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In step with Israel’s ever more savage assault on Rafah, the Canadian ruling class is escalating its repression and violence against pro-Palestinian militants. In early May, police carried out violent assaults on encampments at the University of Calgary and at Edmonton’s University of Alberta, arresting nine and injuring many. A few days earlier, on April 29, Charlotte Kates, the international co-ordinator of the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, was arrested in Vancouver. It is more urgent than ever to mobilize against these attacks and against this imperialist-backed war.

Kates’ arrest brought joy to pro-Zionist reactionaries from Vancouver to Jerusalem. B.C.’s NDP premier David Eby was quick to condemn Kates. She is now the subject of a “hate crimes” investigation and, as Samidoun reports, faces charges of “public incitement of hatred” and “willful promotion of hatred.” Outrageously, she is barred from attending pro-Palestinian events for five months. The charges against Kates stem from her speech at a Vancouver April 26 rally in which she hailed the October 7 Hamas attack as “heroic and brave.” While we disagree with Kates’ assessment of Hamas, we insist that the attack on Kates must be opposed for what it is: an attack on all defenders of Palestinian freedom. (For the Marxist position on the conflict, see “Only Death and Defeat with Hamas—A Revolutionary Road for Palestinian Liberation,” Spartacist supplement, 10 October.)

To the Canadian imperialists, like their senior partners in Washington, support to Israel is non-negotiable. For the “crime” of defending the Palestinians, hundreds of people have been defamed as anti-Semites or terrorists, arrested, jailed, fired, doxed and purged. The Zionist drive against Charlotte Kates and Samidoun is relentless. B’nai B’rith has been campaigning for the deportation of Kates and her husband Khaled Barakat. The Zionists are also demanding that the Canadian government declare Samidoun—presently a registered not-for-profit group—a “terrorist” entity, making material support to it a crime. Barakat, a leader of Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement, has been in Shin Bet’s sights for years.

It is vital that the left and organized labour movement stand united against the repression of Kates, Barakat and all other pro-Palestine activists. The fight for Palestinian liberation must in turn be linked to the struggles of working people against the common enemy: the Canadian and American ruling classes. Every struggle against the rulers’ pro-Zionist reaction—including through protests, strikes, occupations and blocking military aid—strengthens labour’s position against the bosses. The entire left and labour movement should unite in defense of Kates, Barakat and all victims of the pro-Zionist witchhunt.

Hands off Charlotte Kates and Samidoun!

Down with Canada’s terrorist list!

Drop the charges against pro-Palestinian activists!