CUPE Ontario members join the international community in mourning the loss of 49 worshippers in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and denouncing this violent act of hate and Islamophobia.
Today, we are reminded of the murder of six Muslim men while also in prayer at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec on Jan 29, 2017.
Both of these massacres were motivated by Islamophobic sentiments stirred by populist politicians around the world.
The shooter published an anti-immigrant manifesto praising US president Donald Trump as ‘a symbol of renewed white identity’ and wrote the name of the Quebec City mosque gunman on his assault-rifle.
As trade unionists, we believe an injury to one is an injury to all. Islamophobia and right-wing extremism are infections we have a common duty to recognize and resist—in our communities, workplaces, and union.
This infection is not confined to any one country. And though this act was motivated by Islamophobia, right-wing extremism is not defined by any one hatred—whether for Muslims, Jews, Black people, LGBTQ2S communities, or others.
Right-wing extremism is rooted in an anti-social ideology based on contempt for pluralistic societies and the public services that underpin them. Its resurgence is intertwined with social and economic policies designed to benefit and uphold the privileges of the wealthy.
We must be vigilant against this resurgence at home and abroad. Hate crimes in Canada reached an all-time high in 2017, largely driven by incidents targeting Muslim, Jewish and Black people.
The wealthy want to divide us—scapegoating migrants, racialized people, and others so we fight amongst ourselves and can’t unite for the root and branch change our societies need.
Many in our communities struggle in the face of job losses, low wages, and public service cutbacks. In Ontario, the Ford government is ruthlessly implementing an austerity agenda and refuses to tax the rich.
In the wake of this massacre, we offer our sincere condolences to the families of the victims, but we also we offer them solidarity in the struggle for a society where Islamophobia is unlearned, right-wing extremism is defeated, and social, economic, and racial justice are achieved.
Together we can #stophate.
We encourage CUPE Ontario members to take part in the following solidarity actions:
March 21: #UniteAgainstRacism Cross-Canada Day of Action | Migrant Rights Network
March 21: Toronto: #UniteAgainstRacism | Migrant Workers Alliance for Change
March 15: Vigil for Victims of New Zealand Mosque Shooting | Toronto