July 4, 2020 - No. 24

Canada Day 2020

The Need to Build Canada on
the New Historical Basis

All Out to Make Sure the Cause of Justice, Freedom,
Democracy and Peace Prevails!

- Pauline Easton and K.C. Adams -

Quebec Government Uses Pandemic as Pretext to
Step Up Anti-Social Offensive

Legault Government's Shameless Grandstanding
Bill 61: Use of Pandemic and Restart of Economy to Strengthen Arbitrary Powers of the State

Regressive Features of Bill 61

Police Violence and Impunity Must End!

Protest Held at Peel Regional Police Headquarters
Demands Justice for Ejaz Choudry

- Frank Chilelli -

Malton Canada Day Community Barbecue

Ending Police Impunity

- Lorne Gershuny -

No to the Annexation of Palestinian Territory!

Days of Rage Against Israeli Annexation of Palestinian Territories

Canadian Palestinian Organizations' Response to Annexation

Canadians Oppose Government Support for Israeli War Crimes

Haligonians Stand Up for Palestinians and in
Defence of the Rights of All

Canada Must Strongly Oppose Illegal Israeli Annexations
- Statement by Palestine House and Its Allies -

• Open Letter to Prime Minister of Canada by
Retired Canadian Diplomats

• Actions in Canada and Around the World
Say No! to Annexation

Anniversary of the U.S. Declaration of Independence

• What Is Being Celebrated This Fourth of July

• Fourth of July Speech by Frederick Douglass

• Photo Review of Ongoing Protests in the U.S.


Anniversary of Canada's Constitution of 1867

Canada Day 2020

The Need to Build Canada on the
New Historical Basis

Canada Day 2020 marks the 153rd anniversary of Confederation established by the Royal Proclamation of 1867. Today, Canadians face the necessity to enact a new Constitution to replace the one used to found Canada in the conditions that prevailed in 1867. The need to renew the democracy and to renew the nation is a historical challenge which must be accomplished in order for Canada to meet the needs of its people and contribute the same to the peoples of the world. A modern constitution must abolish the Royal Prerogative on which the present Constitution is based. It must vest sovereignty in the people and get rid of the police powers which maintain privileges in lieu of rights.

A modern constitution for Canada is needed to end the colonial injustice and old arrangements suffocating the Indigenous peoples. Such a constitution must implement the principle of nation-to-nation relations. If the federation is to be free and equal, it must recognize Quebec's right to self-determination.

A modern constitution recognizes the rights of all human persons by virtue of being human. It must end all notions of superior and inferior cultures rooted in the concept of founding nations and racist divisions by recognizing that citizens and residents have rights by virtue of being human. It must provide that these rights are guaranteed with enabling legislation.

A modern constitution must introduce a political process that guarantees equal membership in the body politic and forms of governance where members of the polity have a say and control on all decisions which affect their lives and the practical means to hold to account those in government.

The renewal of the political process is required so that citizens and residents can directly decide the matters that concern them and participate in solving problems and take up in earnest the humanizing of the social and natural environment.

A modern Canada and a modern constitution are needed to stop the nation-wrecking of those who have submitted the country to the decision-making power and empire-building of foreign powers and financial interests, supranational trade arrangements and U.S.-led military alliances and wars. Canada needs independence so Canadians can develop modern human-centred social relations among themselves and with all humanity.

Canada also needs an anti-war government that makes Canada a zone for peace and demands that problems in international relations are solved without violence and war.

History calls on the peoples of Canada and Quebec and the Indigenous peoples to establish modern arrangements among themselves based on a free and equal union of sovereign entities. The challenges are great but the present conditions beckon us all to rise to the task to build a bright future where the rights of all are guaranteed.

Let the working class constitute the nation and vest sovereignty in the people with a modern constitution that builds Canada on the new historical basis!

All Out to Build the New!

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All Out to Make Sure the Cause of Justice,
Freedom, Democracy and Peace Prevails!

The working people through their struggles for justice, freedom, democracy and peace are developing a social consciousness that favours them. The imperialist ideological crib features profound anti-worker, anti-communist and racist prejudices and an outlook which is supposed to accept as normal a world divided between those who rule and those who are their subjects. The entire framework is designed to make sure the striving of the people for empowerment comes to naught. It is an ideological foundation to keep people from bringing about the kind of change which favours them. This means that the need has never been greater to activate the human-factor/social consciousness and go beyond the limits imposed by the current social relations and arrangements which aim to preserve the rule of elites over the people.

State-organized anti-worker, anti-communist and racist ideology is meant to stop the working people and the working class itself from seeing themselves as the leaders of a nation-building project to bring the modern productive forces of industrial mass production under the control of those who do the work and in conformity with their socialized nature. The working class is the greatest product of the new productive forces and the only social class that can control, tame and use the modern productive powers without recurring crises so as to guarantee the well-being of all and build a society that humanizes the social and natural environment.

State-organized anti-worker, anti-communist and racist ideology constitutes disinformation. It is well-known that racism is state-organized to undermine the unity of the working class in the defence of its rights and building the New. But disinformation is more than this. It refers to that activity which wrecks the forms the people need to put their own reference points at the centre of their concerns, not the spin and counter-spin of the ruling elites and their media.

The aim of disinformation is to block the working class from seeing that its struggle to claim what belongs to it by right from the social product it produces is intrinsically connected with the necessity to emancipate the entire working class from class oppression and to eliminate all forms of exploitation of humans by humans. The working class cannot emancipate itself without ridding the world of all forms of social class oppression. The promotion of the current constitutions is to deny the fact that the European forms of nation-states created to further the cause of capitalism and the capitalists as the end all and be all of democratic rule can no longer keep the contradictions within the ranks of the rulers and between the rulers and the peoples striving for empowerment in check. This is because the conditions in which global oligopolies have directly usurped the functions of the states to further their own narrow private interests have surpassed national boundaries and jurisdictions. What is needed is for the working class to organize itself as an independent social force with its own institutions, thinking, agenda and ideology that engages in actions with analysis to move society forward to a higher form espousing justice, freedom, democracy and peace. Racism, anti-communism and anti-worker ideology are to make sure this does not happen.

State-organized disinformation is to stop the working class from fulfilling its social responsibility to unite all the oppressed in a movement to build the New without class exploitation. The condition in which the working class came into being and has developed de facto considers that all humans are equal members of the polity and all have rights by virtue of being human. While the slogan which spurred on nation-building in the 19th century was One for All and All for One, today it is Our Security Lies in the Fight for the Rights of All; it recognizes that the security of any section or individual can only be achieved in a movement based on social arrangements and governance which defend the rights of all.

The ruling imperialist oligarchy knows full well that as a tiny segment of the population it can only sustain its privilege, power, social wealth and control if working people are divided and without their own organizational form, thinking and ideology. Which is why efforts to promote and perpetuate racism, anti-communism and anti-workerism are state-organized. Otherwise there is no reason why many of the discussions which take place would even exist except to take hold of people's consciousness so that their striving for change that favours them is led astray. The ruling elite promote and enforce racism, anti-communism and anti-worker ideology in the present to weaken the working class movement in defence of its well-being and rights and to prevent it from organizing in sufficient strength to challenge the rule of the imperialist oligarchy.

