Britannia Community Center
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Participants arrive at the forum and sign MAWO antiwar petitions.
More than 50 people packed the room at the Britannia Community Center on a Friday night to hear the panelists.
Natasha Shivji, moderator of the forum, UBC organzer with Coalition Against War on the People of Iraq & Internationally (CAWOPI) and social justice activist from Tanzania
Saffaar Saaed, Iranian journalist and social justice activist
Ali Yerevani, editor of the Fire This Time Newspaper
Panelists during the forum. (L)Natasha Shivji, (C) Saffaar Saaed, (R) Ali Yerevani
A lively discussion period...
In response to the growing imperialist threats against Iran, Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) and the Iranian Committee Against War (ICAW) came together to hold a forum titled “War in the Middle East Today: Afghanistan, Iraq…& Now Iran?” Over 50 people attended to learn more about the history of Iran, the growing era of war and occupation, and how we need to organize and mobilize against an attack on Iran’s sovereignty and self-determination.
The forum was introduced by the moderator Natasha Shivji, an organizer with UBC Coalition Against the War on the People of Iraq & Internationally (CAWOPI), UBC Social Justice Center Administrative Coordinator and Social Justice Activist from Tanzania. The panel of speakers began with Saffaar Saaed, Iranian Committee Against War organizer and an Iranian journalist and writer. Saffaar gave an overview of the current era of war and occupation that has destroyed lives and normal functioning of Afghanistan and killed 700,000 people in Iraq. He then centered on how the US is gearing up for an attack on Iran but ending with a resolute “Venceremos” (we will win) to sum up the bankruptcy of US imperialism against the resistance of oppressed people.
He was followed by Ali Yerevani, participant in the 1979 Iranian revolution and long-time social justice activist in Iran, Europe, the US and Canada and political editor of Fire This Time Newspaper. Ali outlined the proud history of the Iranian people’s struggle for justice and progression, having kicked out the US-imperialist backed monarchy in Iran in 1979, demonstrating an example of the power of oppressed people when mobilized. He highlighted imperialist countries’ need to turn back the balance of forces in their favour in the Middle East, against oppressed people and the key role played by Iran, not under the US’ thumb and control.
The panel speakers were followed by a discussion, in which many participants voiced their support for Iran’s sovereignty and self-determination. There was also discussion on the accusations used by imperialist countries to attempt to drum up support for intervention. The forum stressed throughout the importance of turning our ideas and discussion into solid action against this war drive, as was enforced by ICAW’s call to action below, and with the forums and demonstrations against any imperialist intervention or attack against Iran that will follow this successful forum as part of the antiwar campaign for “Hands Off Iran!”.
Iranian Committee Against War – Vancouver Emergency Action Plan in the case that the US starts bombing and marching in Iran, come to the US Consulate (1075 W Pender @ Thurlow St) on the day of attack at 4pm, and for the next week at the same time, and daily protests for the first week. This action plan is also endorsed and supported by MAWO.