Protest assesses conflict
Laurier 4 Palestine hosted a march on Nov. 22 to highlight some of their concerns with the current conflict in the Gaza. This silent protest started on Wilfrid Laurier University’s campus and advanced to the University of Waterloo.
Isra Al-Thibeh, co-president of the club, stated that the aim of the protest was to “give a voice to the voiceless.”
“[The people of Gaza] don’t get attention, and we feel as university students, as youth, it is our responsibility to spread awareness about what we know,” she explained. “Education is key.”
In response to a growing interest in these issues among students, Al-Thibeh said that the campus club has been around for about three years but has been “picking up recently due to the current events.”
Members of the club walked in silence with red tape across their mouths, holding signs that provided statistics for the current tension occurring between Israel and Hamas, the governing body of Gaza.
A ceasefire was reached on Nov. 21 between Hamas and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), but students were still eager to bring attention to the overall conflict and raise awareness.
“If you look at the bigger picture and put things into perspective, there is a discrepancy in power, in terms of who has the upper hand,” Al-Thibeh explained.
The club was by a large audience met at UW. After taking their place in a line, some members laid on the ground and were covered with cloth, signifying what they claim as voiceless.
“I’m from Gaza, I came to help them, to support them,” Yasmin Alkurdi, a UW student expressed. “My family lives there and thank God they’re safe.”
Yusra Maryam, another UW student who was also on campus, came out to support the protest. When asked why she attended the silent protest she responded: “I think this is a great way to protest … It immediately grabs your attention and forces people to look at you.”
Dave McDougall, a member of the Federation of Students at UW, was there to show his support and make sure the students remained safe.
“I’m just making sure that the student group gets to speak their voice,” he said.
“I just think it’s important, people need to actually know what is going on and they need to be seriously informed, understand the magnitude of seriousness and the pain that people are suffering over there,” Al-Thibeh continued. “We really do want to shed some light on the oppressed people of Palestine.”
– With files from Shaun Fitl