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Sunday, September 2

Gaza Fishers and Farmers Day of Action Is On September 30, 2012
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Call for Cross-Canada and International Day of Action for Gaza Fishers and Farmers: September 30, 2012

Events in VANCOUVER, EDMONTON, NANAIMO, TORONTO and more.  Endorse the call or organize an event! Send your endorsements and events to vancouver2gaza@gmail.com! See list of events.
A call from the Union of Agricultural Work Committees in Palestine
The farmers and fishers of Gaza, Palestine are under siege as they work to defend their land and sea from occupation and continue their harvest and their livelihoods. Many people in Gaza have always relied on the land and the sea for their livelihood. Generations of Palestinian fishers have worked the sea, and farmers harvested the land, to support their communities and their lives. Today, the fishers and farmers of Gaza are under attack - braving death and imprisonment to continue to harvest the land and sea. The Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) in Palestine has called for international action and solidarity to support fishers and farmers under siege.
The UAWC, a grassroots organization that works to support Palestinian agricultural workers and develop their steadfastness on their land, connected with the Vancouver Delegation to Gaza on our recent delegation, and has initiated a call to organizations across Canada, and around the world, to hold events, actions and protests in solidarity with Fishers and Farmers under attack in Gaza and throughout Palestine on a Day of Action on Sunday, September 30, 2012.
Gaza, Palestine, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, has been under Israeli occupation since 1967, and under a tight and brutal siege since 2006, denying people and goods access and movement from the small coastal strip, one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Over 70% of the people of Gaza are refugees who have lived in Gaza since the 1948 Nakba - the occupation and ethnic cleansing of most of Palestine. Since that time, Palestinians throughout Palestine live under apartheid and occupation.
Gaza's Fishers: Today, over 70,000 Palestinians in Gaza rely on the sea and the fishing industry for their income and their lives.  However, the sea in Gaza and the fishers of Gaza are bearing the brunt of one of the most severe aspects of Israel's siege on Gaza. Israeli warships constantly patrol Gaza's shores and have unilaterally declared fishing prohibited outside 3 nautical miles. Tens of millions of dollars of income have been lost and fishers families forced into unemployment and poverty. Fishers who venture to the 3 nautical mile "border" are regularly shot at, their boats seized or damaged, and subject to arrest, detention and imprisonment. In 2012, there have already been hundreds of attacks on fishing boats by Israeli warships. (Video of fishers under fire: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoIylIT2Cz8)
Gaza's Farmers: Gaza's farmers are also subject to an ongoing war against their lives, livelihood and land. Israel has unilaterally declared the northern and eastern edges of the Gaza Strip to be "buffer zones" or "no go zones", often in some of the most agriculturally proficient areas of the often-dry region, on land farmed by Palestinian families for generations. Anyone who ventures into these areas regularly faces threats to their lives from soldiers, snipers, tanks, helicopters and drones that routinely patrol the area.  The "buffer zone" includes 17% of Gaza's total land mass - but 35% of its agricultural land and 113,000 people. 305 water wells, 197 chicken farms, 377 sheep farms, and over 1000 homes have been destroyed by Israeli occupation military inside the "buffer zone." (Video of farmers' struggle for their land: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RMAJi9OPiU)
While Palestinian fishers and farmers are braving gunfire to work their land and sea, the Canadian government of Stephen Harper has nothing but praise for the Israeli state that enforces this siege on Gaza. On March 29, 2006, Canada became the first country in the world to impose a siege on the Palestinian people living in Gaza and the West Bank, declaring cancellation of aid to Palestine. Foreign Minister John Baird recently described Canada as "Israel's best friend."
Of course, Israel is not alone in denying indigenous people the right to fish and farm their land - like Israel, Canada was founded upon the theft of indigenous people's land, a settler colonial reality of genocide and oppression that continues to the present day. Indigenous nations are engaged in constant struggles to defend their fishing rights against attempts to deny their right to fish their own waters commercially, as well as to defend their traditional territories from pipelines and resource extraction.
What can you do to join the Day of Action?
RESOURCES are available for the Day of Action, including flyers and more a http://vancouver2gaza.org/dayofaction
1. Endorse the day of action! Email your endorsement to vancouver2gaza@gmail.com
2. Work with local fishers' or farmers' unions or associations to issue official statements and declarations of solidarity with the fishers and farmers of Gaza, Palestine to mark September 30's day of action.
3. Work with local groups to highlight fishing and land rights inequity and oppression directed at indigenous people, and build connections with the ongoing oppression of Palestinian farmers and fishers.
4. Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, highlighting the oppression faced by Palestinian farmers and fishers in Gaza and elsewhere. Israeli produce for sale in North American supermarkets include herbs and organic peppers. Check your market for products to highlight that benefit from apartheid agriculture!
5. Hold an demonstration, outdoor event or solidarity action with Palestinian farmers and fishers. Let us know what's happening in your city! Email your event to be included in a national/global calendar vancouver2gaza@gmail.com
6. Hold a film screening or educational event in solidarity with Palestinian fishers and farmers.
Films from the Union of Agricultural Work Committees available online:
Doors to the Sea: Gaza's Fishers Under Siege: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C05UhR9qtiA&feature=plcp
My Beloved Olive: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc3BcB0CT9g&feature=plcp
Staying: Palestinian Farmers and Fishers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RMAJi9OPiU&feature=plcp
Flyers to be customized for your use in your city:
Endorsers of the Day of Action include the below. Add your endorsement by emailing vancouver2gaza@gmail.com.
Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign - Vancouver
Gaza's Ark
Independent Jewish Voices - Vancouver
Palestine Solidarity Network - Edmonton
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights - UBC
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Union of Agricultural Work Committees - Palestine

