Proceedings in the Saskatchewan Legislature were halted on Monday afternoon after a group calling for a ceasefire in Gaza disrupted question period.
As MLAs sparred on the assembly floor – protestors in the gallery began to chant “ceasefire now.”
To see the moment that proceedings were disrupted you can click the video player at the top of this story.
Following multiple attempts to restore order by Speaker of the House Randy Weekes – members from both sides of the house were escorted out.
Protestors then made their way out into the rotunda where security ushered them back to the front doors of the building and eventually outside.
“Ceasefire now and take that Israel flag down,” one protestor shouted while being escorted out, motioning to an Israel flag in the rotunda.
The protest was planned to “hold the Saskatchewan government accountable” for its support of Israel,” by “flooding the galleries of the legislature,” a news release sent out to the media said.
Protesters were escorted to the Sask. legislative building’s front doors by security officials. (GarethDillistone/CTVNews)
The protest group consisted of both Regina and Saskatoon residents, according to organizers.
“We have to use all the means available to us to apply pressure on every level of government and demand that our elected officials do everything in their power to bring an end to this and call for a ceasefire,” said co-organizer Valerie Zink.
“It’s honestly been so hard to go about our day to day lives knowing that this is happening and actually knowing that our politicians – the leaders are supposed to be representing us – are not doing that. We’ve been crying out and demanding a ceasefire,” university student Batoul Abouelela added.
Planned media availabilities with government MLAs following question period were cancelled for the day following the protest.
However, Saskatchewan NDP Leader Carla Beck spoke to reporters — sharing her concerns about the assembly being disrupted by the protest.
“It was an extraordinary day … what we saw today is certainly and it goes without saying not in the ordinary of what we see in the assembly,” she said.
Beck went on to say she understands the frustration of those who were present at the legislature and reiterated the official opposition’s statement of support for a ceasefire in the conflict, which has been raging since Oct. 7.
“That’s where my thoughts are — with those civilians and those people in Saskatchewan today who have loved ones who are deeply impacted by this war,” she said.
“I’ve spoken with people in the Jewish community, in the Muslim community — folks whose parents are from Palestine. I mean, what is common to all of this is the horror of watching the suffering of humans, especially children, especially civilians in a deeply fraught circumstance.”
Organizers say they will keep up their protesting efforts till a ceasefire is reached in the conflict in Gaza.
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