The Palestine Solidarity Network is a non-profit, grassroots collective aimed at advocating for and upholding the human rights of Palestinians in the face of ongoing oppression, occupation, racism and discrimination, both in occupied Palestine and in the diaspora.
We maintain groups at both the community level, the Palestine Solidarity Network – Edmonton, and on the University of Alberta campus, the Palestine Solidarity Network – U of A.
We are a working group of the Alberta Public Interest Research Group (APIRG).
PSN’s first event, held in October 2008, was a workshop discussing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) callout from Palestine. Following that event, a small group of individuals committed to upholding justice for Palestinians came together and began to organize in the Edmonton community, hosting a wide range of events focusing on current issues relating to the Palestinian struggle.
PSN had a presence at Edmonton solidarity rallies in response to Israel’s unjust assault on the people of Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009, and continued this solidarity with a Gaza teach-in held at the University of Alberta, which was attended by more than 200 people.
In collaboration with other organizations, PSN also hosted in January 2009 Dr. Norman Finkelstein, who spoke out strongly against Israel’s massacre against the people of Gaza to an audience of more than 500 people.
PSN is also very proud to have organized and hosted the inaugural Israeli Apartheid Week in Edmonton, held in collaboration with the Graduate Students Group of the Global Education Network. The IAW 2009 keynote lecture by Laila El-Haddad kicked off the week by addressing the dire conditions faced by Gaza amidst constant attacks and an unending siege. The week also featured a film screening of Occupation 101 (co-sponsored by the Edmonton Small Press Association), a panel discussion on the importance of indigenous struggles entitled “From Turtle Island to Palestine,” and another panel discussion focused on responses to Israeli Apartheid. Israeli Apartheid Week wrapped up with an open-mic event titled “Expression Against Repression” which featured many local artists and activists, including Dear (Your Name Here) and the People’s Poets.
When Conservative MP Jason Kenney prevented Britsh MP George Galloway from entering Canada to participate in a speaking tour in support of Palestine, PSN stood up for the free speech of all Canadians by hosting a live video feed at the University of Alberta of his address from New York.
Our latest event, titled “Israeli Apartheid on Trial” continued PSN’s mandate of solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against unjust and illegal Israeli policies. The event featured Emily Schaeffer, an Israeli lawyer who is representing the Palestinian village of Bil’in in its lawsuit in the Quebec Superior Court against two Canadian companies (Green Mount International and Green Park International) for building illegal Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land.
Palestine Solidarity Network-Edmonton looks forward to continuing its education and solidarity work in Edmonton and on the University of Alberta campus. PSN is grateful to the many Edmonton community groups and institutions for supporting this important work, including:
U of A Department of Political Science, U of A Muslim Students Association, U of A ECMC Chair of Islamic Studies, Edmonton Small Press Association, E.C.A.W.A.R., Canada-Palestine Cultural Association, International Palestine Awareness Committee, Graduate Students Group of the Global Education Network at U of A, Edmonton Arab News, Alberta Federation of Labour, Anti-Racism and Decolonization Network and all of the other community members and activists in the Edmonton area.
PSN-Edmonton is committed to continuing to stand up for Palestinian human rights until the Palestinian people are free to live with justice in a free Palestine.