Protest with Yemen in Canada on 7th anniversary of Saudi aggression
Canadians on the 7th anniversary of the start of the war on Yemen stood in solidarity with the people of Yemen, who are oppressed at the hands of the Saudi regime and its allies, including Ottawa.
People in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, took to the streets on Saturday to show solidarity with Yemen and decry Saudi violence that has been devastating the country with complicity from various Western nations, such as Canada, for the past seven years.
The protests were organized by several humanitarian organizations, such as the Canadian Defenders For Human Rights (CD4HR) and many prominent human rights activists, and they were joined by the Yemeni community in Canada. The demonstrations were held in several areas, like Global Affairs Canada, the Saudi Embassy, the UAE Embassy, and their protests concluded at the Canadian Parliament.
Repeating the phrases "shame, shame Al-Saud," in reference to the ruling family of Saudi Arabia for the crimes they have been committing against Yemeni civilians, in addition to "shame, shame Saudi Arabia," "shame, shame UAE," "shame, shame Canadian government," and "stop killing Yemeni children", the protestors denounced the Saudi blockade, sanctions, and all-out war it is waging against Yemen.
The signs the protestors were holding told the whole story, as they deplored Canada's armament of Saudi Arabia, helping it to wage its war on Yemen through arms deals, and the demonstrators argued that made Ottawa complicit in the Saudi crimes.
"10,200 children since 2015 have been killed or maimed. In 2019, UNICEF said by the end of [that year], 50,000 children were going to die just because they don't have milk. In six months of that year, 50,000 children had passed away," one protestor, Hassan Mujtaba Rizvi, told his fellow demonstrators.
"The tragedy that is happening since 2015 has been supported - the weapons have been given by the Canadian government. The billions of dollars that the Canadian government is earning from the sales of those weapons [that were] used to kill those 10,200 children," Rizvi added, stressing the sorrow that they, as Canadians, felt toward the stance of their government.
"[The UAE] was founded by Arabs and Muslims all over the Middle East... after it grew bigger and stronger, it grew into a tyrant, and it committed crimes and violated the origin of Arabhood; Yemen," CD4HR manager Firas Al-Najim said before the UAE embassy.
Al-Najim also highlighted that the regime in UAE is a regime that normalized relations with the Israeli occupation and had fallen for the schemes of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the West, overall.
Some of the signs held during the demonstration said the Saudis were war criminals and highlighted the hypocrisy of the Canadian government when it came to supporting Ukraine while killing Yemeni children, among many other signs denouncing the West's ties with Riyadh.
"For the past seven years, Saudi Arabia [has] been blockading the ports and airports of Yemen, and this has caused the worst humanitarian crisis in the past 100 years," Hamza Karim, another protestor, stressed.
"In Yemen today, every 75 seconds a child dies because they do not have access to food or water, and this is according to the World Food Program's director in Yemen," he added, noting that the head of the ICRC had said that after five months of the war on Yemen, it looked like Syria after five years of war.
He also highlighted that Ottawa had double standards when it came to Yemeni children in comparison to Ukrainian children, saying, "Instead of [Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government] showing solidarity and care to the Yemeni people like they are doing to the Ukrainian people [...] what they are doing is that they are continuing to sell arms to Saudi Arabia for them to continue killing civilians in Yemen."
"Seven years of historical bloodshed, seven years of bombardment on the houses of the innocent and the weak; on children, on women. Bombardment on schools, hospitals, places of worship... Why is that?" Sayyed Amin Jaafari asked during the protest.
Sayyed Jaafari also underlined the arbitrary sanctions and blockade imposed by Riyadh and its allies, highlighting that they also included the people's basic and necessary needs, such as medicines and foodstuffs.
This march in Canada was preceded by one in Sanaa, where Yemenis took to the streets on Saturday, participating in massive demonstrations to denounce the Saudi-led coalition of aggression against Yemen.
A statement issued by the National Day of Steadfastness march read: "We congratulate our heroes in the armed forces for their heroic strikes on the soil of the Saudi state of aggression," stressing the full support to the Sanaa forces in "breaking the arrogance of the aggression and its strict siege on oil facilities and products."
Yemeni leader Sayyed Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi highlighted Monday the repercussions of the stifling blockade on Yemen, calling on Saudi Arabia to opt out for peace and hailing the steadfastness of the Yemeni people.
"The hike in prices is causing a lot of suffering for many families, especially in light of the low wages brought upon by the blockade," Al-Houthi said, stressing the criminality of the blockade imposed by the countries of aggression, adding, "it is one of their most brutal, inhumane crimes."