Comité Nacional por la Libertad de los Cinco Cubanos

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Vancouver activists march in solidarity with the Five

by Noah Fine
Sept. 20, 2007

As part of an international campaign of action called to bring attention to the case of 5 Cuban political prisoners held in U.S jails, events will be taking place around the world from September 12th to October 8th, 2007. This period marks the nine year anniversary of the unjust and illegal imprisonment of the Cuban 5, and comes on the heals of their recent court appeal in Atlanta, Georgia.

In Vancouver B.C,  a full line up of seven events including the first ever “Student Week in Solidarity with the Cuban 5” began with the monthly picket action to Free the Cuban 5 at the U.S. Consulate.

On Thursday September 20th, over 30 people gathered in front of the U.S. Consulate to protest the criminal imprisonment of the Cuban 5, and demand their immediate release.

The first speaker was April Desilets, an organizer with Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC). April outlined the vicious U.S. blockade against Cuba, and the over 48 years of terrorism launched from U.S. soil against the Cuban people. After April, Phillipa Ryan, an Indigenous Elder and women’s rights activist with Grassroots Women, spoke against the U.S. governments’ direct involvement in terrorism around the world. She demanded the immediate release of the 5 anti-terrorist Heroes

Next on the megaphone was Alison Bodine (right), a 22 year old American citizen, activist and University of British Columbia graduate who has recently been targeted and arrested by the Government of Canada. She was arrested and charged in a clearly political frame-up after the Canadian Border Services Agency discovered pro-Cuba and anti-war materials in her car while crossing the border. Alison related the political nature of her case to the Cuban 5 and finished her talk by stating, “Just as I have the right to be active against war and terrorism, so do the Cuban 5. The governments of the U.S. and Canada must stop harassing and imprisoning peace loving people!”     

The picket line marched in front of the entrance to the U.S. consulate, chanting, “I say free the, you say 5!, Free the… 5! Free the… 5!”

Noah Fine, coordinator of the Free the Cuban 5 Committee-Vancouver, finished the rally by emphasizing the importance of this current period of action for the Cuban 5, “We must work consistently to make this the last year in prison for the 5 Heroes! Free Them Now!”

More events will be taking place in Vancouver and around the world to mark the anniversary of the unjust imprisonment of the Cuban 5 and create a huge international pressure as the world awaits the verdict in their latest court appeal.  






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