Hundreds of protesters marched in the streets of Montreal on Saturday afternoon to ask the canadian government to welcome more refugees to the country.
After a week of heavy emotion, punctuated by the publication of the image of the little lifeless body of Alan Kurdi, three years ago, on a beach in turkey, Montreal brandished placards wishing the “welcome” to the refugees. Some had the grim picture of the boy with the inscription “Our child”.
As they marched in the streets of the city centre, protesters chanted “Open our doors!” and “no one is illegal!”.
During a speech, one of the organizers of the march, Jaggi Singh, of the organization Solidarity without borders, criticized the canadian government for having committed actions “criminal” in the place of refugees and accused him of being “an accomplice” of the death of Alan Kurdi, his brother Ghalib and their mother Rehanna.
A woman protester, Catherine Ouellet, who brought her four year old son with her, burst into tears, explaining why the photo of the little Alan had moved her so.
“Canada does not do his part. (It is necessary) to open the doors to Canada and stop times, the paperwork. (Open) the door and ask questions later. Frankly, there is an emergency situation,” she explained, voice strangled by emotion.
Rose Marie Walley, a retired teacher, came to the event on a bicycle wearing a sign where it was written that she is a child of refugees – Jews who had left Germany for the United Kingdom during the Second world War.
She pointed out that to accept the “thousands and thousands” of refugees would contribute to help people in need, but also the broader canadian society. “The refugees must have the strength, courage. And when you get there finally, this is not finished. You have to redo your life,” she recalled.
Gatherings of the same type should be held in other canadian cities over the next few days, including Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver.