There will be extra significance to the anti-war feeder rally and march today, taking place at 12:30 p.m. in the lead-up to the "Putting People First" rally and the rest of the Day of Action against the G20. Among those raising their voices against Canada's role in Afghanistan will be a local military mom. Here's the release we have put out from the Canadian Peace Alliance:
Josie Forcadilla, the mother of a Canadian soldier recently deployed to Afghanistan, will join a G20 anti-war rally, making her first-ever public comments against the war. The Canadian Peace Alliance is holding a press conference at 11:30 a.m. Saturday outside the U.S. Consulate at 360 University Avenue, featuring Forcadilla and other opponents of the war.
"Considering the number of deaths, not to mention the injured and those who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, it is time for the Harper government to withdraw unconditionally all Canadian Forces personnel in Afghanistan," says Forcadilla.
"The expansionist and integrationist policy of the Canadian Forces has failed as evidenced by the mounting casualties in the rank and file -- 148 fallen soldiers to date -- and the toll the Afghan civilian population is taking," Forcadilla adds.
"We want G20 leaders to hear from the military mum that there is opposition to their war in Afghanistan," says Christine Jones, co-chair of the Canadian Peace Alliance.
"The G20 leaders are meeting inside their fortified 'secure zone,' so Torontonians now see first-hand what's it's like to live in a militarized zone. The $1 billion worth of sound cannons and the over-the-top police and security presence is clearly aimed at discouraging free speech and public demonstrations," says Jones.
At 12:30 p.m. the Peace Alliance will hold an anti-war rally calling for an immediate withdrawal of Canadian and other NATO troops from Afghanistan, and a lifting of the siege against Gaza. The anti-war march will then join up with the "Putting People First" rally starting at 1 p.m. at Queen's Park, where thousands are expected to demonstrate.
The Canadian Peace Alliance is the country's largest peace network with over 150 member groups representing 4 million Canadians.
The anti-war feeder march is one of several converging at 1 p.m. at Queen's Park.