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Yes, I think about Afghanistan and our peace-keeping mission there, I mostly worry about all the kids who are losing their parents, losing their limbs, losing their lives, who can't go to school because their schools are bombed, who don't eat every day because they have no one to feed them… what this protest could actually accomplish? Change our government's mind? About what exactly..

I hope you're not taking an anti terrorism fight stance. Recognize the freedoms that you have in this country and how safe you feel not having customers walk into your trendy coffe shop and blow themselves up just because your religious/political beliefs.

Ask yourself could Cool Hand open in a country like Afganistan or Iraq? Do they not deserve the same rights and freedoms as us or should we just leave and let the militia armies regroup and come at the Western world stronger?

Wow what a timely suggestion what with the war having been going since… what? March 20th, 2003? Only 7 years or so behind the 8 ball here….

Any chance we can also hold a discussion on overthrowing Stalin, or possibly removing that pesky Berlin wall?

Here's what I'm thinking… If you're going to hold a "local's pow-wow", there's relevant social issues that can be discussed that affect our community, "The Junction", directly, rather then bantering over the already determined timetable for an Afghanistan pull out (which begins in June 2011 as per the Conservative Gov't and hopefully will be completed by the end of that same year).

This conversation boat has long since sailed…. *toot toot*

"Stage something in the street" The only thing I want to see staged on our streets is the Junction Arts Fest. How nice it must be to sit in your hipster coffee shop and condem fighting terroism and for the rights of Middle Eastern society.

Kim Jackson, could Cool Hand operate in a middle eastern country? Imagine your life if you were born over there. Opening a business as a woman? Out of the question!Instead of protesting you would be busy hiding your thoughts from others and worrying which neighbour was about to turn you in for blasphemy.

Do they not deserve the same rights as us? Why protest fighting people who are operating terrorist camps in our own backyards. Why protest fighting people who kill solely for religious reasons, people who will stop at nothing to condem the western world. Why protest fighting people that if given the chance would walk into your safe little coffee shop strapped with a jihad vest?

The only thing that should worry us about Afghanistan is to make sure the sacrifice Canada has made, and will make, in lives and resources is not in vain. Holding the Afghani government accountable is the best way to ensure that. Afghanistan is NOT Iraq.

Kim, I think your free time (and you seem to have a lot of it) would be better spent thinking about any of the many problems we face as a community starting at your neighborhood; and as “public events” go, if it has no cultural or societal value, or doesn’t include selling some tasty treats, then is not worth it.

Thanks for all the comments, I'm interested in everything you have had to say here…I would just like to add a few comments of my own to this discussion: there are several women's groups who call for a pull out of NATO troops, violence against women has increased since the war, according to these women NATO hasn't been successful in addressing this issue. There is a movement afoot to extend Canada's role in the war, which is not a peace keeping role but active combat. NATO troops are attacking civilians (especially in recent weeks) and alienating many Afghan people, not to mention Canada's role in the torture of detainees–many of whom turn out to be civilians. Many soldiers return with Post Traumatic Stress which evolves into another whole social problem here. There are many different people in Afghanistan who are working towards rebuilding their their society which has been impacted by so much war. More war doesn't seem to be opening up more possibilities for positive work within Afghanistan. Protest is an important part of a healthy democracy based on shared information and discussion. Feel free to stop by and talk with me, I will have a recorder there if you want to add your voice to an audio installation I am working on… through this project I am trying to educate myself about our involvement. I don't take for granted my privileges, I just worry that my privileges cost other people their lives… I want to know if people are dying on my behalf what this really means…

By the way I am working with an artgroup for women at Mainstay Housing, and we are in bad need of an activity table, preferably a folding table that can seat 6 or 8 people. We have no funding right now and are operating off of community donations….if anyone has or knows of where I could find a donation for such a table it would be much appreciated. I have a page on the Junction Residents Association site where you can leave messages.

Thanks again for all the response…Kim Jackson

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