22nd monthly picket held at U.S. Consulate in Vancouver
by Noah Fine
Oct. 23, 2007
Following the International Period of Action that took place from September 12-October 8, the campaign for our five heroes continued forward with energy and momentum. On October 18th, 2007 the Free the Cuban Five Committee-Vancouver held its 22nd monthly picket in front of the U.S. consulate in downtown Vancouver. Despite heavy rain and cold weather over 25 picketers gathered at the U.S. consulate to demand that the U.S. government free these five anti-terrorist Cubans immediately.
The first speaker, U.S. Iraq War Resister Brad McCall, highlighted the criminal hypocrisy of the U.S. government, which is sending thousands of youth to their deaths for the purpose of fighting a so-called ‘war on terror’, and at the same time they hold five men in jail for defending their country, Cuba, from terrorist attacks backed and funded by the U.S. Up next David Whittlsey, organizer with the Free the Cuban Five Committee- Vancouver and a long time civil rights and anti-war activist, spoke about the case of the notorious anti-Cuban terrorist Luis Posada Carriles who is currently a free man in the U.S. thanks to the protection provided by the U.S. government.
Energetic picketing warmed the feet and the spirits of participants, who gathered next to listen to Alison Bodine, a 22 year old American citizen, activist and University of British Columbia graduate who has recently been targeted and arrested by the Government of Canada. She was arrested and charged in a political frame-up, after the Canadian Border Services Agency discovered pro-Cuba and anti-war materials in her car while she was crossing the border. Alison related the political nature of her case to the Cuban 5 and finished her talk by stating, “Just as I have the right to be active against war and terrorism, so do the Cuban 5! The governments of the U.S. and Canada must stop harassing and imprisoning peace loving people!”
More picketing followed Alison’s talk, and then Rosa Quiero, from the Solidarity Coalition for a United Latin America, spoke on how thousands of people in Latin America are jailed or killed for fighting against the neo-liberal policies imposed on their countries by the U.S. and the five heroes are important representatives of this struggle. She concluded: “We must continue to raise our voices against these injustices, here at the consulate.”
The crowd did one more loud round of chanting: “Free, Free, Free… Free the Cuban Five!” Sophie Ziner, organizer with the Free the Cuban Five Committee- Vancouver and the picket’s MC, closed by saying “During the International Days of Action for the Five we saw that the campaign for our heroes is growing around the world, here we must continue to work consistently and determinedly for the freedom of our five heroes! We will return to the streets every month until our heroes are free!”
Join us for our next monthly picket in front of the U.S. consulate, to build the international campaign to free the Five Cuban Heroes held in U.S. jails.
THEY WILL RETURN!
For more picture of the action, click here