, the Saudi-led war, bombings and blockade have made Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

      The U.S. imperialist strategy stretches from the Middle East to Latin America. For the past four months the U.S. government, together with the government of Canada and other allies, have escalated their dangerous war-mongering campaign against the people of Venezuela. Deadly sanctions and the attempted coup by U.S. puppet Juan Guaido are the key components of the U.S. “regime change” strategy against Venezuela’s democratically elected government of President Nicolás Maduro. In the aftermath of the failed U.S.-backed coup, U.S. President Trump and his officials have repeated declared that “all options are on the table”, making the ominous threat of military intervention against Venezuela.

      Free Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange

      How do we know where the bomb that killed Yemeni children was made, or what kind of covert support the U.S. government gives Venezuelan right-wing forces? This is the important work of journalists and whistleblowers, and those exposing U.S. war crimes are under increasing attack. Chelsea Manning is a former U.S. intelligence analyst and whistleblower, who spent seven years in U.S. prison for leaking documents about U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. Today she is in jail once again, for refusing to testify in a grand jury investigation against Julian Assange. Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, was also recently arrested in London, England. He is facing extradition to the U.S. where the U.S. government is charging him for his role in publishing documents from Chelsea Manning on the Wikileaks website. The attack on Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange is an attack on all whistleblowers, journalists and activists exposing the truth about imperialist atrocities, and they must be defended!

      We Must Campaign

      On April 26, 2019, Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) held a monthly antiwar rally and petition campaign, raising the demands of U.S. Hands off Venezuela, Yemen and Syria, and demanding Free Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange! The action, held in busy downtown Vancouver, attracted passersby with banners reading “Stop the Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia!” and “U.S. Hands Off Venezuela!” Antiwar organizers had plenty of discussions with people stopping at the information table who picked up antiwar literature and signed petitions. Teams of activists also approached people walking by and gathered signatures on a petition demanding that the government of Canada end its $15 billion arms deal selling so-called “light” armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia. Most people who stopped to sign the petition were aware of this scandal and outraged that the government of Canada is selling weapons to war-mongering Saudi Arabia. The rally also included a short program, where MAWO chairperson Alison Bodine spoke against the new era of war and occupation, highlighting the current U.S. targets: Yemen, Syria and Venezuela. Since this new era began with the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in 2001, the U.S.-led imperialist war drive has inflicted wars, occupations and sanctions on oppressed nations, especially in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

      The rally wrapped up with the commitment to continue organizing, educating and mobilizing through antiwar actions, events and literature, until this new era of war and occupation is ended. MAWO demands an end to all imperialist wars, occupations, military interventions and sanctions, and demands self-determination for all oppressed nations!

      For more information on upcoming events and actions, visit www.mawovancouver.org, follow MAWO on Facebook or on Twitter @MAWOVan

      Follow Janine on Twitter: @janinesolanki

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