Peace Alliance Winnipeg kicks off anti-Afghanistan mission petition campaign

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September 25, 2010 — More than 250 Winnipeggers signed a petition this afternoon calling on the Canadian Parliament to withdraw all Canadian troops from Afghanistan and to “not extend the military mission in any way, shape or form including training of local forces.”

Today’s two-hour information picket in Winnipeg’s Osborne Village marked the beginning of a Peace Alliance Winnipeg campaign to help our fellow citizens express their opposition to Canada’s continued participation in the occupation of Afghanistan.

In addition to collecting signatures on the petition, PAW members distributed several hundred postcards produced by the Canadian Peace Alliance for communicating with Members of Parliament (Get yours here.) as well as several hundred copies of an information bulletin entitled Ten Reasons to Bring Canada’s Troops Home from Afghanistan.

The petition reads as follows:

Whereas: The United Nations has noted with grave concern the mounting number of civilian deaths at a time when civilian casualties have increased by 31 per cent in the first six months of 2010 to almost 1300 killed and 2000 injured. Women and children are the most vulnerable. Female casualties rose six per cent between January and June, while child casualties jumped 55 per cent over the year before. Estimates place civilian casualties as high as 30,000 plus for the nine years the war has been waged. Staffan De Mistura the top UN envoy in Afghanistan noting the futility of this said: “We are very concerned about the future because the human cost is being paid too heavily by civilians.” (sources: CBC/Wikipedia)

Whereas: The Afghan people are capable of creating their own democratic future. It has a proud history and traditions based on its people. The war has not improved the situation of ordinary Afghans or improved the conditions of women. Corruption remains rampant and the Karzai Government is not supported by the people. The people of Afghanistan have opposed the war as preventing them from creating a modern Afghan nation capable of providing democratic and social rights to the people.

Whereas: The war will cost Canada more than $22 billion, in actual money spent on the mission and future payments to rebuild equipment and provide long-term care for veterans (source: Ottawa Citizen) Nine years of war have accomplished nothing and at great material and human cost. Extending military involvement past 2011 will only add to these material and human costs and do nothing to solve the problem facing the people of Afghanistan.

Whereas: The brutality of the war is coming to light in scandals involve the smuggling of drugs by military personnel, war crimes on the battlefield and the torture of detainees when handed over to local Afghan police and military.

Therefore, we, the undersigned, demand that Parliament not extend the military mission in any way, shape or form including training of local forces. All troops must be withdrawn to show Canada’s intention to pursue non-military support for Afghanistan.

We need your help

Please help collect signatures for the petition. You can download it here. (Please mail completed copies to Peace Alliance Winnipeg, P.O. Box 1, Winnipeg, MB, R3C 2G1).

Additionally, you can sign the petition online, and encourage everyone else you know to do likewise.

And don’t forget to get in touch with your Member of Parliament. Contact information for MPs is available here. Go get ’em!

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