The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas continued after a temporary ceasefire from Nov. 24 to Nov. 30. Waterloo Region residents continue to show support for Palestine.  

On Nov. 7, University of Waterloo Voices for Palestine (UWVFP) hosted a walkout, attended by hundreds of students and community members. The rally wove around campus buildings, beginning and ending in front of the Dana Porter Library.   

“The solidarity you’ve shown is incredible. We thank you for coming out. We will keep coming out until the university complies. I’m just astonished by the amount of people here,” Rami Abdul Rahim, a member of UWVFP, said to attendees.   

Nov. 25 saw the largest protest for Palestine in Canadian history with over 100,000 attending the action on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The rally was hosted by Palestinian Youth Movement; grassroots, Arab led, transnational organization that works to motivate and assume an active role within the younger generation for the liberation of their homeland Palestine.  

Participants from all over the country made the trip out to the nation’s capital, some coming as far as British Columbia.  

Protesters from the region also made the trip out to Parliament Hill; some traveling individually but many traveling with local organizers from Palestinian Youth Movement, Sporas Scattered and KW Palestine.  

Four buses provided by the local organizations carrying approximately 150 passengers made the journey to Ottawa, a trip that took around six hours both ways.  

“I am so grateful to the organizers and everyone involved in the process for providing us a welcoming space and giving us the opportunity to raise our voices and stand together in Ottawa,” Niad Ahmed, local photographer and rally attendee, said.  

Speakers included poets, religious leaders, labour activists and politicians. Sarah Jamma, former NDP representative, MPP for Hamilton Centre, was among the speakers.   

On Oct. 10, Jamma called for an immediate ceasefire, a statement that had her removed from the NDP cuacus by Marit Stiles on Oct. 23.  

Within the same day Progressive Conservatives voted to censure Jamma in the house.  

“By gathering in our thousands, from all across this land, we empathetically display that we will not be deterred by the constant attempts to demonize this movement for peace and for justice,” Jamma said.  

“Although I am not Palestinian, this feels very personal to me. It is important to raise awareness and advocate for justice whenever possible,” Ahmed said.  

The rally started at Parliament Hill and eventually transitioned to a peaceful march around the city center, consuming many major downtown streets.  

On Nov. 21 a temporary ceasefire agreement was agreed upon. The agreement entailed that there would be a release of hostages from both sides, international aid allowed to be released into Gaza and a temporary truce to last approximately for four days. The ceasefire was extended to Nov. 30.  

PYM made a public statement on Dec. 2 saying a temporary ceasefire is not a cause for celebration.   

“Genocide cannot be paused-it must be STOPPED,” they said.  

“We demand a permanent ceasefire and for the siege on Gaza to be lifted immediately.”   

Israeli occupation forces have since resumed their attacks on Gaza with the death toll now reaching over 15,000.  

The demands from the rally remain steadfast and the goal to end Canadian complicity continues.  

UWVFP is one of many organizations that held events and rallies for Palestine. Waterloo Region Friends of Palestine led silent vigils in a march around Kitchener Market every Saturday.  

A new chapter of Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) was also opened in the region in November. IJV is an organization advocating for peace in Israel and Palestine based on equality and human rights.  

In addition, various organizations hosted panels, lectures and discussions to educate the community on Palestinian history and the current conflict.