1 p.m. Saturday April 4
(102 Avenue and 100 Street)
Organized by the Edmonton Coalition Against War and Racism
Posters can be downloaded from the ecawar site.
Bring the Troops Home Now! Occupation is a Crime!
Free Palestine - Let Gaza Live!
Statement of the Canadian Peace Alliance
Demonstrate on April 4, 2009
Canada and NATO out of Afghanistan
Worldwide demonstrations during the NATO Summit
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will mark its 60th
anniversary on April 4 and 5, 2009. At the same time, demonstrations
will take place all over the world calling for an end to NATO’s war in
Afghanistan. The Canadian Peace Alliance and the Collectif Échec à la
guerre are calling for pan-Canadian demonstrations on April 4 to demand
an end to the NATO-led occupation that has already killed thousands of
Afghan civilians and threatens to bring war to the entire region.
After more than seven years of occupation, there is still no end in
sight to the killing in Afghanistan. Following the advice of US General
David Petraeus, the new Obama administration has agreed to an Iraq-style
“surge” in Afghanistan. The plan is to send an additional 30,000 US
troops. The US also wants to buy the support of Afghan militias by
arming and paying them to fight on the side of the NATO occupation
forces. There is widespread fear that such a move will increase tensions
between ethnic groups and further destabilize the country.
In addition, the war in Afghanistan has already expanded into Pakistan,
with an increase in US-led strikes in the border areas. The spread of
war threatens to create massive social and political instability in a
NATO is a relic of the Cold War. It has tried to reinvent itself in the
years since, and has now become a military alliance that aggressively
pursues the interests of its member countries, principally the United
States, in areas far beyond the North Atlantic. In doing so, NATO is
creating and stoking conflict. The proposed expansion of NATO membership
to the Ukraine and Georgia, and NATO support for a “Missile Defense”
plan in Eastern Europe, are fuelling a new arms race—and increasing the
danger that Canada will be involved in other NATO conflicts.
Even more worrying, NATO maintains its policy of pre-emptive
first-strike using nuclear weapons, a policy that encourages nuclear
proliferation, and heightens the prospect of nuclear war.
NATO members account for at least 75 per cent of global military
expenditures, allocating $1 trillion a year to military spending. In
Canada, both Liberal and Conservative governments have invoked “our NATO
commitment” in Afghanistan as justification for skyrocketing military
expenses, now earmarked at $490 billion over the next 20 years.
Canada—like other NATO members including the United Kingdom, Germany,
France, and Italy—continues to support NATO’s war in Afghanistan against
the peoples will. On March 13, 2008—just three weeks before a NATO
Summit—Parliament voted to extend Canada’s mission in Afghanistan to
July 2011. Polls showed that 58 per cent of Canadians opposed the extension.
Real security and prosperity will only be possible in Afghanistan when
Western governments end their support for NATO’s war. NATO members must
be accountable to their own populations, and not to NATO generals.
Join us on April 4 to demand the withdrawal of Canadian troops from
Afghanistan, and an end to NATO’s war.