Less than 24 hours after a terror attack at the Quebec city Sainte-Foy Mosque claimed six lives and injured eight, thousands of Montrealers flooded the streets to show their solidarity through a candlelight vigil.
Organized through a Facebook event, the vigil was a peaceful display of solidarity for a wounded community. Since Sunday night’s attack, 14 000 people had marked they were going to be attending the vigil.
Braving -17 degree weather, supporters crammed into Place de la Gare Jean-Talon, spilling out onto the surrounding streets. Candles were brought from home and provided by organizers, the flickering wicks dotting the crowd along with placards and banners.
The event was organized in support for the Muslim community and attended by a large and diverse crowd. Solemn clapping was joined by chants and cheers for powerful speeches.
After two hours the speeches were over and the crowd began to thin, but the message from the crowd and speakers was clear: Violence against anyone and everyone will not be tolerated, and Montrealer’s are with the Muslim community during a difficult time.
It is a refreshing shift to see people leave their keyboards, and stand up for events they say they believe in. Far too often a retweet or re-post is seen as job done, evidence of someone throwing their drop of support in an ocean of issues.
When thousands of people trek by bike, foot and metro to a gathering in the North end of Montreal it is a sign of true passion. Care is best expressed on a personal basis, and the commitment towards supporting the Muslim community is inspiring.
Let’s see people stand up (physically, not digitally) more often. Get over your own life and set time aside for an issue that needs it. Everything is brought into our house sublimely, but stepping out brings actual attention. This vigil was an example of what can and should happen when people truly take action.
Show you care, put yourself aside, get outside and get involved.