Downtown Montreal was flooded with supporters for Palestinian liberation.
As war rages on between Israel and Hamas, demonstrators in Montreal banded together to show support for Palestine.
This war has prompted pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Montreal and across the world. On Oct. 13, protesters gathered in downtown Montreal to show their support for Palestinians.
“We all know of Israel’s occupation,” said Emna Maaref, a woman of Tunisian origin who was attending the protest. “It is only normal that the people of Palestine would want to be freed.”
The war started on the morning of Oct. 7 when Hamas launched an offensive against Israel. The day after, Israel officially declared war against Hamas. Since then, there have been approximately 3,500 casualties and 12,500 wounded on the Palestinian side. Around a million Palestinians have also been displaced because of the conflict. While Israel had 1,400 casualties and 120,000 people displaced.
The demonstration drew people from many backgrounds, not just middle eastern people.
“I have full solidarity with Palestine,” said Richard Davis. “Canada should stop aiding Israel with imperialism.” Davis was among the many who decided to go out and voice his support for the liberation of Palestine.
Many protesters refused or hesitated to speak to the media at Friday’s demonstration. Many even hid their faces to protect themselves from the media.
“It’s not a new conflict,” said a woman of middle eastern descent who wished to remain anonymous. “For us, it’s not a political issue, it is more of a compassion thing. We are proud that Palestinians are doing something to liberate themselves.”
She argued that no country has ever won their independence peacefully. “I grew up with Palestine being everywhere in my life, love for Palestine, my father talking about Palestine. Palestine is etched to our hearts.”
“Hearing about Palestine throughout my life made me want to participate,”said Yasmine Rahmani, who was one of the participants in the demonstration, said that the reason she decided to attend was to make a difference beyond the bounds of social media.
She criticized Canada for not doing enough to help Palestine, but also thought that maybe it is for the best to not get involved. “Western countries should not include themselves within this conflict, since it is their fault anyway that this conflict even exists.”
The demonstration went on peacefully, as its chants filled the streets of downtown Montreal. Protesters united their voices and sang: “Justin Trudeau you will see, Palestine will soon be free!”