Canada’s Chinese community rallies for Palestine

The Chinese community in Canada, particularly the youth, are taking an active part in the global movement of solidarity with the Palestinian people in the face of the Israeli genocidal onslaught, not least around the traditional celebration of the Lunar New Year.

The latest supplement to the TML Monthly, dated February 14, 2024, published online by the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) (CPCML) reports that the weekly solidarity march in Montreal, on February 11, was addressed by a young woman from the city’s Chinese community, who said: “We are humbled to speak as part of the pan-Asian contingent, composed of 15 grassroots collectives of the diaspora of Montreal, formed in solidarity with Palestine.”

She added: “The youth of the Asian community are celebrating the transition to the Lunar New Year of the Wood Dragon. As is the tradition, we send our greetings to our ancestors, by uniting in solidarity for the liberation of Palestine. It is a New Year, but the demands are the same.”

The speaker also made a powerful comparison between the historic racist oppression of the Chinese community in Canada and the Palestinian people’s forced displacement by Israel.

TML’s full report on the Montreal protest reads as follows:

“The weekly Montreal march in support of Gaza and the people of Palestine began with hundreds of people assembling downtown on February 11, for the 19th consecutive week, to listen to speeches from organizers and supporters.

“The first to address the crowd was a representative of the Palestinian Youth Movement who said, among other things, ‘The people in Gaza are facing an impossible situation. If you don’t die from U.S.-funded bombs, you die from the rubble. If you survive the rubble, you die because there is no other place to go. If you survive your injuries, you die of mass starvation and hunger.”

“‘It has become clear to everyone that the missiles funded by the U.S. and sold by Canada are not just trying to kill the Palestinians. These missiles are trying to destroy the very idea of the Palestinian homeland. These bombs are trying to eliminate the very concept of liberation. Israel and its bloody allies are committing this genocide to send a message to the world […] that if any colonized person threatens their power, their domination, and their hegemony, they will get killed. But what did the world say in response to this? What do we say in response to this?”

“‘We say that if you were a criminal, and you commit genocide in broad daylight, we will make sure that there isn’t a single moment of peace if there isn’t a single moment of justice. They have tried for over 75 years to destroy Palestine and they have failed, and they will continue to fail. Because nothing — no displacement, no bombs, no weapons, no missiles — can ever destroy a movement for liberation and justice. What do we want? Justice!’”

“She was followed by a young woman representing the youth from Montreal’s Chinese community. She spoke to the crowd, which at this point had grown to over a thousand people, ‘to share our message for the people of Palestine. We are humbled to speak as part of the pan-Asian contingent, composed of 15 grassroots collectives of the diaspora of Montreal, formed in solidarity with Palestine.’

“‘The youth of the Asian community are celebrating the transition to the Lunar New Year of the Wood Dragon. As is the tradition, we send our greetings to our ancestors, by uniting in solidarity for the liberation of Palestine. It is a New Year, but the demands are the same. The Chinese community’s youth supports the Palestinian people by demanding a ceasefire that should have happened a long time ago and for a free Palestine in all its integrity.’

“‘We are calling upon the government of Canada to cut its financing of the genocide and to re-finance its humanitarian aid in Gaza now. We are witnessing in real time the events of the U.S./Zionist genocide: the bombing of hospitals, of innocent civilians made up mostly of women and youth. We will not look away and we will remember.

“‘In our tradition, we pay respect to our ancestors in heaven and on Earth. May the homage we pay today be for our Palestinian brothers and sisters and let us reaffirm our commitment and prayers for a New Year, as well as for the Yemeni people and allies of the movement on the ground. The history of Palestine, of Palestinian liberation, is directly connected to the liberation of all people. In the people’s history, it is as if we speak the same language.’

“She added that it is not only about freeing Gaza, but about freeing the entire world from Zionism, from its evil, the powers that rule our lives politically, socially and economically. As Montreal is a hub of migration for national minorities, she said: ‘We know first-hand what was done, how our rights were violated and our people dehumanized by Western colonialism.”

“She also said that people have been marching in the streets to protest 75 years of the illegal occupation of Palestine and that the resistance has successfully exposed the Canadian government’s hypocrisy. She gave the example of Chinese migration to Canada in the mid-19th century to build the railway that began with their forced landlocked segregation.’

“‘Originally recruited to build a national railway, we were used to help consolidate the theft of Indigenous lands. When the railway was finished, the colonial government began 62 years of racist legislation against Chinese immigrants, to discourage and prevent further immigration. It was segregation based on racist colonial policies […] that led to the formation of Chinatown. Originally created as a home and a safe haven for Chinese migrants, that legacy carries on today with Chinatown serving as a refuge for minorities and marginalized communities. The progressive movement across Turtle Island […] against displacement is part of the people’s struggle against colonialism. This is why we salute and unite for the Palestinian land defenders. It is the people’s resistance against forced displacement by Israel,’ she added.

“She ended by explaining that ‘The Year of the Dragon Year under the wood element occurs every 60 years. This means we are entering the second Wood Dragon Year of the illegal occupation in Palestine. And as for the element of wood in the Zodiac for this lunar year, we mourn the destruction of your beautiful olive trees in the bombing of your land.’

“‘We thank the Palestinian Youth for its organization and for its contribution to our liberation. We are with you, Palestine. We sing with you. We thank you and we are here to support you Palestine. From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free!’

“After listening to more speakers denounce the genocide being committed by Israel and the complicity of the Canadian and Quebec governments, the crowd, now numbering over 1,300, took to the streets with their banners and placards. Organizers handed out a leaflet encouraging people to sign a petition posted on the Quebec National Assembly website demanding the cancellation of the opening of a Quebec office in Israel. The petition which has already gathered over 11,000 signatures will end on February 14. It can be signed online by clicking here.

“Participants then headed to the U.S. Consulate chanting, We’re Not Tired, We Have Gaza to Liberate! Gaza Called, Yemen Answered! Gaza In Our Hearts, Liberate our Brothers and Sisters! as well as other slogans that resonated throughout the downtown core, with many cars honking in support. The march ended with more speeches and the announcement by organizers that a project will be launched soon to rent billboards in the Montreal area in support of Palestine.”

The same edition of TML carried a further short report of a February 9 demonstration in support of Palestine organized by Vancouver’s Chinese community.

The report read: “On February 9, a demonstration was called in Vancouver in support of the Palestinian people on the occasion of the Lunar New Year. The Chinese community and others marched in the streets of downtown Vancouver and protested complicity in the genocide of Palestine at the consulates of the U.S. and Japan. 

“Speakers from the Chinese community expressed their indignation with the Japanese state, the former occupier of China, Korea, the Philippines and other countries, in its backing of the Zionist occupiers in Palestine. They pointed out that Japan is complicit in genocide by continuing to support Israel through assembling the F-35 fighter jets used by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) and suspending their funding for UNRWA. At the U.S. Consulate, speakers denounced the U.S. imperialists’ occupation of Turtle Island, as well as their support for Israel through exporting weapons to and funding the IDF.

“Slogans included Permanent Ceasefire Now!, End the Occupation! and Free Palestine!, among others.”

The full TML Supplement, which also contains photos of solidarity events around the world, can be read here.

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