March 22: Return Unifies Us + Community March Against Racism

ٍRUUOn March 22, No One Is Illegal – Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories is organizing the 7th annual Community March Against Racism (announcement below). BIAC will be joining the march in solidarity with the Palestinian movement against racist settler colonialism, as well as all movements against racism and settler colonialism on this land and internationally. We will carry the “Boycott Israeli Apartheid” banner and signs highlighting the Palestinian Right of Return.

Our participation will also be in solidarity with the March 22 Day of Action Call, Return Unifies Us, from dozens of Palestinian organizations in Palestine and in exile. link here: http://uspcn.org/2014/03/11/return-unifies-us-march-22-2014/ or see below for full text of the call.
7th Annual Community March Against Racism
 
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Saturday March 22, 2014
Gather at 2 pm
March begins Victory Square, Cambie and Hastings
Unceded x?m??kw?y??m, Sk_wx_wu´7mesh, and S?l?i´lw?ta? territories.
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Family-friendly festivities! Bring your neighbours, banners and drums

Video from 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUMawBQASFM
Video from 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQii7Z9-yAw
Video from 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKDMpj9x2xU

The International Day for the Elimination of Racism marks the anniversary of the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa when police opened fire on hundreds of South Africans protesting against Apartheid’s passbook laws, killing 67 and wounding 186. Every year we join friends and allies around the world to mark this day and to speak the truth about racism.

We stand in solidarity with the courageous leadership demonstrated by Indigenous communities across Turtle Island, who are engaging in land defense struggles against ongoing colonialism. This country is founded on the exploitation and marginalization of racialized communities, including dispossession and displacement of Indigenous nations, theft of resources from the global South, as well as the enslavement, exclusion and exploitation of diverse communities of colour.

This country is marked by the forced confinement of Indigenous children in residential schools and the internment of Japanese-Canadian children in camps. Today we see the same logic resulting in Indigenous children being forcibly apprehended from their families, and refugee children being incarcerated and facing mandatory detention.

Today we need to stand together and renew our anti-racist resistance. We need to show that we will not be complicit in racism. These are just some examples of devastating policies and projects that we stand against:

* Mass incarceration under Harper’s new crime bill and mandatory and indefinite detention under the refugee exclusion act.

* The ongoing tragedies of missing and murdered Indigenous women across these lands.

* Bailing out banks while communities of colour live in poverty and face low wages, poor pensions, dangerous working conditions, and unemployment.

* Corporate destruction and environmental racism on Indigenous territories from pipelines in Alberta and BC to Canadian mining operations across Africa and South America.

* Involvement in military occupations and military trade from Afghanistan to Palestine to Saudi Arabia.

* Racist stereotyping, fear-mongering and scapegoating continues to permeate the media, education system, policing institutions, and workplaces.

We encourage our friends and allies to be pro-active in countering racism by attending this march and also by speaking out against all acts of racism both structurally and personally. Join us in solidarity and resistance on March 22nd to celebrate the dignity, strength, and resilience of our communities.

For more information email noii-van@resist.ca or call 604-440-3137

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The statement was developed by the Global Right to Return Coalition and the many Palestinian associations, unions, committees listed below, all declaring that the Right of Return is non-negotiable, and is a right that keeps us together.

We call on all Palestinian formations to consider endorsing this statement, and pro-Palestinian formations to support it. You may do so by emailing AlAwda2014@gmail.com and uspcn@uspcn.org

We also hope that you will heed the call for mobilization on March 22, the anniversary of one of our greatest triumphs in resistance. Send us your plans, and we will disseminate widely!

“Return Unifies Us”

Our heroic Palestinian people everywhere,

In the coming few days, the 46th anniversary of the battle of Karama will be upon us. During this heroic battle, our people proudly forged the path towards the return to our beloved homeland. This historic moment showed that it is by insistence on the unity and cohesion of our people everywhere, the unity of their struggle, and the oneness of their destiny, that the right of return to their homes of origin and other national principles can be achieved.

This anniversary comes in the shadow of never-ending attacks, since the Nakba and continuing until the present: against our people, our cities, our villages and our camps in the homeland and in exile (Shatat). The latest manifestation of this ongoing Nakba is the attack and siege on our steadfast people in the camps in Syria. This attack has not, and never will, shake our people’s belief in the justness of our cause and the inevitability of our victory.

To our steadfast people everywhere,

This year, on the 22nd of March 2014, let us honour the memory of the Battle of Karama and the values of struggle it represents in our people’s consciousness by a day of action to insist upon our right, and the right of every last Palestinian refugee to return to our homeland. Let us emphasize the unity of our people against any and all attacks against our sons and daughters everywhere.

In the same spirit let us take the initiative on March 22nd, and raise our voices to demand our right of return, and to demand the unity of our people as the only way to safeguard and defend our national principles. Let us take action, filling our squares, streets, and our public spaces with mass rallies, popular festivals and scouts performances. From our beloved homeland and across our exiled communities and camps, let us raise our voices together with the slogans of national unity, asserting our unwavering demand for return and a salute to our people’s heroic sacrifices and struggle everywhere.

