Free The Five


October 13 2009
Free the Cuban 5 Now!

Picket Action

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On Tuesday October 13, peace loving protesters marched in front of the U.S. Consulate in Vancouver to mark an International Day of Action for the freedom of the 5 Cuban Heroes held in U.S. jails. The day was also marking the cruel anniversary of the 1976 terrorist bombing of a Cuban airplane which killed all 73 innocent passengers on board. This despicable act was organized by Luis Posada Carriles, an anti-Cuban terrorist who walks freely in Miami despite admitting to this crime, among many others. Protesters gathered on this day to demand an end to U.S. government backed terrorism against Cuba and freedom for the 5 anti-terrorist heroes who imprisoned for trying to put an end to these despicable actions.

The picket also happened the day that the Miami court which unjustly convicted the 5 Cuban Heroes was to re-sentence three of the five. The re-sentencing of Fernando González and Ramón Labañino was moved to another date which is yet undetermined. However, the re-sentencing of Antonio Guerrero proceeded as planned on Tuesday October 13 just before the picket commenced.

After an introduction to the day by picket MC Nita Palmer who explained the terrorism Cuba has faced and the punishment that the 5 Cubans have received for saving lives from this terrorism, protesters picketed, chanting and shouting loudly at the U.S. Consulate, “Hey Obama you will see! The Cuban 5 will be free!”

Participants gathered in to hear from Sean O'Donoghue speaking via telephone from Montreal, Quebec where he organizes monthly protests for the Cuban 5 with the Comité Fabio Di Celmo pour les 5. Sean expressed his solidarity from across the country and also passed the phone onto a delegate from the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) who was on a visit to Montreal and thanked people at the protest for continuing to organize for the freedom of the Cuban 5.

After another round of picketing Kerri Goodwin, a young indigenous woman and activist with Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) spoke about the 5 Cuban Heroes and related their case to that of Leonard Peltier, an Indigenous man who has been unjustly held in U.S. prisons for over 33 years for defending Indigenous people from terrorism by the U.S. government.

Free the Cuban 5 Committee-Vancouver organizer Noah Fine read a poem written by Cuban 5 prisoner Antonio Guerrero as well as a poem he himself wrote about the Cuban 5.

David Whittlesey, a veteran of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, spoke as well, adding his voice to the chorus of people demanding that President Obama free the 5.

After more energized picketing in front of the consulate, Nita Palmer wrapped up the picket, thanking participants for their support and encouraging them to continue to take part in the Vancouver monthly picket actions to free the Cuban 5 and get involved in the committee to help educate, organize and mobilize to Free the 5 Cuban Heroes Now!