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May 31, 2008
A Day of Action
Against War & Occupation

Antiwar Rally & Fundraiser

May 31, 2008
Antiwar Rally


MAWO Co-Chair Janine Solanki MCs the rally

Coast Salish Elder Kelly White

A lot of interest, questions and discussion at the MAWO information table!

Thomas Davies, Fire This Time Newspaper Editorial Board Member

Indigenous activist & Grassroots Women activist Phillipa Ryan

Iranian Community Against War (ICAW) organizer, Payvand Pejvack says "US Hands Off Iran!"

MAWO organizer Gabriel McLaren reads the rally's final resolution



Dozens of people gathered in protest to demand an end to the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, an end to all US sanctions and threats against Iran, and the right of all oppressed nations to self-determination. Participants in the rally organized by Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) gathered in the sun to raise their voices at the Vancouver Art Gallery, in the heart of downtown Vancouver.

Kelly White, a Coast Salish Elder and Indigenous media activist welcomed the antiwar rally to the unceded Coast Salish Territory and energetically led the crowd in chanting “MAWO for Peace!” Next to address the rally was Alison Bodine, MAWO Co-Chair and spokesperson who was politically targeted by Canadian border guards at the US – Canada border and banned from Canada last November (For more information on her case check out DJ K-Rec and emcee Estea El from the Influents crew shook up the rally program with some antiwar hip hop for the streets of downtown Vancouver.

Indigenous Rights and Action Project (IRAP) organizer Aaron Mercredi next spoke on the new “Canada First” Defence Strategy, which will give an additional $30 Billion or more in funding to the Canadian military over the next 20 years . He condemned this policy as an extension of the government of Canada’s history of war and occupation against Indigenous nations in Canada. Then Phillipa Ryan, another Indigenous activist, explained the necessity of Indigenous people’s struggle against the continual attacks by the government of Canada.

Payvand Pejvack, organizer with the Iranian Community Against War (ICAW) demanded that all peace- and human-loving people need to demand “No War on Iran.” Mike Larson, organizer with the Free the Cuban 5 Committee-Vancouver exposed the hypocrisy of the US “War on Terror” through their over nine years of imprisonment of 5 Cuban Heroes.
(For more information check out

Thomas Davies, member of the Fire This Time Newspaper Editorial Board put in perspective the wars and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq in the overall perspective of the new era of war and occupation.

MAWO organizer Gabriel MacLaren firmly read the resolution that is written to close every MAWO rally and demanded an end to the occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq, an end to the hostility and aggression toward Iran, as well as self-determination for all oppressed nations.


On the evening of May 31st at El Rancho Restaurant on Kingsway, MAWO organized an energetic and fully packed fundraiser entitled “Music of Resistance” that included many new and exciting artists and poets. MAWO organizer and MC Shakeel Lochan began the evening by introducing David Whittlesey, a MAWO organizer who was involved in the US civil rights movement and the Vietnam antiwar movement. David related his experiences during the antiwar movement in the 60’s through artistic and creative songs.

For the very first time, MAWO had the opportunity to hear the electrifying sounds of Eli Williams, an Elvis tribute performer. After the electrifying music of Elvis, Seonaid Lamb read some anti-war poetry. Jack Penny, a Vancouver-based talented acoustic and jazz guitarist resonated her sweet voice and guitar skills to the excited crowd. Dan Gable from Fakes77 performed his original rock music. Finally, Sauce, Estea El, K-Rec and other performers from Influents finished the evening with great hip hop beats that left everyone waiting for next month’s fundraiser and future events organized by MAWO against war and occupation.

More Rally Photos...

Hip Hop Emcee Estea El of the Influents crew

Mike Larsen from the Free the Cuban 5 Committee - Vancouver

May 31, 2008
Antiwar Fundraiser


Shakeel Lochan introduces the night's talent!

Antiwar poetry read by Seonaid Lamb

MAWO organizer David W brings back protest songs from the US civil rights movement.

Jack Penny and her soulful acoustic guitar.

Elvis Tribute Performer Eli Williams!

Buying and selling raffle tickets!

Influents antiwar hip hop crew rocks the house!

A happy raffle prize winner!