EVENTS FOR THE DAY OF ACTION. Add your event - email vancouver2gaza@gmail.com
TORONTO
Gaza's Ark Presents Freedom Sailors
Friday, September 28, 2012
7:00pm until 9:00pm (doors open at 6:30 pm)
Beit Zatoun (612 Markham Street, Toronto)
$20 or pay what you can.
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/218096204983813/
Book Launch: Freedom Sailors
In August 2008, the Free Gaza Movement sent the first international boats to land in the port of Gaza in 41 years to break the illegal siege
Freedom Sailors tells the story of 44 passengers on two dilapidated boats that sailed to Gaza in August 2008 and breached Israel's illegal blockade.
Hear co-editor Greta K. Berlin launch Freedom Sailors in Toronto, and learn more about the Canadian Boat to Gaza’s new project, Gaza’s Ark.
Greta K. Berlin is a media communications expert, and a spokesperson and cofounder of the Free Gaza Movement. She was on board the FREE GAZA – the first boat with internationals to reach the besieged strip of the Mediterranean in 41 years. She has been an advocate for justice for Palestinians since the early 1960s and she has worked for the International Solidarity Movement in the West Bank.

NANAIMO
Women in Black – September
Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Island Hwy and Commercial St, Nanaimo, BC
Contact: Mid-Islanders for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
info@midiislanders.com
Join MIJPME in Downtown Nanaimo to protest the occupation of Palestine and the seige on Gaza. Women and men are welcome.
On September 28, the 2012 Women in Black vigil will be joining in an international vigil for Fishers and Farmers in the Gaza Strip; they are unable to produce their traditional products to feed the local area due to Israeli restrictions. Fishers are restricted to a 3-mile range from the shore (most fishing requires a 10-mile range), and farmers within some miles of the borders are not allowed on their land to farm. The Union of Agricultural Work Committees in Palestine has called for this international action around September 30, 2012.

EDMONTON
Edmonton will be flyering and leafleting in various venues the weekend of September 30. Please reach out to Palestine Solidarity Network - Edmonton for more details!

VANCOUVER
Vancouver Rally for the Fishers and Farmers of Gaza, Palestine
Sunday, September 30
1 PM
Vancouver Art Gallery (Robson side)
Robson St. and Hornby St., Vancouver
Join us on September 30 to stand in solidarity with both the farmers and fishers of Palestine as they work to defend their land and sea from occupation and continue their harvest and their livelihoods. Many people in Gaza have always relied on the land and the sea for their livelihood. Generations of Palestinian fishers have worked the sea, and farmers harvested the land, to support their communities and their lives. Today, the fishers and farmers of Gaza are under attack. The Union of Agricultural Work Committees in Palestine has called for international action and solidarity to support fishers and farmers under siege.
Join us on September 30 to demand an end to the siege on Gaza's fishers and farmers, and to demand that the Canadian government end its extensive political, diplomatic and legal support for Israeli apartheid and occupation - and to show the farmers and fishers of Gaza that their struggle echoes around the world.
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