‘Ceasefire now’ demonstrations to take place in 40+ locations across Canada on November 12

TORONTO, Nov. 11, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Demonstrations in over 40 locations across Canada and Quebec will take place on Sunday, November 12 as part of a pan-Canadian day of action to demand an immediate ceasefire in Israel-Palestine.

The day of action has been called by the ‘Ceasefire NOW!’ campaign, an ad hoc coalition of over 200 humanitarian, civil society, labour, faith, and peace and justice organizations. The group is also calling for an end to the blockade of Gaza and for the restoration of humanitarian aid and access to the basic necessities of life.

“Tens of thousands of people across the country have been demonstrating for a ceasefire, and we join them in solidarity,” said Bert Blundon, President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE). “Canadians overwhelmingly support a ceasefire, and we need to pressure the Canadian government to support one, too.

“A ceasefire must be the first step towards a just and lasting peace in the region.”

A recent poll by Mainstreet Research showed that 71% of Canadians endorse an immediate ceasefire, with majority support across all parties.

“The numbers are undeniable,” said Stephen Brown, CEO of the National Council of Canadian Muslims. “It’s why we need all peace-loving people across the country, from all backgrounds and faiths, to join actions on Sunday.”

Actions will take place from Victoria, British Columbia to Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, and in numerous other locations across the country. The biggest action is expected to be in Toronto, where a rally will begin on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. in Nathan Phillips Square.

“Canadian Jews have been speaking out and joining demonstrations in record numbers,” said Corey Balsam, National Coordinator of Independent Jewish Voices (IJV). “When we say ‘never again,’ that means now and that means Gaza, and it’s why our members will be taking to the streets right across this country on November 12.”

Prominent humanitarian aid organizations have endorsed the day of action.

“This unfathomable level of violence must stop right now,” said Béatrice Vaugrante and Lauren Ravon, Executive Directors of Oxfam-Québec and Oxfam Canada. “Let's ask ourselves: Where will it lead?”

“The damage is immeasurable and inhumane, and will leave deep and long-lasting scars. We must provide assistance immediately to the civilian population for their survival, and civilian hostages and detainees must be released. The Canadian government can't say it wants respect for international humanitarian law, and then turn a blind eye when those demands are not followed. It's time for Prime Minister Trudeau to listen to hundreds of thousands of Canadians who are calling for a ceasefire, and use his power to stop these atrocities.”

Palestinian community organizations emphasized the urgent need for immediate aid.

“No place is safe in Gaza right now,” said Dr. Tarek Khalifeh, President of the Canadian Palestinian Professional Foundation. “Without an immediate ceasefire, it’s all but impossible to deliver urgently needed aid, medicine, food, and fuel. We are facing a human catastrophe of epic proportions.”

In addition to Muslim and Jewish organizations, major Christian groups are part of the November 12 call.

“As people of faith, we have a moral obligation to speak out against suffering, wherever we see it,” said The Right Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne, Moderator of The United Church of Canada. “We will have that opportunity on Sunday, when our members join local actions in their communities.”

The demonstrations will be peaceful, family-friendly, and welcoming events. There will be no tolerance for hate of any kind.

The growing list of November 12 actions is available here.

“This is a humanitarian crisis and every day that we don’t see a ceasefire means additional lives lost, including a disproportionate number of children,” said Chris Aylward, National President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. “Canadians want a ceasefire, and we all need to keep showing up in numbers to pressure our government to act.”

For more information, please contact:

Ceasefire Now campaign: coalition4ceasefirenow@gmail.com
National Union of Public and General Employees: national@nupge.ca
National Council of Canadian Muslims: Uthman Quick, Director of Communications: uquick@nccm.ca or 647-608-6554
Public Service Alliance of Canada: media@pasc-afpc.com | presse@psac-afpc.com