RALLY AGAINST THE ISRAELI ATTACKS ON GAZA:
The people of Gaza have not rung in the New Year happily, as Israeli bombs and rockets rain down on them in a display of aggression that is reminiscent of the fascist attack on Guernica (see the Picasso picture above). These attacks which have, so far, killed over 400 people indiscriminately, combatants and civilians alike, are predicated on the false assumption that terror can make the inhabitants of Gaza abandon their support of the Hamas faction/sect. This assumption is false, but it is a common assumption amongst both those in power and those who wish to attain it. While having no sympathy for either the Israeli state nor its opponents Molly feels that terrorism has to be condemned no matter what side plays with these tactics. Hence the actions of the Israeli government have to be condemned. The following is the skivvy of what will be happening in Winnipeg tomorrow to protest this present atrocity.
RALLY TO PROTEST ISRAEL'S MASSACRES IN GAZA, PALESTINE:
Canada Palestine Support Network (Winnipeg)
Causes - Rally
Time and Place
Saturday, January 3, 2009
2:00pm - 3:30pm
The following is a letter to print out and send to Prime Minster Steven Harper about this issue.
LETTER TO PRINT, SIGN AND MAIL TO PM HARPER
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
To the Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper,
Prime Minister of Canada
I am writing to express my shock and dismay at the recent illegal Israeli attacks on the Palestinian city of Gaza. More than 400 Palestinians have been helplessly killed by Israel’s aerial bombardments. The Israeli bombers have targeted civilian buildings and installations, including police stations, a university, refugee camps and the port of Gaza City, not to mention numerous houses, residential and office buildings.
These shocking Israeli assaults follow a cruel, year-and-a-half-long siege and blockade of Gaza by Israel, conditions that have crippled the Gazan economy and brought starvation and malnourishment. The Israeli blockade has brought delivery of food, fuel, medical supplies and other necessities to a halt, even as UN storage depots in Gaza are now empty. Israel continues to bar UN and medical personnel, as well as journalists, from entering the city.
The Israeli attacks are war crimes, and are directly in contravention of international humanitarian law and principles of human rights. Yet Western governments, including Canada’s, have been silent in the face of these atrocities. This must change immediately.
Mr. Harper, on Friday, December 19, 2008, you represented Canada in the earth-turning ceremony for the foundation of the new Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg. If principles of human rights are to extend to everyone, including Palestinians, and if you truly seek to champion human rights in Canada and around the world, then you and your Government must act now to prevent the further shedding of Palestinian blood.
We, as citizens of Canada who desire our country to stand for the human rights of people here and around the world, hereby call upon your Government to condemn the Israeli attacks upon Gaza and to use all of its influence at the United Nations and other international organizations to which it is signatory to force Israel to cease and desist from all further attacks against the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
We also call upon your Government to suspend its relations with Israel, including all nation-to-nation trade agreements, pacts, treaties, and so forth.
Further, we call upon your Government to declare sanctions against Israel, to divest itself from all investments in Israeli companies, and to boycott all Israeli goods and services until a lasting peace agreement acceptable to the Palestinian people is reached.
Name & Address:
RALLY MEDIA RELEASE:
PALESTINE SUPPORT GROUP HOLDS RALLY, DENOUNCES ATTACKS ON GAZA BY ISRAEL
Sanctions against Israel called for as death toll climbs past 400
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Saturday, January 3, 2009
WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg chapter of the Canada-Palestine Support Network (CanPalNet) will convene a rally this Saturday, January 3, 2009 beginning at 2 p.m. at the Manitoba Legislature, in protest of Israel’s latest, deadly assault on the Gaza Strip and its peoples.
Organized with the support of other social justice and peace-focused organizations — among these, Canadian Muslims for Palestine (CMP) and Peace Alliance Winnipeg (PAW) — the rally will feature a number of speakers (Palestinian and Jewish, alike) each condemning Israel’s week-long bombardment campaign, which has resulted, so far, in the deaths of over 400 Palestinians, with thousands more wounded and displaced.
“Last Saturday’s attacks represent the largest massacre in Gaza since Israel’s illegal occupation of the area in 1967,” states rally speaker and CanPalNet (Winnipeg) member Bassam Hozaima.
