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News brief: Vigil for Palestine in Halifax

Photo Robert Devet

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – This Wednesday some 40 Halifax residents gathered at Victoria Park in downtown Halifax to join a vigil in remembrance of the 256 Palestinian lives lost as a result of the most recent series of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.

In addition to the senseless deaths, the attacks injured 19,000 Gaza residents and left almost 60,000 Palestinians homeless. 

“What we need to keep in our minds today are all the children around the world that are being sacrificed in the name of colonialism,” said Mi’kmaq elder Billy Lewis. “When it comes to colonialism, the struggle of the Palestinian people right now is wthout equal.”

“What you see here are the pictures of the over seventy kids who lost their lives, some as young as  a seven months old baby. But no matter how many buildings are demolished, no matter how many olive trees our occupiers burn, no matter how many billions of dollars are poured into this violent regime, our fight for freedom and justice will never stop,” a young Palestinian woman told the crowd.

“Being Palestinian is constantly having to try and prove to the world why you deserve to live. Being Palestinian is constantly trying to tell people why you deserve to have a home that shouldn’t be bombed. Being Palestinian is crying to the whole world, and everyone turning a blind eye. Being Palestinian in having to constantly see your people get slaughtered. And you just watch helpless, wondering what you can do. Being Palestinian is always being shown that your life has no meaning,” said Dana, a Palestinian student. 

“But not today. Today, we will use the voices the Palestinians in Palestine are deprived of in memory of the 1000s of Palestinians that have died in the past and all those who are currently living under a blockade. They are living in an open air prison. Two million plus people in Gaza are living in an open air prison. We need to raise our voices, we need to show the world that we will never be silenced,” she said.

Judy Haiven, a member of Independent Jewish Voices and a frequent columnist in the Nova Scotia Advocate was also among the speakers. Poet, educator and tireless activist El Jones read a poem. The event was mc’d by Rana Zaman and organized by Yara Younes and Rozan Majdi.

The vigil was live streamed on Facebook.

Photo Robert Devet

See also: Pro-Palestinian activists don’t feel safe in Halifax

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