National Coalitions and Associations:

  • Palestinian Global Right of Return Coalition
  • The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC)
  • The Palestinian Scouts and Guides Federation– Palestine
  • The Coalition for Jerusalem – Al Quds (Jerusalem), Palestin

Constituent Members of the Palestinian Global Right of Return Coalition:

  • PLO Executive Office for Refugees – West Bank
  • Committee for the Defence of Rights of Palestinian Refugees/ Yafa Cultural Center
  • Union of Youth Activity Centers – West Bank Refugee Camps
  • Union of Youth Activity Centers – Gaza Refugee Camps
  • Union of Women’s Activity Centers – West Bank
  • Refugee Camps Consortium of the Displaced Inhabitants of Destroyed Palestinian Villages and Towns
  • Higher National Committee for the Defence of the Right of Return
  • Palestine National Committee for the Commemoration of the Nakba
  • Palestine Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Internally Displaced (ADRID), Nazareth – Palestine 1948
  • Palestine Remembered – Jordan
  • General Union of Jordanian Women
  • ‘A’idun Group – Syria
  • ‘A’idun Group – Lebanon
  • Beit Atfal Al-Sumoud – Lebanon
  • Group 194 – Syria
  • Right of Return Committee – Athens, Greece
  • Association Najdeh – Lebanon
  • Right of Return Committee – Sweden
  • European Federation of Right of Return Committees
  • Palestinian Return Network – Netherlands
  • Coordination Bureau – Lebanon
  • Rua’a Association for Culture and the Arts – Lebanon
  • Popular Association for Relief and Development – Lebanon
  • The Palestinian Right of Return Committee – Norway

Federations and Networks:

  • Popular Committees of the Refugee Camps – Gaza
  • Popular Committees of the Refugee Camps – West Bank
  • Network for Supporting Palestinian Camps in the Shatat – Syria
  • Palestinian Federation of Chile – Chile
  • The Union of Palestinian Associations in France – France
  • US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN) – United States
  • Palestinian Federation of Argentina – Argentina
  • Palestinian Federation of Peru – Peru

Popular Organisations:

  • Al­Nakab Center for Youth Activities ­ Borj Al Barajneh Camp, Lebanon
  • African Community Center – Old City, Al Quds (Jerusalem)
  • Al Karame Center – Berlin, Germany
  • Al Sadaka Arab­Danish Cultural Center ­ Ringsted, Denmark
  • The Arab Palestinian Cultural Club – Upsalla, Sweden
  • The Arab Group: Tamseek – Switzerland
  • The Association for Palestinian Political and Released Prisoners – Palestine 1948
  • Association for the Support of the Palestinian People: Canaan – Venezuela
  • Australian Palestinian Professional Association (APPA) – Australia
  • BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights – Bethlehem, Palestine
  • Baladna Association for Arab Youth – Haifa, Palestine 1948
  • Beit Jala Palestinian Association in Australia ­ Australia
  • The Beit Jibreen Cultural Center: Handala ­ Al Azzeh Camp, Palestine
  • The Block of Struggling Palestinian Women ­ Gaza, Palestine
  • Buthour Associations for Culture and Development ­ Nablus, Palestine
  • The Charitable Committee for the Relief of the Palestinian People ­ Yarmouk
  • Camp, Syria
  • Club Palestino – Santiago, Chile
  • The Damascene School – Yarmouk Camp, Syria
  • Ensan Center for Democracy and Human Rights – Bethlehem
  • Fateh Youth Movement ­ Palestine
  • Fateh Youth Movement ­ Al Najah University, Nablus
  • General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) – Chile
  • General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) – Greece
  • General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) – United Kingdom
  • Grassroots Jerusalem – Al Quds (Jerusalem), Palestine
  • Jafra Association – Yarmouk Camp, Syria
  • Lajee Center – Aida Camp, Palestine
  • Ma’an Youth Group – Burj al Barajneh Camp, Lebanon
  • Ma’an Youth Group – Shatila Camp, Lebanon
  • Midland Palestinian Community Association ­ UK
  • The National Union of Students’ Parents – Palestine 1948
  • The Palestinian Association in Geneva – Switzerland
  • Palestine Club – Berlin, Germany
  • Palestine Link ­ Netherlands
  • Palestinian Community Association – Athens, Greece
  • The Palestinian Charitable Association – Aleppo, Syria
  • Palestinian Arts and Heritage Center – Askar Camp, Palestine
  • The Palestinian Cultural Enlightenment Forum – Nablus, Palestine
  • The Palestinian Cultural Club – American University in Beirut, Lebanon
  • The Palestinian Cultural Club – Beirut Arab University, Lebanon
  • The Palestinian Cultural Club – Lebanese American University, Lebanon
  • The Palestinian Cultural Club – Shatila Camp, Lebanon
  • The Palestinian Women’s Association for Development and Justice – Geneva, Switzerland
  • Palestinian Youth Movement – Sweden
  • Palestinian Youth Parliament ­ Palestine
  • The Refugee Follow­up Committee – Aleppo, Syria
  • Popular Committee – Al­Shati Camp, Gaza
  • Popular Committee – Bureij Camp, Gaza
  • Popular Committee – Deir El Balah Camp, Gaza
  • Popular Committee – Jabalia Camp, Gaza
  • Popular Committee – Khan Younis Camp, Gaza
  • Popular Committee – Maghazi Camp, Gaza
  • Popular Committee – Nuseirat Camp, Gaza
  • Popular Committee – Rafah Camp, Gaza
  • Sawa’ed Youth Group ­ Yarmouk Camp, Syria
  • Student Council ­ Al Najah University, Nablus

 

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