On Sunday August 10 at the All Out for Gaza! rally and protest in Toronto, Marie Clarke Walker, Vice President of the Canadian Labour Congress, delivered this speech to the crowd. Please read below.
Not an event that we enjoy being at, but it is something that is necessary. We need to use our voices and ensure that the world hears that we all think that what is happening Palestine today is wrong.
We also have a responsibility to educate others because much of the media on the issue -- while better than in years gone past -- is still very bias. Bombing shelters, hospitals, mosques and other facilities housing civilians is not about protecting Israelis. It is about ridding the country of Palestinians.
How would you feel if your mother lived across the street and you couldn't go to see her? If your children's school was inaccessible because you had to go through another country to get there? If you couldn't buy food or go to work because the supermarket and the place where you work was in Israeli territory?
It wasn't their territory 20 years ago when you began working there and the school wasn't in someone else's territory three years ago when your children began attending -- but it is now because the Israelis with the support of many countries have carved off that piece of land for themselves.
What is happening is nothing short of racism and genocide. I implore you to show the map to those who don't believe that this is a form of genocide.
The UN gave away a portion of land more than 60 years ago and between then and now they have carved off pieces so that now Gaza is one of the most densely populated places in the word. Almost two million people on 146 square miles.
People in Gaza are not able to work, shop, go to school or do anything that you and I take for granted.
There are many, including our own government, who believe that Hamas is a terrorist organization, however, what is happening today in Palestine is terrorism! Terrorism that has been sanctioned by the U.S. and our own country.
As a Black Woman, why am I so passionate about this situation?
Sisters and Brothers, as a mother, I am sickened by the senseless killing of innocent children. As a Black Woman of African descent, I see the resemblance to the Ma'afa. I see the resemblance and similarities to Apartheid South Africa. The same countries that are calling Hamas a terrorist organization claimed that the ANC in South Africa was also a terrorist organization and Nelson Mandela was a terrorist.
In South Africa, there were settlements and occupations that destroyed the economy and effectively blocked Black South Africans from participating in any capacity in their own country.
This is the situation for Palestinians today. Even the UN is saying that what is happening today is an outrage and most people -- Jewish, Christians, Muslims and other faith -- have joined forces to say that Israel is wrong.
Israel and the U.S. with the strong support of our own country are in violation of International Law.
The only solution is to end the occupation now!
Give life back to the Palestinian people.
Respect human rights and humanitarian law.
End the Blockade now!
Say NO to the expansion of settlements.
Say NO to genocide.
Say NO to U.S. militarization of Palestine.
Say NO to continued Human Rights Violations.
Say NO to occupation.
Say NO to separation wall.
Free FREE Gaza!
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