Why we must march against war

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

"Courage, my friends, we can still make a better world"

The above quotation comes from Tommy Douglas, former CCF/NDP leader and longtime peace activist.

It reminds us why we must march, rally, and educate ourselves about Canada's mission impossible in Afghanistan.

It reminds us why this Saturday marks an important moment in stopping this war, and truly helping the people of Afghanistan.

We need courage to challenge the bluster of Canada's warmongers, and the politicians who support them.

Let's face it: Canada's war in Afghanistan is already over. This war will end in 2011, but not due to any wisdom from the federal government. It is already a failure and a majority of Canadians know it.

Western reconstruction operations in Afghanistan are a farce. Following a time-honoured pattern, most of this money leaves in the briefcases of foreign contractors.

As an aide to Hamid Karzai recently told a Quebec reporter, "the international community has injected $19 billion into Afghanistan. About 95% of that leaves the country... non-governmental organizations employ 540 foreigners who earn from $5000 ton $35,000 per month. The last elections cost $395 million. It was the foreigners who organized them, and the kept the money for themselves."

The balance of "reconstruction" money goes to drug-running warlords who call the shots in the current Afghan government. These thugs âe" many of whom terrorized Afghans in the early 1990s âe" build mansions for themselves and their friends, and get NATO to guard their compounds.

Poverty in Afghanistan is at record levels. As foreign contractors clinked beers in Kabul, a thousand people froze to death this winter.

A million pounds in bombs were dropped on Afghanistan in 2007, and 40,000 Afghans have died since 2001. Not surprisingly, Afghan resistance to the occupation is growing. Hamid Karzai, in reality, is the Mayor of East Kabul. No doctored poll by U.S.-government funded agencies can honestly say otherwise.

Still, after yesterday's vote on the Afghan mission, Stephen Harper will likely crow about "staying the course." He'll go to NATO with a fistful of political nerve, claiming widespread support for Canada's so-called "war on terror."

No doubt, some will throw up their hands and insist that protest doesn't matter. Polls indicate 61 percent of Canadians are opposed to extending Canada's war in Afghanistan, but that wasn't reflected in yesterday's House of Commons vote.

But a funny thing happened yesterday in Harper's pre-fabricated democracy. Regular people, like you and me, showed up to serve notice that we will stop this war. We demonstrated that an ounce of bottom-up activism can challenge the mightiest of bullies.

The Commons galleries erupted in anti-war chanting. Soon after the Tories voted, "End it, don't extend it!" was heard throughout the building. Our chanting could even be heard as we were shepherded into the halls by security.

Dion and Harper were stunned. They didn't expect this intrusion of democracy. They didn't think us plebes would storm into their "palace," and point out that the Emperor has no clothes.

My friends, this Emperor's been naked for years, and their "palace" belongs to all of us. Let's get on with the task of telling others. This Saturday, we'll rally, we'll march, and we'll educate ourselves. We'll build the support and capacity needed for our message of peace.

As veterans from the Vietnam War will attest, peace activism is about persistence, and appealing to the hearts and minds of Canadians.

Courage my friends: we can, and we will, stop this war.

See you on the streets tomorrow!

Further Reading

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.