Keeping a section of the working class as a cheap labour force that can be exploited in specific sectors, such as the service industry, healthcare industry, agribusiness, construction and others is well-known. It needs to bring down the exchange-value of the capacity to work generally and thus weaken the working class movement as a whole in its immediate struggles to claim what belongs to it by right and for its emancipation. Also, because of the restricted economic options of the super-exploited sections of the working people, the ruling class deploys mercenaries within the imperialist state's police and military forces and the expanding number of private armies, police and security services. Keeping in mind the extent of the crimes of genocide and plunder of the peoples of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, never has the racism, anti-communism and anti-worker ideology been so pernicious so as to dehumanize people to plunder their natural resources and value from their work.

The splendour of human development is such that by defending the most vulnerable and laying the claims which belong to the human person by right, humanity breaks free from the chains which keep the working people divided. The imperialists' ideological crib is replaced with the enlightenment modern communism stands for and the activation of the human factor/social consciousness which refers to the organization required so that the actions of the working people propel humanity to humanize the natural and social environment.

The current wave of opposition to state-organized racism leads to the questioning and tearing down of the imperialist crib in thought and ideology. Organization capable of consolidating the gains achieved is the task which faces the generations leading the struggles today as has always been the case in the past as well. The ruling imperialist elite have much experience in sidetracking movements in defence of rights but the people have tremendous experience of their own. In this clash between the Old and the New, the imperialist ruling class is divided on every question except the need to control the use of force, while the working class and people have a common cause to achieve justice, freedom, democracy and peace.

All out to develop the working class struggle for emancipation and what belongs to it by right!

Let us march forward together as a great united social force capable of changing the world and building a bright future of justice, freedom, democracy and peace!

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Quebec Government Uses Pandemic as Pretext to
Step Up Anti-Social Offensive

Legault Government's Shameless Grandstanding

Health care workers protest outside Premier Legault's office in Quebec City, May 19, 2020, demanding an end to government's use of arbitrary powers to violate their rights during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quebec Premier François Legault on June 21 made what he called "adjustments" to the responsibilities of certain ministers "to prepare the government for a possible second wave of COVID-19." This shameless grandstanding bears no resemblance to the reality of the pandemic Quebec faces, the attendant economic crisis and the anti-worker anti-social actions the government has taken.

Using the pandemic as an excuse, the government has given itself executive powers to cancel collective agreements negotiated with workers. In announcing the cabinet shuffle Legault did not mention this attack on public sector workers, which suggests the reshuffle signals an increase in the government's arbitrary dictate against workers and others. Legault announced the reshuffle soon after the National Assembly adjourned on June 12, without having passed Bill 61, which has been roundly denounced throughout Quebec as regressive.

The main ministries affected with leadership changes are health, education, immigration and the Treasury Board. Christian Dubé is stepping down as President of the Treasury Board to take over as head of the Ministry of Health and Social Services. This man of finance, a neo-liberal manager and former senior vice-president at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is a key element of Premier Legault's bankers' government.

Dubé introduced the omnibus Bill 61 on June 3 and immediately found himself and his bill denounced by the people. In the name of economic recovery, Bill 61, like the cabinet shuffle, does nothing concrete to deal with the pandemic and recovery but will lead to a greater concentration of arbitrary power in the hands of the government executive to pay the rich. Declaring that Bill 61 will speed up the building of infrastructure is meant to elicit cheers from the people. At the same time, the people are supposed to keep quiet about Bill 61's dark side that sidesteps environmental, health and safety and other regulations to pay the rich, and provides the  ministers with immunity against protests from the people, including those whose property may be expropriated.

In an interview shortly after his recent appointment as Minister of Health and Social Services, Dubé said that the purpose of his appointment is to strengthen accountability in the system from top to bottom, from managers to employees. "The crisis with COVID has highlighted weaknesses in management, lack of information, how patients are doing, where our employees are," he declared with an air of saying something really important and not spouting trite phrases. "If there are people who could do better elsewhere, who are not doing the job, there will be difficult decisions to make," he added. Dubé said the health care system has suffered in recent years from cutbacks and restructuring that have deprived the system of intermediate levels of decision-making. This assertion comes from a man who has been in cabinet during many of these cutbacks and takes no responsibility for the damage these cuts have caused, which have left the system drained and weakened in the face of the pandemic.

Of course in line with the authoritarian bent of his government, Dubé suggests the health care system needs a top-down decision-making system directly controlled by him, which excludes input from the health care workers who do the work and are familiar with the problems and what really is needed. His appointment and these remarks do not bode well for health care workers and the public who want and need a modern health care system where those who deliver the service and the people who depend on it decide its direction. When the Legault government talks about accountability, it blames workers for the problems, and criminalizes their actions in defence of their rights and the rights of the people who need and demand a modern health care system. Dubé simply doubles down on negating his government's responsibility for the weaknesses laid bare during the pandemic.

Sonia LeBel, the former prosecutor of the 2011 Charbonneau Commission, is taking over Dubé's previous position, becoming Minister Responsible for Government Administration and Chair of the Treasury Board. She will be in charge of the government's negotiations to renew the collective agreements of 500,000 public sector workers and oversee the passage and implementation of Bill 61.

Like LeBel's role in the Charbonneau Commission, her new role with Bill 61 is to divert attention from any corruption involving narrow private interests seeking maximum profit from public contracts and projects, and the government in charge of doling out the public money. LeBel's role as prosecutor during the Charbonneau Commission was to deflect attention from what most people saw as corruption involving the cartel parties in power receiving financial kickbacks from big construction companies that were awarded public contracts. The Commission sought to cloud and deflect the issue with attacks on construction workers and their unions, by equating their fight in defence of their rights as something akin to the mafia and the illegal restriction of economic activity. With Bill 61, Legault will have LeBel take a similar tack when dealing with public sector workers and issues surrounding health and safety, the environment etc, to equate the people's defence of rights as a restriction to building the infrastructure projects the government is pushing to pay the rich.

The greatest corruption in Quebec is the strengthening of the arbitrary powers of the state to attack the working people and pay the rich, and then covering up the government's crimes with laws that give it immunity from prosecution. Just like the Charbonneau Commission, Bill 61 will be used to serve the private interests of the rich and marginalize and criminalize the actions and voice of the working people.

Other Changes in the Legault Cabinet and
Recovery Committee Shuffle

The Ministry of Education and Higher Education has been split in two. Jean-François Roberge remains Minister of Education while the Ministry of Higher Education has been transferred to Danielle McCann, the former Minister of Health and Social Services.

