Islanders gather in Charlottetown to support Palestinians

·2 min read
People marched in the rain from Victoria Park to Rochford Square.  (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)
People marched in the rain from Victoria Park to Rochford Square. (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)

About 250 people gathered in Victoria Park in Charlottetown for a peaceful rally in solidarity with Palestinian people on Saturday.

Early Friday morning, a ceasefire went into effect that ended 11 days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza.

The rally in Charlotttetown was held by the Muslim Society of P.E.I.

People marched in the rain from Victoria Park to Rochford Square. They held signs which read "Free Palestine" and chanted those same words.

Although there is a ceasefire, Zain Esseghaier, the spokesperson for the Muslim Society of P.E.I., said he thought it was still important for Islanders to show their support for Palestinians who have been killed, wounded or impacted by violence in the region.

The Charlottetown police escorted those marching through the city.
The Charlottetown police escorted those marching through the city.(Tony Davis/CBC)

"The reason why we still came out today, even after the ceasefire was announced, is that this is only a lull, this is only an episode," he said.

"The oppression, the violence, the aggression against the Palestinian people has been ongoing for decades and the ceasefire will not stop that oppression."

Gaza's health ministry says at least 243 Palestinians were killed, including 66 children, during the 11 days. Another 1,910 people were wounded.

Twelve Israelis were killed, including a five-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl.

'I would say there is hope that the tide is turning, there is hope that things will change, there is hope that the government will listen,' says Zain Esseghaier, the spokesperson for the Muslim Society of P.E.I.
'I would say there is hope that the tide is turning, there is hope that things will change, there is hope that the government will listen,' says Zain Esseghaier, the spokesperson for the Muslim Society of P.E.I.(Tony Davis/CBC)

Esseghaier said Palestinians have support from some Jewish organizations in Canada, but that isn't the only support he'd like to see.

The Muslim Society of P.E.I. is also calling on the federal government to condemn aggression in the region.

"We hope we have created awareness about the situation so that other people do the same thing, too," Esseghaier said.

He said he would like to see Canada place sanctions on Israel, such as stopping trade.

Esseghaier hopes he is able to translate the support shown at the event on Saturday into concrete action.
Esseghaier hopes he is able to translate the support shown at the event on Saturday into concrete action.(Tony Davis/CBC)

The Muslim Society said it has sent petitions and letters to members of the federal government to show support for Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank.

However, Esseghaier said he is encouraged by the number of Islanders who came out to support the rally.

"I would say there is hope that the tide is turning, there is hope that things will change, there is hope that the government will listen," he said.

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