Following the spectacular success of the April 27
Panmunjom Inter-Korean Summit held just south of the
Demilitarized Zone that divides the Korean nation, the Canadian
Committee for Peace on the Korean Peninsula informs that it is
stepping up its work to engage Canadians in the important work of
supporting peace on the Korean Peninsula.
The Petition was launched in October 2017 in Toronto.
Thousands of Canadians of all ages and from all walks of life
have signed it and engaged the organizers in discussion at the
information pickets held in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and
Edmonton, amongst other places. They have also taken the
discussion to their family, friends and peers and the Korean
community especially has been invigorated by the hope for
reunification and peace the Panmunjom talks generated.
The enthusiasm with which people sign the Petition reflects the principled stand of the Canadian people that all nations and peoples, especially in this case the long-suffering Korean people, have the right to self-determination, independence and peace.
The pickets and signature collection for the Petition are an opportunity for Canadians to express themselves on this vital question of peace on the Korean Peninsula and to call on the U.S. government to sign a peace treaty with the DPRK to formally end the Korean War. They also provide an opportunity to call on the Canadian government to cease and desist its threat of war, imposition of sanctions and stirring up of trouble on the Korean Peninsula. The Canadian government continues to pay lip service to finding a diplomatic solution to the Korean crisis, while continuing to enforce illegal and unjust sanctions against the DPRK and to engage in military and surveillance exercises against that country along with Britain, the U.S. and Australia.
The pickets also arm people with facts to combat the
caricature of the DPRK as the aggressor and threat to peace on
the peninsula. Check for dates of information pickets in your
city and join in!
For a copy of the Petition, click
Imperialist Attempts to Disrupt
Constitutional Order and Undermine
Venezuelans Uphold Their Dignity
The Great March of Return, that began on Land Day (March 30) will shortly culminate on May 15, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Al Nakba (the catastrophe). On May 15, 1948 the Zionist state of Israel was established on the basis of the dispossession and mass expulsion of the Palestinian people. Today, the Palestinian people face ongoing occupation and increasing encroachment and dispossession by the Zionists. The Great March of Return is a bold affirmation of the Palestinian people's right to resist and right of return to their homeland, as enshrined in international law.
The Great March of Return began six weeks ago and calls
the return of the Gaza Strip's 1.3 million refugees to their
original villages. People are encamped not far from the boundary
of Gaza, where spirits are high and several generations of
Palestinians regularly converge to express the profound demand
that their lands must be returned to them.
The Gaza protests have been violently targeted by
Occupation Forces (IOF). As of May 9, it is reported that 47
people have been killed, including five children and two
journalists. More than 8,536 Palestinians have been injured,
according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. More than 2,000 people
have been injured by live ammunition. Injuries have also been
caused by rubber bullets and tear gas asphyxiation.
organizations report that the IOF is deliberately targeting
medical staff as they attempt to aid the wounded. As of May 9,
the Gaza Ministry of Health reports that 163 medical personnel
have been injured by live ammunition and gas asphyxiation. Twenty-four
ambulances have been damaged. Journalists covering the protests
also report that they are being deliberately targeted.
The two journalists who were killed were both well away from the IOF and wearing blue flak jackets that clearly said "PRESS." The Israeli Defense Minister later sought to justify the killings of the journalists.
During that same period, Israeli forces killed 13 other
Palestinians in Gaza who were not participating in the protests
when they were fatally wounded, the Electronic Intifada reports.
TML Weekly denounces the brutality of the
and expresses its full support for the just struggle of the
Palestinian people and calls on everyone to go all out to take
part in the actions to mark Al Nakba. TML Weekly also
denounces the ongoing support of the government of Canada for the
Zionist occupation and war crimes, and its refusal to hold Israel
to account by condemning all of its illegitimate acts that
contravene international law.
(Photos: Activestills, M. Asad, KUNA, Great March of Return, A. Samaan, Visualizing Palestine, Quds Network, Razan, M. Smiry, M. Hughes-Thompson)
On May 3, Israel tabled a draft law that defines Israel "as the Jewish and democratic nation state of the Jewish people to self-determination in their historic homeland."
Sixty-four members of the Knesset voted in favour of tabling the bill, while 50 voted against. One of the bill's sponsors, MK Avi Dichter was quoted as saying during discussion of the bill: "Anyone who does not belong to the Jewish nation cannot define the State of Israel as his nation-state."
