Mobilization Against War and Occupation
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March 20th 2005

All-day Antiwar, Anti-Occupation Conference
"The 21st Century:
The Century of War, Occupation and Resistance.
Building the Antiwar Movement, Why there is no other option"

It was a wet and dreary day on March 20th, 2005, one day after hundreds of people had taken to the streets of Vancouver in protest of the 2nd anniversary of the war on Iraq. Despite the weather, however, Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) was still in action. At a conference entitled: “The 21st Century: The Century of War, Occupation and Resistance. Building the Antiwar Movement, Why there is no other option” over 80 people came to discuss the current state of war and occupation and our tasks and perspectives for effective resistance.

The conference was opened by a slide presentation on war and destruction in the past 3 years across the globe. Following that, Vancouver city Councillor, Tim Louis spoke on “Iraq, 2 years After: Where are we?” Tim opened the conference with a talk that covered the state of war in Iraq and where we are, as people who oppose war and are fighting for change.

Ivan Drury, member of Youth 3rd World Alliance and the editorial board of the Fire This Time Newspaper then spoke on the main theme of the conference. Ivan outlined the character of the 21st century, globally, as a century of war, occupation and resistance. He spoke on the global division between imperialist nations and oppressed nations, the response of oppressed people and the development of an antiwar, anti-occupation, anti-imperialist movement globally. A discussion followed that dug more deeply into the questions that Ivan opened up.

A new Cuban-made film “Septiembres y Mas” opened the next section of the program. The film exposed the US use of terrorism against Cuba and its long legacy of criminal attacks. The next presentation, on Haiti by Roger Annis continued on the line of intervention and illegal assaults on oppressed nations by imperialist powers. Roger is a founding member of Haiti Solidarity BC and a socialist and union activist for over 30 years. He explained the coup in Haiti and the essential demand for sovereignty and a return of the elected government of Aristide.

Shannon Bundock, co-chair and founding member of Mobilization Against War and Occupation, gave the final presentation of the day. Shannon spoke on “Building the Antiwar Movement: Why there is no other option”. She talked about the development of the antiwar movement over the past two years and the lessons that this experience has given us. Throughout the final discussion, the tasks and perspectives of the antiwar movement were discussed and debated; many people in attendance spoke on the issues.

Mike Krebs of Fire This Time and MAWO concluded the conference with a summary. He wrapped up by outlining the presentations and discussion that happened throughout the day and conclusions that were broadly generated. The conference was day two of a weekend of antiwar activity. The participation and high level of political discussion was a good indication of the deepening awareness that exists during this stage of the antiwar movement.

Through meetings such as these, we have the invaluable opportunity to discuss our strategies, our plans, the state of the world and how we can contribute to a decisive defeat of war, occupation, destruction and imperialism. STOP THE US WAR MACHINE! US/UK OUT OF IRAQ! End the Occupations of Afghanistan, Palestine, Haiti and Indigenous Nations in Canada!