VIDEO: Thousands fill the streets of Canadian cities demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza

‘The Palestinians are our cousins. Their freedom is our freedom.’
Photos and video by Zachary Ruiter
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At last weekend’s Toronto march for a ceasefire in Gaza, newly-independent MPP Sarah Jama told the crowd that the world is watching a genocide unfold while those in power remain silent.

“Bombs have been dropped on hospitals, schools and refugee camps. All of us here know that the State of Israel’s goal is to eliminate the Palestinian people and to push them into the Sinai,” Jama said. “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

Ontario MPP Sarah Jama speaking at the Toronto demonstration calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The Hamilton Centre MPP was kicked out of NDP caucus last month by the leader of the Ontario New Democrats Marit Stiles, and then censured by the Doug Ford Conservative government, following a statement her office released three days after the Hamas attack on Israel, sparking the disciplinary action.

Her statement called on Canada to “hold true to its history of peacemaking and refrain from military intervention.”

The Toronto march coincided with demonstrations in more than two dozen Canadian cities, including Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver. Demonstrators rallied outside the U.S. Consulate on University Avenue before marching.

Hear what marchers have to say. Watch Ricochet Media's video coverage from street level.

Marches demanding a ceasefire have been held weekly in cities across Canada and around the world, responding to a national call for solidarity by the Palestinian Youth Movement.

Indigenous marchers like Georgie spoke about the deep global solidarity between colonized people.

“For me, I remember Standing Rock. I remember the dogs, the rubber bullets, the water cannons, the police violence. And I remember how Palestinians came down to Standing Rock to stand in solidarity with us. We know what it’s like to be displaced and marginalized on our own lands,” Georgie said.

Elsewhere, Deirdre held her Irish flag up high as she marched. “The Irish have always stood in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and we always will.”

“For me, I remember Standing Rock. I remember the dogs, the rubber bullets, the water cannons, the police violence. And I remember how Palestinians came down to Standing Rock to stand in solidarity with us. We know what it’s like to be displaced and marginalized on our own lands.”

Since the start of Israel’s assault on Gaza October 8, more than 10,000 people have been killed, including thousands of children. More than a million people have been displaced and forced to move to southern Gaza, which is also being bombed.

On Israel’s orders, the entire 2 million people of Gaza have been without food, medicine and clean drinking water for almost a month. Israel has also jailed at least 10,000 Palestinians, the majority without trial or charges.

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