Advocates for Palestinian liberation in Vancouver gathered in a busy downtown area on Saturday, 6 August to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and the Resistance confronting the Israeli attacks on Gaza, and to demand an end to Canadian complicity in Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Demonstrators drew widespread attention from passers-by and many honks of support as they waved signs, Palestinian flags and banners calling for justice and liberation for Palestine. Speakers took to the mic to denounce Canada’s ongoing justification for Zionism and the ongoing Nakba against the Palestinian people, even as Palestinian elders, adults and children are massacred in Gaza.
Charlotte Kates, international coordinator of Samidoun, appealed to those listening to take action to put an end to these ongoing crimes in Gaza and to support the Palestinian people and their resistance defending them against these assaults, including escalating the boycott of Israel and complicit corporations and demanding the province end its complicity in war crimes through the sale of “Israeli” wines produced in occupied Syrian and Palestinian land.
Natalie Knight, Indigenous organizer and organizer with BDS Vancouver and the Friends of the Filipino People in Struggle, linked the ongoing struggle in Palestine to the struggle taking place on this land, with Indigenous peoples confronting settler-colonialism, genocide and theft of their land and resources at the hands of the Canadian state. She urged internationalist solidarity in struggle for liberation.
Callum of Samidoun Vancouver spoke about the struggle of Palestinian political prisoners on the front lines confronting occupation and colonialism, including Khalil Awawdeh, on hunger strike for over 150 days against his imprisonment without charge or trial under administrative detention. Callum urged support for the Palestinian resistance as it fights to defend and liberate the land and people of Palestine.
Chris “Perry” Sorio of BAYAN Canada, a former political prisoner under the Marcos regime, expressed the solidarity of the Filipino national democratic movement with the Palestinian liberation struggle and emphasized the important role of political prisoners as a central part of any movement for liberation.
Khaled Barakat of the Masar Badil, Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement, spoke about the struggle of the Palestinian people for the past 75 years confronting colonialism and Zionism. He slammed the role of the imperialist powers and the normalizing reactionary Arab regimes in aiding, arming and supporting the ongoing Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people, especially the Canadian government, and emphasized that the Palestinian people and their resistance would continue the struggle until victory, return and liberation.
The protest was supported by or joined by members of organizations including BDS Vancouver – Coast Salish, Canada Palestine Association, Palestinian Youth Movement, BAYAN Canada, Friends of the Filipino People in Struggle and International League of Peoples’ Struggle. Samidoun is organizing in Vancouver to build solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners and for the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea; to get involved, email email@example.com.