Adds Hozaima, himself a native of Gaza: “Gaza had been cut off from the outside world for 19 months and starved from the basic means of living and health care.”
“We must mobilize and act to convince the Federal government to not only denounce these acts of slaughter, but to persuade officials to engage in a comprehensive campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel — much as was done in the case of South Africa under Apartheid.”
To date, more than 170 Palestinian and Israeli civil society associations — together with hundreds of international NGOs, grassroots movements and workers’ unions (including Canadian labour unions CUPE and CUPW) — have appealed to world governments to enact BDS campaigns against Israel for its human rights abuses against Palestinians.
States Canadian Muslims for Palestine (CMP) media spokesperson and Manitoba lawyer Louay Alghoul: “We, as Canadians, are astonished from the statements released by our government, where it justifies such unprecedented action of Israel’s collective punishment to the Palestinian people and supports the government of Israel in its recent massacre in the Gaza Strip.”
Continues Alghoul, also Palestinian: “Canada continues to follow the tail of the Bush’s administration when it comes to international and foreign policies — even when the rest of the world opposes it.”
CanPalNet (Winnipeg) organizers invite all Winnipeggers to attend Saturday’s rally, which is to be held in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect, and in full support of human rights and social justice for all peoples.
For more information, or to arrange media interviews, please contact rally organizer and CanPalNet (Winnipeg) member
Krishna Lalbiharie at:
ONGOING ENGLISH-LANGUAGE COVERAGE:
Both Flashpoints & Democracy Now's featured programs today (Monday, December 29th) are on GAZA (audio, video, and/or written transcripts available -- links below):
Flashpoints (KPFA Radio Berkeley): http://www.kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=30174
Democracy Now: http://www.democracynow.org
Electronic Intifada: http://electronicintifada.net
RALLY IN WINNIPEG!
SATURDAY, JANUARY 3, 2009
2 PM * MANITOBA LEGISLATURE
As of this writing, more than 400 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s latest assault on the Gaza Strip and its peoples, together with lasting threats of bloodshed hanging heavily over the skies in Palestine as Israel vows further, violent actions -- including a calculated ground-force invasion.
Indeed, Israel’s December 27, 2008 attacks represent the single largest slaughter in Gaza since Israel illegally occupied the area in 1967 — this, as the numbers of dead innocents and civilians (including children) continue to mount following late December's massacre.
Israel's military operation, entitled “Cast Lead,” echoes previous Israeli raids into Gaza, which have been characterized by indiscriminate attacks on civilian population centres, mass detentions, violent house demolitions and other forms of collective punishment against the Palestinian people.
*** Please note that Saturday’s rally will additionally address the Provincial and Federal governments’ total support towards illegally occupying Israel — best exemplified by way of increased bilateral military, political and nation-to-nation economic links.
Israel's latest massacre in Gaza occurs with official Canadian complicity towards Israel's illegal siege and ongoing sanctions over the civilian population in Gaza. Over the past two years, the Gaza Strip has undergone the daily violence of a wide-ranging humanitarian catastrophe triggered by severely reduced access to energy, food, and medicines.
IN EFFECT, GAZA REMAINS THE WORLD’S LARGEST OPEN-AIR PRISON.
At this moment, we MUST reaffirm our commitment in the strongest possible terms in support of mobilizing friends and allies in other progressive social movements to respond to the call by over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations for a comprehensive campaign of boycott, sanctions and divestment (BDS).
As H.E. Father Miguel D'Escoto Brockman, President of the United Nations General Assembly, stated in a recent speech:
“More than twenty years ago we in the United Nations took the lead from civil society when we agreed that sanctions were required to provide a nonviolent means of pressuring South Africa to end its violations. Today, perhaps we in the United Nations should consider following the lead of a new generation of civil society, who are calling for a similar non-violent campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions to pressure Israel to end its violations.”
Join us at the Manitoba Legislature as people of conscience to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people of Gaza and to protest Israel's continued, malevolent Apartheid regime this Saturday, January 3, 2009.
This event organized by:
Canada-Palestine Support Network (Winnipeg)
With additional support from:
Canadian Muslims for Palestine
Peace Alliance Winnipeg