“Folks are using the plane crash as a justification for war. Like so many people I lost someone on that plane. It has touched us all. We will not let this be used as a justification for war. My friend did not die so that his people could be murdered.” – Masuma Khan
From 200 to 300 people of all ages and walks of life rallied at Victoria Park in Halifax on Saturday, January 11 to say No War with Iran and to condemn the U.S. terrorist attacks against Iran and Iraq. Haligonians let the Trump Administration know that we do not support another war. They warned Canadian elected officials that Canada needs to stand up against any acts of war and be a voice of peace.
The rally was organized by No Harbour for War, NS Voice of Women for Peace, the Halifax Peace Council and others. It is the latest in a series of anti-war actions that have been organized across Canada immediately following the Trump regime’s targeted assassination of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani and Abud Mahdi al-Muhandis, a leading member of the Iraqi armed forces and eight other officials. In the United States, demonstrations were held in 80 cities.
The tragedy of the Ukrainian aircraft which was shot down on January 8 was on everyone’s minds, but the Trudeau government and big media was warned to stop using the lives of the innocent to fan a war psychosis.
“Folks are using the plane crash as a justification for war. Like so many people in this city I lost someone on that plane. It has touched us all. We will not let this be used as a justification for war. My friend did not die so that his people could be murdered,” Masuma said.
Stopping such a war, and ending devastating sanctions and the constant threat of war in the entire region, as well as Canada’s collusion in all this, was foremost on everybody’s mind.
People sang, chanted and listened to speeches.
“We’re here today because we are living through an extremely dangerous time. Many of us who have children, such as myself, worry what kind of future they will inherit. Will it be an ecological catastrophe? Will it be a world replete with war,” asked Dr. Isaac Saney of No Harbour for War.
“This is a case of us opposing imperialism. In 1991 the first Gulf War was launched under false pretenses. And this led, after years of punishing sanctions, to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children, again under false pretenses. This drive for US global hegemony, this drive to control significant resources, must be opposed, and we must also oppose Canada’s role in this imperialist aggression,” said Prof. Saney.
“Canada must stand for peace,” said Rana Zaman, speaking on behalf of the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace. “We call for a complete withdrawal of US and NATO troops from the region, including a withdrawal of Canadian troops currently on mission in Iraq.”
“For peace and security in the region, the government of Canada must have an independent foreign policy from the US, uphold international law, respect human rights and work to the United Nations. Rather than supporting the arms industry and the environmental devastation caused by military aggression, Canada must support diplomatic initiatives toward de-escalation and de-militarization in the region,” Ms Zaman said.
Larry Haiven, speaking for Independent Jewish Voices, received loud applause when he reminded people at the rally of the shameful way Zaman was recently treated by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. This agency withdrew an award to MS Zaman in response to a private intervention by a local Zionist agency which aims to criminalize those who oppose Israeli aggression and occupation of Palestine.
“To the likes of Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland the relationship with a tyrannical white supremacist president is more important than human rights and democracy. US officials are saying they just took out the world’s number one bad guy, but let me tell you, that guy is sitting right there in the White House,” Dr Haiven said.
“Our government and our country cannot be considered a peacekeeping nation anymore. Trudeau and his administration is supported right wing coups across Latin America, continues to sell arms to the Saudi regime which continues to slaughter thousands in Yemen,” he added. “It is up to us to make them act. We must make them feel uncomfortable and demand every day that they condemn these heinous actions. We must stand here today and say that is not our war.”
(Thanks to the reporting of Robert Devet of NS Advocate and Robert and No Harbour for the photos).