Video coverage of Toronto’s Al-Quds Day Rally in Queens Park Saturday July 26, 2014
by The Daily Lede
Nearly 6,000 people gathered in Toronto’s Queens Park Saturday to celebrate Al-Quds Day, an annual event celebrated globally on the last Friday of Ramadan.
The event, initiated by the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 is held to express solidarity with the Palestinian people and to oppose Zionism and the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Palestinian supporters came from all over the GTA, many arriving in school buses from Brampton, Mississauga, Vaughan and Markham. According to rally organizer, Sqad Rizbi, more than 70 Canadian organizations support the rally.
Pro-Israeli supporters, including members of B’nai Brith and the Jewish Defense League, counter protested the event which they see as an anti-semetic, pro-Hamas rally. The two groups were separated by barricades and, aside from a few harsh words and racial insults, only one minor incident was reported with no arrests made.
The rally at Queens Park wrapped up with a march down University avenue to the US Consulate where more speakers were heard. Members of The Jewish Defense League remained at Queens Park and did not partake in the march.
Overall it was a very successful rally with no major incidents reported and people from all walks of life coming out to support members of the Palestinian community. We will have video of the entire march in the coming days.
Panorama from the Palestinian side of the rally. Nearly 6000 supporters of the Palestinian community gathered in Queens Park Saturday July 26, 2014:
Members of Canada’s First Nations came out for the rally in Queens Park:
Members of The Jewish Defense League make an entrance from the Palestinian side of the rally waving flags and initiating glares:
A speaker for The Jewish Defense League declares the rally a “hate-fest” and leads the Israeli supporters in singing the Oh Canada:
Separated by police and barricades, both sides gather near the main grandstand:
Tensions begin to flare near the main grandstand as the rally progresses:
As more Palestinian supporters arrive, both groups gather near the entrance of the Park–chants of “Terrorist! Terrorist!” can be heard:
Tensions at the front entrance continue to rise and pro-Israeli’s chant “IDF! IDF!” A Palestinian man leaves in disgust:
Police keep a close eye from atop buildings: