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Families hold a teddybear vigil calling for ceasefire in Palestine

On Wednesday 1 November, parents and children gathered in George Square to hold a vigil calling for a ceasefire in Palestine. Teddybears were left in memory of children killed.

Children hold up placards calling for ceasefire in Palestine

Families gathered in George Square for a protest yesterday. Schools across Glasgow were closed due to a staff strike, so a group of parents from the Southside of Glasgow put out a call to friends for a teddybear vigil in George Square. The Whatsapp group set up to organise it quickly grew from a handful to over 700 people.

The event was inspired by others that have happened around the country. Children were encouraged to bring a teddy bear, that they could leave in memory of a child that has been killed in the war.

‘Since October 7, more than 3,257 children have been reported killed, including at least 3,195 in Gaza, 33 in the West Bank, and 29 in Israel, according to the Ministries of Health in Gaza and Israel respectively. The number of children reported killed in just three weeks in Gaza is more than the number killed in armed conflict globally—across more than 20 countries—over the course of a whole year, for the last three years.’

Save the Children

One of the organisers, Marie-Claire Lacey said: “Myself and a few other parents have been following the news and have been totally heartbroken about what’s been going on. We wanted to come together and do something about it – primarily to create a space to grieve together and recognise the loss of these children that have been killed.”

One of the biggest topics among parents was how to talk about this issue with their children. Usma, who was attending the protest with her daughter said: “I have been talking about it with my children – the fact that innocent lives have been lost. My daughter told me she wanted to be part this, and made a placard last night and brought two teddies to leave.”

Sophie said: “It’s difficult explaining what’s happening because it’s not nice. When it comes to children, we’re used to making the world look like a beautiful place. So to let them know that such a thing is happening in the world, but it has to be done.”

Banaz said: “With mainstream media, you’re bombarded with atrocious propaganda, so kids are only being told one side. I just want to bring my nieces and nephews along today to show them the real side.”

Ailidh Macleod, another of the organisers, who was there with her daughter said: “The conversation about it got us into what has happened to Palestinian people with the occupation of their land. People say it’s too complex for children to understand, but actually she understands it very much.”

“We really wanted to come together as parents to express our grief… We are horrified about the deaths of children that are happening and are calling for a ceasefire.”

Signpost for Penicuik and Scald Law

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by Luke Jackson, Midlothian View Reporter