Saturday May 19, 2012
360 University Avenue
The call out:
NATO will be holding a summit in Chicago from May 19-21to decide the future of the war in Afghanistan and the future of military alliance itself. It is expected that the summit will rubber stamp the U.S.-Afghan strategic partnership which will see foreign troops occupy the country until 2024. Stephen Harper and the Conservative government in Canada have already indicated that they may keep Canadian special forces soldiers in the country.
The Canadian Peace Alliance, Afghans For Peace, The Canadian Arab Federation and the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War will be rallying on Saturday May 19 to call for all Canadian soldiers to be brought home from Afghanistan now and to oppose any extension of the occupation. Afghanistan is, after a decade of NATO intervention, mired in violence, bombing, night raids and massive poverty. We will also be calling for an end to all NATO interventions.
A recent Angus Reid poll found 58 per cent of Canadians strongly disagree with keeping troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014. A CBC news live poll found a whopping 95 per cent of Canadians are opposed to the extension.
May 15 is also the anniversary of the Nakba, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forcibly expelled from Palestine. The U.S. is arguing for Israel to attend this NATO summit. The U.S., the most powerful of the NATO members, is also responsible for the ongoing occupation of Palestine; meanwhile, our own Harper Government has become an unconditional supporter of this unjust occupation. We will also rally to commemorate the day and to call for liberation of the Palestinian people.
NATO is a relic of the cold war yet it continues to try and reinvent itself as a global security guard. It provides an illusion of internationalism while seeking to serve the interests of its primary players, namely the United States. The NATO powers use the alliance to bring military might to their plans for control and pillage of any country deemed to be outside the influence of the west.
There are also fears that western countries will be using the summit to discuss an attack on Iran, long supported by the Harper government and to meddle in the ongoing crisis in Syria. In each case we stand opposed to any western interference which will only bring more ruin and misery. NATO interventions are a disaster for the people living in the invaded countries.
Canadian foreign policy should not be set by the Pentagon or NATO but by the people of this country who are overwhelmingly calling for peace.