Khaled Mouammar ( email@example.com )
Richmond Hill, Ontario - Sept 22, 2005: This is an update regarding the public meeting, that took place at the Aquarius Theatre in Hamilton last night, to hear our complaint regarding the trip of Hamilton Police Chief Mullan to Israel.
Eighteen presenters were scheduled to speak, 13 in favour of the complaint and 5 against it. The hall was packed with 300 people and the pro-Israeli side outnumbered our side by 4 to 1, which was a major handicap and a huge disappointment.
It was evident from the start that Bernie Morelli, the Chair of the Hamilton Police Services Board, who chaired the meeting, was biased towards the pro-Israeli side who were quite intimidating by their numbers and behaviour. He did not seriously attempt to stop the Zionists from booing and interrupting our presenters. Moreover, he kept interjecting our presentations claiming they were too political.
In spite of all this harassment the first three presenters were able to deliver their speeches with courage, competence and dignity:
1) Ken Stone from Community Coalition Against Racism
2) Maryam Ibrahim from Solidarity for Palestinian Rights, McMaster University
3) Peter Leibovitch from Hamilton Steelworker Area Council (Peter was unable to attend because he was held up by Stelco labour negotiations, and his speech was read by Ann Holubeshen from Palestinian Community Group).
The next presenter on the list was Susan Howard-Azzeh, president of Niagara Palestinian Association and co-chair of Niagara Coalition for Peace. Her presentation also included a PowerPoint presentation projecting pictures of Israeli police brutalities. The heckling by the pro-Israelis mounted and the Chair asked Susan to halt her PowerPoint presentation. She refused, and accused the Chair of bias and discrimination. The pro-Israelis escalated their disruptive tactics blocking the projection of the images on the screen, pandemonium ensued and the meeting was cancelled.
The pro-Israeli group came prepared to the meeting, they mobilized their troops.Their strategy was to unnerve and bully our presenters and pressure the Chair to do their bidding. They pro-Israelis were able to succeed due to the absence of our supporters which encouraged the Chair to rule in their favour whenever they heckled.
On October 14, at 1:30 pm (location not yet fixed),our complaint against Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair's orchestrated trip to Israel will be heard by the Toronto Police Services Board. It is imperative that we mobilize our communities fully this time to prevent the pro-Israelis from dictating the conduct and the outcome of the meeting. By our strong presence we send a clear message to the chair that this issue is very important to our communities and also that we will not tolerate him giving preferential treatment to the Zionists.
I am making a strong appeal to you to publicize this event and campaign seriously for it from now until October 14 to ensure that our communities mobilize seriously for this upcoming meeting in Toronto.
The Zionists are seriously worried of the issues raised by our complaint and this is why they mobilized strongly for it in Hamilton, because they want to prevent us from exposing to the public the human rights abuses committed by Israel and its institutionalized racism.
It is imperative that our communities rise to the challenge now to send a clear message to the police and the politicians that we will not tolerate the importing of abhorrent Israeli police practices to Ontario and that we will not remain silent while our civil rights are being trampled over.
If you are interested in making a presentation on October 14, Email Deirdre Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org
A person dies when he refuses to stand up against injustice and for that which is right.
See also: Speech by human rights activist prevented from being delivered by Chairman of Hamilton Police Services Board and Hamilton City Councillor Bernie Morelli: http://www.montrealmuslimnews.net/speechsusan.htm