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    Che's Birthday
    Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba Commemorates the Life of Che Guevara

    By Alison Bodine

    This year marked the 84th birthday of Ernesto Che Guevara, the revolutionary fighter and thinker who continues to educate and inspire people all over the world. To commemorate the life of a man who devoted himself to humanity organizers, activists and artists joined together for a cultural evening on Friday June 15th, 2012 organized by Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC).

    The Large North Hall of Joe’s Café on Commercial Drive in Vancouver was transformed with photographs and banners as a backdrop to musical performances, educational speeches, poetry and dance. The true impact of the life of Che Guevara could be seen in the room packed with people of all generations and walks of life who came together that evening.

    The celebration began with a multimedia presentation spanning the life of Che Guevara and his struggle for the creation of a new human being and a new world. Following the presentation, Colleen Glenn the MC of the evening, President of the Richmond NDP and on the Executive Committee of VCSC, reminded us all of Che’s words “I don’t care if I fall as long as someone else picks up my gun and keeps shooting” and the crowd cheered “We are still fighting!” Next, Gisela Lara, First Consul at the Consulate General of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Vancouver, spoke about the influence of the ideas and methods of Che on the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela. Tamara Hansen, the Coordinator of VCSC was the final speaker of the evening, talking about the example of Che Guevara for all of us fighting for social justice and a better world.

    Beautiful sounds of music and poetry filled the entire evening, as a dynamic line-up of local talent took to the stage to commemorate the life of Che. Musical performances included Joaquin Ernesto, Jose Gimenez from Sangre Morena, and hip-hop artists Joose Justis and Attikus. They were joined by the poet and VCSC organizer Shakeel Lochan, who read an original poem especially written for the evening that included segments from Che's writing “Man and Socialism in Cuba.” Azza Rojbi and Mike Larson, also organizers with VCSC, also read Che's letter to his children (1965) and Che's farewell letter to Fidel (1965), both of which brought Che's deep humanity and commitment to the minds of everyone in the room.

    Throughout the celebration small pieces of the life and legacy of Che Guevara presented themselves. At the end of the evening we all left knowing that Che, born 84 years earlier, is still very much alive in the hearts of people all over the world from Cuba to Tunisia, and Egypt to here in Canada.

    Viva Che!
    A Better World is Possible!
    We Will Win!

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