In the previous issue there was a letter about the Canadian anti-war movement (Feedback, Socialist Review, November 2009). In Canada we face many challenges trying to build mass demonstrations against the war, but that should not be confused with the mass sentiment against the war that does exist.
Polls in Canada have shown majority opposition to the war for years and that sentiment is reflected in the strong anti-war positions taken by the Canadian Labour Congress and other forces on the left.
The Conservative government have done a good job in trying to demobilise the movement. They constantly set a date for withdrawal at 12 to 18 months, which means that people don't feel a sense of urgency to get out and protest. The lack of public debate in the media and among politicians has not helped.
But the justifications for the war are crumbling more each day and the anti-war sentiment is finding new outlets. Afghan member of parliament and anti-war campaigner Malalai Joya is currently on a speaking tour in Canada, and thousands have come out to hear her speak.
We need to arm people with the arguments so that they will feel confident in the anti-war position. The Conservatives' plan for a $490 billion increase in military spending makes that task ever more urgent. I agree we have little time to lose.