Saturday, September 19th #Veteransmefloquinerally2020
Last year I had the opportunity to be in Ottawa for the third annual Veteran’s Mefloquine Rally and had the honour of introducing Marj Matchee, the driving force behind the rally and long time mefloquine advocate. It was a memorable occasion for me and I had the chance to meet a lot of people in person for the very first time, and I was looking forward to attending again the following year.
Things have changed a lot since last year and as a result the rally could no longer be held in Ottawa. Undeterred by this, Marj set about putting together a new plan. There will be another rally, in Edmonton, and she will be there to fight and speak up for those Canadian veterans and their loved ones whose lives have been destroyed because of mefloquine.
But Edmonton won’t be the only place that is having a rally as there is also going to be one in Kingston, Ontario too. There may also be one taking place in Nova Scotia as well. Wherever you are in Canada, or the world for that matter, if you want to make a statement about mefloquine this would be a great opportunity to do so. You don’t have to hold a rally, though if you are able to organize one by all means do.
As always the purpose for the rally is to call for the Government of Canada:
- To reopen the Somalia Commission of Inquiry.
- To acknowledge those whose lives have been damaged as a result of being ordered to take mefloquine.
- To make funding available for research into a cure and in order to make medical resources available to veterans who have been affected.
For those who live outside of Canada this would be a great opportunity to increase mefloquine awareness in your countries while calling on your own governments to take action on this issue as well. Thousands of veterans across Europe are likely suffering because the very same thing happened to them too. Advocacy efforts in Ireland and the UK are giving voice to veterans there, but the same cannot be said for continental Europe where rates of PTSD and suicide among veterans has skyrocketed over the years.
You can still show your support and make a difference without holding a rally. Wherever you are in the world on September 19th, take a picture of yourself holding a sign with the hashtag #Veteransmefloquinerally2020 along with the location that you are at, and post it on the Veteran’s Mefloquine Rally 2020 Facebook page by clicking on the link below and then “Discussion” on the page itself. It doesn’t have to be a big sign either, even writing it out on a piece of paper with a Sharpie will do.
Saturday, September 19th
On Saturday, September 19th, wherever in the world you may be, take a little bit of time to show your support for those veteran’s who paid a very steep price for their service, and to let governments know that they will be held accountable for their actions.