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Issue #1611      September 18, 2013

Tiles of Solidarity

On Saturday September 14, the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society (ACFS) Perth unveiled the Tiles of Solidarity, a monument to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the unjust incarceration of the Cuban Five.

Under inclement weather conditions, friends in solidarity with the Cuban Five gathered at Solidarity Park in West Perth to unveil five Tiles of Solidarity. Solidarity Park has a long history for workers in Western Australia. The public land in front of the Western Australian Parliament was claimed by workers as a Workers’ Embassy and five trade unionists involved in the occupation to claim the land were arrested.

The tiles have been placed on the back of the “Fountain of Youth” for permanent homage to the struggle of five Cuban men unjustly held in US prisons since 1998.

Joe MacDonald, national president of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, Construction Division, unveiled the five ceramic tiles given to his union by the Cuban Construction Union in 2009. For years both the CFMEU and the ACFS searched for a home for the ceramic tiles featuring the faces of the Cuban Five. “Solidarity Park” that represents the unity in struggle of the trade union movement in Western Australia was chosen for this permanent homage to the Cuban Five.

At great risk to themselves the Cuban Five are workers whose job was to monitor criminals in anti-Cuban terrorist organisations operating out of Miami; groups that have been operating from US soil since 1959 and responsible for the deaths of over 3,400 people. The fight of the Cuban Five against terrorism in defence of their homeland made them victims of the US imperial policies on Cuba.

The only path to their freedom is through a people’s movement and mobilising efforts that will free the Five Cuban heroes. Workers and their unions around the world can play an important role in this struggle.

“Tie a Yellow Ribbon” was played and yellow ribbons featured at the event to honour the call from Rene Gonzalez to use the ribbons that resonate for the average person in the US as a way to express longing for soldiers away at war and other absent loved ones.

Next article – Meeting for Freedom of the Cuban Five

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