Shereen Ahmed Rafea | VP Communications
On Sunday, Montrealers marched from Concordia University to Place Des Arts to commemorate Nakba Day. The event was a collaboration of different Palestinian rights groups in Montreal. This included TADAMON, SPHR and CPFQ. Starting at one in the afternoon, people gathered infront of the University’s Hall building. The organizers distributed boxes to the protestors. They were taped with the Palestinian flag, to represent coffins. Carrying Palestine flags, as well as Canadian flags, protestors chanted slogans in support of Palestine and against Israel. They marched towards St-Catherine Street and could be heard saying ” Viva, Viva Palestina,” as well as, ” Free, Free Palestine” and ” Boycott Apartheid, Boycott Israel.”
They were joined by Neturei Karta International, a group of Orthdox Jews from New York, who are against Zionism. The March ended near Place Des Arts metro and included speakers in French and in English.
“Nakba day”, is the day after the state of Israel was declared, and the word ” Nakba”, means catastrophe. It also refers to the exodus of over 700,000 Palestinians that followed. This year was the 65 anniversary.
It is usually marked on May 15, however this year Montreal groups chose to commemorate on the 12th, to include the Neturei Karta International, and so that the march was on a weekend. It was also the same day as Mothers day. The day is to remember all the lives lost during the war between Israel and Palestine, as well as bring attention to the ongoing human rights struggle.