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London, Ont. high school students rally for ceasefire in Gaza

High school students in London joined student-led protests across the province Monday calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Outside Saunders Secondary School in west London, more than 200 students skipped an afternoon period to take part in the event.

One of the organizers, student Safiya Chaughary, told CTV News London they want the Canadian government to do more to support Palestine.

“They’re not really living,” she said. “How do you live when you don’t have clean water? How do you live when you don’t have food? I would ask them to call for a ceasefire and to help Palestine.”

Saunders was just one of a number of local high schools where students held rallies. Students marched from the school entrance on Viscount Road up to Wonderland Road where they chanted, “Free Palestine,” and attracted the attention of passersby and motorists in traffic.

Students at Saunders Secondary School in London, Ont. held a rally on Nov. 13, 2023, advocating for a ceasefire in Gaza. (Bryan Bicknell/CTV News London)“Unfortunately we have a lot of people with deaf hearts, deaf ears,” said student Muhammad Chahbar. “They have ears but they don’t hear. They have hearts but they don’t open them, and they have eyes but they’re blind. And we just want them to open them up a little bit. Especially Trudeau. All of the west.”

Student Faris Eaghafary is originally from Palestine. He said taking part in the rally is the least he can do.

“Some people are asking, ‘Why are students doing this?’ We’re doing this to make the older people who are sitting in houses to have shame on themselves. We’re doing this to make everyone look, ‘Where’s the students?’ We’re skipping our class, we’re skipping our future to support our land.”

The Thames Valley District School Board issued the following statement in response to the rallies:

“Thames Valley is supportive of peaceful student-led initiatives that demonstrate engagement and provide opportunities for student voice. Schools have been asked to be especially aware and sensitive to the well-being of students who are negatively impacted by this student walkout. Thames Valley prioritizes cultural safety, human rights and the well-being of all Thames Valley students and staff. Supports are available for students and staff in each of our schools and workplaces.” Top Stories

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