Bring the Troops Home Now:
MAWO demonstration doesn’t stop in the hot summer sun!
By Alison Bodine
On Saturday June 25, 2005 Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) held its 19th demonstration against occupation and for the self-determination of oppressed nations.
The program opened with Kelly White, a Coast Salish elder. White welcomed the rally to the unceded territory that Vancouver and the Art Gallery occupy and spoke against the war at home and abroad.
With a direct connection to the main demand of “Bring the Troops Home Now!” two ex-US soldiers contributed to the program. Adrian Swanston, a MAWO organizer, spoke first followed by Kelly Burnham, a former American soldier from the more recent era of war and occupation. Burnham spoke not only in support of US War Resisters in Canada, but also against decades of imperialist war drive around the globe.
Next, Tamara Hansen of Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) brought the case of Louis Posada Carriles. Carriles is an anti-Cuban Terrorist whom the US is refusing to extradite to Venezuela, where he is wanted for his crimes against the Cuban people and other crimes committed by him when he was in Venezuela. He escaped from prison in Panama and he is currently in jail in US.
To end the program Sophie Ziner, an organizer with Mobilization Against War and Occupation, spoke to the demands “Self-Determination for Iraq! Hands Off Syria and Iran! No to War! No to Invasion! No to the Occupations of Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Haiti and Indigenous Nations in Canada!”
Thanks to the DJ’s Rhiannon and Rico and Speeches Beyond, a performer at the Hip-Hop Festival Against War and Occupation the rally filled downtown Vancouver with outrage and solidarity on a “lazy” summer afternoon.
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