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Ottawa rally in solidarity with Gaza

by Sebastien Labelle

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OTTAWA -- Crowds rallied together at the Human Rights Monument in Ottawa on June 5, 2010 to protest the siege of Gaza and the interception of ships seeking to deliver humanitarian supplies to those under blockade. The Ottawa Palestine Solidarity Network called on supporters to amass where speakers from various local organizations denounced the violence done by Israel against Gazans and the Freedom Flotilla activists seeking to offer help. Speakers included Bloc Quebecois MP for Gatineau, Richard Nadeau, who was part of a Canadian delegation of parliamentarians to visit the Gaza strip last summer. Nadeau was stern in his criticism of Israeli policy toward Palestinians, describing the situation as an apartheid and stating that the state of Israel was shamefully dishonouring its historical roots stemming from the Holocaust. Speakers present also thanked all Israelis and Jews who stood in solidarity with Palestinians and denounced equating criticism toward Israel with anti-Semitism as untrue and misleading. The crowd of over two hundred Palestinian supporters were confronted by a dozen Israel supporters who were kept across the street by Ottawa police officers. As the crowd began to disperse, a young man who had been rallying in support of Gaza crossed the street where eyewitnesses said he spat toward a person carrying an Israel flag. The young man was apprehended by the police as he was walking away and handcuffed. Tensions rose between the crowd and police as the young man was driven away to the police station. The crowd proceeded to march along Elgin street chanting in solidarity with Palestine until they reached the Ottawa police station. There, chants continued until the arrestee's father arrived and he was released.

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Sebastien (Sebastien Labelle)
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Member since July 2009


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