Organizers of Fall of The Wall ’09, a commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of The Berlin Wall, were moved by the large turnout at the November 9 event at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square. Liberal Critic for Foreign Affairs, Bob Rae; Conservative Cabinet Minister, Vic Toews; NDP Leader Jack Layton; and MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj all celebrated the triumph of liberty over tyranny along with the over 500 people in attendance.
Bob Rae specifically spoke of the need to annually memorialize the suffering of the European victims of totalitarian Communism and Nazism here in Canada and proposed an annual national day of remembrance on August 23rd, called Black Ribbon Day – to coincide with the signing of the Nazi-Soviet pact in 1939 that carved up Europe between the two regimes. He urged members of all political parties to put aside partisanship and to come together to ensure the passage of the resolution that is proposing to The House of Commons.
The resolution would be the first of its kind outside of Europe. Similar resolutions have been passed in Europe including the European Parliament and OSCE.
The Central and Eastern European Council of Canada has asked all Members of Parliament to support the Black Ribbon Day Resolution. The CEEC is an organization that represents the 3.4 million Canadians of Eastern and Central European heritage and includes the Czech, Estonian, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Slovak and Ukrainian communities.
Resolution to establish an annual day of remembrance, “Black Ribbon Day”, for the victims of Europe’s totalitarian regimes
1) WHEREAS the Government of Canada has actively advocated for and continues to support the principals enshrined by The United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights and The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 260 (III) A of 9 December 1948;
2) WHEREAS the extreme forms of totalitarian rule practiced by the Nazi and Communist dictatorships led to premeditated and vast crimes committed against millions of human beings and their basic and inalienable rights on a scale unseen before in history;
3) WHEREAS hundreds of thousands of human beings, fleeing the Nazi and Soviet Communist crimes, sought and found refuge in Canada;
4) WHEREAS the millions of Canadians of Eastern and Central European descent whose families have been directly affected by Nazi and/or Communist crimes have made unique and significant, cultural, economic, social and other contributions to help build the Canada we know today;
5) WHEREAS 20 years after the fall of the totalitarian Communist regimes in Europe, knowledge among Canadians about the totalitarian regimes which terrorized their fellow citizens in Central and Eastern Europe for more than 40 years in the form of systematic and ruthless military, economic and political repression of the people by means of arbitrary executions, mass arrests, deportations, the suppression of free expression, private property and civil society and the destruction of cultural and moral identity and which deprived the vast majority of the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe of their basic human rights and dignity, separating them from the democratic world by means of the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall, is still alarmingly superficial and inadequate;
6) WHEREAS Canadians were instrumental in raising global awareness of crimes committed by European totalitarian Nazi and Communist regimes by establishing an annual “Black Ribbon Day” on August 23rd, to commemorate the legal partnership of these two regimes through the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its secret protocols;
BE IT RESOLVED THAT every victim of any totalitarian regime has the same human dignity and deserves justice, remembrance and recognition by the people and government of Canada, in efforts to ensure that such crimes and events are never again repeated;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the people and Government of Canada unequivocally condemn the crimes against humanity committed by totalitarian Nazi and Communist regimes and offer the victims of these crimes and their family members sympathy, understanding and recognition for their suffering;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Government of Canada establish an annual Canadian Day of Remembrance for the victims of Nazi and Soviet Communist crimes on August 23rd, called “Black Ribbon Day,” to coincide with the anniversary of the signing of the infamous pact between the Nazi and Soviet Communist regimes.
Fall of the Wall ’09 Toronto an overwhelming success