On February 7, Legault's government used a gag order to force the adoption of Minister Roberge's Bill 40, which amended the Education Act as regards school organization and governance. The bill provoked an outcry of opposition from teachers and education workers who denounced the concentration of power in the hands of the government executive and the elimination of the intermediate levels of decision-making of the past. Bill 40 is similar in many ways to Bill 61 in its intent.

Simon Jolin-Barrette, former Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration was appointed Minister of Justice. The people broadly denounced Jolin-Barrette for his attacks on immigrants. The Legault government reduces the working class into categories of "things" for sale in the labour market and immigrants are one of these "things." This is done to split the working people, hinder the development of the struggle in defence of the rights of all and decrease the value of workers' capacity to work, which they sell to employers.

Nadine Girault replaces Jolin-Barrette as Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration. She was recently appointed co-chair of the action group against racism set up by the Legault government to promote the vision of systemic racism in which the people are blamed so as to hide and protect the state-organized racist attacks carried out by the state institutions, including the government itself.

Premier Legault also shuffled the members of the Economic Recovery Priorities Committee created at the end of March at the height of the pandemic. At the time, the Premier called the committee the "filter for all government spending." With the exception of health care, the Premier said that for every dollar invested, the government will have to answer the question: "Is it strategic for recovery?"

This neo-liberal gibberish is meant to prettify and strengthen the pay-the-rich economy at the expense of the rights and well-being of the people and the necessity for their voice and empowerment to be at the centre of all economic decisions and development.

The Economic Recovery Priorities Committee operates in secrecy, similar to a board of directors of big business, deciding where expropriated value should be spent. In fact the government cabinet operates as an executive committee in Quebec for the global oligarchy. It ensures all the resources, infrastructure and workers in Quebec are readily available to be exploited and the value they create can be legally expropriated and declared private property of the global rich within a legal state superstructure with police powers embellished with neo-liberal nonsense and ideology.

The Economic Recovery Priorities Committee includes Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of the Economy and Innovation; Eric Girard, Minister of Finance; Jean Boulet, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity; Sonia LeBel, President of the Treasury Board; Nadine Girault, the new Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration; Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment; Geneviève Guilbault, Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Security.

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Bill 61: Use of Pandemic and Restart of Economy to Strengthen Arbitrary Powers of the State

The Legault government on June 3 tabled Quebec Bill 61 -- An Act to restart Quebec's economy and to mitigate the consequences of the public health emergency declared on 13 March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill's stated aim is to mitigate the consequences of the public health emergency by fast-tracking for two years the construction of 202 public infrastructure projects such as schools, seniors' residences, road work and public transit. The bill gives the government the option to decree the building of additional public or private projects. Quebec Premier François Legault said the powers of the bill, which have been widely denounced as arbitrary, are critical to re-launching the Quebec economy after weeks of pandemic-induced shutdowns.

As a whole, the bill is an attempt to use the pandemic and reopening of the economy as a pretext to strengthen the arbitrary powers of the state and further deprive working people of any say whatsoever on matters of concern. It also further denies the National Assembly and its members any legislative power, as all decision-making power is concentrated in the hands of the ministers in the service of narrow private interests. Bill 61 grants the government the power to extend the public health emergency outside the Public Health Act and any oversight by the public and even members of the National Assembly.

The declaration of a public health emergency on March 13 gave arbitrary power to the government executive to cancel all negotiated agreements with health care and social service workers. The executive has used the power to unilaterally change public sector working conditions. The indefinite extension of this arbitrary power is a big attack on workers and their rights and must not pass!

In addition to the attack on public sector workers, Bill 61 grants all power to the government executive to cancel and violate existing laws and regulations under the hoax of speeding up the reopening of the economy. Bill 61 allows the government executive to violate legal provisions in the Public Health Act, the Environment Quality Act, the Expropriation Act, and the Act Respecting Contracting by Public Bodies and in addition gives immunity from prosecution to government ministers and others using the bill's provisions.

Bill 61 in effect grants the executive the power to eliminate at will environmental regulations, regulations regarding expropriation of the property of individuals for economic projects, and regulations regarding the awarding of public contracts to private companies to build public infrastructure projects along with immunity from prosecution for wrongdoings. This grab for greater executive power must not be allowed!

A crisis such as the pandemic must not be used to attack the people, violate their rights and shut them out even more violently from the decision-making power. Working people must assess what is going on and step up their fight for empowerment so that the problems caused by the pandemic can be resolved in their favour, not that of the rich. The pandemic shows that a new direction of the economy is necessary, a direction decided by working people and under their control.

The people demand this regressive bill be withdrawn immediately. Those who have tabled this anti-worker and anti-social bill and are pushing for its passage to give the government executive even greater arbitrary powers must be declared unfit to rule and removed from public office.

Quebec Government's Manoeuvring to Push Through Bill 61

Bill 61 was introduced a mere nine days before the official day of adjournment of the Quebec National Assembly on June 12. Premier François Legault, then President of the Treasury Board Christian Dubé and other spokespersons of the Cabinet arrogantly demanded that the bill be hurriedly passed before adjournment.

Even though the Legault government holds a majority of seats in the National Assembly, the bill required the unanimous consent of all three opposition parties and the independent members of the National Assembly for the principle of the bill to be adopted and allowed immediately to go into committee and subsequent readings. A procedural rule in the National Assembly requires unanimous consent when a bill is introduced after mid-May before the summer adjournment.

In an effort to gain the unanimous consent of the members of the National Assembly, the Legault government tabled 18 amendments the day before the summer adjournment. Legault's effort to "soften" the bill failed to win the unanimous consent needed to rush the bill through in principle. The opposition of the people to Bill 61 outside the National Assembly was so intense many commentators said it would have been suicidal for the other parties and members to agree to this manoeuvre of the Legault government. It is likely that when the National Assembly reconvenes in September the Legault government will use its majority of seats to adopt the bill in principle despite the people's mounting opposition to it.

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Regressive Features of Bill 61

Through Bill 61 -- An Act to restart Quebec's economy and to mitigate the consequences of the public health emergency declared on 13 March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Legault government seeks executive power for another two years to violate and override existing law in order to fast-track the construction of 202 and possibly more public infrastructure projects such as schools, seniors' residences, road work and public transit. The bill contains regressive features that many have denounced as arbitrary such as the continuing power to deprive public sector workers of their right to working conditions acceptable to themselves within negotiated collective agreements.

Violates Environment Quality Act

Article 15 of the bill states that the government may through executive dictate declare that provisions of the Environment Quality Act will not apply to certain projects. Bill 61 gives the government executive the power to single out projects to be sped up and prescribed with provisions replacing those in the existing Environment Quality Act. With this power, government executive regulations become law according to whatever the authority wants. This means the government can arbitrarily according to its whim, and possibly to accommodate powerful private interests, override and violate legal provisions in the Environment Quality Act.

Violates Expropriation Act

In cases of expropriation of the property of individuals to make way for economic projects, executive authority under Bill 61 can declare illegal any legal challenge of the expropriating party's right to expropriate under the Expropriation Act. The government says this arbitrary power to deny rights in violation of existing law is needed under the pragmatic hoax of speeding up economic projects.

