Free The Five


JUNE 5, 2008
11th Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds the Convictions of the 5!
Emergency Picket Action to Protest the Unjust Decision

Read the Free the Cuban 5 Committee - Vancouver Statement Here

Click on photos to Enlarge!

On June 5th just 24 hours after the unfair and excessive decision came down against Cuban 5 in the United States, over 50 people lined up in the pouring rain outside the U.S. Consulate in Vancouver, Canada. They came together to protest the unjust decision by a three judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in the United States to continue to deny freedom for the Cuban Five. The Free the Cuban Five Committee-Vancouver (FC5C-Van) made the callout for this important picket action immediately after the decision was announced on Wednesday, June 4th. "The Five", as they are widely known, are Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino, Fernando Gonzalez, and Rene Gonzalez. Organizers and supporters for The Five braved the cold rain to chant, “THE FIVE ARE HEROES, THEY WILL NEVER SURRENDER”, “FREE FREE FREE, FREE THE CUBAN 5”, “JUSTICE FOR THE 5 NOW”, “FREEDOM FOR THE 5 NOW.”

A statement issued by the Free the Cuban Five Committee-Vancouver was read by the coordinator of the committee, Noah Fine, who opened the picket. The statement noted, “These 5 Cubans who were protecting their people from terrorism organized and financed in Miami, with help from the U.S. Government against Cuba must be immediately freed.”

After this Noah led people into a long picket line to chant in defence of the Five Heroes. When people gathered back together again David Whittlesey, an organizer with the FC5C-Van as well as an activist from the civil rights movement in the United States denounced anti-Cuban terrorist, Luis Posada Carriles. David outlined the U.S. double standard on terrorism, granting freedom for Posada and continuation of attack and injustice for the Cuban Five.

Kat Norris, a Coast Salish activist with the Indigenous Action Movement related the struggle for sovereignty of Indigenous people across the Americas to the Five’s defence of Cuba against U.S. terror. Kat’s words energized the crowd into chants of “Shame!” against the U.S. government for their savage treatment of Indigenous people as well as the Cuban Five.

The high energy of the crowd helped lead everyone back into a second picket line. This was followed by poetry read by April Desilets, an organizer with Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC). April read two inspiring poems by Antonio Guerrero, one of the Five Cuban Heroes. After the poetry was read, Tamara Hansen, the coordinator of VCSC and an executive committee member of the Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC) spoke. Tamara related the heroism of the Five to the dynamic revolutionary commitment of Ernesto “Che” Guevara to justice and humanity.

A final round of picketing followed, as people’s voices rang loud and clear in the streets of Vancouver in defence of the Cuban Five. Noah wrapped up the picket declaring that “dignity and a strong will for justice - not only for the Cuban 5 but for all of human kind – forces the Five Heroes and everyone else into this battle for freedom and justice. This is a battle of ideas that has been going on for almost for ten years now.”

With this June 4th 2008 decision to uphold the injustice against these five anti-terrorist fighters, the battle for justice continues. The ever expanding campaign in defence of the Five will continue to grow until our Five Heroes are freed from prison!