Toronto Remembers the Nakba and Protests the NATO summit in Chicago

from Toronto Protest Against the NATO summit in Chicago Facebook page:

NATO is holding a summit in Chicago from May 19-21st to decide the future of the war in Afghanistan and the future of military alliance itself. It is expected that the summit will rubber stamp the U.S.- Afghan strategic partnership which will see foreign troops occupy the country until 2024. Stephen Harper and the Conservative government in Canada have already indicated that they may keep Canadian special forces soldiers in the country.

The Canadian Peace Alliance, Afghans For Peace, The Canadian Arab Federation and the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War will be rallying on Saturday May 19th to call for all Canadian soldiers to brought home from Afghanistan now and to oppose any extension of the occupation. Afghanistan is, after a decade of NATO intervention, mired in a violence, bombing, night raids and massive poverty. We will also be calling for an end to all NATO interventions.

A recent Angus Reid poll found 58 per cent of Canadians strongly disagree with keeping troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014. A CBC news live poll found a whopping 95 per cent of Canadians are opposed to the extension.

May 15 is also the anniversary of the Nakba, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forcibly expelled from Palestine. The US is arguing for Israel to attend this NATO summit. The US, the most powerful of the NATO members, is also responsible for the ongoing occupation of Palestine; meanwhile, our own Harper Government has become an unconditional supporter of this unjust occupation. We will also rally to commemorate the day and to call for liberation for the Palestinian people.

NATO is a relic of the cold war yet it continues to try and reinvent itself as a global security guard. It provides and illusion of internationalism while seeking to serve the interests of its primary players, namely the United States. The NATO powers use the alliance to bring military might to their plans for control and pillage of any country deemed to be outside the influence of the west.

There are also fears that western countries will be using the summit to discuss an attack on Iran, long supported by the Harper government and to meddle in the ongoing crisis in Syria. In each case we stand opposed to any western interference which will only bring more ruin and misery. NATO interventions are a disaster for the people living in the invaded countries.

Canadian foreign policy should not be set by the Pentagon or NATO but by the people of this country who are overwhelmingly calling for peace.

see also:

Interactive map of Palestine villages destroyed in Nakba

Lies and Truths–Mazin Qumsiyeh

Edward Said – Reflections on Exile and Other Essays

Video: Toronto protests NATO summit

Riseup Canada’s photos of Toronto rally

Toronto rally on the 64th anniversary of the Nakba

We Are Change‘s links:

  • Afghans Against NATO’s Unjustified War Extension AFP MEDIA RELEASE November 26th, 2010 Afghans For Peace is an Afghan-led peace movement currently located in Canada, the U.S. and Afghanistan. As Afghans united for a peaceful Afghanistan, we oppose the NATO occupation of Afghanistan as well as the NATO extension of it’s mission to 2014. …
  • Afghans for Peace: “Where is your courage, your compassion?” By Lucid, We Are Change Toronto October 13, 2010 Speaking at Trinity St. Paul’s Church in Toronto, Suraia Sahar, an Afghan war refugee and representative of Afghans for Peace, ( tells her story of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan. Suraia and the Afghans for Peace are calling on Canadians to support …
  • Afghanistan MP Malalai Joya Speaks in Toronto About the War Wednesday October 13, 2010 David Weingarten, We Are Change Toronto Malalai Joya has been described as “the bravest woman in Afghanistan.” In April, Joya was named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. A former Afghan MP, Joya has been …
  • Canada Pursues U.S.-Style Security and Foreign Policy by Dana Gabriel Be Your Own Leader In the last number of years, there has been a dramatic shift in Canadian security and foreign policy with regards to continental, hemispheric and global issues. While Canada is working with the U.S. on a North American security perimeter deal, there are also …
  • Rally April 9, Pan Canadian Day of Action on Afghanistan April 9, 2011 is the PAN-CANADIAN DAY OF ACTION ON AFGHANISTAN to coincide with anti-war demonstrations in both New York and San Francisco. R A L L Y Saturday, April 9, 2011, 12:00 noon Across from U.S. Consulate, 360 University Avenue, Toronto TTC: Osgoode or St. Patrick Marching to CITY HALL to join the MASS COMMUNITY …
  • Afghans for Peace and the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War: Rally To End the NATO War of Occupation in Afghanistan By Lucid and The Ugly Truth, We Are Change Toronto April 9, 2011, TORONTO Gathered outside the U.S. General Consulate, peace activists from the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, Afghans for Peace, We Are Change Toronto and allied groups held a demonstration as part of a nation wide campaign …

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