The Saturday protest started on time, weaving it's way past ROM and the Israeli consulate and stopping at the US consulate. What was surprising was that given how angry some of the protestors were (they after all had family members still being bombed and killed) the protest managed to pass off quite peacefully. The Druze, Christians and Muslims (Sunni and Shite) of the Lebanese community were there, protesting, as were some Christian and Jewish (!) marchers. In the Middle East these groups would be fighting each other. Here in Canada they march together peacefully, get angry at the government and then go for work. That's the beauty of 'freedom of speech'.
There was a strong NDP presence at the rally (and these are communities that traditionally vote Liberal). After Warren Kinsella managed to obtain from some of the Liberal candidates statements unilaterally supporting Israel (kudos to Martha Hall Findlay for not falling into the trap) many people were angry at Joe Volpe. I remember Volpe coming to our mosque and issuing blunt statements that he was 'with us'. That kind of ethnical politics can backfire spectacularly, as he no doubt will find out. I don't have a problem with candidates such as Bob Rae supporting Israel. He has been very clear on this issue and we can disagree on some things, but what really irks me is when politicians try to play both sides and be hypocritical.
Sign saying 'bombing Canadians is NOT a measured response'.
What surprised me was the presence of a large number of Jewish protestors.
The NDP had a strong presence at the rally, here represented by MP Peggy Nash.
More Jewish protestors.
What's a Bantustan? But the map was interesting.
A Jewish rabbi and a Shite Imam speak. The placard to the left had an interesting drawing of a 'BBC' missile.
The vibrant (and angry) Lebanese community of Toronto were loudly present.
Some of the pictures were heart wrenching, especially those of babies bombed that the media won't carry.
(Photos courtesy: L.C.)
Tags: Canada Israel Protest