Winnipeg Folklorama 2014 Vigil A Success, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Canada
On the evening of Friday, August 15, people from peace organizations and others just average citizens, gathered for a vigil in front of the Israel Pavilion in Winnipeg. The purpose of our event was to raise awareness around the current invasion of Gaza and to remember the 2000 people who have died in Israel’s attacks. We held placards and handed out leaflets about the Gaza Blockade as well Israel’s attacks on Gaza over the past six years.
On the whole our event went smoothly except for one gentleman who told us he hoped we all died and another guy who actually spit on a few of our members, and these were adults, not children! There was also one gentleman who requested the police or security remove us but as we were standing peacefully across the street from the event there was not much they could do. This same person then flew into a rage, flailing his arms very upset and angry. One of our members then provided him with one a handout about why we were having a silent event. Luckily the police intercepted him before he entered the pavilion, when he eventually left the police did speak to him again. He did tear up our leaflet but at least we tried!
However, for the most part the people coming into the pavilion and then leaving were respectful, and for that matter, quite curious. Many passerby looked at our signs in disbelief. Some patrons approached us and admitted they did not know much about the issues and inquired as to what Gaza was, and what our purpose was and gladly provided them with information. We are almost certain this has been the first and only protest the Israel pavilion has ever seen. But it definitely will not be the last!