The 35th annual Winnipeg Walk for Peace takes place on Saturday, June 11, 2016. The theme chosen for this year’s march is “Freedom for Palestine.” This sponsors are Peace Alliance Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Chapter of the Council of Canadians.
Saturday, June 11, 2016 at Vimy Ridge Park (Portage Ave. And Home Street)
10:45 am Art Making for the Walk (all ages)
12:10 pm Assemble for Walk
12:30 pm Walkers depart
1:30 pm Walkers return
1:45 pm Refreshments
2:00 pm Speeches
2:30 pm Cultural Program
This year is the 35th consecutive Winnipeg Walk for Peace. For almost twice as many years, the peoples of the Middle East have been locked in a conflict that has displaced millions of Palestinians and claimed many thousands of lives. For this reason the organizers have chosen “Freedom for Palestine” as the theme of this year’s march.
For 68 years the conflict has revolved around land, nationhood, democratic rights and justice. Here are some of the injustices which underlie the issue of Palestine:
- Palestinians remain a people without a nation despite the intention of the United Nations to create, in 1947, the state of Israel and the state of Palestine out of the region known as the Mandate of Palestine ceded to Britain after World War I;
- The failure of the Oslo Accords (1993), brokered by the United States, and considered a framework to fulfil the “right of the Palestinian people to self-determination”;
War and colonization of Palestinian lands, has resulted in 4.7 million Palestinian refugees since 1947 (United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) 2010);
The future of Palestinian children is not spared as education has suffered from the targeting of schools. On May 24, 2016, at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, the UNWRA reported that nearly half of the 692 schools it operates for Palestinian refugees have been “…impacted, attacked or otherwise rendered inoperable by conflict or violence in the last five years.”
- The Palestinian territory of Gaza is subjected to blockade of such items as diesel fuel and gasoline, fruits and vegetables, wheat, sugar, meat, chicken and fish products, dairy products, animal feed, hygiene products, clothing, shoes, paper, crayons, tomato paste, lentils, musical instruments, soccer balls, etc (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs; Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories of the Israel Defense Forces)
- The West Bank territory of Palestinian is considered to be an occupied territory by the international community and the International Court of Justice. Palestinians are subjected to military checkpoints, home demolitions and an ever expanding settler presence.