IN RESPONSE TO DEATH OF 10TH CANADIAN SOLDIER IN
AFGHANISTAN MAWO ORGANIZES
“CANADA OUT OF AFGHANISTAN”
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On Monday March 6th, at 12noon, Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) responded to an unprecedented week of crisis in the Canadian occupation of Afghanistan with the second of two emergency picket actions in five days at the Canadian Forces Recruitment Centre in downtown Vancouver. Forty people gathered to march in front of the Military Recruitment Centre and CALL FOR AN INDEPENDENT PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO CANADA’S OCCUPATION OF AFGHANISTAN and demand CANADA OUT OF AFGHANISTAN NOW!
The depths of Canada’s crisis in the occupation of Afghanistan began to be revealed within 48 hours of Feb 28th. Feb 28th was the date marking both the completion of the 2,300 Canadian troop deployment to combat in Kandahar and the handing over of command of the NATO occupation forces in southern Afghanistan to Canadian Brigadier-General David Fraser.
On the morning of Thursday March 2nd, Canadian Cpl. Paul James Davis of Bridgewater Nova Scotia was killed when his military vehicle “flipped over” during a “routine patrol” in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Seven others were injured in the crash.
At 4pm the same day MAWO organized an emergency press conference and picket line in front of the Canadian Forces Recruitment Centre, gathering Canada-wide media attention. In the days of crisis for the Canadian occupation that followed, coverage of MAWOs emergency picket played constantly on CKNW news radio in Vancouver, and on CBC Radio One across Canada.
In the next 3 days 6 more soldiers were injured in attacks each day, including Saturday’s attack by axe, and on Sunday March 6th Canadian Master Corporal Timothy Wilson succumbed to his injuries from the same March 2nd incident that killed Paul Davis.
Speakers at the press conference and picket line in front of the recruitment centre on Monday March 6th included Shannon Bundock, co-chair of MAWO; Lisa Barrett, Council Member and former Mayor of Bowen Island and local organizer for Code Pink Women for Peace; Nita Palmer, MAWO’s Acting-Secretary; and Aaron Mercredi, Board Member of Redwire Native Youth Media and MAWO organizer. At the press conference and throughout the picket, these speakers called for an Independent Public Inquiry into Canada’s occupation of Afghanistan and explained that it is no coincidence that Canadian troops are coming under daily attack in the increasingly violent “combat mission” that is Canada’s occupation of Afghanistan.
On Monday morning, the Government of Canada revealed that the cost of the occupation has already reached over $2Billion, and that they refused to reveal the full cost or estimates of the cost of the occupation this year. Speakers at the picket demanded that the Harper government open the books. MAWO Co-Chair Shannon Bundock explained, “Why are they stalling on releasing these numbers? Afghan peoples’ lives and Canadian soldiers’ lives are being destroyed with an unknown amount of taxpayers’ dollars. The Government must reveal the full cost of Canada’s war drive!”
MAWO plans to return to picket in front of the Canadian Forces Recruitment Centre at 1070 W. Georgia St this coming Monday March 13th at 12noon, and to return every time a Canadian soldier is killed in Afghanistan.
PICKET ACTION AGAINST CANADA’S OCCUPATION OF AFGHANISTAN!
Monday March 13
12noon – 1pm
Canadian Forces Recruitment Centre (1070 W. Georgia St)
Canada out of Afghanistan!
Stop the Canadian War Drive!
Independent Public Inquiry into Canada’s Occupation of Afghanistan!
Reveal the Full Cost of Canada’s War Drive!