The annual Al-Quds Day rally was held in front of the American Consulate in Toronto on April 15, 2023.
Stephen Ellis is a Barrister and Solicitor, a co-founder of the Legal Centre for Palestine and a senior activist with the Canadian BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement who participates in anti-Israel demonstrations including Al-Quds Day Rally and Nakba Day of Action.
Here is Stephen Ellis’s speech at Al-Quds Day rally in Toronto:
Thanks for showing up today. Thanks for listening to all the speeches and all the important things that they had to say, and you saw, you know, quite a wide-ranging slice of the population all gathered together today to show solidarity for the Palestinian people, and to be involved in this struggle, not just here today, but around the world and in our unions and in our community organizations and on the street and taking on the powers, you know, the apartheid state in Israel and their proxies here in Toronto and right across the country.
So it’s important to be involved in this fight. I just want to say I’m bringing you greetings from the Legal Centre for Palestine, which is a group of lawyers and activists who came together to help protect the movement from the attacks from the Israel lobby. That’s an important part of this fight. And so we’re a newly formed organization, but we’ve already been scarred and burned in the battle. So we really appreciate all your support.
I will mention that we two weeks ago we did win a battle against the City [of Toronto] and the Foodbenders fight, okay. The city [of Toronto] discontinued their prosecution of Foodbenders [A Toronto food company] on a bogus discrimination claim, and we proved that on an exposition of the facts at a trial. So it was vindictive, and it was petty and they’ve withdrawn the appeal. So that’s great. So we’ve won. We won and we can win when we put our minds together, and put our heads together we can win these fights. But we can’t stand. We won. We won. We can win, right. We can’t stand up to these bullies, and that’s what they are, they [Israel lobby] are pushing a racist agenda here locally and overseas, and that we can’t we can’t let that stand.
So I’m happy to be a part of the Legal Centre for Palestine. There’s the issue of Foodbenders, but it’s not over yet. There are a number of proceedings before the Human Rights Tribunal that are still ongoing. So we would ask you to uh look at the handout that we gave you a little while ago that talks about the Foodbenders issue. And there’s one more case I’ll mention, that’s case of Javier Davila [TDSB educator] who is an educator who was under attack in the spring and summer of for providing educational materials on Palestine, again under attack from the Israel lobby. Shame, shame. What they tried to do is, they they tried to disgrace his name, character assassination, and also they tried to revoke his license to teach, which is an absolute disgrace, and they also filed hate crime charges against them with the Police. There’s just no end to the vindictiveness among the Israel lobby. so I just want to say there are a lot of cases that are ongoing, and the details of the Javier [Davila] case are also in that leaflet that we’ve been passing around.
So I just wanted to say thanks for showing up um find out about the Legal Centre for Palestine if you can donate to the Foodbenders battle to Javier’s battle or if you want to make a general donation to The Legal Centre for Palestine in general go to the website lcpal.ca thank you. Free free Palestine. Free free Palestine.