Emergency Rally for Gaza, August 9th

August 6, 2014

Emergency Rally for Gaza
Saturday, August 9 (1:00 pm)
Edmonton, Constable Ezio Faraone Park (11004 97 Ave, North side, West of entrance to High Level Bridge).

gaza-war-crimes-2Help spread the word! Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

Join us as we rally in support of the Palestinian call for an August 9 Day of Rage, where activists and supporters of Palestine all over the world will take to the streets with a unified demand for sanctions against Israel.

The Palestinian call says:
“From Gaza under invasion, bombardment, and continuing siege, the horror is beyond words. Medical supplies are exhausted. The death toll has reached 1813 killed (398 children, 207 women, 74 elderly) and 9370 injured (2744 children, 1750 women, 343 elderly). Our hospitals, ambulances, and medical staff are all under attack while on duty. Doctors and paramedics are being killed while evacuating the dead. Our dead are not numbers and statistics to be recounted; they are loved ones, family and friends.

While we have to survive this onslaught, you certainly have the power to help end it the same way you helped overcome Apartheid and other crimes against humanity. Israel is only able to carry out this attack with the unwavering support of governments – this support must end.

This is our third massacre in six years. When not being slaughtered, we remain under siege, an illegal collective punishment of the entire population. Fishermen are shot and killed if they stray beyond a 3 km limit imposed unilaterally by Israel. Farmers are shot harvesting their crops within a border area imposed unilaterally by Israel. Gaza has become the largest open-air prison, a concentration camp since 2006. This time, we want an end to this unprecedented crime against humanity committed with the complicity and support of your own governments!

We are not asking for charity. We are demanding solidarity, because we know that until Israel is isolated and sanctioned, these horrors will be repeated.

Take action this Saturday

1. Make boycotts, divestments and sanctions the main message at every protest around the world. Take banners and placards calling for sanction on Israel to every protest. Tweet them using the hashtag #GazaDayofRage. Email us your pictures and action details to GazaDayofRage@gmail.com.
2. While news of all the mass protests outside Israel’s embassies around the world have given us hope, after weeks of protests, we urge you to intensify your actions. Occupy Israeli embassies, challenge Israeli officials (and others) supporting the current aggression against Gaza whenever they appear in public and stage sit-in in government buildings.
3. Boycott all Israeli products and take action against corporations profiting from Israel’s system of colonialism, occupation and apartheid. March to boycott targets in your city and educate the public about companies complicit in Israel’s ongoing military assault and illegal siege of Gaza.
4. Palestinian trade unions are calling on our brothers and sisters in the trade union movement internationally to stop handling goods imported from or exported to Israel. The trade union movement has a proud history of direct action against Apartheid in South Africa, the Congress of South African Trade Unions has joined us in the call for direct action to end Israel’s impunity.

- See more at: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/gaza-calling-all-out-on-saturday-9-august-day-of-rage-12423#sthash.dAsqZQDB.dpuf

4th Annual Mahmoud Darwish – Commemoration in Poetry

August 5, 2014


4th Annual Mahmoud Darwish: Commemoration in Poetry
Tuesday, August 12 (8:30 – 11:00 pm)
Rouge Lounge
10111-117 Street
(Click here for map)

Help us spread the word! Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

On August 9, 2008 Palestine and the world lost a powerful and incomparable voice for justice with the passing of Palestine’s national poet, Mahmoud Darwish. His poetry explored life and politics, using words that sought to change history and to humanize.

As the horror in Gaza continues to unfold, please join PSN for its fourth annual evening commemorating the life and words of Mahmoud Darwish, and his unparallelled capturing of the struggle and steadfastness of the Palestinian people.

The evening will feature readings in both Arabic and English of a number of poems by Darwish.

If you are interested in reading a poem by Darwish in either Arabic or English as part of the evening’s commemoration, please email Sara at shussein07@gmail.com.

The evening is presented in collaboration with the Breath in Poetry Collective. Entry is by donation (no one turned away), with all proceeds going to UNWRA relief efforts in Gaza.

Sorry, no minors.

You can learn more about the life of Mahmoud Darwish below in the two-part Al Jazeera feature on Darwish made shortly after his death on August 9, 2008.

Part 1:

Part 2:

You can hear Darwish reading his poetry here and find many of his poems in both Arabic and English online.

