FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 7th, 2011
OTTAWA - This Thursday, December 8, at 13:30, Occupy Ottawa will meet with other concerned community members to voice their support for and solidarity with the people of Syria and Egypt.
Hundreds of thousands of Syrians and Egyptians continue to agitate peacefully for their rights to freedom of speech and assembly, and protest against the control of their political and economic structures by unaccountable military and financial elites; whom, supported by vested interests, have reduced much of their nation’s populations to disenfranchisement and grinding poverty.
This expression of the people’s will to democracy and social justice in Syria and Egypt has continued for months, in spite of the use of lethal force, terrorism and torture by the state in the effort to maintain economic and political privilege for a narrow section of Egyptian and Syrian society.
The protest will involve a mock funeral procession to bring attention to the reality faced by Syrians and Egyptians who choose to exercise their inalienable right to political expression. According to Al-Masry Al-Youm, an Egyptian news outlet, the unrest and crackdown by security forces has cost the lives of 840 people this year, while many sources report over 4,000 deaths in Syria. The arrest, torture and murder of women and children in Syria in an effort to terrorise the Syrian population into silence has been well documented, as in the case of 13-year-old Hamza Al-Khatib. The politics of division, sectarianism and factionalism, exercised by the state for decades, has fostered conditions for a civil war which threatens to claim the lives of thousands more.
The demonstration will begin at the Syrian Embassy at 46 Cartier Street in Ottawa, proceeding to the Egyptian Embassy at 454 Laurier Avenue East.
Some members of the Syrian-Canadian community have expressed to members of the Occupy movement privately, their fear of being identified in protests in Canada, which could lead to reprisals against their families and associates in Syria. Occupy Ottawa decries this use of violence and terrorism as a means to political ends, and seeks to give voice to those who have been silenced through murder, torture, coercion and threat. Occupy Ottawa will bring its message of peace, freedom and solidarity to the representatives of the Syrian and Egyptian governments which have used the tactics of division, repression and warfare to silence their own people.
Where: Syrian Embassy, 46 Cartier Street.
When: Thursday, Dec. 8th, 13:30
For additional information or to schedule an interview contact: firstname.lastname@example.org