CANADIAN FORCES RECRUITMENT CENTRE
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CTV Television Covers the Picket Action
MAWO Co-Chair Kira Koshelanyk Reading MAWO Statement on Death of 58th, 59th, 60th Canadian Soldiers Killed in Occupation of Afghanistan
Former Canadian Soldier, Reg, shares his experience and speaks against the occupation of Afghanistan
Janine Solanki speaking on the worsening situation for women under occupation in Afghanistan
High school student and MAWO Organizer Esteban Gonzalez
Nita Palmer, Acting Secretary of Mobilization Against War & Occupation - MAWO
REPORT BACK (Scroll to End of Report for MAWO June 21st 2007 Press Statement)
Vancouver, BC - On Thursday, June 21, Mobilization Against War and Occupation took to the streets for their 29th picket action against the occupation of Afghanistan since July 2005. The protest, which brought out 25 people, came on the heels of the deaths of the 58th, 59th, and 60th Canadian soliders in Afghanistan on June 20, and the killings of hundreds of Afghan civilians by NATO occupation forces over the weekend. An attack by occupation forces on June 18 included the bombing of a school and mosque which killed 7 children and 12 adults.
The picket was opened by MAWO Co-chair Kira Koshelanyk, who read a statement to the media. "For the Afghan people, the six-year occupation of their country has not brought one ounce of the promised improvement in conditions for women, poverty, education, human rights, or democracy," said Koshelanyk. "It is more important than ever that we as peace-loving people in Canada join with people in Afghanistan to oppose this criminal occupation."
This opening statement was followed by picketing and loud chants of "Canada OUT of Afghanistan NOW!"
Following Kira was Reg, a former Canadian soldier, who had a message for the government of Canada in regard to the occupation of Afghanistan: “we don’t want our money being wasted anymore on the production of weapons and on a war that is unjust!”
MAWO organizer Janine Solanki spoke next on the situation of women in Afghanistan, noting that women's rights have not been improved at all by the occupation, and that increasing numbers of Afghan women face poverty and destruction of life by the occupation - and that suicide rates among Afghan women have tripled as a result.
High school student and MAWO organizer Esteban Gonzalez spoke on the effect of the occupation on students and youth in Afghanistan, explaining that the vast majority of Afghan students do not have schools to attend, and that the future of young people in Afghanistan is daily being destroyed by the occupation.
The final speaker was MAWO Acting Secretary Nita Palmer, who spoke about the overall situation of quagmire for the occupation forces in Afghanistan - as well as the recent torture scandal which exposed that Afghan police and security forces, and Canadian soldiers themselves, have been beating, abusing, and torturing Afghan prisoners. Nita concluded by saying, "As women, as students, as young people, and as poor and working people in Canada, we must stand with the Afghan people against the criminal occupation of their country!"
Kira concluded by announcing the next MAWO action against war and occupation: MAWO’s monthly rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Saturday, June 23 at 2PM, demanding US/UK Out of Iraq, Canada Out of Afghanistan, and self-determination for all oppressed nations.
Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO)
June 21, 2007
CANADA/NATO OUT OF AFGHANISTAN NOW!
We are here at the Mobilization Against War & Occupation picket action – at the Canadian Forces Recruitment Centre, to voice our opposition to Canada’s War Drive.
We are here to say: CANADA & NATO – OUT OF AFGHANISTAN NOW!
On June 20, three Canadian soldiers were killed when a roadside bomb exploded under their vehicle – brining the total deaths of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan to 60. On Sunday June 17th occupation forces began air strikes in eastern parts of the country, targeting a mosque and a school and killing 7 children among the dozens of others. By Tuesday reports from all major media confirmed that in the last 3 days occupation forces have continued to pummel the country, killing more than 100 people. Clearly, Canadian Forces, NATO Forces, and all foreign forces in Afghanistan are waging an all-out war on the Afghan people.
These deaths come on the heels of a flood of reports that Canadian and Afghan military and police forces are torturing and abusing Afghan prisoners – another damning testament to the all-out war and inhuman cruelty waged by the occupation.
For the Afghan people, the six-year occupation of their country has not brought one ounce of the promised improvement in conditions for women, poverty, education, human rights, or democracy. It has instead meant the dive-bombing of the mortality rate in Afghanistan from 46 to 42 years old. It has meant that 20% of all children die before they reach kindergarten age. It has meant that Afghanistan has the worst education system in the world with a literacy rate of less than 30% and an unemployment rate of 70%. Human Rights Watch has reports that hospitals in Southern Afghanistan are treating three times more cases of women who have attempted to burn themselves to death than before the occupation began. The Canadian occupation of their country means the continued destruction of Afghanistan and the continued suffering of the Afghan people.
This week, Chief of Defense Staff General Rick Hiller met with 11 other top Canadian military generals in
Afghanistan to discuss further occupation strategy to
put down the growing resistance. As the government of Canada and the occupation forces continue to map out their plan for war, occupation, and destruction of human life in Afghanistan, it is more important than ever that we as peace-loving people in Canada, join with people in Afghanistan to oppose this criminal occupation.
Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO) is here to call for an immediate end to the occupation of Afghanistan, but also to call 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 13,000 signatures on a petition calling for an end to the occupation.
With an Independent Public Inquiry we can 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.
The government continues to reaffirm its ‘commitment’ to the occupation, but the discussion of WHY remains to be heard by people in Canada.
MAWO calls for an Independent Public Inquiry into the Canadian occupation of Afghanistan to ask and answer why 2,500 Canadian troops are occupying and why the decision to carry out this war drive was streamlined through parliament without public consultation.
Today, we are picketing the Canadian Forces Recruitment Centre to demand that Canada and NATO get out of Afghanistan now.
CANADA/NATO Out of Afghanistan!
Independent Public Inquiry into the Canadian War Drive!