April 10, 2017

Hands Off Syria!: a call to mobilize from Vancouver

Signs at Hands Off Syria Rally, Toronto, April 8, 2017
Ismail A. Askin

On Tuesday, April 11th, at 5:00pm, Stop War Coalition – Vancouver Coalition for Justice and Peace will gather in front of the US Consulate, on the traditional, unceded, occupied territories of the səlil̓wətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations to host an emergency rally denouncing the US bombing of Syria as well as Canada’s “full support” to Trump’s open ended escalation.

Since its onset, the conflict in Syria has been marked with its utter devastation – several hundred thousand have been killed, millions more have been displaced, and massive destruction has been wreaked upon the homes and schools and infrastructure of the nation. The war in Syria by nature is a proxy war, by foreign powers, with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the US playing a critical role in funding groups friendly to their interests, ensuring the continued destabilization of Syria. Now, just as peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition forces are underway in Geneva, the war has reached a new critical juncture. The US has finally openly and unilaterally attacked the Syrian government, with complete disregard for the national sovereignty of Syria, for any international law, or for the consequences of its actions.

Those who support the US attack on Syria have short memories. Remember the US invasion of Iraq, the false pretext of weapons of mass destruction used by the Bush administration, and the utter havoc that was wreaked upon that nation., Even today Iraq remains dangerously unstable. Iraq still suffers from the devastating loss of life, loss of infrastructure, and introduction of fierce sectarianism that the American invasion brought upon it.

Remember the US attack on Libya. Even today Libya remains in the grips of an unending civil war, and just like Iraq, Libya remains devastated because of US actions in the region.

Remember how the US shamelessly used chemical weapons and napalm in Vietnam, in Korea, how the radioactive uranium[1] dumped by the US army even today poisons the landscape of Iraq – and now, after causing untold death and pain around the world with its use of weapons of mass destruction, the US would claim to be the champion of the innocent against the use of chemical weapons?

And remember Trump, how Trump openly endorsed the reckless use of nuclear weapons against America’s enemies, how Trump openly called for the murder of the families of those he called terrorists, how Trump turned away the refugees of the Syrian war, calling them all terrorists, and now it is Trump that would be the man to protect the innocents suffering in the conflict in Syria?

There is no place in the world that the US has intervened where it can be said that it has brought a better future. There is no single country where the US has intervened for any reason other than to protect its own interests. There is no reason any of us should support US intervention in any part of the world.

The anti-war movement has been stagnant in recent years, and it is time we revived it. There is no better time but now. There is no more appropriate moment. It is time for all anti-war activists to stand up, and say no to war, no to war in Syria, no to war in any other nation.

We demand the US keep its hands off Syria. We demand that Canada keep its hands off Syria. We denounce the US bombing of Syria, we denounce Canada’s full support of the US bombing, and we denounce imperialist intervention in any part of the world.

Come join us and bring your signs and your drums and your voices! Come join us at the US consulate at 1075 West Pender St., at 5:00pm, at April 11th, and say NO to war in Syria.

Check out the rally on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1888900694657701/

This article was also published on thetalon.ca - UBC's Alternative Student Press


Groups that have currently endorsed the rally:

Fraser Valley Peace Council
The UBC Social Justice Centre
The Young Communist League – Vancouver
Coalition Against Bigotry – Pacific
Plan Peace
International Socialists Vancouver
Frente Para La Defensa Hugo Chavez
Occupy Vancouver
The Talon UBC
Canada Palestine Association
ILPS Canada
Migrante BC
Canada Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights
Solidaridad con Ayotzinapa Vancouver
Canada-Cuba Friendship Association (CCFA)
Alliance Against Displacement

[1] https://washingtonspectator.org/irradiated-iraq-nuclear-nightmare/

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