July 18, 2009
End the Occupations of Iraq,
Haiti & Tamil Eelam!
US Hands Off Iran & Pakistan!
Indigenous Nations, Tamils
& All Oppressed Nations!
US Hands Off Honduras!
Reinstate President Manuel Zelaya Now
Co-organized by Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO)
& the Iranian Community Against War (ICAW)
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July 18 Antiwar Rally Report:
On July 18th, 2009 Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO) organized a monthly antiwar rally in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery. The rally opened with MC Payvand Pejvack, organizer with the Iranian Community Against War (ICAW) and MAWO.
Payvand introduced the first speaker who was Alison Bodine, MAWO co-chair and project coordinator for IFCO/Pastors for Peace. Alison spoke about the necessity to end the illegal and unjust blockade on Cuba. She spoke on how this blockade undermines Cuba’s right to self-determination and that in a few days her and 130 people from US, Canada and other countries would be breaking this blockade with Pastors for Peace.
After Alison, Regis Ostin Medina, organizer with the Committee in Solidarity with the Honduran People spoke. He passionately explained that his people chose their democratically elected President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya and that this coup is trying to take away this democratic right. However, the Honduran people are standing strong and demanding that their President be reinstated now.
Then, Sarah Alwell, Coordinator of the Free the Cuban 5 Committee - Vancouver spoke on the case of the Cuban 5. These 5 Cuban men have been unjustly arrested and imprisoned in US jails for almost 11 years. She updated people about one of the wives of the Cuban 5 who was just denied a visa for the 10th time to see her husband in US jails who she has not seen for almost 11 years. For more information on the case of the Cuban 5, check out www.vancubasolidarity.com/freethefivevan.html.
The last speaker was Shakeel Lochan, organizer with MAWO who strongly explained the new era of war and occupation and how the war abroad is connected to the war that is happening at home. Kerri Goodwin, executive member of MAWO read the resolution which clearly outlined our demands of the rally. The resolution was passed by loud and energetic cheers by the crowd.
While we were at the rally, we were able to collect over 250 signatures for our Canada Out of Afghanistan petition bringing our total amount of signatures to close to 15,000 signatures in the Lower Mainland, alone. The amounts of signatures are continuing to grow as more people sign their name to demand Canada Out Of Afghanistan Now.