Dichter continued: "The Palestinians will not be able to define Israel as their nation-state. The nation-state law is the insurance policy we are leaving for the next generation."
PLO Executive Committee member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi immediately issued a press release which said the bill was illegal, a violation of human rights and accused it of seeming to condone "ethnic cleansing."
"Once again, Israel has reaffirmed its intent of institutionalizing discrimination, racism and xenophobia against all aspects of Palestinian life, transforming the military occupation into a deliberate sectarian confrontation and establishing ideological beliefs as official policy," Dr. Ashrawi said.
"Undoubtedly, Israel is working to achieve ethnic purity and prolong the occupation and its ongoing system of apartheid and ethnic cleansing, ridding itself of any responsibility toward the Palestinians and eradicating the right of return for Palestinian refugees," Dr. Ashrawi said.
She called on the international community to respond to Israel's passage of the draft: "In light of the serious escalation of Israeli efforts to superimpose all of the 'Greater Israel' on all of historic Palestine, it is incumbent upon all members of the international community to intervene immediately, not just to prevent further deterioration, but to also undo the damage and rectify the situation as soon as possible."
According to Israeli media, "another section of the bill approved in the late-night session is intended to allow establishment of communities for Jews only, even though representatives of the attorney general's office and the Knesset's legal department have deemed such a move discriminatory and unconstitutional."
As alluded to by Dr. Ashrawi, besides all of its other
nefarious intent, the bill conflates the Jewish religion
with the Zionist ideology, so that a bogus hue and cry can be
raised about "anti-Semitism" by those with malicious aims when
the Zionists and their brutal crimes against the Palestinians and
others are opposed.
TML Weekly is reproducing below an excerpt from the essay by Dr. Ismail Zayid titled "Ethnic Cleansing and Dispossession," reprinted from the Dossier on Palestine, and originally presented as a lecture at the Conference on Palestine, Vancouver, May 23, 1998.
It was the second of November 1917 when Arthur Balfour,
British Foreign Secretary, issued his infamous declaration in the
form of a letter written to Lord Rothschild. It read:
Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in
Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people..., it being
clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice
the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities
It is interesting to note
that the four-letter
word "Arab" occurs not once in this document. To refer to the
Arabs who constituted, at the time, 92 per cent of the population
of Palestine and owned 98 per cent of its land, as the non-Jewish
communities is not merely preposterous but deliberately
fraudulent. I do not need to tell you that this letter has no
shred of legality, as Palestine did not belong to Balfour to
assume such acts of generosity. Dr. Arnold Toynbee described the
British role, in issuing this document, accurately:
We were taking it upon ourselves to give away something that was not ours to give. We were promising rights of some kind in the Palestinian Arabs' country to a third party.
Similarly, the well-known Jewish writer, Arthur Koestler, summed it up aptly when he described the Balfour Declaration as a document in which "one nation promised a second the country of a third."
On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly passed its Resolution No. 181, recommending the partition of Palestine into a Jewish state, in 56 per cent of the land; an Arab state in 42 per cent of the land; and an International Zone in Jerusalem. At the time, the Jews, a large proportion of them recent or illegal immigrants, constituted one-third of the population of Palestine and owned 5.6 per cent of its land. In the area that was apportioned to the Jewish state, half of the population was Arab (Muslims and Christians) and half was Jewish.
It is interesting to note that times have not changed
1947 when the United States got the General Assembly to delay a
vote "to gain time to bring, by coercion, certain Latin American,
Asian and African countries into line with its own views."
Under-Secretary of State Sumner Welles stated:
order of the White House, every form of pressure, direct and
indirect, was used to make sure that the necessary majority would
Subsequently, fighting erupted between Arabs and Jews and by the end of the fighting in early 1949, Israel had occupied 78 per cent of Palestine and approximately 750,000 Palestinians were driven out or fled in terror from their homes.
The genesis of this exodus emanates from the inherent concept of the Zionist ideology of creating a pure Jewish state in Palestine, free of Arabs. The current powerful political agenda that exists in Israel today, as the policy of "transfer of Palestinians" from Israel and the occupied territories, is not a new one. Theodor Herzl wrote in his diaries in 1897, on the occasion of the First World Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, where he presented his plans to create a Jewish state in Palestine, that: "We shall try to spirit the penniless (Arab) population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own country... Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discretely and circumspectly."
