Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ottawa: Peace Activists Stand up for 54% of Canadians

Today there was a vote in the house of commons about the extension of the occupation of Afghanistan by Canadian soldiers. Peace activists gathered on the hill during the short notice as the announcement for the vote was done 36 hours before the debate. Peace activists had even less time to prepare. However, there were five banners, two megaphones, and petitions. In all there were 80 signatures of the Canadian Peace Alliance petition to bring troops home. We talked briefly to a few members of parliament and gave the ones voting against a round of appaluse.

The Raging Grannies sang a few songs despite the lack of a sound system. Grannie Alma reported about it here. Yaya Canada was also there and also wrote a report and took pictures including the one above and below. I mentioned the actual state of Afghan women where rape and abuse have become the routine according to RAWA. I also talked about how many Afghanis have resorted to growing opium to survive and that Afghanistan has gone from producing 185 tons of opium in 2001 to 4,100 tons in 2005 which results in 87% of the world market. We chanted "Support Our Troops, Bring Them Home!", "Occupation n'est pas Liberation", "Health Care, Day Care, anything but Warfare", "54% of Canadians say no! 70% of Quebecers say no!" and, "4.1 billion dollars" after the amount so far spent on the occupation. Unfortunately the result of the vote was 149 for, 145 against resulting in two more years of occupation. Well keep fighting though.

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