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Event Reports

September 15 & 16, 2007
International Weekend of Action Against War & Occupation

September 15, 2007
Antiwar Rally



On September 15th and 16th, Vancouver antiwar coalition Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO) took part in the international days of action against war and occupation, called by the US-based antiwar coalition International ANSWER.

The rally on September 15 was opened by Aaron Mercredi, a Métis youth and organizer with the Indigenous Rights and Actions Project (IRAP), who spoke on the importance of the demand of self-determination for all Indigenous nations in Canada.

Alison Bodine, Co-chair and Spokesperson of MAWO, who was released from immigration detention the day earlier emphasized that her arrest was not only an attack on one individual, but on the entire anti-war movement and oppressed people around the world. For more information about her case please visit

Calling for “Canada Out of Afghanistan!”, “US/UK Out of Iraq!”, and “Stop the War at Home and Abroad!,” the rally program was diverse, including MAWO organizer Mike Chimenti speaking on the war in Iraq as the focus of imperialist destruction today; followed by powerful music from Latin America, performed by Joaquin Ernesto. Mike Larson of Free the Cuban 5 Committee-Vancouver spoke about the case of the five Cuban heroes jailed in the U.S. for fighting terrorism against the people of Cuba. Ali Yerevani, the political editor of Fire This Time newspaper spoke about the “War at Home” as an extension of war abroad.

MAWO executive member Kira Koshelanyk spoke on the new imperialist military aggression which she called 'the new era of war and occupation'.

Kerri Goodwin, Indigenous organizer from the Oji-cree Nation, read the rally’s closing resolution to the cheering and supportive crowd.

On September 16th with MAWO’s conference entitled, “The World Since September 11th, 2001: Prospects for Building a World Wide Antiwar Movement,” attracted more than 80 antiwar, anti occupation and social justice activists.

Alison Bodine the first speaker of the conference explained how her case illustrated one of the many undemocratic and unjust features of the “War at Home”, being waged increasingly against immigrants, non-residents, political activists, and all oppressed people, in conjunction with imperialist wars and occupations abroad.

Following Alison was Tamara Hansen, coordinator of Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) and an executive member of the Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC). Hanson encouraged the audience to compare U.S. and Canada’s imperialist policies with those of anti-imperialist Cuba. Participants then took part in two workshops and discussion periods. The first, “War & Occupation in Iraq & Afghanistan: Similarities and Differences”, was presented by MAWO organizers Nita Palmer and Shakeel Lochan. They both characterized the US occupation and anti-occupation Iraqi resistance as a crucial axis in the world anti-imperialist struggle today.

The final workshop, addressed by MAWO organizer Shannon Bundock, was on “Building a United, Effective Antiwar Movement”. It detailed the history and gave analysis on how the movement has developed and faced challenges since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.

The conference concluded with diverse participants gaining further knowledge by discussing and debating issues for building a united, broad, and effective antiwar movement in Vancouver and beyond.

September 16, 2007
MAWO Antiwar Conference