November 1, 2008 - MAWO'EEN!
Marking 5 Years of MAWO Organizing, Educating, and Mobilizing!
Organized by Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO)
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November 1 MAWO'EEN! Report
Wednesday October 29th was the 5-year anniversary of the formation of Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO). On November 1st, organizers and supporters gathered together at El Rancho Restaurant to mark this important anniversary with a night of culture and resistance packed with wonderful artists and performers.
The antiwar cultural night began with the beautiful voices of Seni and Jane, two poets from England. The two put aside the microphones and sang out old labour songs with power and grace. Seni moved the crowed with her original antiwar poetry. Singer-songwriter Alex then wowed the crowed with his soothing guitar and vocals. Next the audience heard from Vietnam draft dodger and long time antiwar activist Thomas P. Radcliffe. Thomas performed some well known antiwar songs and some original tunes with a style all of his own. This was Thomas’s first time performing at a MAWO event and hopefully will not be his last as the crowed cheered for more. Joaquin Ernesto, a MAWO fundraiser favourite, got everybody moving with beautiful songs from Latin America and had everybody singing along to John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’.
Everyone then had the opportunity to see what five years of antiwar organizing has meant for MAWO and for the antiwar movement in Vancouver with a slide show presentation from Janine Solanki, MAWO co-chair, and MAWO executive committee member Nita Palmer. Janine and Nita put into perspective everything MAWO has done, from the bi-annual Student Week Against War and Occupation, to monthly rallies and pickets, to annual Hip Hop Festivals and Film Festivals against war. Kelly White, a Coast Salish Elder and Indigenous activist spoke about the importance of MAWO’s organizing and the importance of fighting against war and occupation around the world.
Sonia, from the group Mi Mexico, performed magnificent traditional El Salvadorian folkloric dances and was joined by participants who learned some impressive dance steps in the process. Then champion Elvis tribute artist Eli Williams, shook up the audience with well known Elvis oldies. The night closed with a bang as Vertiflow and the Plasma Crew (Joose Justice and Toxic) took the stage. The MC’s had everyone on their feet and their hands in the air as they laid down their conscious rhymes.
The night was a huge success as organizers, supporters and performers reflected on five years of antiwar organizing and left with the inspiration to continue to organize in struggle until the day that war and occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world is ended!