Thousands of protesters gathered at Yonge-Dundas Square on Saturday to voice their opposition to the escalating violence in Gaza. Emotions were running high right from the beginning, with some protesters arguing over whether to chant in Arabic or in English. At one point a scuffle broke out between organizers and a protester who grabbed the microphone shouting, “Allahu Akbar”—Arabic for “God is great.”
Across Yonge Street, a smaller pro-Israel demonstration organized by the Jewish Defence League waved flags and exchanged taunts with the Palestinian supporters, separated by a line of police on bikes and horses.
Both protests marched to the Israeli consulate at Avenue Road and Bloor Street, where police had set up barricades to keep the two demonstrations apart. Last week smaller opposing demonstrations in the same location had almost spilled over into violence when protesters crossed through police lines and directly confronted each other. After thirty minutes the pro-Israel contingent moved off, and, with emotions still running high, the protest headed south on University Avenue to the United States Consulate.