Yellowknife residents marched through the city's downtown calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. Emily Blake/Cabin Radio
Cries of “free Palestine” and “ceasefire now” rang through Yellowknife’s downtown during a march and rally on Saturday afternoon.
More than 200 people carrying signs and Palestinian flags marched through the city on what the Palestinian Youth Movement had declared to be a “national day of action for Palestine.”
The event, which began outside City Hall, was organized by the newly formed YK Citizens for Ceasefire to demand “an immediate ceasefire, restoration of services to the region, and free passage of humanitarian aid where it is needed.”
Spokesperson Derek Lindman said the group wants federal, territorial and local leaders to support those demands.
“We are a group of concerned Yellowknifers from all walks of life and we have gathered to say that the killing of civilians must stop,” he told the crowd.
“We will not stand for this. We will not stay silent over this.”
The Israeli foreign ministry has said Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel resulted in roughly 1,400 deaths. Since then, Gaza’s health ministry has said more than 9,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli air strikes.
Many Palestinians have been displaced from their homes without access to medical aid, food and water.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stated his support for a “humanitarian pause,” rather than a ceasefire, to allow aid, water and fuel to flow into Gaza.
“What has the world become? What have we become as human beings? Where is humanity?” Awa Mbacke asked the Yellowknife crowd during a speech about the attacks on Gaza.
“Where are our leaders? Are those kids less human than ours? Would you watch your own people being oppressed when you can intervene to stop it?
“Lives can be taken but a nation cannot be erased.”
Julie Thrasher, who said she moved to Yellowknife from Inuvik 10 years ago, expressed appreciation for the city’s Muslim community.
“I’m a single mother. They helped me raise my children. When my dad was dying of cancer, they brought my dad to the hospital and they took care of him,” she said. “We are all human.”
Thrasher said Yellowknife is an inclusive community and called for an end to hatred, racism and anger.
“We stand together and we have to help our people,” she said.
Update: November 4, 21:46 MT. We initially reported that round 100 people had gathered outside City Hall. Organizers of the event subsequently got in touch to request that this figure be updated to 300. We’ve since reviewed footage of the march through downtown and have updated the report to state that more than 200 people could be seen during the downtown march stage of the event.