Stop harassing anti-genocide advocates for Palestine!

 May 10, 2024

The following statement, issued May 2, is from the Canadian Palestine Association in Vancouver, British Columbia (BC). Organizational endorsements of this statement can be sent to (Coverage of this statement on AlMayadeen English.)  

The repression against Palestinians and their supporters has been mounting across Canada in recent months; in every major city, there are cases of fraudulent charges (often later dropped) brought against activists who dare to clearly challenge the Zionist narrative.

The latest of these politically motivated charges happened a few days ago in Vancouver, BC, where Charlotte Kates, the international coordinator of Samidoun, was briefly detained and charged with alleged “hate speech” offenses. She was released on the outrageous condition that she does not attend any “protests, rallies or assemblies” until the court date of Oct. 8 (five months away). All this apparently for supporting the right of the Palestinian resistance to fight back against Zionist military oppression and saying “Long live October 7” during a rally speech on April 26.

The Zionist lobby has been on a witch hunt against Kates, Samidoun and her husband, Khaled Barakat; for several years now they have been pushing the federal government to include Samidoun on Canada’s “terrorist” list. CIJA [The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs] even included this demand as part of their last election platform. However, Kates questioning why Palestinian resistance groups are already on that same list is somehow unacceptable.

Protest double standard

We are sick of the double standard at play here. Zionist groups are free to bring actual Israeli soldiers on campuses to offer their “insights from the ground”; their supporters are publicly declaring they are “arming themselves,” but someone daring to even show verbal support for the Palestinian right to resist foreign occupation and aggression is charged with “hate speech!”

Are our politicians not ashamed of the way they all line up to “pile on” and attack whoever the major pro-Israel groups decide is the current persona non grata? And that they do this within just a few hours of each other? From mayors to provincial premiers to federal politicians, time and again we have seen this pattern of rushing to condemn some specific protester or group. Our politicians, and many of the mainstream media, seem to have no shame when it comes to proving their loyalty to the Zionist project.

Let’s discuss this issue of censuring anyone talking about October 7 (unless it enhances the Zionist narrative of course). It has nothing to do with concern for alleged “racism” or “hate crimes.” Rather, it has more to do with Israel trying to protect its veneer of military invincibility and its much-vaunted cyber security and intelligence.

That is the real crux of all the misinformation and blatant (often later debunked) propaganda around what happened on October 7. This brief but decisive dismantling of the Israeli military deterrence is what now drives the revenge campaign of genocide going on in Gaza.

We will support and defend all our community activists. This is not the first case of fraudulent charges being brought against pro-Palestinian advocates, and it won’t be the last. Although many of these charges are later dropped, the Zionist lobby groups engaging in this “lawfare” type activity have another agenda … to waste time and resources, to confuse the solidarity movement and to create a “chill” and an atmosphere of fear and self-censorship.

We will not stand by nor stand down. Palestine will be free!

Canada Palestine Association, Vancouver

Endorsed by:

Al-Jamia Masjid Vancouver

Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS)  Vancouver/Coast Salish Territories

Canadian BDS Coalition

Canadian Foreign Policy Institute

Greater Toronto 4 BDS (GTA4BDS)

Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement Pour Une Paix Juste

Ontario Palestinian Rights Association (OPRA)

Palestinian and Jewish Unity Montreal

Niagara Movement for Justice in Palestine Israel

The Regina Peace Council

The International League of Peoples’ Struggle in Canada (ILPS)

Anti-imperialist Alliance Ottawa

BCTF Divest Now

Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid Victoria

Communist Workers Circle Toronto

Human Rights for All (HR4A) Saskatoon

Solidarité Sherbrooke – Gaza

Teachers for Future Turtle Island

More information

Charlotte Kates speaks after the arrest at this virtual event.