100 people rally for Beirut in downtown London Saturday
LONDON, ONT. -- Londoners gathered at Victoria Park this afternoon to pay their respects for the lives lost in last week's deadly blast in Lebanon.
Nearly 100 people gathered at 2 p.m. in Victoria Park to remember the lives lost in the Beirut explosion, including acting mayor Josh Morgan and Members of Parliament, Kate Young and Peter Fragiskatos.
Participants in the rally were waving the Lebanese flag in one hand and the Canadian flag in the other.
President of the Lebanese Canadian Culture Club of London, (LCCCL) Dr. Majed Fianni, says he was moved by the speeches and the support shown by locals, politicians, and city staff among others.
“I am very pleased by the turnout, the politicians the support of the fire department and the police department, I mean, definitely the community is rising and want to do something,” says
Speeches were given by the LCCL, including the London Muslim Mosque's Imam.
Member of parliament, Kate Young, along with city politicians took the podium to share words of support.
“We’re also saying that if you donate money we will match it up to $5 million. This is huge, this tells you what the people of Canada believe,” says Young.
Flags were given to London police and the London fire department as a gesture of thanks for their efforts, and for standing with Lebanese Canadians.
A flag was also presented to acting mayor, Josh Morgan.
“Having the community come together, thousands and thousands of kilometres away from the sight of a terrible disaster, to rally in unison is a very powerful experience,” says Morgan.
Money raised will be donated to humanitarian aid organizations like the world health organization, and islamic relief Canada, among others.
The LCCL community is also asking city councillors to rename Victoria park, Freedom Square, in honour of indigenous lives, Black Lives Matter, and the people of Lebanon.
“Because we are people who stand up for peace, justice, and freedom,” says the LCCCL.