January 3, 2009 - Protest Rally
Protest Israeli Massacre of Palestinians in Gaza!
Israeli Troops Out of Gaza Now!
Organized by various Palestinian solidarity groups
Adala - Arab Justice Committee, Al-Awda - Vancouver, Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign, Canadian Arab Federation - National, Canada Palestine Association - Vancouver, Canadians Against War, Canadian Islamic Congress BC, Canadian Muslim Union, Canpalnet, Code Pink Women for Peace (local chapter), Jews for a Just Peace - Vancouver
No One Is Illegal-Vancouver, Palestinian Islamic League - Canada, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (UBC)
StopWar Coalition, Muslim Canadian Federation - Vancouver, Students for a Democratic Society (UBC), The Organizing Centre for Social and Economic Justice, Vancouver Socialist Forum, Voice of Palestine - Vancouver, Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba, Indigenous Rights and Action Project, Fire This Time Newspaper, and Mobilization Against War and Occupation
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January 3 Rally Report
On January 3rd, Israel began its ground assault on Palestinians as Israeli troops entered the Gaza Strip. This second phase of a bloody campaign followed an aerial attack of over 750 airstrikes, leaving more than 450 Palestinians dead and over 2000 injured. While people of the world came out to the streets in the hundreds of thousands in the days leading up to this new attack, the streets of Vancouver filled with outrage against Israel’s new offensive and solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Over 800 people came together at the Vancouver Art Gallery in what was one of the coldest days of winter to condemn the continued aggression by Israel. The rally, organized by various Palestinian solidarity groups, saw protestors filling the streets, blocking traffic to hear the speakers and to take part in chants of “Free Free Palestine!” and “Hey, Hey Israel! Palestine will never kneel!”
Reem Al-Nuweiri, co-MC of the rally and an organizer with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) announced Israel’s latest moves against Palestinians and gave more context to the current crisis. From the Palestinian and Muslim communities, Indigenous communities, progressive groups, students and trade unionists, speakers from many backgrounds came out to voice their support of this crucial demonstration.
The rally turned into a march through the shopping district, chanting “Israel out of Gaza now!” as the marched weaved down Robson Street and ended up in front of the downtown Chapters Bookstore location. The march stopped here to highlight Chapters’ support for Israel’s criminal occupation of Palestine. The marchers returned to the Art Gallery, now enveloped in snow, to continue a strong presence in support of the heroic Palestinian people with dynamic chants and strong show of solidarity from Vancouver.
As Israel’s attack on Gaza intensifies, the rallies are expected to continue, and grow in strength.