*Leonard Weinglass was a preeminent civil rights attorney and fighter for justice whose defense history includes the Chicago 8, Daniel Ellsberg, Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Cuban Five. Weinglass was instrumental in the overall case of the Five, especially in the latest appeal of Gerardo Hernández, who is serving an unjust double life sentence for defending Cuba -along with his four brothers- from U.S.-backed terrorism.
*Dudley Laws was a voice for social justice, against all kinds of discrimination and a champion against racist police brutality. He defended the downtrodden, whether or not they were behind bars, throughout all his active life. From the Cabbagetown to Regent Park to the Jane /Finch neighbourhoods, throughout Toronto and beyond, we could hear Dudley leading rallies with "No Justice, No Peace, No Racist Police".
Dudley and his activists’ team helped us in Toronto, to fundraise after the devastating hurricanes that battered Cuba in 2008. He visited Cuba for the 50th anniversary of the Triumph of the Cuban Revolution and, upon his return, he stated: "It was just beautiful and amazing, the professional way that they took care of me and administered dialysis procedure much better than here". His last words to the Black Action Defense Committee and to family members: No Justice, No Peace!
Len was in Toronto in March 2003, during the Law Union of Ontario's conference where he led the talk on the situation of the Cuban Five. While bedridden in the hospital, he reviewed the latest appeal of Gerardo Hernández of the Cuban Five (unjustly in U.S. prisons since 1998), because his passion for justice throughout his active life, convinced him of the innocence and the heroic example of the Cuban Five. His last words demanded of us to work to Free the Cuban Five Now!
Friends of Cuba/Cuban Five, the symbols of struggle for social justice, have to fight even more broadly, in order to fill the gap left by these two heroic personalities.
That is why we have decided to dedicate the upcoming 55th anniversary of the July 26th Celebration in Toronto to the ever present memories of Leonard Weinglass and Dudley Laws. They truly inspire us to keep going and to tell the truth as it is and keep going until justice is served.
Free the Cuban Five NOW!
No Justice, No Peace!
Toronto Forum on Cuba