Conflict in Gaza: Demonstration to Quebec to pressure Ottawa

Conflict in Gaza: Demonstration to Quebec to pressure Ottawa

Protesters and several groups gathered in front of the National Assembly in Quebec on Sunday afternoon to demand “firm action” from the provincial government to increase political pressure for a ceasefire from Gaza.

• Read more: The Gaza war is entering its seventh month, negotiators expect in Cairo

• Read more: The Israeli army withdraws forces from the southern Gaza Strip

Demonstrators hope Ottawa will do more to restore peace in the region, with signs condemning Israel's military operation in the Palestinian territories since last October.

“We know the central government has already appealed [à un cessez-le-feu]But we ask that words be matched with actions,” explains Raphaël Laflamme of Syndicalists for Palestine, organizer of the demonstration.

Demonstrators first gathered in front of the National Assembly in Quebec.


At the rally, CSN made a similar argument to the provincial government.

“As a province, it is important to push for the country not to wait months when genocidal situations occur. […] before reacting,” says François Proulx-Duperre, general secretary of CSN’s Quebec-Saudière-Appalachias Council.

A diplomatic office that does not pass

In addition to relations between Quebec and Ottawa, the opening of a diplomatic office in Tel Aviv by the François Legault government drew the ire of demonstrators.

“We were given a hope. At this time, the opening of diplomatic relations between Quebec and Tel Aviv is completely inappropriate,” says Raphael Laflamme.

For his part, Nezih Belhaj of the Quebec Collective for Peace finds it ironic that this new office did not at least comment on the death of Jacob Flickinger, a Beauceron humanitarian worker who died in Gaza during an Israeli strike.

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“Let him condemn, I don't know, let him protest, let him take a stand,” said Mr. Belhaj enumerates.

Quebec Solidaire MP Étienne Grandmont has difficulty explaining the decision on the part of the government in the context of the conflict in Gaza.

“This time sending a message to open an office in Israel. […] Minister [Martine Biron] “Even if we defend ourselves by saying that there is no political color, it is not true,” he analysed.

On the death of Jacob Flickinger, Mr. Grandmont confirms that discussions are taking place with the government about “possible steps” by the Quebec company.

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