FREE FREE PALESTINE
This is the single largest massacre in Gaza since Israel illegally occupied the area in 1967. The numbers of dead are mounting, especially as the already limited medical supplies are running out due to the brutal siege of Gaza since 2005.
The Toronto demonstration in front of the Israel Consulate in Toronto, Canada, January 10, 2009 has been estimated to be over 12,000.
Thousands across Canada protest Israel's actions
Submitted by kole on Sun, 2009-01-11
ctvtoronto.ca - A few thousand pro-peace and pro-Palestinian protesters gathered again outside the Israeli consulate on Toronto's Bloor Street, and other locations across the country, to protest Israel's military crackdown in the Gaza Strip. "The plan is to keep having demonstrations until Israel stops bombarding Gaza and killing women and children like we've seen on TV," Nabil Nassar, one of the security marshals, told CTV News on Saturday.
He said the organizers tried to keep things as peaceful as possible, "but you know, you can control crowds but you can't control emotions."
Many protestors carried graphic signs depicting some of the youngest victims in Gaza and a small group of protesters burned Israel's Star of David flag.
Chants included "Occupation is a crime/Israel out of Palestine."
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario president Sid Ryan, who had to apologize this week for comparing an attack on a Hamas-linked university to book burnings in Nazi Germany, didn't sound apologetic after speaking to the crowd. He talked about the "lies coming out of the Israeli media."
"I know I'm on the right side on this issue. You can never be wrong when you're trying to stand up for the rights of men, women and children who are being slaughtered," he said.
Other speakers called on the federal government to demand a ceasefire from Israel and to impose immediate sanctions and boycotts.
"John Baird was quoted as saying the resisters in Palestine are cowards," said Ali Mallah of the Canadian Arab Federation.
"Well I have news for you John Baird and Stephen Harper, the only coward we know is Stephen Harper and his government."
Police kept a small group of pro-Israeli demonstrators, estimated to be 10 to 15 in number, off to the side.
Police maintained a barricade line to keep demonstrators away from the consulate, located in downtown Toronto. They made no arrests and described the crowd as well-behaved.
On Saturday, some of the pro-Israeli protesters were incredulous that Jews would be speaking out against Israel's actions and what they call distortions of the truth.
"It's unfair to think that Israel doesn't have the right to defend themselves, and these people (pro-Palestinian demonstrators) promote all the terrible things that happen to civilians, but they won't recognize the fact that they're supporting a terrorist organization," said David Goodman.
In Toronto, Venezuela was noted on the speakers stand as having ousted their Israeli Ambassador. This greeted with enthusiastic cheers of appreciations.
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