The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) expresses its deepest sympathies to the families of all victims of the August 4 explosion in Beirut, another tragedy of unprecedented proportions which has hit the Lebanese people at home and abroad including the large Lebanese community in Quebec and Canada. Our hearts go out to those living in Beirut and to the Lebanese people who have been sorely tested, and even more so within the extremely difficult conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, onerous demands and conditions imposed by the international financial institutions and continuous breaches of Lebanon’s sovereignty by Zionist and Anglo-American forces along with Lebanon’s former colonial power France and others such as Canada.
Canada’s Lebanese community, which is particularly concentrated in Quebec, immediately organized to exchange information on the tragedy, contact relatives in Lebanon and begin the work of helping the stricken population. Throughout Canada and around the world, people from all walks of life did not hesitate to express their condolences and unite their efforts into collective action to assist the Lebanese people in this time of urgent need.
On August 4, 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse at Beirut’s port ignited, causing a massive explosion which destroyed half of the city, entire neighbourhoods and the port. Buildings shook and windows were shattered for miles around. The blast was felt on the island of Cyprus, some 200 kilometres away. According to the latest estimate, 300,000 people are now homeless. At least 137 people have died and more than 5,000 have been injured, with dozens of others still missing. Homes have been lost, blackouts continue, medical equipment and food stores have been wiped out.
The trauma of those affected by the explosion will take a long time to overcome while the sight of the mushroom cloud rising over Beirut will remain fixed in the minds of an entire people and all of us who watched in horror.
On the evening of August 6, the Lebanese Consulate in Montreal organized a candlelight vigil in front of its building.
CPC(M-L) calls on Canadians to show solidarity with the people of Beirut and all our compatriots here in Quebec and Canada by contributing to the fundraising campaign initiated by the Centre National Libano Canadien (CNLC) to assist the people of Lebanon, especially the residents of Beirut who are hard pressed for relief after the explosion.
The CNLC has already been working to support Lebanese regional hospitals and clinics with much needed essential medical equipment to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. They report that “thanks to many efforts and enormous generosity, we were able to put together a 40 square foot container of medical equipment including wheelchairs, hospital beds.”
The CNLC calls on Canadians today to stand with the Lebanese people in their time of need. With extra effort the medical centres can receive needed equipment and medical supplies, and people can be provided with housing, food, and more.
“All donations will go to cover the expenses of the shipping and administrative procedures required to deliver containers and to the distribution of food boxes to families in need through the Lebanese Red Cross and CNLC volunteers. We are now a few steps away from being able to send this urgent material to Lebanon. Any amount donated will go a long way and will allow us to complete this process.”
The request for assistance is two-fold:
– Financial: money donations can be made directly through this website.
– Donations of medical material and equipment (beds, stretchers, wheelchairs), warm clothing, tents and non-perishable food that will be sent by container to Lebanon. There is currently no deadline for shipment. Contact CNLC for more details.
1.”The Centre National Libano Canadien (CNLC) is a Lebanese-Canadian not-for-profit organization that provides services to the Middle Eastern and mainstream communities in the Greater Montreal Area, from education, employment help, health services, cultural activities & much more. Located in the greater Montreal area, we also have bridges directly to Lebanon that allow us to help people in both countries.”