Violates Act Respecting Contracting by Public Bodies

Regarding the awarding of public contracts, the bill says that the government may by regulation or on the recommendation of the Treasury Board determine as acceptable certain actions that are in fact in contradiction with the Act Respecting Contracting by Public Bodies. This could mean the elimination of public calls for tenders thus facilitating the awarding of contracts to specific monopolies according to executive fiat. This arbitrary executive power is not new per se as it already exists and has been used. What is new is that the bill would now enshrine this arbitrary executive power in law declaring it above any existing regulations.

This provision in the bill has already caused an uproar as it revives and brings to the fore the memory in Quebec of open ugly corruption in the awarding of public contracts to private interests in return for financing of certain political parties. The uproar has forced the government at this point to declare that the power to restrict public calls for tenders will apply only to those projects involving municipal bodies.

Extends Public Health Emergency Indefinitely

Among other things, the declaration of a public health emergency on March 13 gave power to the government executive to cancel negotiated collective agreements with health care and social service workers in order to unilaterally change their working conditions. This attack on workers' rights has been loudly condemned.

Bill 61 introduces a clause to extend indefinitely the public health emergency and its anti-worker powers. In effect, the indefinite extension of the emergency measures contradicts the Public Health Act under which the public health emergency was declared. The legal measure in the Act says that a public health emergency is effective for a maximum period of 10 days. The government must then renew the emergency and renew it again every 10 days for as long as it deems necessary or for 30 days with the consent of the National Assembly. A government proposed amendment to Bill 61 says the emergency and its arbitrary attacks on public sector workers will continue until October 2020 and longer if necessary.

Provides Government with Immunity from Prosecution

As was the case with the declaration of a public health emergency and the powers that it gives, the bill is framed to provide total immunity for the government executive. The preamble of the bill explicitly says, "Immunity from prosecution is granted to the Government, a minister, a public body or any other person who performs an act in good faith in exercising powers introduced by this bill or implementing measures taken under those powers."

This creates a very dangerous situation for the people and Quebec society. The pandemic and declaration of a health emergency and now the reopening of the economy are being used to further concentrate political power in fewer hands, which are subordinate to narrow private interests. For example, with this bill the government may decide that safety training and standards in construction are regulations hindering the mitigation of the consequences of the pandemic and the reopening of the economy. This argument has already been used in the construction and other sectors eroding health and safety standards and putting workers and the broad public at great risk. Enshrining these regressive practices in law and providing those enforcing them with immunity are cause for serious concern.

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Police Violence and Impunity Must End!

Protest Held at Peel Regional Police Headquarters Demands Justice for Ejaz Choudry

On Saturday, June 27, community members, social justice activists, religious and other organizations assembled in front of Peel Regional Police Headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario, to protest the unjustifiable shooting death of Ejaz Choudry at the hands of police. Many brought signs -- especially the youth -- with messages such as "Justice for Ejaz!," "Mental Health is Not a Crime!," "Stop Police Violence!" and "We Want Answers Now!" Loud chants were heard throughout the afternoon: "No Justice! No Peace!" and "The System Isn't Broken, It Was Built That Way!"

The various individuals and organizations that spoke all share the conviction that the tragic shooting death of Mr. Choudry could have been avoided, that his killing was unjustified.

Leaders of the Muslim community spoke at the rally. Mustafa Farooq, CEO of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), spoke first, asking "How does a wellness call end up in the taking away of a life?" Ejaz Choudry, he said, was not a danger to anyone but himself. Farooq called for equal treatment of all, regardless of race, religion or mental health and vowed that NCCM would continue to advocate for justice, transparency, accountability and for reforms that are paramount to serve the community going forward.

Imam Ibrahim Hindy spoke on behalf of the Muslim Council of Peel. He said the police had failed the public in the killing of Ejaz Choudry but this was not an isolated case. It has become ubiquitous to have national minorities and marginalized people experience similar injustices in their communities. He called for an end to the impunity of police for their acts of aggression. Imam Hindy also reiterated what many are saying -- that instead of spending money on tactical units used to kill people, the money ought to be directed to funding for mental health. His remarks were met by the chant "Defund the Police."

Both of Mr. Choudry's nephews spoke and thanked the community for their strong support. On behalf of the family, they asked "How long does it take the Special Investigations Unit to investigate?" and "How long does it take to have justice?" The protesters responded with chants of "Stop Police Violence!" and "Stop Killing Innocent Civilians!"

The imam from the Malton Masjid mosque said Mr. Choudry was affectionately known to all as "Uncle." The imam pointed out that Black and Indigenous communities also suffer police brutality and killings like the shooting death of Ejaz Choudry. He advocated defunding the police and allocating the money for the needs of the communities instead.

Nigel Barriffe of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations spoke against the huge police budget for Peel Region and of the need for justice for the victims of police violence and killings.

Families of other victims of police killings also came out to stand for justice for Ejaz Choudry. Like the Choudry family, they are demanding answers. A family spokesperson for D'Andre Campbell was present, as was a spokeswoman for the family of Regis Korchinski-Paquet. Campbell was a 26-year-old man in mental distress seeking help when killed by police April 6. Regis Korchinski-Paquet, 29, died of a fall from her 24th-floor apartment balcony during a wellness check by Toronto police on May 27. The spokeswoman received the loudest applause of the afternoon when she shouted defiantly, "This is not a Black issue. This is not a Muslim issue. This is a human rights issue!"

The People's Defence of Malton continues to plan meetings to discuss and analyze the next steps forward to seek justice for Ejaz Choudry and other victims of police brutality. In the process they intend to do their own investigation about what transpired and, through their own work, empower themselves.

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Malton Canada Day Community Barbecue

On July 1 the community of Malton held a Canada Day community barbecue to address and unite Malton in the fight against police brutality, violence and killings. The barbecue was well attended with approximately 400 people of various nationalities who had one message and spoke with one voice -- to seek justice for the killing of Mr. Choudry and to hold police accountable for violence and killings they carry out.

During the festivities the community youth decided to once again take a stand and demonstrate resistance by blocking the intersection of Morning Star Dr. and Goreway Dr. and shouted No Justice, No Peace! It was soon after the intersection was blocked that Peel Police arrived, attempting to persuade the crowd to cease the blockade. But instead many in the crowd confronted police and demanded the names of the officers who killed Mr. Choudry. As the crowd asked police to leave the area they also simultaneously shouted No Guns Allowed, No Justice, No Peace! and as the outnumbered police started leaving there was a loud cheer of elation.

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Ending Police Impunity

Justice for Ejaz rally outside Peel Police Headquarters, June 27, 2020.

