By TONY SEED, Shunpiking Online
HALIFAX (19 March 2007) – DEMONSTRATIONS and rallies were held Saturday March 17th against the ongoing US-led war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan in Charlottetown PEI, Saint John and Fredericton NB, St John’s NL and Annapolis Royal and Halifax in Nova Scotia. In the teeth of the Atlantic Coast’s first winter ice-storm, between 100 and 150 people in Halifax marched and rallied on the 4th anniversary of the illegal Anglo-American invasion and occupation of Iraq.
During the march, slogans were raised in defence of Palestine, the resistance in Iraq, the right of the peoples of Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, as elsewhere, to self-determination and against the Harper government’s extension of the Canadian mission in Aghanistan. One of the definite demands was “Hands off Iran!”
Pointing to US imperialist efforts to wreck the international system in order to unleash pre-emptive aggression and occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq – and soon possibly Iran as well – Dalhousie University lecturer Isaac Saney stressed the need to advance the anti-war resistance on the basis of defending the rights of all, upholding the right of nations to self-determination, and fighting for an anti-war government. This marked the second occasion in a week that the call for anti-war government and anti-war candidates in the next federal election was raised in public, and it has sparked discussion among some of the activist circles.
In Halifax, the anti-war forces have a proud tradition of raising the banner of No Harbour for War. This slogan has been put forward not only since 1991, in the context of the post-bipolar division of the world, but also well before, at the height of the strivings of the US and Soviet superpowers to dominate the globe back in the 1970s and 1980s. Thus, entering an anti-war candidate in the elections would mark an especially important advance for the movement in this military port city.
The pro-war stance of the Harper government was repeatedly noted and condemned by speaker after speaker. The necessity to continue to defend the rights of all and oppose the attacks on and racial/religious profiling of Muslims and Arabs, Afro-Canadians and other minotiries was raised by speakers from No One Is Illegal and other activist groups. A visiting American war resister denouncing the crimes of his government against the world’s people and their right of self-determination was warmly applauded.
Dr Ismail Zayid, a leading Palestinian activist, drew the clear connection between the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and what the Israeli Zionists have been carrying out against Palestinians, and his conclusion – that resistance must escalate – received a ringing endorsement.