Campaigners worldwide this week are calling for an immediate end to the war in Yemen, including elevated calls for the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada to end their support of the assault led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that is only exacerbating a famine while also making the Covid-19 pandemic a larger and larger threat.
Led by several convening anti-war organizations—the Yemeni Alliance Committee, Action Corps, CodePink, and Stop the War U.K.—over 385 groups from around the world came together with a joint call Monday to end the war and on-the-ground demonstrations took place in approximately 30 countries.
During an international conference call via video stream, opponents of the war—including Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), former U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Progressive International co-founder Yanis Varoufakis, Yemeni-American scholar Dr. Shireen Al-Adeimi, and many others—spoke about the ongoing campaign to end the conflict, suffering, and bloodshed.
Speaking from the U.S., Congressman Khanna said that what’s happening in Yemen “is the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world” and now, with former President Donald Trump gone and both chambers of Congress back in the control of the Democrats, he would—along with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)—be re-introducing a War Power Resolution to end U.S. complicity and involvement in the Saudi-led attack.
“Ending this war and providing the relief that is necessary to civilians and Yemen has to be our highest priority,” he added. “It has to be our highest priority across nationality, across religion, across party. I am committed to working with Sen. Sanders and the Biden administration to bring this war to an end.”
In addition to ending any U.S. logistical support to the Saudis, Khanna said he would continue to push for an end to the crushing blockade that has prevented supplies of life-saving food and medicine from reaching those in need and also called for the Saudi kingdom to pay reparations for the harms and damage they have inflicted. Based on conversations he has already had with President Joe Biden’s incoming national security team, including Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Khanna said he remains “confident” the new administration is committed to ending the war.
Corbyn, in his remarks, announced that he had introduced what’s called an Early Day Motion in the U.K. Parliament opposing the government’s ongoing support for the war.
“Profits are being made from the killing of children, profits are being made from the destruction of an entire country,” Corbyn lamented. He called on people from across the globe “to oppose the rise of the far right and racism all around the world, and bring people together in their quest for peace and ending poverty and the unity that will come from it.”
Al-Adeimi, assistant professor of education at Michigan State University, thanked the international coalition speaking out against the war that has too often been “not forgotten, but ignored” by the world community and targeted her remarks directly at the new U.S. president.
“I call on President Biden to end every aspect of this war,” Al-Adeimi said. “One day, Yemenis will have a chance to pick up the pieces and chart their own course, free of international meddling and intervention.”
“One day,” she said, “bombs won’t be dropped on innocent people in our name, and those who profited from this war will be held accountable. Until that day, I call on everyone listening and watching to continue fighting for the sake of 30 million Yemenis—no matter how long it takes, no matter how lonely it gets, and no matter how difficult it is, because Yemen matters—and Yemen can’t wait.”