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November 20th 2004

November 20th - Emergency March and Rally

On Saturday November 20th over 350 people came to the streets of downtown Vancouver in near-freezing temperatures, to protest the US-led siege on Fallujah.

Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) organized this, our thirteen demonstration since Nov 2003, to bring people across Vancouver and the lower mainland together and voice our opposition to the brutal, illegal and inhuman destruction being leveled against the people of Iraq. These atrocities are not only in Fallujah, but across Iraq where the occupation forces are in the 20th month of warfare and killing.

Coast Salish elder Kelly White welcomed the rally to her people’s territory and condemned the attacks by imperialist, colonial forces at home and abroad. Muslim speakers Khosro (of United Muslim Alliance), Najuli (a Muslim woman) stood defiant against the attacks on Muslims across Iraq and called for an end to Bush’s terror.

Marysol Torres of the Vancouver Bolivarian Circles, brought the demands to a broad and international stage, by connecting the struggle of Iraqi people to the struggle of Venezuelan’s against intervention and attacks on their sovereignty.

Two Kwantlen Students and activists also spoke. Alexis as an antiwar organizer on Kwantlen campus and Kelly as a former US soldier who fled the army because of his opposition to the US war-drive.

The Korean Student Network Against War performed a stirring and inspiring Korean protest dance.

Aaron Mercredi of Redwire Native Youth Media and Coalition Against the War on the People of Iraq (UBC) took the rally into the march and connected the fight of Indigenous people in Canada against colonialism to the fight of the resistance movement in Iraq against occupation.

As protesters flowed onto the street, one marcher called his father in Palestine, held the phone up to the sky and let him hear the voices chanting: “US/UK OUT!” “STOP ATTACKS ON FALLUJAH NOW!” “FROM CHEAM TO PALESTINE, OCCUPATION IS A CRIME!”

From the Vancouver Art Gallery, down to the US consulate, along Robson street, the voices gained strength and more marchers joined from the sidewalks.

Upon arrival back at the Vanacouver Art Gallery, as dusk was setting in, the rally came to a finale.

Gulshan, a woman from the Muslim community sent her solidarity to the people of the world, of all religions and countries and spoke against the war and destruction led by the US and Israel.

Kira Koshelanyk, co-chair of MAWO and an activist under attack (one of the Langara 2) closed the rally. She emphasized unity and the power of mobilization and called on people to organize against war everywhere.

Finally, a resolution was read to condemn the attacks on Fallujah and chanting and cheering continued. The resolution read:

WHEREAS on Monday November 8th the US led occupation forces descended on the city of Fallujah in Iraq in a fury of destruction death and chaos

WHEREAS US gunships and warplanes stormed into the city and leveled homes and hospitals with bullets and bombs.

WHEREAS the bombing continued for over 10 hours.

WHEREAS this latest offensive is only the most recent in nearly two years of brutal war and occupation.

WHEREAS the escalation of attacked in Iraq expose the desperation and instability of the US/UK occupation.

WHEREAS occupying troops are loosing strength and support as they face a recruitment crisis and greater numbers of soldiers are refusing to fight,

WHEREAS the people of Iraq continue to resist this occupation through mass mobilization, strikes and even unarmed combat.

BE IT RESOLVED that we, the people of Vancouver, on November 20th 2004, CONDEMN THE ATTACKS ON FALLUJAH!

BE IT RESOLVED that we condemn the ongoing assault against the Iraqi people and the US/UK war and occupation that has been devastating the nation for 20 months.

BE IT RESOLVED that we support the resistance of Iraqi people which has been consistently beating back imperialist forces

BE IT RESOLVED that we echo the demands of the Iraqi people for self-determination and an end to the occupation.

BE IT RESOLVED that we demand that the US/UK and all occupying troops be removed from Iraqi soil.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we will continue to mobilize against this criminal occupation and we will continue to support and advocate self-determination for all oppressed nations. And we will continue to fight for the humanity and dignity of oppressed people everywhere!”