April 17, 2008-Picket Action
Canada/NATO Out of Afghanistan!
Organized by Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO)
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April 17 Picket Report
On Thursday April 17th
Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) organized Vancouver’s 41st picket action in front of the Canadian Armed Forces Recruitment Center demanding “Canada/NATO out of Afghanistan Now!” Protesters gathered to picket the recruiting center in opposition to the recent decision by Canadian parliament to extend Canada’s occupation of Afghanistan from February 2009 to December 2011 and the rising Afghan death toll caused by the occupation forces.
The picket began with MAWO co-chair, Janine Solanki reading the MAWO statement for the action. She outlined that the situation for Afghan people under the Canada/NATO occupation which will only get worse with the extension of Canada’s occupation to 2011 and the recently approved NATO troop increase. She went on to state how the brutal 6 ½ years of occupation has brought misery to Afghan people despite the government of Canada’s rhetoric about bringing ‘freedom’, ‘democracy’ and ‘stability’ to the country.
Loud and energetic picketing followed the press statement along with the many cars honking to show their support. After several rounds of picketing, the next speaker was Phillipa Ryan, an Indigenous activist and organizer with Grassroots Women. Following Philipa was Meaghan Griffith, a MAWO organizer and high school student, who spoke to picketers and passersby about how women in Canada are under attack by the Canadian government through cuts to women programs and healthcare. She also condemned the occupations attack on women of Afghanistan which has made their situation even worse than it was before the invasion. Then, Max Tennant, a MAWO UVIC organizer connected the attacks by the Canadian Government against education funding to the increase in military spending. “While youth face attacks in Canada, Afghan youth face a worsening situation as over 60,000 Afghan youth are on the street in Kabul alone, a result of this brutal war and occupation.” he stated.
Along with energetic chanting, the organizers resolved to continue picketing monthly in front of the Canadian Armed Forces Recruitment Center until this brutal and unjust war and occupation is ended.
CANADA OUT OF AFGHANISTAN NOW!
END THE OCCUPATION NOW!
INDEPENDENT PUBLIC INQUIRY NOW!