Dedicated to Uighurs and Kashmiris - Memorable Protests in Toronto and Mississauga
In July and August 2022, Justice For All Canada co-organized back-to-back demonstrations protesting the inhumane persecution of Uighurs and Kashmiris. Although these groups represent different struggles and lived experiences, both minorities share in common grievances related to their security, equality, livelihood and wellbeing.
August 31st, 2022
By Saleha Faruque
Uighurs and Kashmiris represent Indigenous peoples belonging to native lands in Asia; East Turkestan is home to 12 million Uighurs, whereas 12.5 million Kashmiris live in Jammu and Kashmir.
Both regions exist under intense occupation and administration by majoritarian governments.
Kashmiris live in Jammu and Kashmir, located in the extreme northwest of India. The Indian state currently occupies two-thirds of this territory. According to Human Rights Watch, India’s ruling nationalist government is responsible for revoking constitutional autonomy granted to Kashmir.
East Turkestan has also been colonized, controlled and occupied by China’s government since 1949.
Occupying powers in East Turkestan and Kashmir have contributed to severe human rights violations against their minority populations. This includes arbitrary mass arrest, suppression of thought and censorship, illegal settler activities, sexual and gender-based violence, including other crimes punishable under international human rights laws.
Kashmir Protest in Mississauga, Ontario
Celebration Square is a public space located in the heart of Ontario’s Mississauga city. The venue holds years’ worth of concerts, festivals and community events—an ideal location to amplify voices for Kashmiri rights.
The Kashmiri protest was co-organized between Justice For All Canada and Friends of Kashmir Canada. Our respective groups invited students, community leaders, professionals and Kashmiris to gather, share thoughts, and broadcast a strong message in support of the Kashmiri people.
The event also drew Kashmiri Canadians from all backgrounds and ages. Because of the successful rally. some of them could finally witness people coming together for the sake of this neglected cause. When it comes to the issue of Kashmiri rights, support is hard to come by. Unfortunately, the pervasive nature of India’s right-wing BJP government makes it difficult for impacted Kashmiris to voice their opinions.
Luckily, non-profit organizations like Just Peace Advocates frequently use their platform and expertise to conduct strong advocacy demanding an end to the hidden government-imposed oppression plaguing Kashmir’s population.
Uighur Protest in Toronto
It was a warm Sunday afternoon when hundreds of activists, student groups, volunteers, families and Uighur people gathered outside the Chinese consulate in Toronto. Heartfelt testimonies, statements and peaceful chants were delivered by a crowd unified against the ongoing genocide of Uighurs.
Anti-genocide signs were held high, and by the day’s end, activists formed emotional connections with one another. Consulate workers entered and exited the building, avoiding eye contact and maintaining stoic expressions throughout.
The successful protest was part of a global solidarity movement launched by Stand 4 Uyghurs, an advocacy project of UK-based website Islam21C. In addition to the protest, the #Stand4Uyghurs initiative also included a global khutba campaign in major cities across the UK, Australia, the US and Canada. Justice For All Canada participated by urging hundreds of nationwide Imams and Mosques to dedicate their Friday khutba (lecture) to discussing crimes against humanity inflicting Uighur Muslims under China’s communist government.
Canada’s Government is Responsible
Justice For All Canada is a human rights and advocacy organization committed to preventing and halting anti-minority Islamophobia, hate crimes, ongoing genocide or genocide incitement in regions like Kashmir, East Turkestan, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Burma and India.
As 2022 presents the first non-pandemic summer, activists look forward to continue assembling under shared goals of peace and equality for the world’s most persecuted minorities.