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(en) Canada, Montreal Resists Israeli Terrorism in Lebanon and Gaza (Photos, audio, and text)

Date Tue, 18 Jul 2006 19:52:11 +0300


For photos of the demonstration from Friday and Sunday, visit:
http://gallery.cmaq.net/montreal-lebanon
For audio reports from Stefan Christoff and Sawsan Kalache, Tadamon!*
Montreal members currently in Beirut, visit:
http://tadamon.resist.ca/index.php/?p=48#more-48
Montreal, July 16, 2006 -- Montrealers have taken to the streets twice
over the last weekend to protest the escalating Israeli aggression in
Lebanon and the Gaza strip. The protests have been organized
spontaneously by members of the Lebanese community and their allies in the
face of an increasing death count in Lebanon and Palestine.
On Friday, July 14, 250 people came out at noon for a demonstration
outside the Israeli consulate in downtown Montreal. It was held in the
space where the group Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU) have been
holding a silent vigil every Friday for the last five years since the
second Palestinian Intifadah started. Instead of a silent vigil, an
emotionally charged crowd made it clear that now was the time to be vocal
and express outrage at Israeli war crimes. Speeches were made by many
activists, including representatives of the Lebanese community and
Palestinian refugees. Following the rally, a group marched through
downtown Montreal, ending at the American consulate. The demo was called
by PAJU, along with the Coalition Against the Deportation of Palestinian
Refugees, the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) – Montreal, Parole
Arabe, and Tadamon!

On the following Sunday, July 16, with civilian deaths in Lebanon rising
to well over 100 after five days of intense Israeli assaults, another
demonstration was held outside the Israeli consulate. This demonstration,
organized by Lebanese community centers and mosques, brought out over 1000
people on only two days notice. Before the demo got underway, a message
was broadcast over the sound-system via cell phone from a resistance
fighter in Lebanon. Many people in the crowd listened in with worried
looks on their faces.

The march then proceeded down Rene Levesque boulevard, with the crowd
chanting “Israel assassinates! Canada is complicit!” and “From Beirut to
Palestine, Occupation is a Crime!”. Many people, young and old, and their
families joined in.

Halfway through the march, a woman broke down in tears upon hearing that
members of her family had been killed in Lebanon. Later on, CBC radio
news reported that seven Canadian citizens were killed and three seriously
injured by the Israeli army in Lebanon today. More people broke down in
tears upon hearing the news. Stephen Harper and the Canadian government
have given their explicit support to these atrocities being committed by
Israel.

The demonstration ended at the Guy Favreau complex, a federal government
building, with more speeches in English, French, and Arabic. The speakers
made it clear that Canada’s support for Israel’s actions is in clear
violation of international law, and that our politicians must be held
accountable.

Israel’s bloody invasion of the Gaza strip is almost in its third week,
after resistance fighters captured a soldier of the occupation forces.
The soldier’s release is conditional upon the release of over 8000
Palestinian political prisoners being held in Israeli jails. To date, the
Israeli aggression has left 92 Palestinians dead and another 326 wounded
many in critical condition, according to the Palestinian Authority Health
Ministry.

A coalition of groups came together after Sunday’s demonstration to plan
another week of actions to put pressure the Canadian and Israeli
governments. The next demonstration will be Tuesday, July 18 at 5:00pm at
the corner of Peel and Rene-Levesque. Other actions being planned include
a human chain through Montreal’s old port on Wednesday night, a 24-hour
vigil outside the Israeli consulate on Friday, and an international day of
action on July 22.

For more information on all of these actions, and other independent
reports from Beirut, visit tadamon.resist.ca.

[This report was compiled by members of ISM-Montreal and Tadamon!*
Montreal]
=======================================================
* In Montreal, Tadamon! aims to organize within the Lebanese Diaspora,
through popular education, cultural work and political action, which
address struggles facing the Lebanese community, such as immigration,
racism, poverty and labour rights.

Through organizing work both locally and internationally, Tadamon! aligns
itself with social justice movements in Lebanon, Canada and
internationally which are anti-capitalist & anti-authoritarian in nature._______________________________________________
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