“CEASEFIRE NOW” was the chant that interrupted Monday’s Legislative Assembly as hundreds of protestors called for a ceasefire and the provincial government’s support.
The public gallery was overfilled with protestors who started the chant mid-way through the Question Period, causing all MLAs to be directed back to their chambers.
The protestors were a mix of Regina and Saskatoon residents demanding for the province to call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to Saskatchewan’s support for Israel’s war crimes in Gaza.
Tayyaba Farooq was one of the protestors from Saskatoon and explained the reason behind the protest.
“To bring everybody together and show solidarity, so we can come together and call on our provinces for a ceasefire collectively,” she said. “Hopefully, this makes enough of a statement and shows our governments what we want because if the government is for the people, then why aren’t they listening to the people.”
Farooq said she feels the Government is biased, as it currently has the Irasel flag in the centre of the Rotonda.
“How is that not proactive? If you want to say have peaceful protests and to remain neutral, then you practice the same thing that you preach to us,” she stated. “How are we supposed to walk in there and not feel provoked and not feel like there’s already a bias as we’re walking in there or not feel like our voices are already shut down before we even raise a voice when we walk into that.”
Valerie Zink, one of the organizers of the protest, said while Premier Scott Moe has shown his support for Israel, he hasn’t done the same for Palestine.
“Scott Moe has pledged his ‘unwavering support’ for Israel, but the people of this province don’t support bombing hospitals and schools. That’s not who we are,” Zink said. “We don’t support mass starvation or denying drinking water to an entire civilian population. These are crimes against humanity, and they have to stop. We expect the province to use all of its influence to pressure the Trudeau government to demand an immediate ceasefire.”
Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck welcomed the protestors and doubled down on her and the NDP’s call for a ceasefire.
“As was noted last week, we reiterated our calls for the immediate release of all hostages and for a ceasefire to ensure free-flow of humanitarian aid, medical supplies, food, fuel, and water to civilians.”
Beck also added that hate has no place in the province.
“We are seeing a disturbing rise in forms of hate, whether it be Anti-Semitic, Anti-Palestinian, or Islamophobic hate. Hate in all of its forms has no place here in Saskatchewan, and understandably, what is unfolding in the Middle East is weighing very heavily on so many people in our province.”
Legislative Security eventually escorted protestors out without incident, and the Legislative proceedings were resumed.