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April 26, 2008
A Day of Action
Against War & Occupation

Antiwar Rally & Fundraiser

April 26, 2008
Antiwar Rally



On the sunny afternoon of Saturday April 26th dozens of people gathered to rally outside the Art Gallery in Downtown Vancouver to demand an immediate end to war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan and to demand an end to US threats and sanctions against Iran. The cry that echoed throughout the day was self-determination for all oppressed nations.

The rally MCs, Janine Solanki and Andrew Barry opened the demonstration with loud and energetic chants of “Canada Out of Afghanistan Now!” and “No to War and Occupation – Yes to Self-Determination!”. They then set the tone for the rally explaining why we were demonstrating that day.

The first speaker was David Whittlesey, a participant of the US Civil Rights movement and the antiwar movement during the Vietnam War. David spoke with a historical perspective from his experience as a long time antiwar and social justice activist.

Following David was a message of solidarity from MAWO co-chair and spokesperson Alison Bodine who was recently banned from Canada for two years after being politically harassed and targeted by Canada Border Services Agency after they found anti-war materials in her car as she attempted to cross from the US into Canada.

Speaking via telephone from the United States, Alison brought words of solidarity for the rally and spoke of theanti-war movement in the U.S. against the occupation of Iraq. She inspired people to continue the campaign and fight to get the 2-year ban against her lifted. (For more information on Alison’s case visit:

Following the warm and exiting greeting from Alison, Payvand Pejvack, an organizer with the Iranian Community Against War (ICAW), spoke passionately against the U.S’s campaign of terror against the people of Iran as they continue to impose sanctions and threaten an invasion of Iran. After listening to these first speakers, Indigenous hip hop MC "Ill-Eagle" shared some of her conscious lyrics and west coast native beats with the crowd and brought music of resistance to the rally stage.

The last speaker was MAWO Executive Committee member, Nita Palmer who spoke passionately against the 'new era of war and occupation' that is characterising the world today, from occupied Iraq and Afghanistan to imperialists threatening Iran, Sudan and countries in Latin America. She called on the rally participants to get involved in organizing to stop this vicious war drive against our brothers and sisters around the world.

The rally came to an energetic close as MAWO’s monthly final resolution echoed through the streets of Vancouver, read by MAWO organizer and Oji-cree activist Kerri Goodwin and cheered on and supported by all those at the demonstration.

The rally shook Vancouver’s downtown hub bringing the demands of the antiwar movement to hundreds of people letting them know the necessity of the antiwar movement, and the importance of getting involved!

Following the rally, participants and organizers of the day’s demonstration travelled to El Rancho restaurant to continue in the spirit of the fight against war and occupation, this time through the expression of art and culture with a ‘Rhyme n’ Resistance’ fundraiser. The night was opened with the wonderful talents of MAWO organizer Noah Fine who warmed up the crowd with the strum of his guitar. Noah was followed by the beats of hip hop artist Discreet Da Chosen 1 from the Snake Eyes crew with his energetic rhymes and conscious lyrics. Zane, a young blues and soul musician, traded the sidewalk for a microphone as he joined MAWO for the first time having been playing and singing in Vancouver during the sunny afternoon. Joaquin Ernesto, host of Romantic Tango showon Co-op Radio and a regular face MAWO fundraisers came out yet again to support the fight against war as he wowed and wooed participants with revolutionary songs form Cuba and Latin America. The night ended with a documentary about revolutionary leader Malcolm X leaving all those who attended with the inspiration of his commitment and example of the capacity of human beings to change and struggle. Participants headed home from the fundraiser knowing that they had contributed to the building and expanding of the struggle against war and that the antiwar movement in Vancouver will continue in solidarity with all oppressed people around the world fighting for dignity and self-determination!

April 26, 2008
Antiwar Fundraiser