January 25, 2014
MAWO activists and Egyptian community activists successfully organized two rallies in Vancouver
January 25th saw important back-to-back rallies in Vancouver against imperialist intervention in the Middle East and North Africa. Vancouver's anti-war coalition, Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO), played an active role in both actions. MAWO organized its monthly anti-war rally and petition campaign, as well as endorsed and actively participated in a rally organized by Egyptian Canadians for Human Rights. This rally was part of a Global Day of Action marking the 3 year anniversary of the uprising which overthrew US backed dictator Hosni Mubarak, and in solidarity with the current struggle against the following military coup.
See CBC news coverage of the Rally for Egypt!
MAWO's monthly anti-war rally and petition campaign focused against imperialist intervention in Syria. Organizers approached passersby in the busy downtown area with petitions against intervention and sanctions on Syria, and were able to collect not only signatures, but also engage in lively conversations on the urgent issue. The information table was busy from the moment it was set up, and was covered with large banners demanding “Money for Housing Not for War!”, “Hands Off Syria!” and, “No War on Iran!”
MAWO also set-up a large banner on the main stairs of the Art Gallery which said, “US/UK/UK/France/Canada OUT of the Middle East and North Africa NOW!” This banner remained as part of the protest organized by Egyptian Canadians for Human Rights as part of an International Day of Action which in Canada also took place in Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Edmonton, and Calgary.
The protests marked the third anniversary of the overthrow of US backed dictator Hosni Mubarak by a heroic mass movement. However, the Egyptian people are still on forced to face violence and intimidation as they protest in the streets against last year’s US-backed military coup against democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi.
The rally was MC'd by Egyptian Canadians for Human Rights organizer Tarek Ramadan, and included local Egyptian speakers who spoke of family members tortured and killed by the military, and of the ongoing struggle in Egypt for human rights and against foreign intervention. CBC News was present, and the rally was featured on that evening's news.
The rally included speakers from several supporting organizations. Tunisian activist and MAWO Executive Committee member Azza also spoke as the rally was preparing to march. She summarized, “Egyptians are saying they want an Egypt for Egyptians, not for the U.S interests of plunder. The Egyptian people who are out on the streets now are showing the same steadfast will they demonstrated with the overthrow of Mubarak. There will be no return to the past and the Egypt must go forward to democracy. We say down with this bloody coup!”
Azza was received with loud applause as the ralliers took to the streets chanting, “Down down with the coup! Long live the Egyptian people!”
Across the Middle East and around the world, the tanks of imperialist armies roar through neighbourhoods while fighters jets thunder overheard. Since 2001, a new era of war and occupation has had a bloody grip on the planet, but it is obvious that oppressed people have not given up. MAWO continues to play an active role in educating, organizing, and mobilizing in solidarity with oppressed people fighting every day for the dignity and self-determination.
Peace Not War!
No to War and Occuaption! Yes to Self-Determination!
Imperialist Hands off the Middle East and North Africa!
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