Canadian demonstration for Abu Rahma
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Canadian demonstration for Abu Rahma

On May 8, activist groups in Montreal organized a demonstration to commemorate Basem Ibrahim Abu Rahma, and to express continued solidarity with the struggle against the Apartheid Wall in the West Bank.

Basem was killed by Occupation forces during a demonstration in Bil’in. News of his murder spread quickly throughout the world, sparking international solidarity actions and condemnations of the killing of another Palestinian protestor. He was the 16th Palestinian to have been killed by soldiers during demonstrations against the Wall.

Montreal will see a significant amount of Palestine solidarity action over the next several weeks; in June, the Superior Court of Quebec is set to hear a case against two companies registered in Quebec, which are involved in settlement construction on Bil’in land. The village filed a lawsuit against Green Park International and Green Mount International, both of which are owned by Shaya Boymelgreen, who is a business partner of notorious Israeli-American construction mogul and diamond magnate Lev Leviev.

The protest in solidarity with Bil’in and to commemorate Basem’s death also occurs within the international campaign for BDS against Israel, and the Canada-wide boycott campaign against the Chapters/Indigo bookstore.

A boycott campaign targeting Chapters/Indigo was launched in December 2006 to target the majority shareholders of the company, Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz, who established the HESEG Foundation for Lone Soldiers, a program of financial support for former ‘lone soldiers,’ or non-Israeli mercenaries who leave their country to fight in the Occupation military. Across Canada, a growing number of people are supporting the Boycott Chapters/Indigo campaign as part of the international BDS movement.