Despite the rain and cold on Friday, November 12, students and activists gathered at the Roddick Gates in a rally concluding BDS (Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions) Week, hosted by the McGill and Concordia chapters of Students in Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR). Demonstrators spoke about the ongoing occupation of Palestine, chanting, “Free, free Palestine.”
Organizers from Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU) distributed pamphlets detailing the purpose of the BDS Movement. “Resist the systemic inequality and discrimination of Israel Apartheid,” the cover read, alongside the slogan “Boycottons Israël!” The BDS Movement aims to put financial pressure on corporations involved in the occupation of Palestine.
Sabine Friesinger, who was president of the Concordia Student Union when Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, was invited to speak at the university in 2001, attended the rally. “Public institutions should be held accountable for their [financial] ties, and if they have ties with apartheid regimes like Israel, they should cut those ties in solidarity with the Palestinian people,” she said.