Free The Five


January 8th 2009
Free the Cuban 5 Now!

Picket Action and Film Showing

Click on photos to Enlarge!

On Thursday January 8th in the middle of a week of activities in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, dozens of people in the freezing winds of Vancouver picketed in the front of the U.S. Consulate to demand freedom for the 5 Cuban Heroes.

Young and old came out to the 38th picket to free the 5 Heroes with chants demanding "FREE! FREE! THE CUBAN 5!" in between a great line up of speakers.

Phillipa Ryan, an Indigenous elder welcomed the protest to the territory and expressed her solidarity with the 5 Cuban Heroes and leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.

Next to speak was well known radio host and Latin American social justice activist Joaquin Ernesto. Joaquin stressed that despite the election of Barak Obama in the U.S., the fight for freedom of the 5 Heroes has not changed and that we must continue stronger then ever to see the 5's return to Cuba.

April Desilets spoke afterwards representing Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC). April brought peoples' attention to the many other ways the U.S. government has attacked Cuba including the criminal blockade and terrorist activities aimed at the island and its people.

Fred Muzin, former long time president of Hospital Employee Union (HEU) and a long time labour and social justice activist spoke commemorating over 50 years of the struggle of Cuban people against US attack and how the 5 Heroes are a reflection of the Cuban peoples desire for peace, justice and a better world.

Nita Palmer, an organizer with the Free the Cuban 5 Committee-Vancouver spoke of the wives of two of the 5 Cuban Heroes who have been denied visitation rights to see their husbands in prison, a crime against both international and U.S. law. She asked everyone to join the Vancouver campaign demanding the U.S. government grant Visas to the women.

Free the Cuban 5 Committee-Vancouver coordinator and picket MC Noah Fine wrapped up the protest by announcing that the committee will continue every month until the 5 Heroes are free, noting that there are plans to expand the Cuban 5 campaign to other cities in BC. As part of making this campaign stronger in Canada, he said, groups in Vancouver and Montreal are uniting on the same day every month in front of the U.S. Consulate in their respective cities to demand: