…and they were calling for a Free Gaza, Free Palestine.
100% Free…no pathetic smoke-and-mirrors, Swiss-cheese “Two State solution”.
The global al-Quds Day demonstrations occur annually. According to organizers, in Toronto’s history this was the largest, and the most pluralistic, …including not only the usual Canadian Peace Alliance, Palestine House, Independent Jewish Voices, and other core affiliations, as well as numerous faiths… but new faces. Many of them, and many from all walks of life and ages, so-said a Cuban solidarity activist who has been standing for justice for over a decade, if not more.
On the ground, behind the speaker’s pick-up truck podium, I could only see the immediate masses, which were already overwhelming. But organizers standing in the greater vicinity of Queen’s Park noted 5,000, which grew as we marched an hour later to amass in front of the representative of Gangster number One: the US Embassy, for it is the US which funds and vetoes UN resolutions for the Zionist regime. By the end of the speeches in from of the Embassy, organizers cited as many as 25,000 supporters of peace and justice spilling down the avenue.
At Queen’s Park, there was an insignificant number of pro-genocidalists, pro-Zionists, who waved that flag and blasted inappropriately cheerful music.
And, as I said when I got up to speak, they ARE cheering the murders of Palestinians. One needs not take my word for it, just look at the many images of Zionists in Sderot lining up on the sofas and chairs, popcorn in hand, to watch the life and neighbourhood-flattening massive bombs be dropped upon Gaza. I’ve not yet seen images of them cheering when the skin-eating, horrific, 2009 & 2014-used White Phosphorous bombs are dropped on this bombshelter-less-population with nowhere to flee (and even when they do flee, their places of refuge are bombed)… but sadly won’t be surprised when such pictures emerge, much like emerged t-shirts celebrating the killing of Palestinian children and pregnant women in 2009.
see here for related images
Since so many amazing speakers, female and male, young, older, Arab and non-Arab, had already spoken of the criminal massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and the rest of Palestine, I used my 7 minutes to offer a personal perspective of Gaza under the Zionist bombs, and to highlight both the corporate media/Western narrative’s use of the word “indiscriminate” when speaking of Resistance’s rockets, and the legitimacy of the Right to Resist. [see: Resist]
Re the former, is it not indiscriminate, far more so, the Zionists’ use of 1 and 2 ton bombs on entire neighbourhoods, on schools and shelters and hospitals? Their use of White Phosphorous on the same areas? Their use of the flesh-tearing, wide-reaching flechette shells on those areas and on medics? Their use of other banned bombs, including DIME, which doctors in Gaza are again reporting having been used?
Re the latter, the Right to Resist is enshrined in international law, specifically the UN General Assembly. Very unfortunately, well-meaning Palestine solidarity supporters either fear speaking of the right to resist, or simply aren’t aware they are negating it. Speaking of BDS is fine and good, it has its place in our society. But to expect Palestinians being bombed to simply say, “I’m not buying Zionist hummus,” and NOT resist by any means possible is patronizing and colonial.
Somehow for many, when an army is fighting using modern weaponry, it is palatable. They are a sanctioned army (no matter how criminal in most cases their actions are, ala Iraq, etc). It is up to these people being oppressed, savagely so, to determine how they resist. And while the call to BDS did emanate from Palestine, it is not the ONLY means of resistance, so we need to stop saying that in well-intentioned chants.
Armed Resistance is legitimate. Stop being afraid to say so.
Here is the last minute of what I impromptu said at the rally:
“Friends, we have to harness this just anger & the love that we have for Palestinians & for all life & we need to work harder. It really isn’t enough for me to be screaming on a platform & for us to be chanting; we need to take our energies & support all forms of resistance; all forms are legitimate, & we have to remember that. People who are trapped in 360 sq. km, who have been deprived for the last 8 years of all basic necessities of life, because water is 95% undrinkable & sewage runs in the streets, because farmers & fishers are gunned down as if they are not human–these people are suffering & they have every damn right to resist by their means, & we have to legitimize that in our media & in our parlance, because right now it is not being legitimized, & it [Resistance] is enshrined in international law…”
Photos and video footage from yesterday’s rally in Toronto:
Zafar Bangash raising consciousness at Toronto’s Jul 2014 Al Quds rally
The World Stands With Palestine: Photos, videos, and reports from demonstrations in solidarity with Palestine during Israel’s ongoing attacks and collective punishment.
In Photos: Worldwide protest against Israeli attack on Gaza