Sept 7, 2006 - Emergency Picket
Emergency Picket Action Against the Canadian War Drive in Afghanistan
Organized by: Mobilization Against War & Occupation
Press Release >>
VANCOUVER BC: September 7, 2006
FIVE CANADIAN SOLDIERS KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN LESS THAN 24HRS AFTER THE LAUNCH OF THE MASSIVE OFFENSIVE “OPERATION MEDUSA”
VANCOUVER ANTIWAR PROTEST DEMANDS: “BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW!”
On Sunday September 3, 2006, four Canadian soldiers were killed during a massive NATO offensive, “OPERATION MEDUSA”, which includes most of the combat units among Canada's 2,300 soldiers in Afghanistan. Before 24 hours had passed on the launch of Operation Medusa, another Canadian soldier was killed, and thirty wounded, when an American air strike called in by the Canadian forces during an assault hit the Canadian forces themselves. These labour day weekend deaths sent the number of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan to 32. That means that in the past 30 days alone, 13 Canadian soldiers have died in the occupation of Afghanistan.
OPERATION MEDUSA was launched on Saturday, September 2nd with the objective of taking control of regions of Southern Afghanistan considered to be “Taliban strongholds”. Within 24 hours, spokesmen of the Canadian military reported on killing over 200 Afghan people.
Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) co-chair Shannon Bundock said, “Medusa is the largest Canadian military operation since World War II; and what is the point of this operation? To kill 200 people in 24 hours? For what? The Stephen Harper and the generals that send in the troops and call in the air strikes themselves say that it’s not possible to ‘win the war on terror’ by killing people – yet the killing continues.”
In response to the five Canadian deaths that kicked off Operation Medusa, Brig. Gen. David Fraser stated “Despite these losses, Operation Medusa will continue. Canada is committed to helping the people of Afghanistan…We will continue operations here. We are making good progress."
MAWO’s acting secretary Nita Palmer responded to Fraser’s comments, “What so-called progress is Fraser talking about? Progress for whom? Canada is at war against the Afghan people for control over Afghanistan. This war has not ‘liberated’ or ‘helped’ the people of Afghanistan in any way at all.”
Palmer continued “There has been none of the promised ‘reconstruction’ or ‘development’ for the benefit the Afghan people. This war and occupation mission has brought only blood, death, and destruction to the people of Afghanistan.”
Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO) will also be calling for an Independent Public Inquiry into the Canadian War Drive in Afghanistan. As a sign of the widespread sentiment amongst people in Canada against the occupation of Afghanistan, MAWO has already collected over 10, 000 signatures on a petition calling for an end to the occupation. The Independent Public Inquiry would serve to open the chance for people in Canada to stand up and hold the government accountable for this vicious war, which has already been handed a military budget of over 25Billion dollars.
“Canada is part of the problem in Afghanistan – that’s why we are demanding the immediate withdrawal of all Canadian forces from Afghanistan now.”, concluded Nita Palmer. Since Canada’s announcement of the deployment of 2,000 Canadian troops to Kandahar Afghanistan in July of 2005, MAWO has organized consistent picket actions in front of the Canadian Forces Recruitment Centre in Downtown Vancouver under the call “BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW!”
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