Montreal students walk out to support Palestinians
Posted October 25, 2023 1:46 pm.
Last Updated October 25, 2023 7:08 pm.
Students from downtown Montreal universities and a CEGEP walked out of class Wednesday to show their solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza on the 19th day of the Israel-Hamas war.
Students from Concordia, McGill, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Université de Montréal (UdeM), and Dawson College were asking for an immediate end to Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack.
“There are students all around the country and the world walking out today, so we really want to show that the youth of the world really stand in solidarity with Palestine,” one student told CityNews.
“It’s really important as students that we engage in our education in a literal and practical way, we need to realize the morals we are being taught and act upon them,” added another.
The rally was organized by Students for Palestinian Human Rights, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights McGill and Palestinian Youth Movement.
“Sitting and watching on social media is simply not enough and ask ourselves what can we be doing actively to actually educate ourselves and participate in social justice,” one student said.
The Hamas-run Health Ministry said Wednesday that at least 6,546 Palestinians have been killed since the Israel-Hamas war started.
Over 1,400 people have been killed in Israel — many on the initial day of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack.
“I have my best friend who’s in Gaza right and yesterday we lost the contact with her, and only today we could talk with her,” UQAM student Yousra Benkara said.
“We have some family in Palestine, some friends in Gaza and others all over,” another demonstrator said. “It’s a pretty difficult time for us right now, but it’s important for us to keep our head high and work hard and try to work towards the liberation of our people.”
Many students told CityNews the rally was about freedom.
“Some people are born and they live and they die without knowing what it means to be liberated, so the fact that all these young people are rallying for this cause still after 75 years, it just makes it really significant,” one marcher said.
“Keep fighting for Palestine of course, students have an incredible role to play in this, you have the right and the responsibility to stand up for the Palestinian people,” said another.