Hundreds march against violence in Middle-East

Despite cold and windy weather, about 400 people attended a protest march hosted by Concordia’s Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR), last Sunday. The purpose of the march was to protest the recent violence in the Middle East, which has stepped up.

Despite cold and windy weather, about 400 people attended a protest march hosted by Concordia’s Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR), last Sunday.
The purpose of the march was to protest the recent violence in the Middle East, which has stepped up.
“We want to condemn the violence that is going on,” said SPHR President Sami Nazzal. “We want to let people know what is going on and spread awareness of what is happening to the Palestinian people. The media has been very quiet about the situation.”
Beginning at noon in front of Concordia’s Hall Building on de Maisonneuve, the building was a starting point for the march that went down Guy Street and went along Ste. Catherine, until it ended at Philip’s Square.
According to Nazzal, the march was organized mostly by SPHR Concordia and McGill and by other branches of SPHR.
Before the protest got underway, organizers shouted slogans through megaphones, including: “[Ariel] Sharon is a war criminal,” “Down, down Israel” and “No justice, no peace.”
Montreal police, who blocked off streets to allow protesters to get to Philip’s Square, escorted the march.
Leading the protest was a white van with a replica of Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque. On the side of the van was: “Our Aqsa is not for them.” Following it was a large Palestinian flag carried by about ten people.
Mistie Mullarkey, the chair of the CSU’s council of representatives, attended the march and said she thought it was great thing to do to draw attention to the occupation of Palestinians.
Also present at the march were CSU councillors Abdel Bedassy, Samer Elatrash and Sabine Friesinger, and CSU employees Sameer Zuberi and Ralph Lee.
“I am here because the situation is unacceptable,” said Leila Bedeir, an independent student at Concordia. “This protest registers people’s disapproval with the situation in the Middle East. We want to show Palestinian people that they are not alone in this struggle. It is deplorable that it is the Israeli army versus civilians. This is an act of resistance.”
Marielle Ferragne from the Palestinian and Jewish Union said something had to be done about the situation in the Middle East and that Canadians need to pressure the government to do something about it.
“I hope to get our opinion out there to people because we are very concerned about what is going on,” said Ahmad Hamad, vice-president of SPHR Concordia. “This is a response to the Palestinian situation.”
By 1:40 p.m. the march arrived at Philip’s Square and the speeches began with various SPHR members criticizing the media.
Elatrash told the crowd there is a need for an information campaign. “You cannot negotiate with colonial powers,” he added. He then asked for a moment of silence.
Former VP internal Laith Marouf was next to speak. “Many Palestinians were slaughtered this weekend. 800 men that were 14 and older were rounded up and had numbers painted on them. Then they were sent to a camp, which is a like a concentration camp that Jews were sent to during the Second World War.”

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