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April 28, 2007: Day of Antiwar Action - Rally & Insurrectionary Fundraiser

US/UK Out of Iraq! Canada/NATO Out of Afghanistan! Hands Off Iran!

Organized by: Mobilization Against War & Occupation

On Saturday April 28th Mobilization Against War and Occupation, Vancouver’s antiwar coalition, joined with the struggle of people from Iraq and Afghanistan to Palestine and Africa against the increasing war drive with a rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Hundreds of people came together to listen to a dynamic program and show their opposition to the increasing Canadian war drive at home and abroad.

Shakeel Lochan, MAWO organizer, and Kira Koshelanyk, MAWO co-chair opened the day by introducing Kelly White, Indigenous Media Activist and organizer of Klahowya FM on Co-op radio. Kelly welcomed us to Coast-Salish territory and brought unity and power to the demonstration. Next Lisa Barrett, Bowen Island Municipal Councilor, and Local Organizer of Code Pink Women for Peace talked about the worsening situation for the people in Afghanistan facing the Canadian occupation. She called for an Independent Public Inquiry into the Canadian Occupation of Afghanistan on the heels of the massive exposure of Canada’s war crimes and torture against detainees in Afghanistan earlier this week. The voice of a young Iraqi woman blogger was then brought to downtown Vancouver through the reading of the “Riverbend Blog,” entry from Thursday April 26th on the Segregation Wall being built in Iraq.

From war and occupation in the Middle East, Jose Angel, organizer with the Araucaria Cultural Centre and the Solidarity Coalition for a United Latin America, spoke about imperialist intervention and war against the people of Latin America. Randy Caravaggio from Goods for Cuba and Victoria Solidarity Venezuela also tied the struggles of the people of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine, to those of the people of Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia, fighting the same imperialist monster that has brought decades of death and destruction.

The increasing Canadian war drive in Afghanistan is no surprise given the 500 year Colonial suppression of Indigenous people within Canada. Kevin Neesloss, of the Indigenous Rights and Action Project and a young Indigenous youth organizer, reminded us of this fact with the riling speech against the government of Canada and their continuing war against oppressed people in Afghanistan and at home. Next Mike Larson, of the Free the Cuban 5 Committee Vancouver informed everyone about the case of anti-Cuban terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, released from US Prisons the week before, now walking free in the US with the blood of tens of thousands of people in Latin America on his hands. Mike especially talked about the hypocrisy of the US “War on Terror” in which the US openly harbours anti-Cuban terrorists within its borders.

Then, Asif Ali Shah, of the Canadian Muslim Alliance, spoke against the killing of innocent women and children in Afghanistan and the complete lack of infrastructure for the Afghan people, demanding Canada get out of Afghanistan now! Sarah Allwell, Capilano Student and MAWO organizer, echoed Shah’s demands and adding on by tying the 4 year occupation of Iraq to the new target of the US, Iran and speaking against any military attack on this sovereign country.

Throughout the afternoon the stage was brought to life with the words of the Influents hip-hop crew, energizing the crowd with their unique brand of antiwar hip-hop. The demonstrators were then brought together with a final resolution read by Jenn Jay, with Capilano Students Against War, adding their final cheers and voices of the day to the demands of:

US/UK Out of Iraq! Canada Out of Afghanistan Now! Hands Off Iran! US/UN Hands Off Africa! Self-determination for All Opressed Nations!

Insurrectionary Fundraiser '07
April 28... Evening!

After a full day of antiwar action, Mobilization Against War and Occupation, moved up to El Rancho Restaurant for the powerful night of music and poetry against war, Insurrectionary Fundraiser 2007. Through breaks and beats DJ “Us & Them” opened the night, followed by MC “Bitter Tastebud”. They both brought the first burst of energy towards struggle to the crowd. Not only a night for raising money for continuing antiwar work in Vancouver, the evening was also a cultural celebration of people fighting against war and for dignity and self determination. The Dub Poets Scruffmouth and Molasses Jones reminded us of this with words of love and hope and stories from the history of humanity.

Creative expression against war and occupation came out in the spontaneous battle between the members of the Influents crew, followed by a full set of tracks. Many thanks to this dynamic crew for performing twice in one day! The night wrapped up with DJ C-Lo spinning beats and a chance to dance. Through the lyrics, words and beats of the night it was clear that antiwar work in Vancouver will continue in solidarity with people fighting all over the world and the money raised will be put to good use!