January 11, 2011
Challenging the U.S. War Drive
Organized by Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO)
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January 11 MAWO Forum Report
On Tuesday January 11, 2011 Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO) organized a public forum on the release of hundreds of thousands of secret US military documents released by the Wikileaks website. The forum, held in Vancouver, Canada, brought over 40 people in attendance to learn more about the Wikileaks scandal.
The forum opened with MAWO Co-chair Andrew Barry welcoming everyone to the event before introducing an hour of news clips and documentaries about the Wikileaks scandal. Some of the film clips outlined the original leaked documents showing US soldiers killing innocent Iraqi civilians, including two Reuters journalists. More clips showed how the US government and its allies turned the blame of their crimes onto the Wikileaks website for making the information public.
Following the film clips Andrew introduced the speaker of the event, Janine Solanki, an Executive Committee member of MAWO and the MAWO Outreach Coordinator. Janine introduced her talk by re-emphasizing the importance of what the video clips highlighted, and to note that much of what was released by Wikileaks was not new information. “Wikileaks did not bring new information about the reality of the US wars and occupations abroad,” Janine stated. “It did confirm what a lot of people already knew about the savage brutality of this new era of war and occupation, but made the information more accessible and useful for the general public and the working people.”
Janine continued that “these documents do show us that all along the US were keeping a record of its killings in Iraq and Afghanistan. They were fully aware of their war crimes in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, and instead of stopping them or investigating them, they simply covered them up or continued along the same path.”
After Janine’s wrapped up her talk an energetic and extended period of discussion began. Many peace loving people, both new and experienced to the anti-war movement, shared their opinions on how peace and antiwar activists need to take this information and build a stronger antiwar movement in Vancouver and across Canada.
Janine emphasized on these points. As the forum came to a close she remarked that these released documents are a golden opportunity for the peace movement to grab a hold of this information and build a stronger and more effective opposition to the wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan.