Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Winnipeg Walkout 2006

The following was submitted by a Winnipeg Walkout supporter

On May 1st there will be a Walkout against War. In particular the day will draw attention to Canada’s role in Afghanistan, Haiti, and as a supporter of the U.S. driven war on the world, known as ‘war on terror.’

April 30 through May 6 the army will be in Winnipeg training for a mystery mission in 2008. The walkout is one among several important events throughout the week protesting “Operation Charging Bison,” the name for the urban warfare training.

When I first heard about Walkout 2006, I was reminded of the incredible Winnipeg Walkout of 2003. Protests were exploding around the world at this time, on every continent, and involving millions of people. Hundreds of thousands were marching in the cities of Europe, the Middle East, and America. Even Winnipeg drew a massive mid-Febuary demonstration of 10 000.

Winnipeg Walkout 2003 occurred in this exciting type of atmosphere – where every day the news changed rapidly. With millions of people on the streets of the world, and Winnipeg being a part of this, it made it seem that we were a part of a global movement fighting a global system, and that it could actually stop the war. But as we know now, Bush and his Christian fundamentalist movement were going to invade anyways, and use any excuse to justify it. The world stood in shock.

Winnipeg Walkout 2003 occurred days after the bombs started falling on Iraq. The day of action was organized by World People’s Resistance Movement, and coordinated through students in schools across the city. Hundreds of youth flooded into Memorial Park on the day of action. Almost the entire Gordon Bell high school walked out – taking up the whole street along the way! Other schools marched from far away as a group, or rode the bus together. The result was amazing – the sight of seeing an estimated 3000 youth taking action against something that was so clearly wrong. The atmosphere was electrifying, as anyone who was there can attest to.

Winnipeg Walkout 2006 is in a different time, and with new opportunities and challenges posed by the training of the Canadian imperialist army in our city. Canada’s role in the world is hidden with murky, untruthful distortion of what they are actual doing in Afghanistan, Haiti, and their support for the war in Iraq. As it begins to emerge with the increased deployment in Afghanistan, the progressive forces in Canada are faced with the challenge of exposing Canada’s imperialist nature, of how it is seeking to protect its own interests around the world at the expense of the world’s people.

Canada is deeply divided over the supposed transition from “peacekeeping” to combat roles. Protesting “operation charging bison” has received support across the country, even from people as far away as Japan and Europe! Some from around the country are even planning to join us for these important days of resistance.

The crimes being committed by the Canadian government, in our name, are every bit as horrendous as the invasion of Iraq. Winnipeg Walkout 2006 another critical step in the movement toward justice for the World’s People - with the potential to explode across Canada.

Three years ago no one thought it was possible to bring thousands of youth together for a powerful demonstration – but what started as only a few organizers and coordinators in schools exploded massively. What will the soldiers think when they see a crowd of their own citizens, small or large, opposing what they do? Will they be able to keep on fighting? We have organize, organize, organize, so hopefully they will join with us to oppose Canada’s role in oppressing other countries.

9 Comments:

Blogger HulkSmash said •

Oh My God, you are so backwards and misguided its not even funny. Maybe if you took your head out of your self righteous ass and actually looked at what Canada's army was doing, you'd see that we are not an imperial nation, and we are not out to oppress the impoverished people of the world. People like you turn my stomach with your ignorance and stupidity.

6:11 PM  
Blogger Proud Canadian said •

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7:56 PM  
Blogger Ken said •

proud canadian, "friendly army" is an oxymoron. How can an army be friendly when it's killing innocent people? "Collateral damage" is unacceptable.

The argument that this is for our defense is a sham. I would support a defensive army, but our involvement in conflicts such as Afghanistan is making us less safe by earning the resentment of those not killed by our bombs and bullets.

I urge members of the military and their families to look for sources of information beyond the government. Canada is imperial, and "peacekeeping" is a fiction.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Proud Canadian said •

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1:19 PM  
Blogger Proud Canadian said •

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1:24 PM  
Blogger Ken said •

It's not possible to "keep the peace". Peace comes from working together, not toting guns around.

The military is of course going to whitewash its activities on its deployments.

For a different perspective: The Night Fairies

I understand why Winnipeg is being used. I don't have any ill will toward the soliders participating, my concern is with the military policies that place them in dangerous situations. For me, the Exercise Charging Bison gives me an opportunity to publically voice my opposition to militarism and imperialism.

2:14 PM  
Blogger Proud Canadian said •

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6:49 PM  
Blogger prairiedoc said •

For what it's worth, here is my two cents. I am a military doctor. I have just come home from Afghanistan. During my time there, I treated hundreds of Afghan civilians. In fact, over 80% of the patients we saw were Afghan locals. The hospitals are non-existent, and the Taliban has driven away or killed most of the doctors. I saw my share of tragedies, but I also experienced the reward of using my skills to help someone who otherwise would have died. I see a lot of posts here from people who may not know all the facts;this includes the army reservists. Name calling only polarizes us, and does no one any good. Educate each other on your points of view, and engage in healthy, informed debate. Do not disregard opinions that differ from your own. This is the beauty of the freedom of our great country. Without this debate, we are no better than the close-minded fundamentalists that start conflicts and perpetuate hate in the name of "God." Without this debate, tragedies such as Somalia will repeat themselves. We need the public to be vigilant and hold us accountable to the highest standard. Anything less dishonors all Canadians. In my own small way, I think I have made a small difference in a few Afghan children's lives. Armies will fight, as they have for all of human history. Let us not pretend that this is not so. Until we evolve out of our aggressive natures, armies will exist. I don't know what else to say about that. I left my wife and 2 young children to go to a far away land to help children who, by accident of birth, are not as privelaged as mine. In my own way, I felt I have contributed to make this world a little bit better for someone other than me. Please do not hate me for doing what I thought was right. To the protestors, by all means, protest, and let your views be known. To the Reservists, train, yes, but be mindful of what you do. This is not a game. Do not be cavalier about going to a mission you know little about. Open your minds. I have risked my life, and risked orphaning my children for what I believe. I would be disappointed if the rights and freedoms that I would die to defend are silenced by close-mindedness.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Proud Canadian said •

prairiedoc, thank you very much for stepping in. I realize that I let my anger go too far here. I have alot of respect for what you have done. I can't thank you enough for all the hardwork, dedication and courage you have displayed. Thank you kindly.

Ken, I appologize for making you feel defensive or inferior. I respect your opinions, but like any opposing opinion you hear, you want to argue to the death about it because of lack of understanding. You can make a difference, just like anyone who risks their lives and risks leaving family and friends at home to never return. Again, I apologize for my biased opinion. I think I have left learning alot from this site. Take Care

6:39 AM  

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