Vancouver, BC repeats the message: Free the Five!
Reprinted from Free the 5 Committee - Vancouver
On November 29th 2007, 25 people gathered at the U.S. Consulate in Vancouver for the 23rd monthly picket action demanding freedom for the 5 Cuban Heroes. This was an especially important action coming off of the heals of an international conference entitled: “Breaking the Silence Conference for the Cuban 5” that happened in Toronto from November 9-10. Groups from all over Canada, Quebec and the U.S. gathered with Cuban co-fighters to discuss what action needs to be taken to free the 5. Leonard Weinglass, attorney for Gerardo Hernandez (one of the 5), stressed the importance of solidarity with the 5 now as we await the results of their latest appeals hearing that took place on August 20th 2007.
The protest was MC’d by Noah Fine, Free the Cuban 5 Committee-Vancouver Coordinator who introduced the exciting program of speakers at the picket including Sarah Alwell who coordinates the Cuban 5 committee at Capilano College. Sarah spoke about the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles and his notorious history of organizing attacks against innocent Cuban people.
The next speaker was Andrew Barry, an organizer with the Alison Bodine Defence Committee (ABDC), who spoke passionately about the case of a young US citizen, social justice and Cuba solidarity activist, Alison Bodine, who has recently been politically targeted by the Canada Border Services Agency and banned from Canada. Her case was related to that of the 5 Cuban Heroes as people who have been targeted for their social justice and peace work. For more information about Alison Bodine’s case visit: http://alisonbodine.blogspot.com/
Phillipa Ryan, organizer with Grassroots Women, Indigenous Elder and long time supporter of Fidel and the Cuban Revolution also spoke about Cuba and the Cuban 5 as being part of an international family fighting for peace and justice that must be defended from U.S. aggression.
Esteban Gonzalez, an organizer with Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC), wrapped up this month’s picket with an electrifying quote by Cuban Foreign Minister, Felipe Perez Roque who stated “There is no human or natural force in the world capable of making the Cubans desist from their dreams of justice, freedom and independence.” Esteban emphasized this statement as one truly reflective of who the 5 Cuban Heroes are.
Between speakers, participants of the picket line shouted energized slogans demanding freedom for the 5 Cuban Heroes, “Hey Bush, you will see, the Cuban 5 will be free!” The people at the picket committed to continued support of the Cuban 5 and assured that they will be back for the next monthly picket action organized by the Free the Cuban 5 Committee-Vancouver.
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