On Saturday, Sept. 7, Winnipeggers rallied in solidarity with the people of Syria and in opposition to a US led attack. This was the second Winnipeg rally in seven days, and one of ten held across Canada to call for peace negotiations.
Speaking on behalf of No War with Syria (Winnipeg), Chris Zanewich said, “The decision to carry out a ‘limited’ attack on Syria will carry dire consequences. If nothing is done to intervene peacefully, an increase in civilian casualties along with the displacement of millions of peaceful Syrians will undoubtedly be the harsh reality.”
Zanewich said that the appropriate remedy for those accused of chemical weapons attacks would be “a fair democratic trial.” Elaborating on Chris’s comments, No War with Syria (Winnipeg) representative Tara Mann explained that, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, hate cannot drive out hate. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, creating a destructive spiral. Peace cannot be achieved through violence, hatred, and greed; it can only be attained through truth, love and understanding. Humanity must understand this concept. Or else. We will continue to experience separation, and we will continue to experience war with each other over money, oil, power, skin colour, and religion for the remainder of our existence on this planet.”
Manitoba Peace Council representative Cheryl-Anne Carr said that the struggle of the Syrian people for democratic rights has been “hijacked by the West” to serve Western interests. Regarding Canada’s pro-military intervention stance in this crisis, she noted that, “Canada is the third largest investor in Syria and we have some actual leverage with that country if we wanted to use it without encouraging missile strikes. A few short years ago, the Harper government had such confidence in the Assad government we in Winnipeg had to fight tooth and nail to keep a young man from being deported to torture and death in Syria. The Harper government openly said no harm would come to him, that it did not think Assad would hurt his own people, that nations were sovereign and made their own rules.”
Glenn Michalchuk, of Peace Alliance Winnipeg, was the last to speak. He observed that, “When we demonstrate against the threat of U.S bombing we are not blind to the suffering of the Syrian people or indifferent to their struggle against internal reaction. The Syrian people have the right to determine their future for themselves and to build their country as they see fit. But this right will not come from the bombs of the U.S. Nor will it come from the interference of the U.S., Britain, Canada, France and Saudi Arabia to fuel civil war with arms and foreign fighters. This right will not come from Russia which for decades considered Syria its client state in the Middle East to protect its interests in that region against the maneuverings of the United States.”
For more, watch my video report.