Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Great Vancouver Report

This is a great report from the Vancouver folks! Be sure to check out the links below!


Evening of Film, Speakers, Music and Dance to Send off the Caravan!

SAT JUNE 30Pastors for Peace B.C. Border Crossing – Picnic & Rally!

The sun was on our side during the weekend as we prepared to send off the 18th Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba. In the evening of Friday July 29th, an event was organized at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver. Over 70 people came to learn about the US blockade on Cuba. The evening began with Master of Ceremony, Janine Solanki from Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC), introducing a specialwelcoming from Mary Bennett, a member of the Canadian Unitarian Counciland the Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver. Mary was followed by some moving Cuban poetry read by two organizers of VCSC, April Desilets and Thomas Davies.The evening also featured speakers: Sophie Ziner, an organizer with VCSC and the BC to Texas route coordinator for this year’s Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba, and guest speaker, Nancy Abbey, from the Santa Cruz Cuba Study Group and the US-Cuba Sister Cities Association. Bothspeakers demanded that the US lift the illegal blockade against Cuba, explained the importance of Cuba solidarity work and encouraged audience members to get involved. The evening also featured powerfulflamenco dancing by Bonnie Stewart, some delicious tacos, a film aboutCuba and beautiful Latin American songs of protest from Pablo Oyzaroand Beto Fuentes.On Saturday morning, over 60 people came to board a yellow school busto the Peace Arch border crossing (White Rock, BC/ Blaine, Washington)for a picnic, songs from the Solidarity Notes Labour Choir, speakers,other musical acts, and a rally of more than 150 people, to make sure the humanitarian aid would get through the border. Five vehicles with computers, medical aid, sporting equipment, and wheelchairs collected from communities across British Columbia, crossedthrough the border as people marched, chanted, waved Cuban flags and held banners with demands against the blockade. The aid made it successfully through and was loaded from the cars onto the Pastors forPeace bus, which left the Peace Arch Park bound for its first stop inSeattle along with 8 people from B.C. who are participating as Caravanistas this year. The events were organized by: Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba, the Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, the Free the Cuban 5 Committee- Vancouver, Victoria Goodsfor Cuba, along with some groups and friends from the United States.


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