February 24, 2009 - Picket Action
Canada/NATO Out of Afghanistan NOW!
Organized by Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO)
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February 24 MAWO Picket Action Report
On Tuesday February 24th Mobilization Against War & Occupation organized the 51st picket action in front of the Canadian Forces Recruitment Center demanding an end to Canada’s occupation of Afghanistan. This picket came on the heels of a protest in Afghanistan on Monday, February 23rd when Afghans protested Canada’s recent murder of two Afghan children.
The picket got underway when picketers placed a sign near the road reading “HONK FOR CANADA OUT OF AFGHANISTAN.” The rest of the picket was loud with honks that gave energy to this important action.
MAWO co-chair Janine Solanki MC’d the picket and got the action underway by reading a MAWO statement on the ongoing occupation. The crowd then went into a round of loud picketing, chanting “CANADA OUT OF AFGHANISTAN!” and “MONEY FOR JOBS AND EDUCATION NOT FOR WAR AND OCCUPATION!”
After the first round of picketing, Janine introduced Kerri Goodwin, an Oji Cree activist
and executive member of MAWO. Kerri highlighted the contradictions of Canada’s so-called “peace keeping mission” in Afghanistan while at the same time it continues its attacks against Indigenous people here in Canada. This energized talk led the crowd into a second round of picketing.
Following that David Whittlesey, a civil rights activist and an organizer during the anti-Vietnam war era, condemned the ongoing Canada assaults in Afghanistan. He pointed out how the US under Barack Obama, a key ally of the government of Canada, has just sent a surge of 17 000 more US troops to occupy Afghanistan.
Fred Muzin, former President of the Hospital Employees Union (HEU), followed David and passionately spoke of how this wardrive is sending poor and working people from Canada to go kill their Afghan sisters and brothers.
After a final round of picketing, Aaron Mercredi, a Métis activist and organizer with the Indigenous Rights and Action Project (IRAP) spoke of the attacks at home and abroad. Aaron explained how the occupation of Afghanistan has only brought misery and destruction to the people there, and that this is spreading to neighbouring Pakistan where the US has been doing regular bombing campaigns now.
Aaron’s words were met with loud applause as the MC, Janine, reminded the military personnel and recruiters inside the Recruitment Center that antiwar activists will continue to picket every month until the war and occupation in Afghanistan comes to an end.
CANADA OUT OF AFGHANISTAN NOW!
END THE OCCUPATION NOW!
INDEPENDENT PUBLIC INQUIRY NOW!
STOP BOMBING PAKISTAN!