The brazen killing of George Floyd in the course of his arrest by Minneapolis police on May 25 has justifiably sparked widespread condemnation not only in the U.S. but in Canada and other countries too. Millions have watched in horror as the police officer is caught on video confidently applying deadly violence to quell any resistance to the arrest while callously ignoring Mr. Floyd's desperate pleas for his life. People everywhere are understandably furious that this kind of police brutality during an arrest continues to occur with impunity, despite the cries of outrage that have been voiced repeatedly.

In past instances that are fresh in the collective memory, the pattern has always been for the state authorities to blame the victim for the attack, exonerate the real criminals and keep in place a system that trains and encourages police to use as much violence as they deem fit to crush any resistance to an arrest, even if they kill the person in the process.

The beating of Rodney King in 1991 gained worldwide notoriety for the savagery of the arrest. Four Los Angeles police officers were caught on video clubbing Mr. King 56 times as he was writhing on the ground trying to ward off the blows from their batons. The police were charged with excessive use of force. At trial, they pleaded that they were legally entitled to use as much force as was necessary to get Mr. King to comply with their commands to stop struggling and that he was to blame for the violence used against him. Three of the officers were acquitted and one had a hung jury. The blatant injustice prompted angry protests in Los Angeles and other cities, including Toronto. Two of the officers were later convicted of federal civil rights violations.

In 2014, Eric Garner was subjected to a brutal arrest on the street by a group of New York police officers. He was dragged to the ground by use of a chokehold, after which an officer crushed his chest and pushed his head into the concrete sidewalk until he succumbed to a fatal asthma attack. A video taken at the scene clearly shows how the officers ignored Mr. Garner's urgent pleas for them to stop the attack because he could not breathe. A grand jury decided not to indict the officer who directly caused Mr. Garner's death and the federal Justice Department also declined to press charges. Again, there was a huge outcry against impunity for police brutality. In 2019, the guilty officer faced a hearing not for killing Mr. Garner but for breaching police department rules by using a banned chokehold and for aggravated assault. He was found guilty of breaching the rules but not of aggravated assault. The officer was fired, five years after the killing, but no other punishment was imposed.

Before that, in Toronto in 2000, Otto Vass was killed after being arrested by four Toronto police officers outside a convenience store. When Mr. Vass objected to the arrest, the officers took him to the ground and put him on his back. One of the officers knelt with his full weight on the man's chest until he stopped moving because he was dead. Even in death, Mr. Vass was dealt an indignity: the official cause of death was declared to be cardiac arrest due to acute mania and excited delirium. The community organized to demand prosecution and seek justice. All four officers were charged with manslaughter. At trial, they raised the defence that they were legally correct in using as much force as they felt they needed to get him to stop struggling against them, even if they killed him, and they blamed him for his own death, saying that he had "reaped what he sowed." All four were acquitted by a jury.

The continuing protests raging in Minneapolis and many other cities show clearly that people everywhere want an end to impunity for police brutality. One aspect of the solution would be to ensure that the perpetrators are punished for their crimes. The four officers involved in the killing of Mr. Floyd have all been charged with murder in various degrees but it remains to be seen whether the legal system in Minnesota will hold them accountable for their crimes or, like their predecessors, they will escape responsibility by asserting that the deadly violence they used in the course of the arrest was all perfectly correct and proper.

For the future, there are legal changes that can be made to deter the use of lethal violence against any person who is resisting arrest but not posing a real threat to anyone. In Canada, the criminal law could be made explicit that it is never justifiable to cause death in the course of enforcing an arrest, other than in self-defence, instead of having the current law which leaves it open to the police officer to claim that lethal force was not excessive in the circumstances. This is just one suggestion that might initiate a change in the culture of impunity for police brutality. If it could save even one life by making a police officer hesitate before killing a person in his or her custody, then such an amendment would be worthwhile. No matter what, we must continue to raise our voices in protest against the prevalence of police brutality and for a society with a rule of law that truly provides equal rights for all.

End Impunity for Police Brutality!
Punish the Police Criminals!

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No to the Annexation of Palestinian Territory!

Days of Rage Against Israeli Annexation of Palestinian Territories

Gaza, Palestine, July 1, 2020

July 1 was designated a Day of Rage by Palestinian resistance against Israeli plans to annex significant parts of the occupied Palestinian territories. In the weeks leading up to July 1, there have been protests throughout the occupied territories, in Europe, the U.S. and Canada as well, condemning the annexation plan of the Israeli Zionists. July 1 was the date set by Israeli government leaders to formally move ahead with annexation -- roughly 30 per cent of the Jordan Valley and parts of the occupied West Bank.

Israel did not follow through with its July 1 deadline -- some say by design, that it was intended to put maximum pressure on the Palestinians to submit to the Deal of the Century proposition announced in January this year by U.S. President Donald Trump. If that was the objective, it failed.

Annexation and legitimizing the role of the Zionist state of Israel over the Palestinians, negating their rights as a people, including their right of return, is what the Deal of the Century is all about. For its part, Canada has remained completely silent in the face of what is a complete violation of international law being orchestrated by U.S. imperialism and the Zionist state of Israel.

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) immediately denounced the proposal put forward by President Donald Trump as a provocation and act of violence against the Palestinian people. On January 31 CPC(M-L) wrote: "It is aimed at extinguishing their rights, particularly the right of return, a collective right which has been affirmed year after year by the United Nations General Assembly. By proposing that the more than seven million Palestinians, including those in Gaza and the West Bank, be settled in what will be a bantustan in Gaza, in the countries where they are now living or in some other state that the U.S. will generously broker, the aim is to extinguish the historical memory of the Palestinian people and their decades-long struggle for their rights so gloriously expressed in the 'Great March of Return' in Gaza from 2018 to 2019."

Internationally many, including United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the EU and others have decried the annexation plan as a threat to peace and called on Israel to abandon the plan. "If implemented," Guterres told the UN Security Council, "annexation would constitute a most serious violation of international law, grievously harm the prospect of a two-state solution and undercut the possibilities of a renewal of negotiations."

In this edition, TML Weekly is publishing photos and reports of actions during the Days of Rage and reprinting statements of Canadian Palestinian organizations and an open letter signed by some 59 former Canadian diplomats calling on Canada to take a stand in support of an international order based on the rule of law and to reject annexation by Israel of occupied Palestinian territories. TML Weekly also calls on Canadians to vigorously support actions in their area in support of the Palestinian people's right to be, for their sovereignty and statehood.

100,000 march in Gaza, July 1, 2020.

Ramallah, July 1, 2020.

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Canadian Palestinian Organizations'
Response to Annexation

On June 24, a coalition of 13 Canadian Palestinian organizations issued a joint letter to Prime Minister Trudeau urging Canada to take a stand against Israel's plan to annex parts of occupied Palestine, to uphold international law and enable self-determination of the Palestinian people. 

Dear Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

We are writing to urge the government to reject Israel's plans to annex parts of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian Territories in the West Bank: namely Palestinian lands in the Jordan Valley to the north and South of Jericho.

It has been a long-standing policy of Canada that peace between Israelis and Palestinians can only be achieved through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. If Israel proceeds with its annexation plans, it would render the two-state solution impossible, and postpone any hope of justice and peace in Palestine-Israel.

