In the News
May 15-16, 2021
Actions All Over the World Supporting the Palestinian Resistance and Protesting the Crimes of the Occupiers
On May 15, 2021, the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba (the Catastrophe), hundreds of militant mass protests were held worldwide to stand with the Palestinian people and their heroic resistance to the Zionist occupiers. This included at least 17 cities across Canada and Quebec from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Courtenay, BC. In London, England, organizers said at least 100,000 people protested — the biggest protest in support of Palestine since 2014. In Paris, France and Berlin, Germany demonstrators were brutally dispersed by police using water canons. In Greece, protests were held in Athens while a hundred Greek unions demanded that the crimes against the people of Palestine STOP NOW. A group of Lebanese youth with Palestinian flags climbed the border wall with Gaza to show their solidarity.
Below are photos and reports from May 15 and 16. Actions around the world are ongoing.
Sea of Humanity in Support of Heroic Struggle of the Palestinian People
On Saturday, May 15, thousands of Montrealers joined with the Palestinian people to say: Free Palestine! Resistance is a right! Long live the struggle of the Palestinian people! End the occupation! Occupation is a crime! and to denounce Canada’s unacceptable silence regarding the Israeli state’s genocide against the Palestinian people.
The day of action began at 11:00 am, as over 200 cars amassed on Sherbooke Street at the corner of Calixa-Lavall e, arriving from the east and west, honking their horns non-stop, all united in support of the just struggle of the Palestinian people. The caravan of cars then embarked on Sherbrooke Street, heading west towards the Israeli consulate, located on Westmount Square, near Atwater Avenue. Cyclists and passers-by stopped to greet the caravan.
At around noon, thousands of people gathered in front of the Israeli consulate to denounce the bombings, police attacks and the destruction and dispossession of Palestinian homes carried out by the state of Israel over the past few days. The Palestinian community and their thousands of allies voiced their aspirations for peace, for an end to the occupation and demanding justice for Palestine. The youth were front and centre of the action and amongst other things, were prominent in their flag-waving and in offering water to demonstrators because of the heat and sun.
This human sea was resplendent with Palestinian flags, along with others from several countries, in addition to placards equally rich in their messages of greetings, uncompromising support for the Palestinian people and condemnation of the crimes being committed by Israel. The demonstrators then marched as one along St. Catherine Street to Canada Place.
At 5:00 pm, hundreds of people could still be seen lingering at Canada Place and the surrounding streets, as if no one wanted to end this bright and unequivocal day of support for the Palestinian people, aware of the irrefutable justness of their action.
Thousands at Human Rights Monument Affirm Palestinians’ Human Rights
On Saturday, May 15 at 1:00 pm, people from all walks of life, from Ottawa as well as Gatineau, came out in their thousands to denounce the most recent heinous attacks against the Palestinian people by Israel and to reaffirm once again Palestine’s right to resist.
Under the banner of “Nakba 73: Resistance Until Liberation,” several organizations called on all families, communities, organizations, and friends of Palestine to join them at the Human Rights Monument to denounce the renewed Israel attacks in Sheikh Jarrah and commemorate 73 years of the ongoing Nakba. These organizations were the Palestinian Students Association of Carleton University, Students for Justice in Palestine @ Carleton U and the Association of Palestinian Arab Canadians. The event was organized “to let our government know we demand them to take action and speak up about attacks on our people in Gaza, Jerusalem, West bank and all of Palestine.” The call also pointed out: “As we approach the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing and forced expulsion of Palestinians continues, and is only becoming more evident in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah. There, at the heart of Palestine’s capital, Palestinian families are confronting the threat of imminent expulsion from their homes as the Israeli regime attempts to move Zionist settlers into the area. As we mark 73 years of Nakba, we recognize the Nakba itself to be an ongoing catastrophe, not a completed one. We commend our people’s steadfast resistance and stand with them as the struggle for liberation continues.”
One of the speakers pointed out that the destruction and killing at this time by Israeli occupation forces will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the darkest. The situation is such, he said, that it can no longer be claimed that it is a religious issue, one between Muslims and Jews. He said that for 4,000 years, Muslims and Jews were nothing but friends and helpful to each other. “Don’t let them paint our people as some sort of anarchists because they hide some rocks in a mosque to defend themselves from the most powerful military force on the planet,” he said, to ongoing applause and to the chant “Free, free Gaza!” He gave a call to go all out to appeal to everyone to make the situation in Palestine as widely known as possible and to develop further actions to support the courageous Palestinian people and denounce these crimes against humanity by Israel.
