We at ILPS Commission 3 vehemently condemn the recent arrest and the charges brought by the Vancouver Police Department against Charlotte Kates, Samidoun’s International Coordinator.

Kates was apprehended while commuting home after participating in the establishment of a Palestine solidarity encampment at the University of British Columbia. She was subsequently charged with “public incitement of hatred” and “willful promotion of hatred” for a speech she delivered on April 26, expressing support for the Palestinian resistance and advocating for Palestinian and Arab solidarity, particularly to remove Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Hezbollah from so-called ‘terrorist lists’ in Canada and elsewhere.

We assert that the arrest of Charlotte Kates is not merely an assault on her individual rights but an attack on the collective efforts of Samidoun in advocating for Palestinian prisoners and the broader struggle for Palestinian liberation. It is part of a systemic campaign orchestrated by Israel and its allies to criminalize and delegitimize Palestinians, their political organizations and their allies worldwide.

The charges leveled against Kates are an affront to the fundamental principles of free speech and assembly. By attempting to stifle dissent and silence voices of solidarity, the Canadian authorities are sending a chilling message that liberal democratic rights are conditional and will be restricted when they pose a challenge to the status quo.

Moreover, we view this attack as emblematic of a broader pattern of repression faced by working class and oppressed communities, not just in Canada but globally, as they resist injustice and demand an end to imperialism, colonialism and state violence.

Charlotte Kates’ speech, for which she faces charges, is a reflection of the growing global outcry against the Israeli occupation and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Palestine. It is a testament to the resilience and courage of the Palestinian people who have endured decades of dispossession, ethnic cleansing and military aggression.

We reiterate our unwavering support for Charlotte Kates and reaffirm our commitment to the Palestinian cause. We call for the immediate dropping of all charges against her and demand an end to the criminalization and persecution of those who stand in solidarity with Palestine.

The historic mobilization witnessed around the world is not merely a response to the atrocities committed by the Israeli state but also a tribute to the steadfastness and resistance of the Palestinian people.

ILPS Commission 3 stands shoulder to shoulder with Charlotte Kates, with Samidoun, with Palestinian prisoners and with all those who continue to struggle for justice, dignity and liberation. ###

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