By William Crooks
Local Journalism Initiative
A group of nearly 40 Sherbrooke residents, led by organizer Mohamed Soulami, protested for peace in Gaza at Sherbrooke’s City Council meeting Nov. 21. Calling themselves “a group of Sherbrooke citizens for a better world, a peaceful world”, the group submitted a letter to Sherbrooke’s mayor Nov. 7 demanding, among other things, an immediate ceasefire in the embattled region. The City of Sherbrooke responded with a resolution detailing its solidarity with the group.
The letter, addressed to Raïs Kibonge, Acting Mayor of Sherbrooke, and the city council members, emphasizes the importance of treating all human lives equally and respecting human rights. The letter criticizes several governments for ignoring global organizations’ alerts about ongoing injustices, specifically highlighting the “ethnic cleansing” and “war crimes” in Gaza, Palestine. The authors express disappointment that Quebec and Canada, typically known for peaceful interventions, are perceived to be applying double standards to the situation.
The group makes specific demands:
1) Immediate ceasefire and lifting of the blockade in Gaza.
2) Delivery of humanitarian aid, including energy for hospitals and essential needs for civilians.
3) Rehabilitation of social services, including hospitals and schools, and providing safe places for civilians.
4) Condemnation of the ongoing war crimes against humanity.
They urge their elected officials to denounce the “genocide” in Gaza, where a significant number of victims are children and women, and to encourage the federal and provincial governments to respect human rights in Gaza and contribute to humanitarian aid efforts.
The letter concludes with an appeal to the city council to adopt a resolution reflecting these concerns and to join a global call for a just and better world. The authors express their belief in shared values of justice and equality and hope for a positive response to their requests.