Winnipeg rally against Israeli attacks on Gaza

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Palestine support group holds rally, denounces attacks on Gaza by Israel

Sanctions against Israel called for as death toll climbs past 400

WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg chapter of the Canada-Palestine Support Network (CanPalNet) will convene a rally this Saturday, January 3, 2009 beginning at 2 p.m. at the Manitoba Legislature, in protest of Israel’s latest, deadly assault on the Gaza Strip and its peoples.

Organized with the support of other social justice and peace-focused organizations — among these, Canadian Muslims for Palestine (CMP) and Peace Alliance Winnipeg (PAW) — the rally will feature a number of speakers (Palestinian and Jewish, alike) each condemning Israel’s week-long bombardment campaign, which has resulted, so far, in the deaths of over 400 Palestinians, with thousands more wounded and displaced.

“Last Saturday’s attacks represent the largest massacre in Gaza since Israel’s illegal occupation of the area in 1967,” states rally speaker and CanPalNet (Winnipeg) member Bassam Hozaima.

Adds Hozaima, himself a native of Gaza: “Gaza had been cut off from the outside world for 19 months and starved from the basic means of living and health care.”

“We must mobilize and act to convince the Federal government to not only denounce these acts of slaughter, but to persuade officials to engage in a comprehensive campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel — much as was done in the case of South Africa under Apartheid.”

To date, more than 170 Palestinian and Israeli civil society associations — together with hundreds of international NGOs, grassroots movements and workers’ unions (including Canadian labours unions CUPE and CUPW) — have appealed to world governments to enact BDS campaigns against Israel for its human rights abuses against Palestinians.

States Canadian Muslims for Palestine (CMP) media spokesperson and Manitoba lawyer Louay Alghoul: “We, as Canadians, are astonished from the statements released by our government, where it justifies such unprecedented action of Israel’s collective punishment to the Palestinian people and supports the government of Israel in its recent massacre in the Gaza Strip.”

Continues Alghoul, also Palestinian: “Canada continues to follow the tail of the Bush’s administration when it comes to international and foreign policies — even when the rest of the world opposes it.”

CanPalNet (Winnipeg) organizers invite all Winnipeggers to attend Saturday’s rally, which is to be held in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect, and in full support of human rights and social justice for all peoples.

For more information, or to arrange media interviews, please contact rally organizer and CanPalNet (Winnipeg) member Krishna Lalbiharie at:

(ph.): 204.947.5093

French media: Erin Bockstael, Canpalnet (Winnipeg)
(ph.): 204.797.0534

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