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Pro-Palestinian protestors head downtown amid highway demonstration warning from Provincial police

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A group of about 30 people braved the frigid conditions today to take part in a rally put on by a group called “Simcoe County 4 Palestine”.

It was designed as a silent protest and is the 15th consecutive weekend the group has protested the war in Gaza.

“Peace for all sides, yes, where they can live, I guess, the way we live. With some sort of respect and dignity and safety for themselves and their children,” said Thom Davies, a protestor.

The group gathered outside the Barrie library before marching to city hall and ultimately inside the farmers market.

“We just try to stay peaceful and positive and focus on education. We’ve had a lot of support; a lot of people have seen our banners on the overpasses and joined the group,” says organizer Madeleine Fournier.

Earlier this week, the Ontario Provincial Police sent a warning to anyone attending a rally.

“Ontario provincial police acknowledges and respects the right to peaceful and safe and lawful expressions of opinion. Police remind everyone that it is unsafe and illegal to obstruct the normal flow of traffic and for pedestrians to be on controlled-access highways like the 400 series,” said Sgt. Kerry Schmidt of the OPP.

The warning was prompted after three people were arrested last weekend in Toronto for demonstrations at an overpass on Avenue Road.

On Saturday, the group in Barrie focused its attention on the downtown.

“Everybody has a duty. We believe that you have a duty to support your brothers to support human suffering as much as you can. So that’s why I’m here,” said Mohamed Mohamed, a protestor.

“It’s just important to show up to keep the word going. There’s just many people who are unaware,” said Lindsay Harpley, a protestor.

People at the rally said they will continue to hold similar rallies as the war in Gaza continues.

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