Mobilization Against War and Occupation
Campaigns Articles & Analysis Materials Media Reports Contact Links & Endorsers Home

Event Reports

September 30, 2008 - Picket Action
Canada/NATO Out of Afghanistan!

Organized by Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO)


September 30 Picket Report

On Tuesday September 30th, Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO) picketed the Canadian Armed Forces Recruitment Center for the 46th time. Over 2 dozen picketers demanded Canada/NATO Out of Afghanistan and an Independent Public Inquiry into the war drive of the Government of Canada.

The picket statement, read by MAWO co-chair Janine Solanki, brought attention to the most recent air strike massacre of Afghan civilians. On August 22nd in Azizabad, at least 90 civilians were killed, 60 of whom were children and 15 women.

Phillipa Ryan, an Indigenous elder and long time social justice activist, explained how Canada has waged a war here at home for hundreds of years, against Indigenous nations, poor and working people, and women. Max Tennant, a student and MAWO organizer, spoke on how the government cuts education funding, while spending at least $8.1 Billion on the war and massacre as well as bloodshed in Afghanistan.

Nita Palmer, MAWO Secretary and executive member, raised the issue of the upcoming federal election. According to a CBC poll, 56% of people in Canada disapprove of the government of Canada's war in Afghanistan. Yet none of the major political parties demand an UNCONDITIONAL withdrawal of Canadian troops out of Afghanistan.

Join us for the next picket on Federal Election Day - Tuesday October 14th, to tell the new government that we demand an immediate withdrawl of the Canadian troops from Afghanistan.

September 30 MAWO Statement

Vancouver, BC

Today is the 46th picket action in Vancouver demanding Canada/NATO Out of Afghanistan NOW! Independent Public Inquiry NOW! We are here as youth and elders, students and workers, immigrants, Indigenous peoples, and peace-loving people because we want to see and end to this war drive.

On August 22nd, the most recent air strike massacre of Afghan civilians took place. According to United Nations-backed reports by villagers in Azizabad, western Afghanistan, this occupation force air strike killed at least 90 people, 60 of whom were children and 15 women. Since the attacks on civilians by the joint forces of Canada, the US and NATO have increased, it is expected that the number of killings of innocent children and ordinary people will soar. According to Human Rights Watch, civilian deaths from US and NATO air strikes in Afghanistan have nearly tripled over the past year.

It is approaching 7 years now that Afghanistan has been under Canada/NATO occupation. Year after year, the people of Afghanistan continue to fight back for their right to self-determination, a basic right of the people of Afghanistan undermined by Canada, the US and NATO. According to various media and independent sources, since 2001 more than 40,000 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan, as well as over a hundred thousand seriously injured. As for Canada’s death toll, it is now 98 soldiers that have come home in body bags.

Not only does this war cost the lives of so many, it is also draining funding from social services in Canada. $50Million of funding has been cut from post-secondary education in BC in 2008 alone. Yet a total of $8.1Billion taxpayer dollars have been spent on the war in Afghanistan. The human and the financial costs are adding up in the minds of people in Canada. According to a recent CBC poll, 56% of people in Canada disapprove of Canada's war in Afghanistan.

Canada’s federal election is approaching on October 14th. Canada’s war in Afghanistan is a question on the minds of the majority of people in Canada. Yet none of the major political parties demand an UNCONDITIONAL withdrawal of Canadian troops out of Afghanistan. None of these political parties truly represent the opinion of the majority of people in Canada against this war and occupation.

We are here today, representing the over 14,000 people in the lower mainland who have signed the ‘Canada Out of Afghanistan’ petition. We are telling the 5 major political parties that their silence and complicity on this war is not acceptable. We will picket here, month after month, until this war drive in Afghanistan is ended.