Ben-Gurion, in a speech to the 20th Zionist Congress
in Zurich on August 7, 1937, stated:
Transfer of (Arab) inhabitants happened in the past, in the (Jerzeel) Valley, in the Sharon (i.e. the Coastal Plain) and in other places. We know of the Jewish National Fund's actions in this regard. Now the transfer will have to be carried out on a different scale altogether. In many parts of the country new Jewish settlement will not be possible unless there is transfer of the Arab peasantry... The transfer of the population is what makes possible a comprehensive (Jewish) settlement plan. Thankfully, the Arab people have large, empty areas (outside Palestine). Jewish power in the country, which is continuously growing, will also increase our possibilities to carry out the transfer on a large scale. You must remember, that this method contains an important humane and Zionist idea, to shift parts of a people (i.e., the Palestine Arabs) to their own country and to settle empty lands [in Syria, Transjordan and Iraq].
Here we go again! Expelling people from their homeland,
are now told, is a "humane Zionist idea." Professor Israel Shahak
said it all:
You cannot have humane Zionism; it is a contradiction in terms.
In a letter in 1937 to his son, Amos, Ben-Gurion
that when the Jewish state comes into being, "We will expel the
Arabs and take their places." And while visiting the
newly-conquered Nazareth in July 1948, Ben-Gurion exclaimed:
are there so many Arabs left here? Why didn't you
Joseph Weitz, who was the Jewish Agency chief
reported in the September 29, 1967 issue of Davar, organ
of the Histadrut, that he and other Zionist leaders concluded, in
1940, that there was "no room for both peoples together in this
country." The achievement of Zionist objectives, he realized,
required "a Palestine, or at least Western Palestine (west of the
Jordan River) without Arabs." He wrote that it was necessary "to
transfer the Arabs from here to the neighbouring countries. To
transfer all of them and only after such transfer would the
country be able to absorb millions of our brethren." This, in
essence, is the foundation for the policy of "ethnic cleansing"
that the Zionist forces adopted in 1948 to remove, by massacre,
or the threat of massacre, and by psychological warfare,
virtually the entire Arab population in the area of the
Palestinian territory that they conquered by military means, 78
per cent of Palestine.
The massacre on April 9, 1948 of the village of Deir
near Jerusalem, where 250 men, women and children were butchered
and massacred in cold blood by the Irgun Zwei Leumi terrorist
gang, with the approval of the Jerusalem commander of the
official Zionist forces; the Haganah, David Shaltiel, as recently
documented by Yitzhak Levi, a veteran Israeli intelligence
officer, was instrumental in this expulsion. Ironically, the
village of Deir Yassin had made a peace agreement with their
Jewish neighbours of Givat Shaul. This massacre was not unique
and numerous similar massacres were carried out by Zionist forces
and Israeli forces during that war. A recent article in the Tel
Aviv newspaper, Hair, of May 6, 1992, by Guy Erlich,
documents evidence collected by the American Jewish journalist
Dan Kortzman, author of Genesis 1948, and the history
researcher Ariyeh Yitzhaki, of at least twenty large massacres of
Arabs and about a hundred more massacres committed by Israeli
forces. Yitzhaki states:
For many Israelis it was easy
to the false claim that the Arabs left the country because that
was what their leaders ordered. That is a total lie. The
fundamental cause for the flight of the Arabs was their fear of
Israelis' violence, and that fear had a basis in reality.
History researcher Uri Milstein, celebrated in Israel as
dispeller of myths, confirms Yitzhaki's evaluation regarding the
volume of the massacres and even goes further:
If Yitzhaki claims that there were murders in almost every village, then I say that up to the inception of Israel every event of fighting ended in a massacre of Arabs. There were massacres of Arabs in all of Israel's wars, but I have no doubt that the War of Independence was the dirtiest.
In the village of Duweima, an Arab village near Hebron,
occupied without a battle by Battalion 89 of the 8th Brigade,
some 80-100 civilians were murdered in cold blood by the
occupiers. Later more civilians were murdered. In the village of
Fifty-two men were tied with a rope. Lowered into a pit and shot. Ten were killed. Women begged for mercy. Three cases of rape. A 14-year-old raped and four others killed.
The policy of massacre was complemented by a campaign
psychological warfare, initiating terror to force the
Palestinians to flee. Leo Heiman, Israeli Army Reserve officer
who fought in 1948, wrote in Marine Corp Gazette in June
As uncontrolled panic spread
through all Arab quarters,
the Israelis brought up jeeps with loudspeakers which broadcast
recorded "horror sounds." These included shrieks, wails and
anguished moans of Arab women, the wail of sirens and the clang
of fire alarm bells, interrupted by a sepulchral voice calling
out in Arabic. "Save your souls all ye faithful: the Jews are
using poison gas and atomic weapons. Run for your lives in the
name of Allah."