Annexation of occupied territory is a flagrant violation of international law and UN Charter principles. The European Union and several European countries, including Britain, Germany and France have already expressed their strong opposition to the Israeli plans. The government's failure to speak out is alarming and problematic, and contradicts its professed support for the international rules-based order.

Beyond simple condemnation, Canada must show Israel that there are consequences for disregarding the global consensus for a negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. As such, The Canadian government must consider trade sanctions against the Israeli government if it does not abandon its annexation plans.

The Palestinian-Canadian community is appreciative of a number of things that the Canadian government has done, like the restoration of funding to UNRWA [the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East], and the refusal to move Canada's embassy from Tel Aviv. But rather than simply reacting to Israel's unlawful annexation plans, we urge the Canadian government to take a longer view, and to work actively to enable the self-determination of the Palestinian people. As such, we exhort you to try to bring an end to Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory, recognize the Palestinian people as a nation on the international stage and to recognize the state of Palestine, with full voting rights at the UN.

Again, we urge you, in the name of all Palestinian-Canadians and all Canadians of good will, to not overlook Israel's illegal and provocative move. Instead, Canada must stand firm in support of justice, peace, international law and the freedom and self-determination of the Palestinian people.

On Behalf of the Coalition

Mr. Mousa Zaidan, President 
The Association of Palestinian Arab Canadians -- Capital Region

For list of coalition members click here.

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Canadians Oppose Government
Support for Israeli War Crimes

Close to 200 people answered the call of Palestinian youth to rally before the Human Rights Monument in Ottawa on June 28, to oppose the illegal annexation of the West Bank Palestine. Similar actions took place across the country.

Two organizers made brief statements at the beginning of the rally and asked that everyone respect social distancing as they marched up Elgin Street to demonstrate in front of the Prime Minister's Office. The speakers pointed out that the illegal annexation of the West Bank, which was scheduled to begin July 1, is a global crisis and a catastrophic human rights violation. The rally is the first of a campaign of actions and events to build national opposition to the illegal militarized seizure of lands in Palestine and further displacement of Palestinians. The youth affirmed that the struggle of the Palestinian people is one with that of the Indigenous peoples in Canada as well as that of the struggle of African Americans and that they are all part of the same struggle for justice. A group of Native youth sang songs of support in front of the Prime Minister's Office.

The speakers denounced two fields of close cooperation between the Canadian government and Israel -- that of policing and that of the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement, as well as the support Canada offered Israel before the International Criminal Court in February (see below).

Collaboration on Policing

The links between Canada and Israel in terms of policing are numerous. The March 2008 signing of the "Declaration of Intent Between the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada and the Ministry of Public Security of the Government of the State of Israel" is an example of the collaboration between Canadian and Israeli security establishments. This includes, but not exclusively, aerospace, maritime and land-based security and surveillance technologies, counter-terrorism technology development, perimeter security, surveillance technology, cyberspace and communications, as well as emergency-preparedness and riot-control.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement

The Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA) went into force on January 1, 1997, eliminating tariffs on all industrial products manufactured in Canada and Israel. On May 2, 2018, François-Philippe Champagne, then-Minister of International Trade, and Eli Cohen, Israel's Minister of the Economy and Trade, met in Montreal, Quebec, to sign the Protocol Amending the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement.

On a Government of Canada website, in a "country profile" of Israel that explains "why Israel matters," it is said that Canada's top merchandise export to Israel (2016-2018 average) is aircraft and parts ($90.7 million). It is pointed out that Israel is home to one of the ten largest arms manufacturing industries in the world, supported by an annual budget of U.S.$18 billion. Education is raised as an important part of Canada-Israel relations, as well as information and communications technologies which represent one of the most important sectors for sales, technology partnerships and investment between Canada and Israel. Other common fields include health and life sciences, where partnership opportunities exist for Canadian firms in a variety of areas, including digital health (including artificial intelligence), neuroscience, and complementing medical device technology.

International Criminal Court

As recently as February, the Canadian government sided with Israel when the International Criminal Court had concluded that war crimes "have been or are being committed" in the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. The Canadian government, rather than deal with the issue of the crimes being committed against the Palestinian people by Israel, cowardly hid behind a "long-standing position" that it does not recognize a Palestinian state and therefore does not recognize the "accession of such a state to international treaties."

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Haligonians Stand Up for Palestinians and in
Defence of the Rights of All

Haligonians came forward on July 1 to support the right to be of the Palestinian people and in defence of the rights of all. It is reported that some 800 people rallied at the Halifax waterfront. They gathered to condemn Israeli plans to annex large swaths of occupied Palestinian territories. They gathered in support of the Indigenous peoples' centuries-long struggle to affirm their right to be. They gathered in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, for LGBTQ rights, against state organized, racist police violence and killings -- in short, in defence of the rights of all.

Many Mi'kmaq and their supporters militantly took their stand, after having held their own rally at Peace and Friendship Park against colonialism and racism against Indigenous peoples. Poets, educators and artists lent their talents. A spokesperson for Independent Jewish Voices expressed the firm opposition of Jewish people to the crimes the Zionist state of Israel is committing against the Palestinians. LGBTQ representatives pointed to annexation as the real brutal face of the state of Israel, not the image projected of tolerance and liberal democracy.

Dr. Ismail Zayid, speaking on behalf of Canadians, Arabs, and Jews for a Just Peace (CAJJP), condemned the Israeli plan of annexation. He said it amounts to a war crime and complete violation of international law. He said Canada has to take real action to uphold the rights of the Palestinian people. He said Indigenous and Palestinian people share similar experiences with colonialism and their right of return, their rights as peoples, must be recognized.

July 1 was an international Day of Rage called by Palestinian resistance organizations. It was also Canada Day and Halifax showed what the Canadian people stand for this July 1! Our Security Lies in Our Fight for the Rights of All!

(With files from Nova Scotia Advocate)

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Canada Must Strongly Oppose
Illegal Israeli Annexations

After 40 years of the illegal annexation of East Jerusalem and 53 years of illegal military occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Israeli government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced its intention to annex large portions of the West Bank starting in July, with full backing from the Trump administration.

Israeli control of Palestinian territories is illegal under international law, which is clear in its emphasis on the "inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force." Despite numerous UN resolutions urging Israel to end its occupation, Israel has chosen to continue on the path of settler-colonialism, apartheid, land seizure and forcible displacement of Palestinians.

Indeed, annexing territory without granting full citizenship rights to the three million Palestinians in the West Bank constitutes apartheid; Palestinians would be left in nominally autonomous and disconnected enclaves under Israeli rule.

We call on the Trudeau government to condemn the annexation and take action against it.

Canada must abide by its stated commitment to international law and the rules-based order by pledging meaningful steps against Israel's unilateral annexations. This must include the imposition of sanctions, such as suspending the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement and prohibiting all trade with illegal Israeli settlements.

