Anti-Imperialist Solidarity Actions
Militant Rally in Toronto Denounces Attacks on Kashmir
Friends of Kashmir, the Kashmir Global Council, Canadian Council for Justice and Peace, Just Peace Advocates and Joint Voice organized a rally and march in Toronto on September 15 to denounce India’s state-organized attacks on Kashmir. Kashmir has already been divided between Pakistan, called Azaad Kashmir and India. The Indian government of Narendra Modi has repealed Section 370 of the Indian Constitution, which gave the part of Kashmir which is occupied by India a measure of autonomy. In doing so, Modi has unleashed a wave of state terrorism against the people of Kashmir. The 200 participants, many with families in Kashmir, chanted India out of Kashmir, Self-Determination for Kashmir, and Indian Troops Out of Kashmir.
Speakers at the rally report Indian troops are committing atrocities against the Kashmiri people in an effort to terrorize and subdue them. Eyewitnesses tell of Indian troops carrying out night abductions of young men, rapes and other acts of terror. Others said they have not been able to connect with loved ones because of the communications blackout. One speaker pointed out that hospitals in Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir, have been ordered not to treat Kashmiris who have been injured by the Indian troops.
Speakers raised the issue of the silence of the Canadian government in the face of the Modi government’s campaign of terror and human rights violations in Kashmir. A speaker said some 10,000 letters have been sent to Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland and other members of Parliament demanding they take a stand in defence of the besieged people of Kashmir. No response has been forthcoming. The speakers demanded to know why the life and death situation facing the Kashmiri people has not been put on the public agenda for investigation and discussion, especially during an election.
Speakers affirmed the right of the Kashmiri people to self-determination. They denounced the Modi government and declared that the Kashmiri people who have been fighting for self-determination for 72 years will not be subdued. They said that the repeal of Section 370 granting special status to Kashmir means that the Indian state and those connected with it will be emboldened to steal the land and resources of the Kashmiri people and extinguish their national rights. This will not pass, they declared.
The organizers announced another rally on October 19, two days before the elections at Queen’s Park. They are determined to smash the silence on the plight of the people of Kashmir and their brave resistance to the destructive state-organized attacks of the Modi Indian government.