Haligonians organize emergency rally against brutal U.S. occupation

HALIFAX (9 April 2004) -- A number of prominent anti-war activists in Halifax have denounced the barbarous U.S. slaughter of Iraqis, defended the right of the people of Iraq for self-determination and called for an emergency rally in that city to end the brutal occupation of Iraq.

The joint statement issued by Tony Seed of the People's Front (Halifax), Dr. Ismail Zayid (Canada Palestine Association), Betty Petersen (Voice of Women), Prof. Isaac Saney, Dalhousie University, and members of Dal Students For Peace and Justice, amongst others, said:

"With Saddam Hussein gone and no Weapons of Mass Destruction found, what do the occupation forces want now?!!

"1. Annihilation of anyone who opposes occupation.
"2. The 'legitimation' of their continued presence as a force for 'order'. They
wish to 'legitimize' what cannot be legitimized; to 'justify' what cannot be justified.

"The Occupation is illegal and criminal!
"Resistance is legitimate, necessary and inevitable.
"The peoples of all countries have the inviolable right to fight for self-determination and national liberation."

The call was unanimously adopted after an emergency session of the weekly Halifax Political Forum on 8 April 2004, after the viewing and discussion of the film "In Search of Palestine" at Dalhousie University held on the anniversary of the massacre in Deir Yassin (9 April 1948).

As well a special forum on "On Current Developments in Iraq" will be convened on Wednesday, 14 April at 7 pm in the Dalhousie Student Union Building.

In introducing the draft statement, Tony Seed said that the current upsurge of the Iraqi people in which hundreds of people have been killed and thousand wounded demolishes all the attempts of the U.S. and the allied governments to present occupation as "democracy" and "liberation". What we have is a Eurocentric neo-colonial state solution which will guarantee the positions of the Anglo-American and other multinationals and interests.

Referring to previous media reports emphasizing alleged Shia-Sunni clashes, he said the modus operandi of U.S. rule involves the use of invented pretexts, staged events, fake encounters and disinformation to incite sectarian civil war and justify armed repression, as well as to turn the people of the West against the anti-imperialist struggles of the peoples of the Middle East.

The unified actions of the Iraqi people regardless of their faith backgrounds, who have never participated in civil war, is an act of national resistance. It is they who have the right to decide their destiny.

In the same fashion we are also seeing "terrorist" events in Canada that are highly suspect to justify repression in the name of quelling "hate crimes". This necessitates the establishment of an anti-war government in Canada.

Dr Ismail Zayid said that the brutal massacres perpetrated, by an illegal occupation, against men, women and children , with demolition of homes, attacks on religious sites, torture and daily humiliation, are all in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and thus war crimes, as defined by international law.

"Once again we see the double standards of the Canadian government. When attacks on Israelis are committed, Foreign Minister Bill Graham immediately decries 'cowardly and barbaric terrorism' and hides behind the veneer of high ideals. But when heavy weapons, tanks, F-16s and missiles are being used in heavily-populated civilian towns, whether in Occupied Palestine or Occupied Iraq, he is silent. By Mr. Graham's standards, are the pilots raining missiles on neighbourhoods courageous?"

Betty Petersen,a longtime peace activist in her early 80s, said that the silence of the "international community" and of Canada spoke volumes: "No one is speaking up which is outrageous. We must speak out on the basis of our conscience. This war is wrong."

Prof Isaac Saney. who lectures on international development and law, stated that the invasion of Iraq and its continuing occupation violated the United Nations Charter. The UN Security Council has betrayed the UN Charter and we cannot loo to it to 'humanize the occupation'. Although it did not deploy troops as part of the ground invasion, Canada's military deployment in the region was the fourth-largest. Canada sent the navy to the Persian Gulf so that it can fish in troubled waters to make hay while the sun shines. The UN Charter and many UN Resolutions justify the right of people to resist. We cannot but oppose this concept of international law that might makes right.

The message was being widely circulated on Friday, April 9 on e-mail lists.

1pm, Saturday, April 10, 2004
Spring Garden Road Public Library

There will be an open mike.

Halifax Political Forum on The Current Developments in Iraq
7pm, Wednesday, April 14, 2004
Dalhousie Student Union Building
Room: TBA

Sponsored and endorsed by, among others, Canada Palestine Association and
Halifax People's Front.

The Halifax Political Forums
Winter 2004 Series
warmly invites you to view a screening of the documentary

"Beyond the Mirage: The Face of the Occupation" (2002)

Mi-rage' (mi-razh') n. a strangely-held, but false, belief, delusion, hallucination, illusion, phantasm, misconception

This 50-minute documentary, by a U.S. film-maker/member of Americans for a Just Peace in the Middle East, goes beyond the demonizing images we usually see and hear in the media in order to expose fully what a horrific crime the Israeli Occupation actually represents. Featured are: B'Tselem (Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights), Prof. Jeff Halper (Director, Israeli Committee against House Demolitions), Allegro Pacheco (Israeli-Jewish attorney representing Palestinians in Israeli Military Courts and before the Israeli High Court).

April 15th

7:00 pm sharp

Room 224 -- Dalhousie Student Union Building

Sponsoring organisations for the regular Winter 2004 series include:

Dalhousie Students for Peace and Justice, CKDU Radio, Canada-Palestine Association, Shunpiking Magazine,, & People's Front

Let's Discuss!


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