If recent history is any indication, verbal rebukes are insufficient, and only concrete action can ensure that Israel is deterred from its imminent violations of international law.

To add your name and/or organization to this appeal's growing list of supporters, contact the Palestinian Canadian Community Centre  -- Palestine House at palestiniancanadians@gmail.com. The list of supporters can be found on the Palestine House Facebook page.

(June 24, 2020)

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Open Letter to Prime Minister of Canada
by Retired Canadian Diplomats

On June 1, fifty-nine former Canadian diplomats signed an open letter urging Prime Minister Trudeau to affirm Canada's commitment to multilateralism and the rule of law and oppose Israel's announced plan of annexation of currently occupied Palestinian territory.

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau Prime Minister of Canada

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

We are writing to you as retired Canadian diplomats, proud of Canada's historical commitment to multilateral institutions and its reputation for supporting the rule of law.

As you know, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced publicly his intention to "annex" in the coming weeks a significant amount of land that Canada, and the international community, recognize as occupied Palestinian Territory.

The unilateral annexation of territory is strictly prohibited under international law. This is a centrepiece of the Charter of the United Nations, San Francisco, June 26, 1945, and has been consolidated by treaties and resolutions, judicial rulings and scholarly writings ever since.

Indeed, this prohibition has acquired the status of a jus cogens norm in international law, meaning that it is accepted as a fundamental principle of law by the international community.

Territorial conquest and annexation are notorious for contributing to fateful results: war, political instability, economic ruin, systematic discrimination and human suffering.

Speaking specifically to the five-decade-long Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the UN Security Council has affirmed, on eight occasions since 1967, the principle of "the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory" by war or force. This principle was cited by the council to condemn as unlawful Israel's two prior annexations of East Jerusalem, in 1980, and the Syrian Golan Heights in 1981.

We would like to urge you to publicly acknowledge Canada's commitment to multilateralism and the rule of law by issuing a statement that Canada reaffirms its position in support of all relevant UN resolutions, including UNSC resolution 2334, which was adopted on December 23, 2016.

As you are no doubt aware, many of our allies have already spoken out opposing the Israeli proposal. Significant Canadian civil society organizations, including some Christian churches and Jewish organizations, have also urged Canada to take a similar stand.

As former Canadian diplomats, we urge you to protect Canada's good name in the international community by speaking loudly and clearly on this issue.

For signatories click here.

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Actions in Canada and Around the World
Say No! to Annexation






Around the World

New York City

Washington, DC

Chicago, Illinois

Columbus, Ohio

Salt Lake City, Utah

Los Angeles, California

San Francisco, California

Honolulu, Hawaii

Costa Rica

Santiago, Chile

Helsinki, Finland

Berlin, Germany

Frankfurt, Germany

Vienna, Austria

Brussels, Belgium

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Belfast, Ireland

Manchester, England

Oldham, England

Paris; Toulouse, France

Barcelona; Madrid, Spain

Valencia, Spain

Athens, Greece

Izmir, Turkey


South Africa


(Photos: TML, Samidoun, M. Dilon, K. Saravangmuttu, J. Dabit, A. Smith, J. Catron, L. Wassen, CJP, Party of Social Liberation, B. Cavallaro, ryansincamera, Justice in Paletine, Redde Solidaridad, Delight Lab, M. Lewis, BDS Belfast, Ariel D., Collectif Palestine Vaincre, Fundacio Solidaria, Quds, V. Ukraine, Yemen Can't Wait, Filistin Dustlari, M. Mohammed, Kenya-Palestine, Africa4Palestine, ME Eye)

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Anniversary of the U.S. Declaration of Independence

What Is Being Celebrated This Fourth of July

Mass actions continue across the U.S. demanding change. Above, Chicago Pride March, June 28, 2020, which took up the banner "Black Lives Matter."

The Fourth of July is celebrated as Independence Day in the United States. It is the day which recalls the adoption of the Declaration of Independence of the United States by the Continental Congress in 1776. By issuing the Declaration of Independence, 13 British colonies severed their political connections to Great Britain. The Declaration summarized the colonists' motivations for seeking independence, especially the right to choose their own government.

The Declaration was divided into five sections, including an introduction, a preamble, a body (divided into two sections) and a conclusion. The introduction effectively stated that seeking independence from Britain had become "necessary" for the colonies. While the body of the document outlined a list of grievances against the British crown, the preamble includes its most famous passage: "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."[1]

The traditional celebrations of independence day are not taking place this year, not only because of the COVID-19 pandemic but also because nation-wide the people of the United States are very conscious of the fact that not all people are created equal. In fact, the institution of slavery continued for another 86 years after the U.S. became independent of Britain and today's conditions stem from the social relations which continue to exist rooted in slavery and the Constitution. This includes the wanton killing of Blacks by heavily armed police who enjoy immunities justified by alleged necessary use of force. Present practices are reminiscent of the slave patrols of yesteryear.

In this issue, TML Weekly is publishing several items relevant to the courageous movement taking place in the United States at this time against the racist treatment of Blacks, police brutality and impunity, for peace, democracy and justice.

We start with the speech delivered by the famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass on the occasion of July 4, 1852 to fellow abolitionists, as well as a video which features his descendants today rendering that speech. Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) escaped slavery in Maryland. He subsequently became a staunch national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York, and a social reformer.[2]

A photo review follows which continues to show the militant actions being organized across the United States to demand change.


1. history.com
2. Ibid

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Fourth of July Speech by Frederick Douglass

Posted below is the speech delivered by Frederick Douglass on the occasion of July 4, 1852 before fellow abolitionists. The text is followed by a video of his modern-day descendants reading this speech.


Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men, too -- great enough to give frame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men. The point from which I am compelled to view them is not, certainly, the most favourable; and yet I cannot contemplate their great deeds with less than admiration. They were statesmen, patriots and heroes, and for the good they did, and the principles they contended for, I will unite with you to honour their memory....

...Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? and am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?

...Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions! Then would my task be light, and my burden easy and delightful. For who is there so cold, that a nation's sympathy could not warm him? Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude, that would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits? Who so stolid and selfish, that would not give his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nation's jubilee, when the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs? I am not that man. In a case like that, the dumb might eloquently speak, and the "lame man leap as an hart."

But such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrevocable ruin! I can to-day take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and woe-smitten people!

"By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yea! we wept when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there, they that carried us away captive, required of us a song; and they who wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth."

Fellow-citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, to-day, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not faithfully remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, "may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!" To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs, and to chime in with the popular theme, would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world. My subject, then, fellow-citizens, is American slavery. I shall see this day and its popular characteristics from the slave's point of view. Standing there identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine, I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this 4th of July! Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity which is outraged, in the name of liberty which is fettered, in the name of the constitution and the Bible which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery -- the great sin and shame of America! "I will not equivocate; I will not excuse;" I will use the severest language I can command; and yet not one word shall escape me that any man, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice, or who is not at heart a slaveholder, shall not confess to be right and just.

