January 21, 2023 Burnaby, BC action of the January 13-22 Week of Actions to stop wars
(Prepared by local members of the Canada-Wide Peace and Justice Network)
Members and friends of the Canada-Wide Peace and Justice Network gathered on Saturday January 21 in Burnaby, Greater Vancouver, BC, for a protest demanding “Stop US/ Canada/ NATO Wars!” and “No New Fighter Jets!”. The action was co-organized by the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), the Global Peace Alliance, the Just Peace Committee, Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO), and the Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice. It was strengthened by the participation of other organizations, such as the East Indian Defence Committee, an affiliate of the International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS-Canada). This protest was one of over 90 actions across the US, Canada and worldwide as part of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) week of action, supported by the Canada-Wide Peace and Justice Network.
Thirty-five protesters delivered a common message for peace, social justice, and human rights and to end all wars and occupations, including economic warfare and sanctions. Despite a cold downpour and harassment from nearby mall security guards, protesters energetically held picket signs high and chanting “No New Fighter Jets!”, “Money for health care, not for fighter jets!”, “Money for jobs and education, not for wars and occupations!”, “Hands off Yemen!”, “Hands off Haiti!” and “Canada Stop Arming Saudi Arabia!”
Protesters stood with placards and banners on all four corners of the big, busy intersection, and marched around the crosswalks, attracting honks of support from cars driving by. Some passers-by from the nearby shopping mall and commuter train station smiled and nodded in approval, took antiwar literature, asked questions and joined in the protest.
There was a program of speakers representing the sponsoring and participating groups, as well as a local union activist. They urged people to join in building the peace movement and denouncing the US-led imperialist military expansion and aggression and Canada’s part in it. Speakers condemned Canada’s foreign and military policy which follows the war path of US and NATO towards the destruction of people and planet. Attention was also called to Canada’s role in supplying weapons and military supplies to fuel wars and militarism, including to Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Haiti. Speeches also sharply criticized the spending of taxpayers’ funds on expensive, dangerous and destructive weaponry, including warships, armed drones and the recently announced purchase of US-made F-35 fighter jets, which would cost taxpayers $77 billion over the jets’ lifespan.
Protesters took a group photo to wrap up the rally, which you can see below, and more photos are posted at https://photos.app.goo.gl/vJgvdxr9fhHVm2b57