More subtle methods of psychological warfare
were used by Yigal Allon, the Commander of the Palmach, an elite
Haganah force, who later became Israeli Foreign Minister. He
wrote in Ha Sepher Ha Palmach in 1948:
I gathered all of
the Jewish mukhtars (headmen), who have contact with Arabs
in different villages, and asked them to whisper in the ears of
some Arabs that a great Jewish reinforcement has arrived in
Galilee and that it is going to burn all of the villages of
Huleh. They should suggest to these Arabs, as their friends, to
escape while there is still time. The rumour spread in all the
areas of the Huleh. The tactic reached its goal completely.
the Arabs failed to flee, as required, a combination of terror
and physical expulsion was used, as in the case of the cities of
Lydda and Ramleh, which were occupied July 10, 1948. Yitzhak
Rabin, recorded in his memoirs, published in the New York
Times (October 23, 1979):
While the fighting was still
progress we had to grapple with the problem dealing with the fate
of the civilian population, numbering some 50,000. We walked
outside, Ben Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question.
"What is to be done with the population?" B.G. waved his hand in
a gesture which said, "Drive them out!"
One of the Israeli war crimes is relevant here. After the surrender of Lydda, a group of Palestinian men took refuge in the small Dahmash mosque. The commander of the Palmach's Third Battalion, Moshe Kalman, gave an order to fire several missiles at the mosque. The force that attacked the mosque was surprised at the lack of resistance. It found the remains of the Arab fighters stuck to the mosque walls. A group of 20 to 50 of the city's residents was then brought to clean the mosque and to bury the remains. When they finished their work, they were also shot, and thrown into the graves they themselves had dug. American Jewish journalist Dan Kortzman learned of the event from Moshe Kalman while working on his book, Genesis 1948, describing the War of Independence:
Rabin and his officers proceeded to drive these 50-60,000 civilians away from their homes in terror, with low-flying airplanes over their heads shooting the occasional person and forcing them to run. The sight of the terror-stricken men, women and children fleeing in horror in the midday sun of the hot summer, having run approximately 25 km to the village of Beit Nuba, where I saw them with my own eyes, is a sight not to be forgotten. ...
It is perhaps relevant to note that this piece of
propaganda [that the Palestinians left their homes voluntarily
and in response to broadcasts by their leaders] was first
demolished by Dr. Erskine Childers who examined the American and
British monitoring records of all Middle East broadcasts
throughout 1948. He reported in the Spectator 1961:
There was not a single order or appeal or suggestion about evacuation from Palestine from any Arab radio station, inside or outside Palestine, in 1948. There is repeated monitored record of Arab appeals even flat orders, to civilians of Palestine to stay put.
The historical record clearly demonstrates that the
refugee problem was created in response to a clear Zionist policy
of cleansing the land of Palestine from its own people. Chaim
Weizmann, the first President of Israel, described this process
with a great deal of satisfaction as the "miraculous clearing
of the land." However, the UN mediator, Count Folke
Bernadotte of Sweden, stated in a report to the UN:
It would be an offence against the principles of elemental justice if these innocent victims of the conflict were denied the right to return to their homes while Jewish immigrants flow into Palestine, and, indeed, at least offer the threat of permanent replacement of the Arab refugees who have been rooted in the land for centuries.
Count Bernadotte paid heavily for stating this obvious
principle and was assassinated by the Stern terrorist gang, on
direct orders of Yitzhak Shamir, on September 17, 1948 in
Jerusalem. The United Nations General Assembly proceeded,
however, to resolve on December 11, 1948, in its Resolution No.
Refugees wishing to return to
their homes and live at peace
with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the
earliest practicable date and those wishing not to return should
be compensated for their property.
The implementation of this Resolution, together with Resolution No. 181 of November 29, 1947, were reaffirmed and were made conditions for the admittance of Israel to UN membership in Resolution No. 273 of May 11, 1949.
