Photo by Paul S. Graham
The Council of Canadians Winnipeg chapter and Peace Alliance Winnipeg sponsored the 35th annual ‘Winnipeg Walk for Peace’ yesterday.
The program for the day was:
10:45 am Art Making for the Walk (all ages)
12:10 pm Assemble for Walk
12:30 pm Walkers depart
1:30 pm Walkers return
1:45 pm Refreshments
2:00 pm Speeches
2:30 pm Cultural Program
The three kilometre walk began at Vimy Ridge Park, made its way along Broadway Avenue, Osborne Street, Portage Avenue, and back to Vimy Ridge Park.
This year’s walk was held in solidarity with the people of Gaza/Palestine.
The Council of Canadians:
supports the Canadian Boat to Gaza to end the illegal blockade of Gaza
calls on the Government of Canada, the United Nations and the international community to do everything in their power to ensure the safe passage of the Canadian Boat to Gaza and the safety of all those aboard
calls for an end to the blockade of Gaza, in accordance with international law.
Gaza is now home to about 1.8 million people. The blockade means that its people struggle for access to basic services such as safe water and sanitation. The UN has stated that the aquifer that serves Gaza will soon be unusable because of the overpumping of groundwater, the seepage of seawater into the aquifer, and contamination by sewage.
In September 2011, Catarina de Albuquerque, then the UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, stated, “Israel must facilitate the entry of necessary materials to rebuild the water and sanitation systems in Gaza, as a matter of priority, otherwise this public health catastrophe will continue unabated.”
That same month, de Albuquerque joined with four other UN experts to state, “As a result of more than four years of Israeli blockade, Palestinian women, men and children are deprived of their fundamental human rights and subjected to collective punishment, in flagrant contravention of international human rights and humanitarian law.”
At a July 2014 rally in Charlottetown, Council of Canadians vice-chairperson Leo Broderick said, “We need to show [Canadian politicians in all parties] that the people of P.E.I. and Canada are opposed to the collective punishment of civilians in Gaza and that we support peace and justice in the area — not violence.”
Council of Canadians chapters, including St. John’s, London and Delta-Richmond, have also supported Boat to Gaza efforts over the past several years.
To learn more about this situation, you can read the 20-page Blue Planet Project report The Human Right to Water in Palestine.