But I fancy I hear some one of my audience say, "It is just in this circumstance that you and your brother abolitionists fail to make a favourable impression on the public mind. Would you argue more, and denounce less; would you persuade more, and rebuke less; your cause would be much more likely to succeed." But, I submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued. What point in the anti-slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the people of this country need light? Must I undertake to prove that the slave is a man? That point is conceded already. Nobody doubts it. The slaveholders themselves acknowledge it in the enactment of laws for their government. They acknowledge it when they punish disobedience on the part of the slave. There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia which, if committed by a black man (no matter how ignorant he be), subject him to the punishment of death; while only two of the same crimes will subject a white man to the like punishment. What is this but the acknowledgment that the slave is a moral, intellectual, and responsible being? The manhood of the slave is conceded. It is admitted in the fact that Southern statute books are covered with enactments forbidding, under severe fines and penalties, the teaching of the slave to read or to write. When you can point to any such laws in reference to the beasts of the field, then I may consent to argue the manhood of the slave. When the dogs in your streets, when the fowls of the air, when the cattle on your hills, when the fish of the sea, and the reptiles that crawl, shall be unable to distinguish the slave from a brute, then will I argue with you that the slave is a man!

For the present, it is enough to affirm the equal manhood of the Negro race. Is it not astonishing that, while we are ploughing, planting, and reaping, using all kinds of mechanical tools, erecting houses, constructing bridges, building ships, working in metals of brass, iron, copper, silver and gold; that, while we are reading, writing and ciphering, acting as clerks, merchants and secretaries, having among us lawyers, doctors, ministers, poets, authors, editors, orators and teachers; that, while we are engaged in all manner of enterprises common to other men, digging gold in California, capturing the whale in the Pacific, feeding sheep and cattle on the hill-side, living, moving, acting, thinking, planning, living in families as husbands, wives and children, and, above all, confessing and worshipping the Christian's God, and looking hopefully for life and immortality beyond the grave, we are called upon to prove that we are men!

Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? that he is the rightful owner of his own body? You have already declared it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for Republicans? Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to be understood? How should I look to-day, in the presence of Americans, dividing, and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom? speaking of it relatively and positively, negatively and affirmatively. To do so, would be to make myself ridiculous, and to offer an insult to your understanding. -- There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven that does not know that slavery is wrong for him.

What, am I to argue that it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob them of their liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them ignorant of their relations to their fellow men, to beat them with sticks, to flay their flesh with the lash, to load their limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at auction, to sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to burn their flesh, to starve them into obedience and submission to their masters? Must I argue that a system thus marked with blood, and stained with pollution, is wrong? No! I will not. I have better employment for my time and strength than such arguments would imply.

What, then, remains to be argued? Is it that slavery is not divine; that God did not establish it; that our doctors of divinity are mistaken? There is blasphemy in the thought. That which is inhuman, cannot be divine! Who can reason on such a proposition? They that can, may; I cannot. The time for such argument is passed.

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could reach the nation's ear, I would, to-day, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy licence; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy -- a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival....

...Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this day presented, of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country. There are forces in operation which must inevitably work the downfall of slavery. "The arm of the Lord is not shortened," and the doom of slavery is certain. I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. While drawing encouragement from "the Declaration of Independence," the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age. Nations do not now stand in the same relation to each other that they did ages ago. No nation can now shut itself up from the surrounding world and trot round in the same old path of its fathers without interference. The time was when such could be done. Long established customs of hurtful character could formerly fence themselves in, and do their evil work with social impunity. Knowledge was then confined and enjoyed by the privileged few, and the multitude walked on in mental darkness. But a change has now come over the affairs of mankind. Walled cities and empires have become unfashionable. The arm of commerce has borne away the gates of the strong city. Intelligence is penetrating the darkest corners of the globe. It makes its pathway over and under the sea, as well as on the earth. Wind, steam, and lightning are its chartered agents. Oceans no longer divide, but link nations together. From Boston to London is now a holiday excursion. Space is comparatively annihilated. -- Thoughts expressed on one side of the Atlantic are distinctly heard on the other.

The far off and almost fabulous Pacific rolls in grandeur at our feet. The Celestial Empire, the mystery of ages, is being solved. The fiat of the Almighty, "Let there be Light," has not yet spent its force. No abuse, no outrage whether in taste, sport or avarice, can now hide itself from the all-pervading light. The iron shoe, and crippled foot of China must be seen in contrast with nature. Africa must rise and put on her yet unwoven garment. "Ethiopia shall stretch out her hand unto God." In the fervent aspirations of William Lloyd Garrison,[1] I say, and let every heart join in saying it:

God speed the year of jubilee
The wide world o'er!
When from their galling chains set free,
Th' oppress'd shall vilely bend the knee,
And wear the yoke of tyranny
Like brutes no more.
That year will come, and freedom's reign,
To man his plundered rights again

God speed the day when human blood
Shall cease to flow!
In every clime be understood,
The claims of human brotherhood,
And each return for evil, good,
Not blow for blow;
That day will come all feuds to end,
And change into a faithful friend
Each foe.

God speed the hour, the glorious hour,
When none on earth
Shall exercise a lordly power,
Nor in a tyrant's presence cower;
But to all manhood's stature tower,
By equal birth!
That hour will come, to each, to all,
And from his Prison-house, the thrall
Go forth.

Until that year, day, hour, arrive,
With head, and heart, and hand I'll strive,
To break the rod, and rend the gyve,
The spoiler of his prey deprive --
So witness Heaven!
And never from my chosen post,
Whate'er the peril or the cost,
Be driven.  

TML Note

1. William Lloyd Garrison was himself a staunch abolitionist who founded the New England Anti-Slavery Society in 1832, and the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833, and popularized the need for immediate, as opposed to gradual, abolition of slavery. He founded the anti-slavery newspaper The Liberator in Boston, in 1831, and was its fearless editor until the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolished slavery in 1865. The Liberator was not a political paper but appealed to the moral conscience of all based on Garrison's firm convictions expressed in these famous quotes from his works:

I am in earnest -- I will not equivocate -- I will not excuse -- I will not retreat a single inch -- and I will be heard!

I will be as harsh as truth and as uncompromising as justice.

Our country is the world -- our countrymen are mankind.

(The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass, Volume II, Pre-Civil War Decade 1850-1860, Philip S. Foner, International Publishers Co., Inc., New York, 1950)

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Photo Review of Ongoing Protests in the U.S.

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Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

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(Photos: BLM New York, Left Voice, Pennyslinger, M. Griffon, M. Lucido, Physicians for National Healthcare Program, B. Castillo, Solidarity Ervin, D. Adams, B. McGill, supitslizzie, M. Milazzo, J. Kamil, Unicorn Riot, T. Bridge, C. Eckl, biggest little streets, Stoop Down Photos, Justice for Anderes, Bike SD, C. Whitten, L. Ladd)

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