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MAWO and Iranian Committee Against War (ICAW) picket action calling on the US to stop all aggression against Iran and for no attack on Iran!
MAWO Co-Chair, Janine Solanki (R) addresses the picket as the marchers gather and rally in front of the US Consulate.
The marchers made an energetic picket line more than two times the length of the building of the US consulate.
David Whittelesey, (L) Veteran of the US Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam Antiwar Movement; Brad McCall, (R) US War Resister, former US soldier who quit the US Army in opposition to the occupation of Iraq
Aaron Mercredi, Metis youth organizer with MAWO and the Indigenous Rights and Action Project (IRAP)(L); Payvand Pevjak, (R) organizer with the Iranian Committee Against War (ICAW) and SFU student
VANCOUVER, BC - In the winter chill of the late afternoon, more than 90 people picketed and marched in front of the US Consulate in Vancouver demanding, "No War on Iran!". The urgent picket action was a show of opposition and anger by Iranian community members and many other Vancouver residents to the US Government’s increasing threats of military aggression on Iran.
Picket MCs Janine Solanki, MAWO Co-Chair, and Ali Yerevani of the Iranian Committee Against War, opened the picket action with a round of picketing and chanting "No War on Iran!" Janine rallied the participants by stating that they had all come to the streets that day to show the importance of opposing, protesting and stopping the US military, destructive attack on Iran. She emphasized how important it was for people all over the world, Iranian and all others, to defend the people of Iran against this vicious attack.
Ali also spoke and read a statement to the picket explaining that the US government has used the accusation that Iran is developing nuclear weapons to justify international isolation, sanctions and attacks on Iran for years. While the Iranian government has never accepted the accusation or claimed to be doing so, last week the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) reported that Iran stopped any nuclear arms work or research in 2003. Ali
said that, despite this blow to the US war drive’s rhetoric against Iran, George Bush maintains that Iran is still a "danger to the world" and the US will keep "all options on the table" - statements that bring a terrible threat against the people of Iran.
Picketers marched, waving signs, shouting, "U.S. Hands Off Iran!" Many new faces joined from the sidewalks, soon building a picket line that was twice the length of the U.S. Consulate building. As the evening turned darker, picket placards could still be seen from the streets, as rush hour traffic showed support by honking their horns and waving to protesters.
The picket speakers included David Whittelesey, a MAWO organizer and veteran of the US Civil Rights and of the Vietnam antiwar movement; Brad McCall, a former US soldier turned 'war resister' who left the US Army and fled to Canada in opposition to the occupation of Iraq; Aaron Mercredi, a Métis youth organizer with the Indigenous Rights and Action Project and MAWO, who explained that the current era of war and occupation is an extension of a long history of genocide against Indigenous people in North America; and finally, Payvand Pevjack of the Iranian Committee Against War and a student Simon Fraser University. Payvand said that we have not "turned a blind eye" to the years of brutal US occupation in Afghanistan or Iraq, and that we won’t turn away as the US now sets its crosshairs on Iran: a country of 72 million people, rich in human history and culture, that has been independent of US control since the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Amidst cheers, she said that we must continue to defend the Iranian people to stop any attacks.
After several more rounds of picketing and chants, the picket was wrapped up by words from the Co-MCs of the picket who emphasized the necessity for an expanding and ongoing campaign of action to oppose, protest and stop US military aggression against Iran. The protestors shouted their words that rang out again among the buildings around the US Consulate "No to War on Iran!"
In response to these increasing attacks on Iran’s sovereignty, MAWO and ICAW called this urgent picket action as part of a worldwide campaign of growing importance: to defend Iran and its people against US military aggression. We encourage all those opposed to this threat to join us and get involved!
Reminder - Vancouver Emergency Action Plan: In the case that the US starts bombing or marching in Iran, come to the US Consulate (1075 W Pender @ Thurlow St) on the day of attack at 4pm, and for the next week at the same time, with daily protests for the first week. This action plan is being called by the Iranian Committee Against War and is endorsed and supported by MAWO.
US HANDS OFF IRAN! NO WAR ON IRAN!