Yemen: The War We Won’t Ignore

The Montreal #CanadaStopArmingSaudi delegation consisting of Laurel Thompson, Yves Engler, Rose Marie Whalley, Diane Normand and Cym Gomery (behind the camera)

By Cym Gomery, Montréal for a World BEYOND War, March 29, 2023

On March 27th, a delegation from Montréal for a World BEYOND War gathered in front of the Global Affairs Canada building in downtown Montréal, armed with a banker’s box. Our mission – to deliver letters, a declaration, and demands on behalf of more than a million Canadians, telling our government that:

  1. We haven’t forgotten the war in Yemen, and Canada’s ongoing complicity in it.
  2. We will keep on raising our voices loud and clear until Canada speaks up for peace, stops its war profiteering and makes reparations to the people of Yemen.

We ascended through cavernous empty hallways to the eighth floor of the government’s ivory tower, and after passing through two sets of glass doors we found ourselves in an anteroom where a lone clerk emerged to greet us. We presented our box and I explained our mission.

Fortunately for us, our delegation included local foreign policy expert, activist and author Yves Engler, who had the presence of mind to whip out his phone and record the transaction, which he posted to Twitter. Yves is no stranger to videography as a tool for social change.

Ours was one of several actions that were organized by the Canada-wide Peace and Justice Network. Elsewhere in Canada, the actions were more boisterous. In Toronto, activists unfurled a 30 foot banner in a spectacular rally that even got some international press coverage. There were also rallies in Vancouver BC, Waterloo, Ontario, and Ottawa, to name a few.

The Canada-wide Peace and Justice Network published a statement and demands, that you can read here. On that page, there are also tools for sending a letter to your MPs, which I encourage everyone to use.

I am proud of Canadian peace activists for planning and executing the days of action for peace in Yemen, from March 25, 26, and 27th 2023. However, we’re not done. On this, the eighth anniversary of this shameful ongoing massacre, we give the Trudeau government notice that we are not going to ignore this war, even though the mainstream media is mute on this issue.

Over 300,000 people have been killed in Yemen so far, and currently, because of the blockade, people are starving. Meanwhile, billions of dollars in profits roll in, as London, Ontario-based GDLS continues rolling out arms and LAVs. We will not let our government continue to get away with war profiteering, not will we sit idly by as it purchases nuclear-capable fighter jets and increases military spending. We will be at CANSEC in May, and we will continue to be a voice for Yemen as long as it takes.

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