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Montreal Resists Israeli Terrorism in Lebanon and Gaza

Montrealers have taken to the streets twice over the last weekend to protest the escalating Israeli aggression in Lebanon and the Gaza strip. The protests have been organized spontaneously by members of the Lebanese community and their allies in the face of an increasing death count in Lebanon and Palestine.

On Friday, July 14, 250 people came out at noon for a demonstration outside the Israeli consulate in downtown Montreal. It was held in the space where the group Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU) have been holding a silent vigil every Friday for the last five years since the second Palestinian Intifadah started. Instead of a silent vigil, an emotionally charged crowd made it clear that now was the time to be vocal and express outrage at Israeli war crimes. Speeches were made by many activists, including representatives of the Lebanese community and
Palestinian refugees. Following the rally, a group marched through downtown Montreal, ending at the American consulate. The demo was called by PAJU, along with the Coalition Against the Deportation of Palestinian
Refugees, the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) – Montreal, Parole Arabe, and Tadamon!

On the following Sunday, July 16, with civilian deaths in Lebanon rising to well over 100 after five days of intense Israeli assaults, another demonstration was held outside the Israeli consulate. This demonstration, organized by Lebanese community centers and mosques, brought out over 1,000 people on only two days notice. Before the demo got underway, a message was broadcast over the sound-system via cell phone from a resistance fighter in Lebanon. Many people in the crowd listened in with worried looks on their faces.

The march then proceeded down Rene Levesque boulevard, with the crowd chanting “Israel assassinates! Canada is complicit!” and “From Beirut to Palestine, Occupation is a Crime!”. Many people, young and old, and their families joined in.

Halfway through the march, a woman broke down in tears upon hearing that members of her family had been killed in Lebanon. Later on, CBC radio news reported that seven Canadian citizens were killed and three seriously
injured by the Israeli army in Lebanon today. More people broke down in tears upon hearing the news. Stephen Harper and the Canadian government have given their explicit support to these atrocities being committed by Israel.

The demonstration ended at the Guy Favreau complex, a federal government building, with more speeches in English, French, and Arabic. The speakers made it clear that Canada’s support for Israel’s actions is in clear
violation of international law, and that our politicians must be held accountable.

Israel’s bloody invasion of the Gaza strip is almost in its third week, after resistance fighters captured a soldier of the occupation forces. The soldier’s release is conditional upon the release of over 8,000 Palestinian political prisoners being held in Israeli jails. To date, the Israeli aggression has left 92 Palestinians dead and another 326 wounded many in critical condition, according to the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry.

A coalition of groups came together after Sunday’s demonstration to plan another week of actions to put pressure the Canadian and Israeli governments. The next demonstration will be Tuesday, July 18 at 5:00pm at
the corner of Peel and Rene-Levesque. Other actions being planned include a human chain through Montreal’s old port on Wednesday night, a 24-hour vigil outside the Israeli consulate on Friday, and an international day of action on July 22.

For more information on all of these actions, and other independent reports from Beirut, visit tadamon.resist.ca.

[This report was compiled by members of ISM-Montreal and Tadamon! Montreal]

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* In Montreal, Tadamon! aims to organize within the Lebanese Diaspora, through popular education, cultural work and political action, which address struggles facing the Lebanese community, such as immigration, racism, poverty and labour rights.

Through organizing work both locally and internationally, Tadamon! aligns itself with social justice movements in Lebanon, Canada and internationally which are anti-capitalist & anti-authoritarian in nature.

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For audio reports from Stefan Christoff and Sawsan Kalache, Tadamon! Montreal members currently in Beirut, visit:

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For latest developments in Lebanon: Beruit Indymedia

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Tadamon! Statement of Solidarity on Lebanon and Palestine
July 18th, 2006 | Posted in War and Terror, Solidarity

Montreal, July 18 2006

In the strongest of terms, we condemn the Israeli apartheid state’s military assault against the people of Lebanon and Palestine. The assault on Lebanon, unrelenting for seven consecutive days now, and increasingly destructive and deadly, is an act of state terror, an exercise of state power in its most physically violent form in complete disregard of international law and conventions and of the principles of ethical human conduct.

The entire population of Lebanon has been subject to the callous, calculated and arrogant use of force by the Israeli state which, on the pretext of avenging military losses (the death and capture of military personnel in a clash with Hizbollah), launched an assault of mass and indiscriminate punishment on Lebanon and the people of Lebanon. The Israeli attack – according to many observers, a means of achieving wider strategic aims in the region - has resulted in the death of hundreds of civilians, many of them children, injury to hundreds of others, the forced displacement of thousands and the destruction of essential civilian infrastructure (roads, ports, airports, power supply facilities).

In the strongest of terms, we also denounce the continued Israeli military siege of Gaza, now in its fourth week. Victims also of the ultra-nationalist logic of Israeli state power, Gazans have endured a decades-long occupation with its attendant forms of repression, rights abuse and humiliation. During the latest siege, they have been subject to the deliberate destruction of their essential infrastructure, to deprivation of the necessities of subsistence, to generalized state terror practices, the bombing of homes and institutions and the killing and injury of civilians.

We deplore the Canadian government’s failure to either condemn Israeli aggression or to hold Israel responsible in any way for the current state of crisis in the Middle East. The Prime Minister of Canada, in public statements in London, England and, more recently, in St. Petersburg, Russia , affirmed his support for Israel’s “right to self-defence” and characterized the Israeli military’s assault on Lebanon as “measured”. Meanwhile, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in his 12 July 2006 statement, condemned Hizbollah for its actions against Israeli military targets but remained absolutely silent about Israel’s crimes against civilian populations. This stance of the Canadian government amounts to acquiescence in Israel’s strategies of mass punishment of Arab populations and, according to many commentators, of regional domination and forcing regime change in Arab states.

In the strongest of terms, we express our solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for liberation from occupation and colonial domination. We also add our voice to those in Lebanon, Palestine and elsewhere who call for an immediate cessation of Israeli military aggression and practices of state terror in Lebanon and Gaza, and for the immediate release of Lebanese and Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli prisons. We urge the Canadian government to call on Israel to end its attacks on Lebanon and Gaza and, subsequently, to be engaged in a fair and balanced way in the working out of a just settlement to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians including an Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Palestinian territories, full respect of the Palestinian rights of return and self-determination and the dismantlement of the Israeli apartheid wall. Finally, we urge the international community to take immediate measures to address the humanitarian crises in Gaza and Lebanon and to provide humanitarian aid and reconstruction assistance to people in Lebanon and Gaza.

Tadamon! Montreal.
tadamon@resist.ca