activist calendar: october 17, 18 and 19

Tomorrow, October 17, 2008 is the 14th Iraq Moratorium.

On the third Friday of every month, people throughout North America interrupt their daily routines to call for an end to the US occupation of Iraq. The action can be small or large, individual or collective.

Wear a button, put a sign in your car windshield or cubicle, tape a sign to a park bench, join a vigil, leave information about peace in your workplace break-room, send a mass email, post to your blog, talk to your neighbours about peace. Whatever action you choose is meaningful. Do something and ask someone else to do something, too.

At the Iraq Moratorium Blog, there is a listing of events around the US. Since the third-Friday Moratoriums began in September 2007, there have been nearly 1,500 actions in 42 states and 236 communities.

For more info, check this website: Iraq Moratorium.

Saturday, October 18, 2008, in Canada, join people in your community to speak out against Canada's military presence in Afghanistan. From the Canadian Peace Alliance:
On March 13th, 2008, the Liberal and Conservative parties ignored the will of the majority of Canadians and voted to extend Canada's participation in the war in Afghanistan until July 2011. In the face of this blatantly undemocratic decision, the anti-war movement in Quebec and Canada commits to building even more vocal opposition and to denounce the lies and omissions about this war.

Lies and omissions about the escalation of war in Afghanistan, through repeated attempts at painting a rosy picture of progress and development in that country, are invariably contradicted by reality. Thus, with higher troop levels than before (now around 71,000), more NATO soldiers were killed in Afghanistan than in Iraq in May and June of this year.

From time to time, we hear mention of "collateral damage" as occupation forces continue to kill civilians. In July alone, at least 80 Afghan civilians were killed, including 47 people – mostly women and children – bombarded while taking part in a wedding, and two very young children shot in their parents' car by Canadian soldiers. Commenting on the indiscriminate killing of civilians, the Afghan newspaper, Weesa Daily, wrote : "Such arbitrary bombing raids and brutal killings have been repeated so many times during the past nearly seven years that now it is difficult to believe these foreign forces have come to our country for assistance."

Since Canadian troops are very active in this war, using tanks and firing millions of rounds of ammunition (including some very expensive, sophisticated and destructive ones), we ask the Canadian government and media one simple question: can the Canadian people see who and what the troops are shooting at? and with what results?

Despite frequent and contradictory assurances from the Conservatives that detainees are being treated fairly in Afghanistan, we know that torture and abuse of Afghan detainees is ongoing and widespread. Canada cannot remain involved in supporting this illegal and immoral behaviour.

. . .

The Harper Government has not only committed Canada to be in Afghanistan until 2011 – longer than WWI or WWII – it is presently spending over 50 million dollars every day on the military and is pushing for massive increases in military spending – as much as $490 billion over the next 20 years!

For a listing of actions across Canada, go here. (Note that the Vancouver event is Sunday, October 19.)

Come out and raise your voice for peace.

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