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lying in the streets of Ukraine, or buried under the rubble of buildings they thought were safe to hide in. Cultural and historic treasures wiped from existence or stolen by an invading army.” “The world has seen it before and is seeing it again, and once again it is the EPJOHTPGBOFWJMNBO#VUXF XFBSFOPU powerless. Putin has made a serious error. He has underestimated the bravery of the Ukrainian people. He is shocked and he is outraged by the fierce resistance put up by the Ukrainian army, and by everyday citizens, and by tens of thousands of citizens going to Ukraine to join the fight for freedom and democracy. He is surprised by the Ukrainian people’s will to stand up against the same mentality and tyranny that once suppressed them and other nations under the Soviet Union. He has underestimated Canada, our allies, and our partners who are currently helping Ukraine.” i#VUXFNVTUEPNPSF&BDIPOFPGVT standing here today has a gift, a gift that XBTQBJEGPSJOCMPPE#MPPETQJMMFEPOUIF CFBDIFTPG/PSNBOEZ CMPPETQJMMFEJOUIF àFMETBOEDJUJFTPG&VSPQF CMPPETQJMMFEPO UIFPDFBOTBOEJOUIFTLJFT8FTUBOEIFSF today united, enjoying our gift of freedom, freedom paid for by the lives and sacrifices PGHPPEQFPQMFTUBOEJOHVQBHBJOTUFWJM8F speak the truth and can express our desires today to stop the war.” “In Russia they cannot do that. To speak words of war, or invasion, or death will land you in jail, or worse. Thousands of ordinary Russian citizens have stood up against the propaganda and the aggression of Putin. Many of those brave Russians are now facing DPOTFRVFODFTPGBCSVUBMUZSBOU8FTUBOE here united in our condemnation of Putin’s brutal war, free to assemble and express our opinions and desires for this senseless and pointless war to end.” “Our freedom is a gift, a gift that evil men like Putin fear because with freedom comes QPXFS&WFSZPOFIFSFUPEBZIBTUIFQPXFS to help Ukraine in our own individual ways. 8FBMMIBWFTLJMMTBOEUBMFOUTBOEDBOXPSL collectively to make a difference. It took us a few phone calls, a few emails, and the use of social media, and look at us, we are all HBUIFSFEIFSFUPEBZ8FBMMIBWFBQMBUGPSN or a way to use our talents to gather and express our opinions.” “The Ukrainians are not just fighting for their country. Ukraine is also fighting for the free world, fighting a war that should not have happened in this day and age. A war that has the potential to once again plunge this world into darkness and terror. This war must end. Slava Ukraini, glory to Ukraine, and thank you all for coming here today.”

Several speakers addressed the crowd gathered to support Ukraine’s resis- tance against Russia. A large crowd gathered outside Clarence- Rockland city hall March 20 to support Ukraine’s resistance of Russian invasion. Following the Canadian and Ukrainian national anthems and a moment of silence, Ghostbusters Clarence-Rockland co-founder Jake Sopiro invited speakers to say a few words about the war. MP Francis Drouin was first. “From time to time, tyrants test our democracy. The role the media is playing, the images we’ve seen across the world, are so important, but did you know that right now in Russia, media are not even allowed to say the word ‘war’. It’s banned,” Drouin said. “And so, I want to thank the community for hosting this today, I think it’s important. Slava Ukraini, glory to Ukraine. Merci.” Clarence-Rockland mayor Mario Zanth was next to speak. He described Canadian journalist Luc Chenier’s speech at a recent Francophonie awards banquet: “Kyiv is some- thing that [Chenier] resembles as Montreal. I want you to understand what it would be like if Montreal was bombed, what it would be like if an entire nation such as Ukraine was now displaced. You’re leaving your pets behind, you’re leaving your home, your family, you don’t know where you’re going. That’s what’s happening at this very moment in Ukraine, and we are limited in what we can do but our voices will never be silenced.” Andris Kesteris stepped forward to speak for the Latvian community, as well as the -BUWJBO /BUJPOBM 'FEFSBUJPO  UIF #BMUJD 'FEFSBUJPO BOE UIF$FOUSBMBOE&BTUFSO &VSPQFBO$PVODJM i8FLOPXXIZXFSFIFSF uIFTBJEi8F no longer can ignore the fact that this is 8PSME8BS5ISFF5IJTJTBOBUUBDLPOBMMPG us, an attack on Ukraine which is fighting a battle for us. The war is going against all of our communities, we feel it here in Canada as well. There’s a disinformation campaign attacking us and our communities, trying to divide us, undermine us, and we have to stay TUSPOHUPHFUIFS8FLOPXUIBUXIBUTHPJOH on is a fantastic crime against humanity. These are atrocious war crimes, but we will win, we will all win together. Ukraine will win, and the world will be the better for it.” Sopiro then retook the podium and closed out the rally with his own speech, choked with emotion. “Over 80 years ago, we saw an evil man rise to power and influence every aspect of life in his home country,” Sopiro said. “This evil and vile man would plunge the world into UIF4FDPOE8PSME8BS5IFXPSMEXJUOFTTFE unthinkable horrors, death and destruction the likes of which had never been seen before. A war so destructive and costly in human lives that the world together said, A/FWFS"HBJOu “Yet 80 years later, we are witnessing the same thing. The invasion of a free and sovereign nation. Journalists shot and killed in the street for filming the truth, for trying to show the world the horrors of what’s IBQQFOJOH8PNFOBOEDIJMESFOTCPEJFT

Jake Sopiro, du groupe CR Ghostbusters, a organisé et pris la parole lors du rassemblement de soutien à l’Ukraine le 20 mars. -photo Christopher Smith

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