Call for action on October 28, 2006
This call for a pan-Canadian day of action, co-signed by the Canadian Peace Alliance, the Canadian Islamic Congress, the Canadian Labour Congress and the Montreal coalition Echec a la Guerre, is being distributed and discussed at the World Peace Forum now taking place in Vancouver. -SV
The Collectif Échec à la guerre, Canadian Peace Alliance, the Canadian Labour Congress, and the Canadian Islamic Congress are jointly calling for a pan-Canadian day of protest this October 28th, 2006, to bring Canadian troops home from Afghanistan. On that day, people all across the country will unite to tell Stephen Harper that we are opposed to his wholehearted support for Canadian and U.S. militarism.
This October marks the fifth anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, and the people of that country are still suffering from the ravages of war. Reconstruction in the country is at a standstill and the needs of the Afghan people are not being met. The rule of the new Afghan State, made up largely of drug running warlords, will not realize the democratic aspirations of the people there. In fact, according to Human Rights Watch reports, the human rights record of those warlords in recent years has not been better than the Taliban.
We are told that the purpose of this war is to root out terrorism and protect our societies, yet the heavy-handed approach of a military occupation trying to impose a US-friendly government on the Afghan people will force more Afghans to become part of the resistance movement. It will also make our societies more — not less — likely to see terrorist attacks. No discussion on military tactics in the House of Commons will change that reality. Indeed, violence is increasing with more attacks on both coalition troops and on Afghan civilians.
While individual Canadian soldiers may have gone to Afghanistan with the best of intentions, they are operating under the auspices of a US-led state building project that cares little for the needs of the Afghan people. US and Canadian interests rest with the massive $3.2 billion Trans Afghan Pipeline (TAP) project, which will bring oil from the Caspian region through southern Afghanistan (where Canada is stationed) and onto the ports of Pakistan. It has been no secret that the TAP has dominated US foreign policy towards Afghanistan for the last decade. Now Canadian oil and gas corporations have their own interests in the TAP.
Over the last decade, the role of the Canadian Armed Forces abroad has changed, and Canadian foreign policy has become a replica of the US empire-building rhetoric. The end result of this process is now plain to see with the role of our troops in Southern Afghanistan, with the enormous budget increases for war expenditures and “security,” with the Bush-style speeches of Stephen Harper, and with the fear campaigns around “homegrown terrorism” to foster support for those nefarious changes. It is this very course that will get young Canadian soldiers killed, that will endanger our society and consume more and more of its resources for destruction and death in Afghanistan. We demand a freeze in defense and security budgets until an in-depth public discussion is held on those issues across Canada.
The mission in Afghanistan has already cost Canadians more than $4 billion. That money could have been used to fund human needs in Canada or abroad. Instead it is being used to kill civilians in Afghanistan and advance the interests of corporations.
On October 28th, stand up and be counted.
Canadian Troops Out of Afghanistan Now!
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