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Aug 18, 2006 - Public Forum

What is Behind the US-Israeli War Drive in Gaza & Lebanon?
STOP THE US-ISRAELI WAR!

Organized by: Mobilization Against War & Occupation and Canadian Muslim Alliance
Report >>

"Israel Out of Lebanon, NOW!" was the cry heard throughout the streets on Vancouver, Canada on Saturday August 12th. Over 500 people came together for the highly-charged Vancouver protest organized by Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO) and the Canadian Muslim Alliance (CMA) on this Global Day of Action against the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. The march and rally was also endorsed by the Lebanese-Canadian Cultural House and the al-Kowthar Islamic Community Association.

The speakers brought the struggle for unity against the US-Israeli war drive to the stage, representing the Muslim community, Lebanese Community, Iraqi Community, Indigenous Community, Latin American solidarity activists, women, youth and students. The rally was opened by Kelly White, a Coast Salish elder, who welcomed the demonstration onto Coast Salish territory. The next speaker was Asif Ali Shah, a Muslim activist and organizer with Mobilization Against War and Occupation. Dalal Noor then took the stage, as an Iraqi woman, MAWO member, and long time fighter against war in the Middle East. Mohammed Mansour, a young man from the Arab Community spoke next, emphasizing unity against the criminal attack on Lebanon. Israa Noureddine, a 12-year old Lebanese girl and member of the Lebanese Canadian Cultural House then spoke, having returned from Lebanon less than one week ago. Following Israa, Jewish activist Sophie Ziner spoke as an organizer with Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba, to connect the struggle of Latin American countries against US-led aggression. Mohammed Afzal Malik, the President of the Canadian Muslim Alliance and Shakeel Lochan, Mobilization Against War and Occupation organizer were the final two speakers, leading the demonstration into the streets for a march.

Chanting echoed throughout Vancouver streets in Arabic and English, condemning the US-Israeli war drive and demanding an immediate end to the Israeli siege on Lebanon and Gaza. The protesters also condemned the government of Canada and Stephen Harper, for their boldfaced support of Israel in this illegal and bloody war against the people of Lebanon. The march paused at the US consulate where MCs Dr. Warif Leila and Shannon Bundock condemned the role of the US in supporting Israel.

Diversity was reflected in the faces of those rallying, marching and chanting Ė many cultures and communities, youth and elders, all united in defense of the people of Lebanon and Palestine.

The march wound through the streets of downtown back to the Vancouver Art Gallery for the final speeches. Ivan Drury, organizer with MAWO and Coordinator of Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice was the final speaker. He called for unity against Israelís attack, and connected the struggle of the Lebanese and the Palestinians to the day to day struggle of the people of Iraq and Afghanistan against US and Canadian led occupations.

Mike Larsen, a MAWO organizer and highschool student, brought the rally to a close, with a resolution demanding an end to Israelís military attacks, self-determination for the people of Lebanon and an immediate withdrawal of all Israeli troops. The demands were met with resounding cheers from the hundreds who were present.



Watch Videos of the March and Rally:

Video #1

Video #2

Video #3


CLICK ON PHOTO FOR LARGER VERSION


Kelly White - Coast Salish Elder, Opens the Rally


Asif Ali Shah, Muslim Activist, Mobilization Against War & Occupation Organizer


Dalal Noor, Iraqi Activist, Mobilization Against War & Occupation Organizer





Israa Noraldin, 12 year old Lebanese girl, escaped from the Israeli terror on Lebanon, last week


Israa Noraldin


Dr. Warif Leila, Rally Co-MC


Mohammed Mansur


ophie Ziner, Jewish activist, Vancouver Communities in Soldiarity with Cuba Organizer


Mohammed Afzal Malik, President of the Canadian Muslim Alliance





Shakeel Lochan, Mobilization Against War & Occupation organizer


Ivan Drury, Mobilization Against War & Occupation organizer and Coordinator of Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice


Mike Larsen, Mobilization Against War & Occupation organizer reads the final resolution