On May 12, 2019 a rally commemorating the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe, the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948) took place in Montreal. The rally was hosted by Fondation canado-palestinienne du Québec, Tadamon!, CJPME – Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East and Solidarité pour les droits humains des Palestiniennes et Palestiniens UdeM.
In the Facebook page event the organizers stated:
Join us on sunday may 12th , to commemorate the NAKBA, by paying tribute to Palestinian mothers and mothers across the world. Come walk with us in the streets of Montreal! A special message to all women: Come wearing your traditional palestinian dress in tribute to the courage and resilience of Palestinian mothers and women.
The organizers issued another detailed statement:
THE NAKBA…WHICH CONTINUES STILL
The Nakba is the great “catastrophe” experienced by the Palestinians during the creation of the State of Israel on May 15, 1948. Nearly one million people were driven from their homes and lands without the possibility of return in violation of the UN resolution that obliged Israel to respect the right of return of these refugees
Since then, colonization, occupation, apartheid and brutal repression by Israel have been the daily lot of Palestinians to the point where their existence as a people is threatened.
● WE MARCH to recall this sad event and guard the memory of the fate of the 1947 Palestinians.
● WE MARCH for the hundreds of deaths and the tens of thousands of wounded in the March of Return, which takes place in Gaza every Friday, meant to defy the illegal occupation and the fierce repression of the Israeli army .
● WE MARCH for Palestinians from East Jerusalem, now annexed by Israel and recognized by the Trump administration as Israel’s capital in defiance of international law. These Palestinians are third-class citizens of an apartheid state that less and less conceals its duplicity.
● WE MARCH ESPECIALLY on Mother’s Day, to honour Palestinian mothers who are often killed, injured, arrested and imprisoned; mothers forced to give birth at checkpoints in the West Bank; the mothers of Gaza suffering from 13 years of criminal blockade; mothers who mourn their children imprisoned, wounded or murdered by Israeli bullets and bombs; mothers discriminated against by apartheid laws; mothers in exile, in refugee camps, who have been waiting for the promised return for 71 years. In the face of these intolerable situations, these Palestinian mothers resist from day to day with extraordinary courage. We honour them.
● WE MARCH to support the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against the Israeli state, until it respects international law and puts an end to the occupation and colonization, to demand the immediate cessation of the blockade of Gaza, to demand the destruction of the Separation Wall, the equality of all citizens, and the return of Palestinian refugees.
● WE MARCH to demand from the Canadian government ● that it rescind the anti-BDS motion passed by the Canadian parliament in February 2016 ● put an end to its criminal complicity with the US government of Trump by forcefully opposing – with more than just lip service – the transfer of the U.S. Embassy to East Jerusalem and the recognition of Israel’s annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights● that it develop a foreign policy that respects the human rights of Palestinians and the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people ● that it put an end to the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund of Canada, which illegally uses Canadian taxpayers’ money to fund the Israeli army and colonization.
● WE MARCH to demand that the Québec government ● cease all cooperative agreements with Israel put in place in 1997 and renewed regularly ● that Hydro-Québec terminate its cyber security partnership agreement with Israel Electric Corporation ● that the Quebec National Assembly pass a motion to recognize the Nakba as an historical injustice to the Palestinians and support a political solution based on respect for international law.
● WE MARCH for this message to reach Quebec and Canadian civil society and all people of good will so that we can build a strong solidarity movement that can contribute to the achievement of peace with justice for the Palestinian people.See Translation
Here are some of the chants made by the participants (originally in French and English):
Nakba is injustice
Solidarity with Palestine
Israel is occupier, Palestine is occupied, Palestine resists/fights back
Israel is an aggressor, Palestine is under attack, Palestine resists/fights back
Israel is an oppressor, Palestine is oppressed, Palestine resists/fights back
Viva, viva Palestina
End the apartheid
End the blockade
End the colonialism
Israel is criminal, Canada is complicit
The blockade is illegal
Israel murders the Palestinian children
Palestine will live, Palestine will be victorious
Free free Palestine, free Gaza
Netanyahu, you will see, Palestine will be free
Quebec – Palestine solidarity
Palestine -Quebec – solidarity
Boycott the apartheid, boycott Israel
You can kill, you can lie, Palestine will never die
Palestine don’t you cry, we will never let you die
Occupation no more
Israel is racist, terrorist
East Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine
Canada’s ambassador shouldn’t remain in Tel Aviv
We demand the return of the refugees
Stop the killing, stop the hate
The Nakba is a historic injustice
International rights, Palestinian rights