A small crowd gathered in front of the Elijah Smith building on Thursday afternoon in the first of two events planned for a Palestinian Solidarity Day of Action.
Those filtering out of the Elijah Smith building on their lunch breaks craned their necks towards the group of protesters and organizers who handed out leaflets detailing their day of action.
“Calling for a just peace, here on the territory of Kwanlin Dun First Nation and Ta’an Kwach’an Council and in Palestine,” the small squares of paper read.
On the sidewalk, in blue chalk, was the message: ‘Justice for Palestine, for Ferguson, and justice here.’
The noon rally, which was followed up with an evening vigil at Shipyards Park, was about calling for an end to violence in Palestine and protesting the forces of colonialism and imperialism.
The organizers also spoke about the situation unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri, where protesters have clashed with police officers following the police killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown last weekend, and of Canadian colonialism.
“We cannot call for an end to the violent occupation of Palestine without naming the on-going colonization of this continent,” said one of the event’s organizers, Robin Reid-Fraser.
“Something needed to happen here,” said Mona Luxion, another organizer.
“I think it’s important for people to have a space to come together and acknowledge what’s happening and voice their opposition to it.”
The group also spoke out against the Canadian government, its support of Israel, and inaction in regards to missing and murdered aboriginal women and environmental destruction and degradation.
“Here on this continent there must be justice for local indigenous peoples and inherent rights to self-determination in all matters, including land, must be genuinely respected,” said Reid-Fraser.
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