Second Bridgewater rally for Gaza ceasefire draws more than 150 demonstrators

(Photo: Sal Falk)

A large gathering rallied outside South Shore-St Margaret’s MP Rick Perkins office in Bridgewater over the weekend as part of a pan-Canadian day of action demanding the Canadian government support a ceasefire in Gaza.

Approximately 170 people were present shortly after the 2 p.m. start for the Nov. 12 event organized by South Shore Ceasefire Now (SSCN). This was more than twice the attendance of the previous march on October 29.

The event started with chants like “free, free Palestine” and “let Gaza live,” an update on the current situation in Gaza shared by co-organizer Jody Zinner, and two minutes of silence.

Steve Wiseman, a volunteer with SSCN, read a list of demands including:

  • “Canada to demand an immediate ceasefire in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Canada to demand that Israel lift the blockade of the Gaza strip and authorise sufficient emergency humanitarian intervention.”
  • “The Canadian government to advocate for the release of all hostages. We do not believe that further bombing will bring any of them home safely.”
  • “The Canadian government to immediately cease all weapon sales to military aid in Israel- weapons being used to perpetuate genocide.”
  • “Canada to meet with its international commission to promote and defend human rights.”
  • “Canada to demand that Israel meet its commitment under the Geneva Convention to international humanitarian law.”

Participation in the event was intergenerational. Children could be heard chanting “ceasefire now” from the back of the group throughout the hour.

Brea McAllister, a member of SSCN, brought her nine-month-old baby to the event.

“I think it’s really important for kids and babies to be here and for families to be here because they will inherit this world,” said McAllister.

“We are responsible for creating a culture for them that we will pass on to them. It’s important for them to be here so we all remember that this world will all be theirs.”

The rally was one of 49 local events taking place across Canada calling for the same demands. Other rural towns in Nova Scotia that participated include Truro, Wolfville and Antigonish. 

Media contact for SSCN, Bill Rodger, said he believes it is important for smaller communities to still participate in days of action like this because it gets the information out to more people.

“The media coverage about demonstration events in the city are sorely lacking. These micro-demonstrations bring the issue to a broader audience. When you’re living in a small town and you see it, it hits differently. It galvanizes the community,” said Rodger.

The event officially concluded with the poem “The War Will End” by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish as read by Leena Ali:

“The war will end

The leaders will shake hands

The old woman will keep waiting

for her martyred son.

That girl will wait for her beloved husband

and those children will wait

for their heroic father

I don’t know who sold our homeland

but I know who paid the price.”

People continued chanting until approximately 3 p.m. when the crowd dissipated. 

SSCN continues to ask for a meeting with MP Rick Perkins. Perkins has not publicly remarked on the October 29 march, the November 12 rally or calls for a meeting with SSCN.


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