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Break the Chains! April 19 El Salon

Posted by Sara / April 18, 2006

You don't often see the word "apartheid" in mainstream coverage of the Palestinian struggle, but the case is pretty easy to make:

According to the United Nations, the 360,000 refugees in Lebanon cope with appalling human rights abuses. They are forbidden from owning property, are not allowed to work in over 78 professions, and often have to perform manual labour or work illegally, with 60 to 80 per cent living in poverty. They have no political rights and their movement is restricted. In the camps, residences are cramped, some without water, electricity and sewage systems.

In an interview with Rafeef Ziadah on last week's Prison Radio on CKUT, I also learned that Palestinians can be tried as adults at the age of 16, but Israelis only at 18. Over 300 children are among the thousands of Palestinian political prisoners. Ziadah is a member of Sumoud, a Toronto-based organization that has organized a speaking tour to raise awareness of these child prisoners.

The tour kicks off in Montreal tomorrow night with the film Stolen Youth, directed by Saed Andoni, and solidarity statements from North American political prisoners. Stick around for a special performance by Narcicyst of Euphrates, as well as beats by DJ Leila P.

Wednesday April 19, 2006
4388 St-Laurent Boulevard
(between Rachel and Mt-Royal)
$5 or pay what you can



Dave / April 19, 2006 at 10:48 pm
Although I had to leave early due to lack of sleep the previous night, I must admit to being pleasantly surprised as to how good this night was. Nice to see so many people turned out as well.

Is Midnight Poutine covered by the Media Blackout for what's going on at Six Nations?
Sara / April 20, 2006 at 06:44 pm
hmph. i think we might prefer a blackout to the crap coverage of what happened last night.

"melee?" "brawl?" ugh. no chairs or tables were thrown--that's an utter fabrication. the only assaults were committed by cops and by the stranger who shoved jaggi and an older man outside the bar... unfortunately, it looks like el salon may be closing as a result of this overblown police action.

it's longish, but i'm gonna post the statement from organizers below:

Over 20 police cars and heavily armed police officers violently raided a Palestinian political prisoners event last night in Montreal. The event featured a series of speakers and performances, and was the opening night of a Canada wide speaking tour on Palestinian child political prisoners.

Five people were arrested but eventually released with no charges.

Police raided the venue during a musical performance on the pre-text of an incident that occurred outside of the building. Within a matter of minutes, a large number of police officers arrived without any warrants and demanded that one of the organizers leave the hall for questioning.

All attempts to reason with the police failed. The police called in several more officers for back up and proceeded with their unreasonable and unjustified
interventions which included arresting 5 people. Many of the attendants in the venue were violently attacked and at one point the police locked a number of people inside the venue with no regards for safety and fire regulations. At no point did any of the officers explain to the organizers what the cause of this
massive raid had been.

This event fits into a greater pattern of racist abuses by the Montreal police. It is also the latest incident in a long line of arbitrary political arrests carried out by the Montreal police force over the last 5 years. These abuses have recently been condemned by the U.N. human rights commission. Ongoing surveillance and harassment of Palestinian solidarity activists has escalated since the election of the Harper government. It accompanies the Canadian government's unqualified support for the policies of the Israeli apartheid state.
GaryO / April 20, 2006 at 11:08 pm
<i>You don't often see the word "apartheid" in mainstream coverage of the Palestinian struggle, but the case is pretty easy to make: According to the United Nations, the 360,000 refugees in Lebanon cope with appalling human rights abuses.</i>

This is the first time I have heard Lebanon referred to as an apartheid regime, yes.
giga / April 21, 2006 at 02:02 am
One should not be surprised by the heavy handed methods used by Montreal police. They, after all, are little more than thugs living above the law.
Hard to arrest, harder still to convict and impossible to behave normally. A true product of the current political environment we have to contend with. As in China, a lesser form of life we hope our children will fail to emulate.

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