Oct 29, 2006 - Conference
IMPERIALIST AGGRESSION & THE ERA OF WAR & OCCUPATION
Organized by: Mobilization Against War & Occupation
On Sunday Oct 29, 70 people gathered in the Britannia Community Centre to discuss the roots and causes of the era of war and occcupation - and to debate, stategize and organize our fight against imperialist aggression.
The Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO) conference brought together a diversity of activists, organizers and people new to the antiwar movement. With this crowd of youth, elders, woman, people from the 3rd world, students and workers, the day was filled with thought provoking and challenging discussion and debate.
The conference was opened by John Waller, a long time social justice activist in Britain, US and Canada. John currently works with Pastors for Peace, the largest US based Cuba Solidarity organization. He outlined the history of political developments that have led to the current state of a world under seige by imperialist aggression.
The first workshop of the day was presented by Shannon Bundock, MAWO co-chair. Shannon outlined the roots and causes of the occupation of Iraq and proposed looking to the Iraqi resisitance for leadership in this decisive fight for self-determination.
The second workshop was presented by Dr. Warif Laila, a Syrian activist, currently living in Vancouver. Warif presented a slideshow that outlined the July-August Israeli invasion of Lebanon. The slideshow and her talk presented the real human cost of these brutal wars and invasions, and the extent to which imperialist countries are willing to spill human blood to meet their aims.
Thirdly, Nita Palmer, acting secretary of MAWO, presented a workshop on the roots and causes of war and occupation in Afghanistan. She dispelled the myths that Canada and NATO are in Afghanistan in the interst of Afghan people. She also called on people in Canada to seek out the answers to questions of why Canada has launched this massive war drive, and why they are pumping billions of dollars out of social programs into their imperialist project. Nita explained the MAWO call for an independent public inquiry and invited people to discuss and debate how we can understand this occupation and respond to it.
Fourth, Ali Yerevani, a participant in the Iranian revolution and current political editor of the Fire This Time Newspaper, addressed the question of imperialist threats to Iran. Ali drew on the anti-colonial history of Iran to help outline the current challenges facing the US and their imperialist allies, who are trying to put pressure on this independent country.
Finally, the conference closed with a workshop presented by Ivan Drury, coordinator of Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice and founding member of MAWO. Ivan presented on building the antiwar movement. He emphasized the need for a broad, expanding movement that can unite people on the demands of self-determination for all oppressed nations. Specifically in Canada he addressed the steps necessary to build an effective movement against the current Canadian war-drive in Afghanistan.
The conference overall was a great opportunity to dig deeply into the crises that are impacting humanity today. What was clear at the end of the day, is that in 8 hours we only scratched the surface. What is needed will be constistant action to organize, mobilize, educate and unite people across Vancouver, the lowermainland and Canada with the heroic resistance people in occupied countries, who are beating back this era of war and occupation.
MAWO's 3rd Anniversary
CLICK ON PHOTO FOR LARGER VERSION
CLICK ON PHOTO FOR LARGER VERSION
Setting up for the day
John Waller Opening the Conference
Shannon Bundock, MAWO Co-chair and Lindsay Clarke, Conference MC
Dr. Warif Laila
Ali Yerevani speaking on Iran, Alison Bodine, Conference MC
Ivan Drury, speaking on building an effective antiwar movement