Thousands Rally in Support of the Palestinian People
Nathan Philips Square out front of Toronto City Hall was a sea of Palestinian flags as thousands upon thousands rallied on May 15 to the call of the Palestinian Youth Movement to mark the 73rd year of the Nakba. So many had responded that they flooded the square and spilled out onto Bay and Queen Streets around City Hall. The rally condemned Israeli brutality, expulsions, occupation and annexation of Palestinian homes and territory and stood as one with worldwide support for the Palestinian resistance to the latest of violence and terror, unleashed in a cowardly fashion by the Zionist state of Israel in an effort to crush the resistance and extinguish the Palestinian people’s right to be.
One banner in Nathan Phillips Square, was close to 100 feet long. Many youth even scaled the concrete arches over the wading pool/skating rink and boldly waved the Palestinian flags banners and signs in acts of defiance and affirming the struggle of the Palestinian people for their national rights and dignity. The resolute determination of the Palestinian resistance was in the air and palpable as thousands of people of all ages, particularly youth, shouted out “Viva Viva Palestina,” “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will be Free,” “Free, Free, Palestine” and others, filling the evening air with the spirit of the heroic Palestinian people.
The Canadian state’s support of Zionism and its contempt and fear towards the Palestinian people — as well as towards the Canadian people’s just stands against imperialist aggression, occupation and dispossession — was evident in the heavy police presence. This included the riot squad, a large group of police on horseback and outfitted for action, and K-9 units. They had a police surveillance helicopter hovering overhead and two camera-equipped drone units surveying the square. To what avail when virtually everyone had masks because of the pandemic? If it was intended to intimidate, it failed miserably.
The action signalled that the Palestinian resistance will not be defeated and that the Palestinian people continue to inspire all humanity to stand with them as they affirm their right be, expressed in their resistance and affirmation of their right of return.
Militant Protest Affirms Resistance Will Continue Until Liberation
Al Nakba Day saw at least 1,000 people of all ages, including entire families, come out to march, at least 10 people abreast, through the streets of downtown Windsor from the big Canadian flag at the foot of Ouellette Avenue to City Hall. Demonstrators chanted and shouted slogans all the way as patriotic songs filled the air. Others followed along in their vehicles, honking their horns and flying Palestinian flags.
At City Hall the lawn was filled with a vast sea of people who listened attentively and applauded the impassioned speeches of two young Palestinian women, a representative of the Windsor Peace Coalition, and an activist of the Palestinian Solidarity Group who read out and explained the demands of her group. Speakers condemned Israel’s genocidal rampage in Gaza and its violent ethnic cleansing campaign, as well as Canada’s refusal to hold Israel to account for these crimes and its many other violations of international law. They denounced the Trudeau government’s outrageous call for “both sides” to de-escalate and misrepresentation of who is the aggressor with its emphasis on the occupier’s “right to assure its security.” Expressions of support for the Palestinian people’s resistance and struggle for liberation met with an enthusiastic response. The action concluded with demonstrators marching and cars honking their horns through downtown again back to the riverfront.
Massive Show of Support for the Palestinian People
In Edmonton, a massive car caravan of around 10,000 cars took place on May 15.
Organizers said they expected a few hundred cars to join the caravan. Beyond filling the parking lot designated as the muster point, cars filled the streets in every direction long before the scheduled start time.
The car caravan travelled the ring road from north to south, and then proceeded down Gateway Blvd. and through the city, honking horns, waving Palestinian flags and scarves.
People watching from their homes reported that it took three hours for all the cars to pass by.
Bold Stand with the Palestinian People’s Resistance to State Terror and Occupation
In Courtenay, BC on Vancouver Island, the picketers lined a sidewalk on a busy road in Courtenay on May 15 to support the courageous fight of Palestinians against Israeli occupation and terror. Many drivers honked and raised fists and shouted words of support. Demonstrators denounced the brutal Israeli policy of expelling Palestinians from their homes, a method of ethnic cleansing and genocide. They also condemned the shameless support and justification given by the Canadian government for the crisis, following the lead of the U.S. imperialists and its other allies.