June 28, 2011
Colonialism at Home, Colonialism Abroad
Organized by Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO)
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June 28 MAWO Forum Report
On June 28, Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) organized a public forum titled “CANADA DAY: COLONIALISM AT HOME, COLONIALISM ABROAD” at Joe’s Cafe. While Canada Day was only a few days away, participants were given the opportunity to discuss what do we really have to celebrate for?
The evening began with a few short film clips on the real History of Canada and the Government’s ongoing attacks against Indigenous People. From the residential schools to the ongoing stealing of indigenous land for corporate profits the film clips depicted a reality not seen in mainstream media. After the film clips, Janine Solanki, MC and MAWO outreach coordinator introduced Ray Bobb.
Ray Bobb, an Indigenous activist from the Seabird Island Indian Band gave a wealth of knowledge on why he became involved in politics. He saw from a young age, that Western imperialist government’s attacks against other countries were no different from the Government of Canada’s massacre against Indigenous People. Ray began to realize that all oppressed people around the world needed to work together against our common enemy. Ray was followed by Ali Yerevani, participant in the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Political Editor of Fire This Time and Battle of Ideas Press.
Ali Yerevani brought Ray’s ideas into the forefront of this new era of war and occupation. Ali emphasized that as Western Governments increase their war drive abroad they will also escalate their attacks at home. Ali stressed that we need to understand that imperialist governments need to continue these wars and occupations to maintain their present system. He concluded that as peace-loving people we need to stand united and to continue to fight for a better world.
The final speaker for the evening was Aaron Mercredi, organizer with the Indigenous Rights and Action Project (IRAP). He made clear that the reason why the Government of Canada originally voted against the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples is because Canada is based on the theft and stealing of Indigenous land. Even after the recent decision by the Government of Canada to sign onto the declaration the Government made crystal clear that this agreement is non-binding and does not change the Government’s approach towards Indigenous people and their land. He concluded that we as indigenous and non-indigenous need to stand together in support of all oppressed peoples right to self-determination.
Lively discussion followed where people re-affirmed that we need to continue to organize events like these to connect the war at home with the war abroad.