Free The Five


June 8th, 2009

International Days of Action to Free the 5 Cuban Heroes!

Picket Action to Demand Freedom for the 5 Cuban Heroes Held in U.S. Jails!

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On Monday June 8th, , the Free the Cuban 5 Committee-Vancouver organized their 42nd picket line in front of the US consulate as part of the International Days of Action to demand freedom for the 5 Cuban Heroes.

The International Days of Action, which ran from June 6-8, were called as a result of a decision made at the recent Second International Youth Summit to free the Cuban 5 in Havana.

The Days of Action also came as we await a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court as to whether the trial of the Cuban 5 was handled properly, and if the Supreme Court should review the case. The decision is expected to be released in mid June. Many in the legal profession, as well as other prominent individuals - including 10 Nobel laureates - stand with millions of people around the world who are demanding freedom for the 5 Heroes.

The Vancouver picket began with MC Nita Palmer, an organizer with the Free the Cuban 5 Committee- Vancouver, leading chants and calls for the freedom of the Cuban 5. The picket began with a first round of loud and energetic chants demanding “Freedom for the 5 Now”, and “Justice for the 5 Now.”

After the first round of picketing, Alison Bodine, an organizer with Pastors for Peace and participant in the Second International Youth Summit to Free the Cuban 5, welcomed everyone to the picket via phone from New York, where she participated in the International Day of Action to Free the Cuban 5. New York was one of many cities where there were protests around the world demanding their freedom.

Tamara Hansen, National Coordinator of Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC), co-chair of the Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC) and a delegate to the Second International Youth Summit on the Cuban 5, highlighted the importance of continuing to have these International Days of Action to demand freedom and justice for the Cuban 5. She passionately spoke of the continuing injustice against two of the wives of the Cuban 5, who have been prevented from being able to see their husbands for the last 10 years.

Charles Boylan, a radio host on Co-op Radio and member of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) highlighted other cases of political prisoners held by the US government in Guantánamo Bay and around the world.

The picket came to a loud and energetic close as participants vowed to continue protesting in front of the US Consulate until the 5 Cuban Heroes are free.