Nearly 1,000 people in Fort McMurray march in ‘Save the Children of Gaza’ rally

“You can condemn the actions of sbobet login Hamas on Oct. 7 and also condemn the actions of the Israeli government and military,” said Naseem Abdo, one of the organizers of Sunday’s march.

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Close to 1,000 people marched in downtown Fort McMurray on Sunday in solidarity with the children of Gaza and to demand a ceasefire so humanitarian aid can reach its people.

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The crowd met at the Shopper’s Drug Mart at the River City Centre and walked along Franklin Avenue towards the Fort McMurray Court House. They waved Palestinian flags and held signs urging peace and condemning Israel’s campaign in Gaza. Plenty of people driving by waved and honked their horns in support.

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You can condemn the actions of Hamas on Oct. 7 and also condemn the actions of the Israeli government and military, which is resulting in the worst humanitarian crisis that we have seen in our lifetimes, killing thousands of innocent civilians almost half of which are children,” said Naseem Abdo, one of the organizers of Sunday’s march. “How can anyone justify cutting off food, water and electricity which is collective punishment and against international laws?”

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Sunday’s march was called “Save the Children of Gaza” and happened on the same day as dozens of other rallies across Canada that support Palestinians.

Since the Oct. 7 attacks against Israel, there have been weekly protests in Fort McMurray calling for a peaceful end to the crisis. Wood Buffalo RCMP says all protests in Fort McMurray have remained peaceful and without major incidents.

Abdo was happy with Sunday’s turnout and said weekly protests are getting larger. People of different faiths and cultural backgrounds have also joined them. He also pointed to protests across Canada as proof Canadians do not want to see the war continue.

A recent poll from Mainstreet Research for the National Council of Canadian Muslims found 76 per cent of Canadians say Hamas is a terrorist organization and 81 per cent say hostages should be released, but 71 per cent of Canadians also want a ceasefire. Another 68 per cent said protecting Palestinian civilians and delivering humanitarian aid should be prioritized over fighting Hamas.

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“We ask our prime minister and all elected officials to listen to Canadians and call for an immediate ceasefire,” said Abdo. The path to peace is paved with change. To achieve a hopeful future, the Palestinian people need to be granted justice, equality, and freedom—conditions that can ultimately lead to lasting peace.”

Before the war, Gaza was home to more than 2 million people in a territory roughly 360 square-kilometres. Children are roughly half the population.

The Palestinian Health Authority says more than 11,000 civilians in Gaza have been killed since Israel began its bombing campaign. The Swiss-based Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor estimates Israel has dropped at least 25,000 tonnes of explosives have been dropped on Gaza. To compare, the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima had a yield of 15,000 tonnes.

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About 1,200 people were killed in Israel on Oct. 7, including eight people with connections to Canada. More than 240 people were taken hostage. More than 340 Canadian citizens, permanent residents and eligible family have been able to leave Gaza.

“It’s a time for solidarity and we should collectively stand by our Muslim and Jewish communities, acknowledging the tragedy that resulted in the loss of thousands of innocent lives,” said Abdo. “There is only one right side in this conflict and that is the side of peace and preservation of all life. History will judge those who are enabling and justifying the killing of innocent children. Let’s be on the right side of history.”

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Protesters in the ‘Save the Children of Gaza’ rally in downtown Fort McMurray on November 12, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
Protesters in the ‘Save the Children of Gaza’ rally in downtown Fort McMurray on November 12, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
Protesters in the ‘Save the Children of Gaza’ rally in downtown Fort McMurray on November 12, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
Protesters in the ‘Save the Children of Gaza’ rally in downtown Fort McMurray on November 12, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
Protesters in the ‘Save the Children of Gaza’ rally in downtown Fort McMurray on November 12, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
Protesters in the ‘Save the Children of Gaza’ rally in downtown Fort McMurray on November 12, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
Protesters in the ‘Save the Children of Gaza’ rally in downtown Fort McMurray on November 12, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
Protesters in the ‘Save the Children of Gaza’ rally in downtown Fort McMurray on November 12, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
Protesters in the ‘Save the Children of Gaza’ rally in downtown Fort McMurray on November 12, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
Protesters in the ‘Save the Children of Gaza’ rally in downtown Fort McMurray on November 12, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
Amal Manaa, who is from Gaza, joins protesters at the ‘Save the Children of Gaza’ rally in downtown Fort McMurray on November 12, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
Amal Manaa, who is from Gaza, joins protesters at the ‘Save the Children of Gaza’ rally in downtown Fort McMurray on November 12, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
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Naseem Abdo speaks at the ‘Save the Children of Gaza’ rally in downtown Fort McMurray on November 12, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
Councillor Shafiq Dogar joins protesters at the ‘Save the Children of Gaza’ rally in downtown Fort McMurray on November 12, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
Councillor Shafiq Dogar joins protesters at the ‘Save the Children of Gaza’ rally in downtown Fort McMurray on November 12, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
A Palestinian flag flies outside the Fort McMurray Court House at the ‘Save the Children of Gaza’ rally in downtown Fort McMurray on November 12, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
A Palestinian flag flies outside the Fort McMurray Court House at the ‘Save the Children of Gaza’ rally in downtown Fort McMurray on November 12, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
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Palestinian flags fly outside the Fort McMurray Court House at the ‘Save the Children of Gaza’ rally in downtown Fort McMurray on November 12, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network

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