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MAWO Firt Anniversary - October 29th 2004

On Wednesday October 29th 2003, over 30 people gathered at the Britannia Community Center on Vancouver’s east side and made up the first meeting of Mobilization Against War and Occupation. Around the table were the faces of students, women, youth, indigenous and third world people, and all were filled with a sense of excitement and hope at establishing a new, healthy, inclusive and militant organization to fight against war and occupation.

Around this time, the global anti war movement was shifting and regrouping to begin a new period. The lead was taken by the people of Iraq, who after months of sustained occupation, were organizing an effective fightback that was driving the US/UK occupation to its knees. The fall of 2003 marked a tremendous rise in the resistance to occupation in Iraq and solidarity all over the world.

It was in this context that Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) came into existence. Inspired by the global anti war movement and struggle, the Student Youth Committee Against War made the call out for the first meeting of a new group to form.

October 29th, 2003 marked a new era in anti war organizing in Vancouver. To organize this fight back effectively, MAWO developed a strategic action program. This is based on the democratic demand of “Self-determination for all oppressed nations!” This is a demand that is capable of uniting all oppressed people and nations against oppressors, against imperialists wars and occupations and it is through this avenue that MAWO has built over the past year.

MAWO has expanded the demands and politics of the anti war movement, from “Self-determination for Indigenous Nations in Canada!” to “No US/UK Occupation! No UN Occupation!” back to the important focus of an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq. Through necessarily frequent and dynamic mobilizations, educational events and cultural nights, MAWO is laying the foundation for mass action, for this is the only way that change can come about. In just last year MAWO has organized 12 demonstrations and more than 50 events in the Lower Mainland.

It has been one year of educating, organizing and mobilizing and we look forward to many more. We will continue to build this movement based on a mass united front against war and occupation.