Yemen today is the world's worst humanitarian crisis, according to the United Nations. This statement was made even before the Covid-19 pandemic, and today Yemen has one of the very worst Covid-19 death rates in the world: It kills 1 in 4 people who test positive. This brutal crisis is due to the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war on Yemen which has devastated the country since 2015 through relentless and indiscriminate bombings and an air, sea, and land blockade.
On January 25, 2021, over 300 organizations worldwide joined a Global Day of Action for Yemen and signed on to the joint statement, “World Says No to War on Yemen." Organizations around the world held many different actions, both on the streets (where possible) and in global events online. On January 21 and 25, activists and supporters worldwide took part in a social media blast. Selfies taken with posters addressed to Justin Trudeau, Joseph Biden, and Boris Johnson demanding, “Stop Arming Saudi Arabia! End the War on Yemen” were posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms with the hashtags #YemenCantWait #WorldSaysNo #DayofAction4Yemen and in Canada specifically, #CanadaStopArmingSaudi
In Vancouver, Canada, Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO), the Yemeni Community Association of Canada, and Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice all signed on to the Global Day of Action and joined together for a car caravan protest. Activists, supporters, and Yemeni community members participated in the 2-hour car caravan throughout the streets of Vancouver and neighbouring Burnaby. The caravan of eight cars was decorated with Yemeni flags and signs that read “Canada Stop Arming Saudi Arabia!” and “Stop Bombing Yemen!” Pedestrians and other drivers responded to the caravan with supportive honks, thumbs up, hand waves, and taking photos of the protest.
The worldwide events culminated in a Global Online Rally on January 25, which had thousands of attendees worldwide via Zoom and Facebook live. The online action included speeches from prominent politicians, academics, and public figures, including UK Member of Parliament Jeremy Corbyn; Hollywood actor Donny Glover; Dr. Cornel West; and Yemeni Nobel Peace Laureate, Tawakkol Karman.
Even during a pandemic, this global day of action brought people together in new and creative ways, online and around the world. This day of action is just the beginning and solidarity with Yemen against the brutal U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war continues to grow! For upcoming activities and news, visit www.mawovancouver.org, or follow on Twitter and Instagram @MAWOVan and Facebook @MAWOVancouver
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