Edmonton’s Fourth Rally and March for Palestine

July 28, 2014


Edmonton’s Fourth Rally and March for Palestine
Wednesday, July 30 (6:30 pm)
Churchill Square (9930 – 102 Street)
(Click here for map)

Due to the warm weather, the fountain area by the Bell Tower is very crowded, so we’ll be rallying on the main steps in Churchill Square (just south of the Bell Tower).

Help spread the word! Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

With no end in sight for the misery of the Palestinian people, we will continue to march in the streets of Edmonton in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

We call on the Canadian public to pay attention to the massacre of innocent civilians occurring in the Palestinian territories at the hands of the Israeli regime, and support the Palestinian people for the sake of humanity.

We call on the Canadian government to immediately end its unconditional support for the murderous Israeli regime. Being silent about the issue (let alone condoning it), makes us complicit in the genocide that is going on in Palestine.

We call on the Canadian public to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement and pressure the Israeli government to reconsider the root causes of this conflict – namely: the brutal occupation, colonization of Palestinian land and then, segregation, oppression, and humiliation of the Palestinian people for over 50 years.

We believe that Israel’s best bet at self-defense is with ending the siege on Gaza, ending the occupation and withdrawal from Palestinian territories and compliance with International Law.

Organized by the Canada Palestine Cultural Association and Palestine Solidarity Network-Edmonton.

Action Against the Attack on Gaza

July 23, 2014


Against the Attack on Gaza
Saturday, July 26 (1:00 pm)
Canada Place
South Side, Jasper Avenue at 97 Street
(Click here for map)

Help us spread the word! Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

Please come this Saturday in front of Canada Place to partake in a peaceful action to protest the illegal and horrific attacks on Gaza by Israel and to lament and respect the Palestinians that have been killed.

We will be creating chalked body outlines to represent those that have been killed in these latest attacks and writing their names. The death toll is over 700. To see the most recent list of casualties, visit the International Middle East Media Center.

Please bring chalk if you can (we will also bring some) and tweet #yeg4gaza.

In the event that it rains, we will hold a die-in.

This action is in solidarity for the people of Palestine to their rights to land, livelihood, and life. Join Nobel peace laureates, academics, nation-state governments, and solidarity movements in Palestine and around the world to demand an end to Israel’s illegal war crimes and occupation, and immediately halt the killings and allow medical aid and basic services into Gaza.

CANPAL Eid and Gaza Solidarity Dinner

July 23, 2014


CANPAL Eid and Gaza Solidarity Dinner
Monday, July 28 (6:30 pm)
Canadian Druze Centre
14304-134 Avenue
(Click here for map)

Help spread the word! Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

Our friends at the Canada Palestine Cultural Association (CANPAL) is hosting its annual Eid dinner and fundraiser. It will take place on the first day of Eid (Monday, July 28th or Tuesday July 29th).

Tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for children 14 and under. All proceeds will go to helping the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza through a donation to Islamic Relief Canada.

To purchase tickets or for more information about the dinner, please contact a member of the Canada Palestine Cultural Association.

Call-in For Gaza

July 21, 2014


Want to do something to help stop the Israeli attack on Gaza? Take a minute on July 23 or 24 to participate in the cross-Canada Call-in For Gaza to flood the leaders of all four main Canadian political parties with phone calls demanding they call for an immediate arms embargo on Israel and an end to the assault on Gaza.

For updates and more, join the Call-in For Gaza Facebook event.

Call now! (and/or send an email or fax) to:

Stephen Harper: stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca
613-992-4211 (Ottawa office)
403-253-7990 (Calgary office)
Fax: 403-253-8203 or 613-941-6900

Justin Trudeau: justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca
613-995-8872 (Ottawa office)
514-277-6020 (Quebec office)
fax: 613-995-9926 or 514-277-3454

Thomas Mulcair: thomas.mulcair@parl.gc.ca
613-995-7224 (Ottawa office)
514-736-2727 (Montreal office)
fax: 613-995-4565 or 514-736-2726

Elizabeth May: Elizabeth.May@parl.gc.ca
613-996-1119 (Ottawa office)
1-800-667-9188 (Sidney office)
fax: 613-996-0850 or 250-657-2004

My Grandmother In Gaza: Bury Me Under the Mulberry Tree, Not In the Cemetery

July 19, 2014


Read PSN member Dr. Ghada Ageel’s article which was published July 19 on Alternet.

