Free The Five


February 12th 2009
Free the Cuban 5 Now!

Coordinated Picket Actions in Vancouver and Montreal

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38th Picket line in Vancouver in Support of the Cuban 5 Heroes!

For the 38th time in 38 months the US Consulate in Vancouver, Canada was picketed in support of the 5 anti-terrorists Cuban heroes. In coordinated actions in Montreal and Vancouver, human rights and social justice activists protested the US governments’ ongoing inhumane imprisonment of these 5 heroes.

Noah Fine, the coordinator of the Free the Cuban 5 Committee-Vancouver (FC5C), welcomed everyone to the picket, and introduced the case to the many people passing by on the street. With picket signs held high in the air, and Cuban flags blowing in the wind, Noah led the first round of picketing in front of the US Consulate.

“FREEDOM FOR THE CUBAN 5!” was chanted through the streets of Vancouver. After this first round of picketing, David Whittlesey, an organizer with the FC5C and a veteran anti-war and civil rights activist, offered an optimistic outlook into the case of the 5. He noted that the longer the US government imprisons these 5 heroes, the more people are finding out about the hypocrisy of the so-called “War on Terror.”

This optimism charged the crowd with energy for a second round of picketing. The next speaker followed David’s theme on the hypocrisy of the so called “war on terror”. Jules Tindungan, a US war resister who served in Afghanistan, spoke from his point of view as a former soldier who fought for the US in its “War on Terror.” Jules denounced the hypocrisy of the US government who claims to be fighting terrorism in Afghanistan yet has imprisoned these 5 heroes who were fighting against terrorism from within the United States.

After a third round of picketing the final speaker Nita Palmer, an organizer with the FC5C and an executive member of Mobilization Against War & Occupation, explained the human side of this politically motivated case. Nita elaborated on how the US government has continuously denied visas to Olga Salanueva and Adriana Perez, wives of two of the Cuban 5, to visit their husbands in prison.

This led to the final round of picketing for the day. The picket ended with people’s energy and morale high. The new picketers together with those who had picketed before promised to be at next month’s action to demand freedom for these 5 heroes!