Despite this and despite repeated UN General Assembly and Security Council Resolutions demanding the implementation of Resolution No. 194 for the return of the refugees, Israel continues to defy this international will and in essence, it can be argued that its membership in the United Nations is illegitimate, in view of its refusal to comply with the conditions that were imposed upon it. Not only that, Israel proceeded in 1967 after the occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, to expel over 300,000 more Palestinian refugees from their homes or refugee camps. Many of them were in essence expelled a second time. Security Council Resolution No. 237 of June 14, 1967, called upon the government of Israel to facilitate the return of these refugees, and similar UN General Assembly resolutions to that effect remain unimplemented.
It is clear, for anybody, who has witnessed the history of that area, to see that the Palestinians remain determined to return to their homeland and their struggle continues despite repeated massacres and an orchestrated policy of genocide denying them their national existence. [...]
The original lecture in full can be found here.
1. From R. Patai, ed., The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, Vol I.
2. Benny Morris, "Looking Back: A personal assessment of the Zionist Experience," Tikkun. 13: 40-49,1998.
73rd Anniversary of the Liberation of Europe
Seventy-three years ago, on May 9, 1945, with the unconditional surrender of Hitler Germany, and Italy having previously surrendered, the Second World War was declared officially over in Europe. The anti-fascist forces of the world, with the Soviet Union and communists of all lands at the head of the Resistance Movement, had won victory over the German Nazis and Italian fascists. Celebrations broke out all over the world when it became known that fascist Germany, forced to its knees by the Red Army and the troops and resistance fighters of allied countries, acknowledged defeat.
"Now we can declare with legitimate right that the historic day of the final destruction of Germany, the day of the great victory of our people over German imperialism, has come," the great leader of the Soviet victory, J.V. Stalin declared.
"The great sacrifices we have made in the name of the freedom and independence of our Homeland, the indescribable privations and sufferings that our people have gone through during the war, the great work done in the rear and on the front in the name of the Homeland, were not in vain, they were crowned with complete victory over the enemy."
Today, while the Russian people and peoples of the former Soviet Union are joined by peoples all over the world to hail the contribution to the defeat of the Nazis by the Soviet Union and anti-fascist resistance fighters, the U.S. imperialists like to give the impression they were the decisive force in the liberation of Europe. Together with warmongers in Canada, they spread disinformation about the causes of the war, the conditions created after the war and their own refusal to permit humankind to consolidate its victory by making sure that such suffering never takes place again. Their self-serving propaganda to distort the history of the anti-fascist alliance and its leadership as well as the significance of the events since the war ended is done to justify the crimes they are committing against the peace today and the necessity for the peoples of the world to establish anti-war governments in their own countries to make sure another worldwide conflagration does not take place in the name of humanitarianism, peace and democracy.
The representatives of imperialism, including the monopoly-controlled media, distort the experience of the Second World War based on Cold War definitions. They do this for purposes of presenting U.S. imperialist democracy as the only form of representation and the imperialist United States as the "indispensable nation." Disinformation about the role played by the Soviet Union under the leadership of J.V. Stalin is for purposes of depriving the peoples of an outlook on the basis of which they can turn things around in their favour. Instead, they want the peoples of the world to adopt the imperialist system as their own. This system has plunged the world into a state of anarchy and violence where the crimes committed by the U.S. and its allies outstrip even those of the Nazis. It does not represent freedom nor hope for humankind. All of this is for purposes of covering up that modern communism is the source of enlightenment which opens society's path to progress and that governments which oppose imperialist war are necessary. By promoting a caricature of communism and equating it with totalitarianism and fascism, the aim of the warmongers is to get the peoples to conciliate with the imperialist demand of the United States and big powers that everyone submit to their dictate and imperialist democracy.
An anti-war government must necessarily uphold the principle that all nations big or small are equal and have the right to self-determination. An anti-war government must oppose all crimes against the peace and protect the sacred cause of peace. Solutions can be found for all the problems the people face within the context of work to make sure it is the people who govern themselves and exercise control over their lives. This is what the Second World War taught the peoples of the world and why they need anti-war governments today which act on these lessons. The struggle to unite the people in action for political renewal and to establish anti-war governments is the first step to building a society in which human beings can flourish.
Around the world people participated in marches of the Immortal Regiment and other events to mark the 73rd anniversary of Victory Day in Europe -- May 9 -- when Nazi Germany was defeated and surrendered to the Red Army and the Allied forces, formally ending the Second World War in Europe, a war in which 50 million people were killed. In Moscow alone it is reported that close to a million people participated in the march. Immortal Regiment commemorations brought together the families and friends of Red Army soldiers and soldiers from other countries who gave their lives to defeat the Hitlerites. Everywhere flags and banners were carried, along with portraits of family members who made the ultimate sacrifice in defeating Nazism. As one banner in Toronto prominently stated, "Thanks to the Red Army for Victory Over Fascism 1941-1945."