My Grandmother In Gaza: Bury Me Under the Mulberry Tree, Not In the Cemetery
Palestinian refugees under attack long for home in their ancestral villages

Ghada Ageel | July 19, 2014

I speak to friends and family in Gaza every day. The stories they tell tear at my soul. I ask myself if President Barack Obama, at the pinnacle of power, hears the same harrowing accounts in his morning briefs from the NSA, CIA and other agencies. Reason says no. No report can tell of the terror Palestinians are enduring – particularly now with the ground war apparently getting underway – and the heartbreak they have lived for more than 66 years. These agencies assess raw numbers and immediate risk, but are not capable of grasping the horrors in Gaza caused by American weaponry and aid to Israel.

Do president Obama’s morning briefs mention my friend Abeer, who told me her three children — ages four to seven — are now using diapers from the fear caused by hourly Israeli bombardment?

Do the president’s morning reports tell of my ill, octogenarian grandmother who, in the event of her death, asked my uncle to dig a hole and bury her under the mulberry tree in her home in Khan Younis refugee camp and not to bury her in the family cemetery? This is not dementia. Sixty-six years of dispossession and upheaval have not robbed her of her wits. She is all too aware that the cemetery is often hit by American F-16s. In that cemetery, there is no dignity even in death.

Do the president’s morning reports tell of the humanity that still exists in a Gaza wracked by bombs and siege?  Where medicine is running low, one neighbor still shares blood pressure medication with another neighbor. Expelled from our homes 66 years ago, we still look out for each other and know that one day we will return home against all odds and all armaments that those who usurped our land throw at us day and night. That principle of protecting our neighbors through thick and thin, and the resolution not to be dispossessed again, undoubtedly played a part in the massacre at the Kwari’ family home when neighbors did not flee the targeted home but massed to it in defiance of the Israeli missile that soon leveled the home in total disregard for human life.

The property deeds that many Palestinian refugee families still possess is evidence our existence was once very different than the one that ekes out a living today in a spit of land 25 miles long by six miles wide. Journalists reporting from Ashkelon may disparage “terrorist” rockets and ignore our aspirations, but what terms do they use for those who expelled Palestinians from Al-Majdal? With expulsion, Ashkelon thrived on the ruins of that Palestinian community and the story is the same in hundreds of places across modern-day Israel.

I shout at anchors and correspondents, are we not humans?  Are we not allowed equal rights? Are we not permitted to return to our homes and lands?  When will you tell our history and not begin it last month?

Will conservative American politicians deny us the property rights and resistance rights they treasure? Will liberal American politicians deny us equal rights and subject us to Israeli segregation and apartheid-like Bantustans?

Yes, they will. They have done so for decades. And there is no salvation in looking to them. But the principles that galvanized the great social movements of the 20th century are open to the people of any land. We will seek equality and the right of return to our homeland and Israelis will find there is sufficient space for all of us.

A wrenching battle, however, lies ahead to achieve the equality and rights so many Palestinians envision. The lynch mobs that marauded through Jerusalem in recent days, pitched into frenzy by the rhetoric of vengeance emanating from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his partners, burned away the life of young Muhammad Abu Khdeir, and Israeli police nearly beat the life out of his younger Palestinian-American cousin, Tareq Abu Khdeir. Their enraged bigotry speaks of an Israel descending into the swamp of hate akin to the Jim Crow laws in American South.

The story of the current violence did not start on June 12 with the brutal killing of three Israeli teens as the cable news programs often suggest. Nor did it start with the killing of two Palestinian teens on May 15 in what Human Rights Watch now calls an “apparent war crime.”  No, the conflict started years ago when world leaders decided that Palestinian pain at the loss of their children didn’t count for much. Those unnoticed deaths have created an indignation and righteous fury that no Israeli missile will ever stop and no presidential report will ever explain.

This conflict is not complicated, as defenders of Israeli expansion would have one believe. In fact, it is very simple. Restoring some semblance of stability in this part of the world requires the fulfillment of Palestinian rights. Despite its military might, Israel cannot bomb away the Palestinian desire to live in freedom and dignity and with the rights sought by people the world over.

My grandmother may some day be buried in Khan Younis refugee camp under a mulberry tree. But her descendants will be buried in Beit Daras, the village of her childhood, having lived a full life, with equal rights, in a country Palestinians and Jews can only begin to imagine through the smoky horrors currently being visited on Gaza.

Ghada Ageel is a visiting professor at the University of Alberta (Edmonton) and a member of Faculty for Palestine, Alberta.


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