The corner of Avenue and Bloor was flooded as thousands of protesters braved the sub zero temperature to gather on Saturday afternoon and state their claim against Prime Minister Harper and President Bush for condoning Israel’s attacks on Gaza. Chanting ‘Fight the power, turn the Tide!/End Israeli Apartheid!’ and ‘Throw a shoe at israel too!’ the protesters vocalized their shame against the West for turning their heads to what the protesters called Israeli crimes against humanity. The organizers passed donation buckets amongst the crowd urging those who gathered to “not only put in your spare change, but empty your pockets” as well as any jewellery. The protesters also welcomed Jewish Rabbis from New York who gave their support for Palestine and their disapproval of Israel’s actions.
There was an unavoidable police presence at the protest, with police baracades closing Bloor off at Varsity Stadium to just past Bloor and Avenue. On the opposite side of the barracade were a dozen counter-protesters toting Israeli and American flags. There was undoubtly a slight confrontation between the Palestinian and Israeli side of the barricade resulting in nothing more then a yelling match with one Palestinian protester calling Israel inhuman. A group of Palestinian protesters stood at the side opposite the Israeli protesters urging Palestinian protesters to move on and to not start an altercation, adding “It’s what they want, don’t let them win.”