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    The Struggle Against War and Occupation is Gaining New Supporters

    By Payvand Pejvack

    For over 5 years, Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) has been at the forefront of organizing and educating people in Vancouver and the BC Lower Mainland in an effort to reach anyone who is interested in being part of building a movement in Canada against war and occupation. This broad arena of educational, cultural and informative events attracts people from all walks of life: working people, young people, retired people, and people of different ethnicities.

    This June was a busy, jam-packed month of consistent organizing of and participation in a picket, forums and organizing meetings in the movement against war and occupation.

    The first of two forums and discussions took place on June 3rd, titled “Palestine After the Israeli Siege on Gaza: Roots of the Conflict and Prospects for Change”. This forum was an educational event which discussed the occupation of Palestine for over 60 years by the Israeli Zionist regime. Participants heard about the roots and history of the conflict and possible ways to get involved in the ongoing anti-occupation and anti-war movement.

    MAWO organized a second important forum on June 17th, entitled, “US War and Occupation in Cuba: Guantanamo Military Base, Blockade, Sabotage and the Case of the Cuban 5 Heroes - Why the Antiwar Movement Needs to Make This Issue an Important Campaign”. Speakers and participants discussed the importance of taking on the issue of US war and occupation of Cuba as an on-going campaign in the antiwar movement.

    June 11th was also another successful action in the fight to end the occupation of Afghanistan. MAWO held its 55th monthly picket action in front of the Canadian Armed Forces Recruitment Center in New Westminster. Picketers who came to join the loud crowd in front of the recruitment center were joined by the participation of dozens of regular people driving by, taking advantage of their loud car horns to honk in response to the large sign that said, “Honk for Canada out of Afghanistan!”, making the picket loud and boisterous enough for people blocks away to hear.

    Not only are direct actions such as pickets and rallies, or educational events such as forums and discussions very important, but so too are the general organizing meetings that MAWO holds bi-weekly, open to any and all who would like to participate. These organizing meetings are the perfect venue for anyone who wants to learn the workings of an organizing meeting, but is also a very advantageous venue for those who want to share their ideas on antiwar organizing. It is the consistency and reliability of these events that is gaining and bringing attention to the struggle against war and occupation. For there to be a steady move forward in the antiwar movement, there must be steady and consistent actions - there must be movement for the wheels to turn. This June’s educational, cultural and informative events were part of the glue in maintaining the momentum that the antiwar and anti-occupation movement has started to build in Canada and around the world, and must continue to be part of this glue in the months and years to come until there is an end to this new era of war and occupation!

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