[Updated November 22] ON November 17, the fourth annual anti-war rally against the Halifax International Security Forum (HISF) took place – becoming part of the global condemnation of Israeli war crimes against Gaza.
Several hundred participants, the largest ever, rallied at Peace & Freedom Park and then massed in front of the plush Halifax Westin Hotel where the NATO war conference was in its second day.
A vigorous contingent of Palestinian student youth led the action with numerous chants such as “Gaza Will Be Free!” and “Long Live the Struggle of the Palestinian People!”
More than a dozen speakers addressed the rally, organized by the No Harbour For War committee. The list of participating organizations included Al-Awda — The Palestinian Right of Return Coalition, the Canadian Network on Cuba, Halifax Peace Coalition, Canadian Arabs and Jews for a Just Peace, Independent Jewish Voices, the Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group, the Canada Palestine Association and the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist). Presentations of Palestinian solidarity poetry were highly appreciated.
MILES HOWE of the Halifax Media Co-op takes up the story:
INSIDE the temporarily fortified Westin Hotel, on Halifax’s waterfront, members of NATO and their hangers-on laid plans in private sessions, as the fourth annual Halifax International Security Forum (HISF) entered its second day.
The HISF, whose few public sessions include such titles as “Automated or Automatic? Cyber, Drones and the Consequences of Modern Warfare,” and “The Good Guys? The Special Burden of Democratic Nations,” is one of the world’s premier global military head-to-heads – drawing in representatives from NATO, its allies, its capitulating media and its think-tanks, among others – and is organized from the capital of the United States, Washington, DC. The majority of participants are American.
Outside, over 200 people gathered under the shadow of Edward Cornwallis’ statue – himself an 18th century war-monger reknowned for issuing scalping proclamations against the Mi’kmaq people, including women and children – to protest both the taxpayer-funded HISF (revealed in an Access to Information request to have cost Canadians over $3 million for the two-and-a-half day affair), and Israel’s latest military attack on the populace of Gaza, where Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer reports that as of November 16th at least 23 Palestinians have died in the most recent round of violence.
For an in-depth analysis of the HISF, please check out Tony Seed’s recent post.