Toronto's march of the Immortal Regiment assembled at
Dundas Square in the heart of the downtown. Between opening remarks and
a program of songs from the period, such as "Katyusha," family
members spoke of the heroic sacrifices made by their kin who were part
of the Red Army and partisan forces that engaged in various historic
battles, including in Stalingrad, where the backbone of the Nazi war
machine was broken and the tide of the war turned in favour of the
Allied forces. More than 1,000 people joined in the march to Old City
The Russian Congress of Canada distributed a statement which emphasized: "The Soviet Union paid the highest price for the victory. Twenty-eight million military troops and civilians were killed. Millions were sent to Germany and Europe to the Nazi concentration camps. The best of the Nazi troops were sent to fight against the Soviet Union and most of Europe was attacked and occupied as well. As Canadians, we wish to send our message to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to say that Canada and Russia stood shoulder-to-shoulder against the Nazi plague. That was a perfect example of many nations joining their forces for the sake of peace and stability."
People in Ottawa continued their long tradition of
celebrating May 9, 1945, Victory Day in Europe. Once again this year
ceremonial events took place at the famous Red Army T-34 Tank exhibited
at the War Museum. More than 300 people gathered in front of the T-34
which was covered with flowers, banners and photos of the heroic
fighters from the Great Patriotic War. Several speakers paid homage to
the sacrifices of the "Immortal Regiment," followed by a very moving
cultural program to honour their heroic deeds. This was followed by the
March of the Immortal Regiment on the grounds of the museum.
On May 9 in Montreal, nearly 2,000 people gathered to
celebrate Victory Day and take part in the March of the Immortal
Regiment. People of all ages, families, and young people in large
numbers carried flowers, red flags and ribbons of St. George and
pictures of patriotic heroes, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters
and other family members who fought in the Great Patriotic War. A
beautiful cultural program at the start of the march interpreted many
patriotic songs and a tribute honoured the fighters of the Great
Patriotic War and saluted the heroism of the Soviet people who
spearheaded the fight to defeat German nazism. War veterans were given
pride of place at the front of a platform erected for the occasion. The
crowd cheered when a small plane flew overhead trailing a large banner
that read: May 9 -- Victory Day.
About 6,000 people from more than 20 U.S. cities took
part in Immortal Regiment ceremonies. The largest event was held in
Manhattan on May 5, with actions in Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, San
Francisco, Chicago, Washington, Miami, Kansas City, Birmingham,
Houston, Phoenix, Seattle and elsewhere. This year families of the U.S.
Armed Forces veterans of the Second World War joined in, carrying
portraits of their family members, showing just who was allied with
In New York, people from the former USSR, veterans of
War II from different nationalities and others met on
the banks of the Hudson River and went to the monument dedicated
to the soldiers who fell during World War II located in Battery
Park, in front of the Statue of Liberty. They laid flowers at the
monument, presented flowers to the veterans and released hundreds
of white balloons, to the accompaniment of the famous Russian
song "Cranes," dedicated to all fallen soldiers who gave their
lives for freedom in WWII.
"The Americans are showing an increasing interest in the Immortal Regiment from one year to another, although we don't engage in any loud advertising," said Igor Kochan, President of the Russian Youth of America Society which organized the New York City action. "We talk to our colleagues at the office and our children speak to their American schoolmates about what the Immortal Regiment is and Americans gladly join us," he said.
"Americans agree with us, it's important to remember the price that the world paid for the victory," Kochan said. "Like the Russian 'brother-soldiers,' the Americans also bring portraits of their relatives who are WWII veterans. Also, members of the Chinese community have shown interest towards the Immortal Regiment for the first time," he said.
Relating the grassroots efforts to organize and finance
actions, Kochan pointed out: "While we can see the deterioration
of U.S.-Russian relations at the official level, the local
politicians are seeking to tap ways of communication and
rapprochement with the Russian-speaking communities, all the more
so that the Immortal Regiment isn't a Russian action," he said.
"It's a tribute to the Russians, Americans and representatives of
other peoples who fought Nazism and emerged victorious from that
(Photos: TML, V. Sharifulin, B. Hansen,
D. Santana, S. Kiselyov, A.
Nikerichev, D. Yakupov, svaboda)
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