Pro-Palestinian activists in Halifax feel pressured to remain silent about Israeli apartheid and suppression of Palestinians in Palestine. Here in Nova Scotia this manifests in the form of intimidating threats they experience while going about their daily business in the city. It is also exemplified in the overly aggressive policing during the Nakba Day car rally last week.

Palestinian American poet’s Lena Khalaf Tuffaha Running Orders was circulating widely on the internet in 2014, when over 2100 Palestinians, most of whom were civilians, were killed during Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge.” Sadly nothing much has changed. At least 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, were killed during the Israeli bombardment of Gaza that ended with the May 20 ceasefire.

Halifax Police chief Dan Kinsella owes an apology to the pro-Palestine drivers and their passengers at the Free Palestine COVID Safe Car Rally which gathered at the Saint Mary’s University parking lots on Saturday. The thousands of dollars of tickets (fines of up to $2,000 per person) that police issued must be shredded. And the one man (at least) who was handcuffed and arrested has suffered humiliation, injury to his self-worth, and a profound violation to his personal freedom. He deserves much more than a “sorry”.

Stephen Wentzell on the injunction banning protests during the current lockdown: “This is a slippery slope that we as Nova Scotians should pause and reflect on. And as we have seen before, when given the powers police will disproportionately focus on poor and/or racialized people.”

“Ten years ago, my family and I stood shoulder to shoulder with Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. We saw the Orthodox Jewish settlers invading the area and doing what they could to evict Palestinians from their homes.” Judy Haiven at yesterday’s webinar on the Nakba and the current attacks on Gaza.

In Halifax, Nova Scotia, today, on Saturday, May 15th, we are providing the community with the answer to that question and the historical context of the Nakba. This will be done so with a panel discussion of 6 individuals, whom all have fought vehemently for Palestinian rights in Canada. The discussion will be moderated by Rana Zaman.