"Remain Vigilant Against All Forms Of Discrimination"


Story By Christopher Anum


The Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Stephen Harper, has called for a collaborated effort to help fight all forms of discrimination and servitude.

The Prime Minister made this call in a speech read for him at the international Day of Remembrance of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and its Abolition held at the Montreal City Hall.lt was under the theme "A history to be discovered" and organized by the Black Coalition of Quebec.

The night of 22nd August to 23rd August 1791, in San Domingo, now Haiti and Dominican Republic saw the beginning of the uprising that played a crucial role in the abolition of the trans-atlantic slave trade.

International Day for the Remembrance of the slave trade and its abolition is intended to inscribe the tragedies of the slave trade in the memory of all people across the world.

Mr. Stephen Harper said, "this dark chapter in the history of humanity impels us to remember the struggle, and to remain vigilant against all forms of discrimination".

He noted that the celebration should inspire all Canadians to promote the values of tolerance, intercultural dialogue and respect for human dignity.

He added that the commemoration of the event recalled the tragedy of slave trade and the suffering it caused and the crying of freedom that was raised in Santa Domingo by men and women whose dint of weighty sacrifice triumphed over the scourge of slavery.

The Premier of Quebec, Mr. Jean Charest in a good will message, the commemoration was an opportunity for the black community to recall the shameful atrocities in the history of humanity and to honor those who sacrificed their lives for the present generation.

'The slave trade is an unspeakable tragedy but with great determination, the triumph of life over death and the achievements of a united people, a great people, standing proudly as they gaze into the future.

The Mayor of Montreal, Mr. Gerald Tremblay said as millions remembered the slave trade, it gave courage that it was time for the entire world to combat all forms of discrimination in whatever form.

Madame Mary Deros, City counselor for Parc said Montreal has over the years participated in the Remembrance Day as a show of their displeasure about the atrocities committed during the trans-atlantic slave trade.

She said the city will do all its best to help fight all forms of discrimination in the city.

She noted that the impact of intercultural exchanges between immigrants and citizens of Canada was positive and urged all to join hands in a collective effort in fighting discrimination both at work and homes.

Mr. Dan Philip, President of the Black Coalition of Quebec, said the remembrance was aimed at better understanding how the racial discrimination and profiling manifested in "our lives today so that we can reinforce our conviction about the fundamental values of the black community dignity and build a durable future".

He urged the Canadian government to declare the trans-atlantic slave trade a crime against humanity and make known to all 'Canadians the suffering of black slaves for four hundred years as recommended by the United Nations"

There were solidarity messages from Honorable lrwin Cotler, Liberal MP for Mount Royal, Mr. Marvin Rotrand, municipal counselor, Snowdon and the President of the exeutive commitee of the city of Montreal, Mr. Michael Applebaum.

A slave movie fron Ghana entitled Sankofa was shown and other cultural performances were made.