is off to a blockade-busting start!

Sunday, June 29, 2003
Blaine, Washington

This afternoon, Canadian citizens on the 14th US/Cuba Friendshipment Caravan carried a printing press, medical supplies and bicycles from Canada through US Customs into the United States, thus breaking the US Government blockade of Cuba. The Caravan is organized by Pastors for Peace, a project of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO), as a challenge to what organizers call an immoral law designed to create pain and suffering for innocent Cuban citizens.

A little after noon today, participants from both Canada and the United States gathered for a rally at beautiful Peace Arch Park, which marks the boundary between the United States and Canada.

Peace Arch rallyistas


Rally speakers Randy Caravaggio of Victoria, B.C. and Taleigh Smith of Seattle, Washington (both shown below) implored people of both nations to struggle against the immoral US government blockade of Cuba. American Dave McConnell (not shown) pointed out the irony of the rally being legal only on the Canadian side of the park because it "takes 50 days to get a special permit to hold a peace rally on the US side of Peace Arch Park!"

rally speaker rally speaker


Next, the Canadian blockade-busters got in line and approached US Customs:

approaching US Customs approaching US Customs


After a few tense moments at US Customs, the first truckload of aid was allowed to pass through.

first truckload of aid was allowed to pass through first truckload of aid was allowed to pass through


After the second carload of aid succesfully entered the US, the international crew loaded a heavy printing press {Canadian printing press) into a school bus, and then celebrated the successful challenge to the blockade.

printing press being loaded into school bus printing press being loaded into school bus


The day was a big success!!

The day was a big success The day was a big success

Caravan participants driving the school bus and an ambulance, both carrying aid for Cuba, will travel down the west coast of the United States. In Texas they'll join with over 100 other caravan participants on July 17 to cross the US border into Mexico, enroute to Cuba. In Cuba the aid will be distributed to 170 elder care institutions distributed throughout the island.

This web page "hastily assembled" by Chris Pforr.

IFCO/Pastors for Peace website

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