Groups demand Israeli withdrawl

More than a thousand protesters converged at Concordia University to voice their anger and resentment at the Israeli government for killing many Palestinian civilians, for occupying their territories and the most recent actions of the Israeli army.
The protest took place at 4 p.m. on April 5. Consisting mostly of Arabs, the protesters marched along St. Catherine Street. People of other nationalities were also present.
Many goals
“The goal of these demonstrations is to end the Israeli occupation and to establish peace in the region,” said Sami Nazzal, president of Solidarity of Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR).
The marchers help up signs such as End the Occupation, Free Palestine, Stop the Killing, and they chanted verses in English, French and Arabic to express their sympathy and support for Palestinians. Demonstrators passed out flyers to pedestrians on the sidewalk to explain their cause. The final destination of the demonstration was Place des Arts, where they attended a lecture of two speakers. Both spoke about the suffering of the Palestinian people and the need for immediate humanitarian intervention.
A coalition of groups including the Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR), Arab Student Association, Alternative, Canadian Palestinian Federation, Parole Arab Canadienne, Jewish Alliance against Occupation and the Liberal Union of Quebec, co-ordinated the demonstration.
Nazzal said there are many reasons for having this demonstration. “What’s happening to the Palestinian people is totally unacceptable.” He added many Palestinians have been killed, injured, under siege, they are not receiving food or medical care and their territories are occupied by force. “All the basic principles of the human rights declarations and international laws are being violated and we therefore felt that we needed to express our support for the Palestinian people.”
The goal of the protest said Nazzal and Bilal Hamideh, president of the Muslim Student Association at Concordia, is to reach Canadians and to inform them about the Arab and Palestinian point of view of the events that are taking place in Israel.
“I would like to tell the Canadian people not to take for granted what they see or hear in the news,” said Hamideh, “and believe that this is the only version of truth. If they don’t feel comfortable taking our message as it is, then it is their choice to investigate and come up with their own conclusion.”
Sending a message
Both hope this demonstration will succeed in sending a message to the Canadian and Quebec government to take a position on humanitarian issue. “We would like the Canadian government to condemn and stop these acts of violence,” said Nazzal.
Hamideh and Nazzal both said they want to see peace as an outcome of this crisis. The first step of achieving peace is by having a peaceful demonstration.
“Our message is that we want peace, and this is a peaceful demonstration,” said Hamideh.
Many demonstrations have taken place all over the world to denounce the acts of Israel: Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, New York, Washington D.C, Australia, Cairo, Lebanon, Jordan, France, Vienna, Austria, Indonesia, Turkey and Tunis.


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