More than 4,000 mainly young people demonstrated in front of the US Consulate on Toronto’s University Avenue Saturday against the genocidal onslaught of the Israeli state, backed by the full force of Canadian and world imperialism, against the Palestinian people.
The demonstration, organized by local Palestinian groups and supporters, was held as part of a global day of protest, which saw millions of people take to the streets in hundreds of cities across Canada, the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.
A worker from the Middle East made a particularly eloquent defense of the right of the Palestinian people to resist occupation and genocide.
“I believe Hamas is not a terrorist group, it’s a Palestinian resistance, because Palestine has been under the Israeli Occupation since 1948,” he said. “So, Hamas is not a terrorist group. It is a resistance, fighting for the native people of Palestine, to get their land back and I believe that the same people who are killing the Palestinians now, these are the same people who killed the Native Americans, over one million Native Americans, to build the United States of America, the same people who brought more than 50 million Africans to the United States as slaves, and they killed half of them. And they are the same people who bombed Japan, with two nuclear bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And these people are the same people who are killing the people in Palestine. And they say they are terrorists! The real terrorists are the Zionists who are occupying the government of Israel, the army of Israel. Biden and his army—these are the biggest terrorists we have ever seen.”
The protest site in front of the US consulate is well worn with the feet of demonstrators. From the war against Yugoslavia in 1999 to the imperialist wars of conquest against Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001 and 2003, the US Consulate site has become the traditional location for anti-war demonstrations. This reflects the understanding that US imperialism is the principal instigator of a whole series of wars which have claimed tens of millions of lives around the world.
This point was made by Ali Malah, a veteran of the anti-war campaigns of a quarter century ago, who remarked to the World Socialist Web Site, “The streets recognize our names now, from the war on Iraq, the war on Afghanistan and the war on Palestine. So here we are, doing it again. There is huge anger in the community regarding what’s going on inside Gaza and Palestine, and also huge disappointment with the federal political leaders and provincial as well. They haven’t developed a spine to call for a ceasefire, and they are just kissing up to the Zionist lobby and the illegal State of Israel.”
In fact, the entire Canadian ruling establishment, including all of the parties in the House of Commons—the New Democratic Party and the Liberal Government of Justin Trudeau which it backs, the Official Opposition Conservatives, the Quebec nationalist Bloc Québécois and the Green Party, are officially united in their support for Israel’s “right to defend itself.” In reality, this means unconditional support for the far-right Israeli government’s “right” to crush all Palestinian resistance, and illegally seize all remaining Palestinian land.