PHOTOS: Hundreds attend Palestinian solidarity demonstration at legislature in Victoria

Demonstrators called on Canada to stop military exports to Israel at the the B.C. legislature on May 20. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)Demonstrators called on Canada to stop military exports to Israel at the the B.C. legislature on May 20. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)
Demonstrators called on Canada to stop military exports to Israel at the the B.C. legislature on May 20. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)
Demonstrators called on Canada to stop military exports to Israel at the the B.C. legislature on May 20. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)
Demonstrators called on Canada to stop military exports to Israel at the the B.C. legislature on May 20. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)
Demonstrators called on Canada to stop military exports to Israel at the the B.C. legislature on May 20. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)
Demonstrators called on Canada to stop military exports to Israel at the the B.C. legislature on May 20. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)
Demonstrators called on Canada to stop military exports to Israel at the the B.C. legislature on May 20. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)
Demonstrators called on Canada to stop military exports to Israel at the the B.C. legislature on May 20. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)

Hundreds of Palestinians and allies held a demonstration on lawn of the B.C. Legislature Thursday to protest Canada’s military exports to Israel.

Fighting broke out between Israel and Hamas, and other militant groups, in the Gaza Strip on May 10. Airstrikes have been traded between the two regions, with Palestinians accounting for the vast majority of the dead and injured as they lack Israel’s sophisticated missile defense system.

At least 230 Palestinians have been killed, according to Gaza health officials, while 12 people in Israel have died since the fighting broke out. Among the dead were 65 Palestinian children and two Israeli children.

READ: Tensions flare at Israel-Palestinian demonstrations in Montreal, Toronto

Organizers for Thursday’s event said anti-Semitic and hateful remarks and signs would not be tolerated. Masks were required and being handed out at the event. Speakers were reminding the crowd to stay with their household group and distance from others.

According to the federal government’s data, Canada sent $13.7 million worth of military goods and technology to Israel in 2019. Organizer Sartu Ali scolded Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the exports, his “silence” and for “creating stronger relations with Israel.”

“Do you recognize that children are being killed with your own hard-earned money,” Ali said.

“We’ve all seen the tragic images, families, innocent kids affected. It needs to stop,” Trudeau said Tuesday while announcing Canada would call for a ceasefire.

“My people deserve to live, we don’t deserve death at our bedside until the violence and the reign of fire subsides” said an artist who goes by Shihottie while reciting a poem.

“The people of Palestine have had enough, the people around the world have had enough, the people gathered here have had enough,” an exuberant Shihottie said to the crowd. “Now is the time for change, now is the time for action, now is the time for our voices to be heard, now is the time to free Palestine.”

Ali called on Premier John Horgan to publicly denounce the “atrocities, and the destruction and the killing and the children and elderly.”

The organizer also supported federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s call for the Liberal government to halt arms sales to Israel, which he made earlier in May.

“By arming one side of the conflict it is undermining the peace process and it is supporting illegal occupation,” he said during question period on May 12.

Israel and Hamas announced a ceasefire on Thursday.

Hamas and other militant groups embedded in the Gaza Strip’s residential areas have fired over 4,000 rockets at Israeli cities, with hundreds falling short and most of the rest intercepted.

With files from the Associated Press

READ: 12 overdoses in 24 hours in Victoria as B.C. paramedics respond to record number of calls


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

BC legislatureVictoria

Just Posted

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The Victoria woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Days after students’ return to Victoria High School was delayed by a year, the province has announced some amenities that will be included in the school’s expansion project. (Photo by Cole Descoteau)
Child-care spots, artificial turf field, non-profit space included in Vic High expansion

SD61 now aims to welcome students back at the high school by September 2023

Anita Troop officially turns 100 on Sunday and cards are pouring in from around the world. (Courtesy Marina Miller)
Cards roll in from around the world for West Shore 100 year old

About 100 cards have come for the woman who turns 100 on Sunday

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
UPDATE: Search suspended for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

A cardboard man bearing Queen Elizabeth II’s royal cipher has been placed in a window at the Royal Theatre for at least several days. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Mysterious cardboard figure appears in Victoria’s Royal Theatre window

The identity of the figure, which was moved there amid cleaning, remains unknown

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

Most Read