Charlotte Kates at Toronto Al-Quds Day: We must “stand together with the Palestinian armed resistance”

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Charlotte Kates

Al-Quds Day rally took place in Toronto on April 6, 2024. Four day earlier, Toronto4Palestine issued the following statement:


Historically a day of protest focused on the Zionist occupation of Jerusalem, Al Quds Day this year will take on a broader significance across occupied Palestine and the world, as our movement for liberation continues to agitate, mobilize and escalate in defence of Palestine and against the genocidal Zionist regime.

Every year on the last Friday of Ramadan, millions pour into the streets to proclaim Al Quds (Jerusalem) as the undivided and unceded capital of Palestine. Al Quds Day is a recommitment to the struggle for Palestinian liberation, and an affirmation of the significance of Palestine to Muslims, Arabs, and people of conscience the world over.

We call upon the masses of the world to join us in organizing actions and mobilizing in defence of Al Quds, Gaza and the Palestinian struggle for liberation and return. We’ll see you this Saturday in the streets!

The organizers of Al-Quds Day in Toronto are Al-Quds Committee Toronto, Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) and Toronto4Palestine.

Charlotte Kates was one the speakers at Al-Aquds Day. Kates is the founder and international coordinator of the Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, and she is also an active member of various organizations including the Canadian BDS Coalition, the US National Lawyers Guild and Al-Awda. the Palestinian Right to Return Coalition.

A banner behind Khaled Barakat featured a rifle with a smoking barrel after firing alongside the following caption: “Long live the resistance. Samindoun Toronto.”

Here is Charlotte Kates’s speech at Toronto Al-Quds Day rally:

Free free Palestine. Free free Palestine. From the river to the sea Palestine will be free. Free free Palestine. Free free Palestine.

We are here today to mark Al-Quds Day, this international day for the liberation of Jerusalem and of all of Palestine from the river to the sea.

And certainly, we are here today this year for Gaza in particular, where millions of Palestinians continue to resist the ongoing Zionist genocide sponsored and funded by the United States and its imperialist cohorts. Everywhere around the world, people are joining us, taking to the streets for Al-Quds Day from here in Toronto to New York to Los Angeles to Nairobi to London to Paris to Cairo to Amman to Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa with Palestine at the heart of the call and at the heart of global resistance. And still, millions of people march around the world for Palestine.

Al-Quds Day is truly an international global day of solidarity, struggle and commitment to the liberation of Palestine and the liberation of Al-Quds.

This year, Al-Quds Day takes on additional depth and strength amid the ongoing Zionist genocide in Gaza that has already stolen the lives of nearly 40,000 Palestinians just displaced 2 million from their homes.

This year Al-Quds Day comes to show that we will come together and express our collective outrage and commitment to resist and bring this genocide and the war crimes and the crimes against humanity and the Zionist regime that is committing them to an end. Allah has willed it (مَا شَاءَ ٱللَّٰهُ).

This year Al-Quds Day comes amid unprecedented organizing, mobilization, demonstrations and action for the liberation of Palestine from economic disruption to the resistance defending the people on the land of Palestine.

We look at Yemen, the brave people and government and armed forces and the Ansarullah movement of Yemen, every day, are decolonizing the Red Sea, shutting down the supply lines of genocide. The one real stand that we see to uphold international law and the genocide convention.

And we take a look at Lebanon where the Lebanese resistance and Hezbollah are entering every Zionist settlement and military bases in Palestine.

And we see the unbroken alliance of resistance that stretches from Palestine to Yemen to Lebanon to Syria to Iran throughout the region and around the world.

And being here in the heart of the imperial core, we have a special responsibility, and we can be we must be part of this global alliance and force of resistance.

This is our opportunity to be part of the alliance defending humanity against Zionism, imperialism and the reactionary agents that serve their interests.

The struggle for the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea is the struggle of humanity today, and that’s why we see the US trying to save face for Joe Biden, genocide Joe as they sent billions of dollars in weapons to try and fail to destroy the Palestinian people and their armed resistance in Gaza.

And we see Europe and Germany, Britain and France and even Canada who have all lined up to send millions and billions of dollars in weaponry to the Zionist regime.

We see that with every step they are taking they are being forced back by the combined power of the Palestinian and Arab and regional resistance and our people power in the streets.

We can win this battle, we can win this battle alongside the resistance because the people are with Palestine. The people are not with Zionism, the people are not with imperialism, the people are with Palestine.

And as we speak, there are over 10,000 Palestinians locked in the jails of the occupation regime, women and men, children and elders, workers and farmers, teachers and students, freedom fighters and resistance leaders. And we see today that the Palestinian people and their resistance are willing to take any action necessary to put an end to the torture, to put an end to the imprisonment, and to liberate every Palestinian political prisoner from the dungeons of the Zionist regime.

The horrific torture and abuse, particularly of the thousands of Palestinians in Gaza, held in their so-called detention camp subject to sexual assault, subject to forced amputation of their legs, subject to starvation, continue to resist and continue to fight behind prison walls for the liberation of Palestine and for the liberation of all of us.

Let us be clear this battle didn’t begin on October 7th. Palestinians have been fighting Zionism for over 75 years, the years of massacres, of destruction, of occupation, of colonization and land theft. Palestinians have been fighting British colonization for over 100 years.

But also, let it be said October 7th changed the world because the brave and committed actions of the Palestinian resistance allowed all of us to envision a reality of a Palestine liberated from Zionism and the entire region liberated from the ravages of imperialism and colonialism.

The resistance changed the world and we are never going back. We are only going forward until the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea and until the defeat of Zionism and the defeat of imperialism.

And here we must play our role we must escalate our organizing be in the streets, shutting it down, organize, raise our voices and stand together with the Palestinian armed resistance on the front lines defending Palestine and defending humanity.

We must stand with the Yemeni resistance, the Lebanese resistance, the Iraqi resistance, the resistance that stretches from Syria to Iran and around the world.

We must demand immediately that the Canadian government delist Palestinian and Lebanese resistance organizations from the so-called terrorist entities list. Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and the PFLP [Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine], these organizations are not terrorists. They are liberation fighters. They are freedom fighters. [unintelligible]. It is the armed resistance, it is those revolutionary forces who today are those who are advancing and defending the world from the ravages of Zionism, genocidal Zionism, and imperialism. It is time to get these organizations off the list.

It’s time to end the sanctions on Syria, on Iran, and of all of the countries that are being targeted for resisting imperialism.

It’s time for the US to get out of Iraq and Syria, and everywhere in the region, and all about upon us

to escalate our resistance to live up to the examples that every fighter in the brigades and every Yemeni marine are showing on a daily basis.

We must live up to that example of heroism and commitments. And because of that heroism and commitment, and because of the people powering the streets, because of the millions and tens of millions, and hundreds of millions who continue to march and who refuse complicity and genocide,

that victory is coming for Palestine, and victory is coming for us all.

Victory to Palestine, victory to the armed resistance from the river to the sea.