On January 29th, 2017 a gunman entered a mosque in Quebec City and opened fire on dozens of Muslims during a prayer service. Six worshippers were killed and 19 were injured. The shooter expressed far-right and white nationalist views, admitting to police that anti-Muslim rhetoric had influenced his actions.

The rise of far-right politics represented by the likes of Donald Trump has emboldened extremists to air racist, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic views. According to Statistics Canada, hate crimes against racial, ethnic, or religious groups have increased by 13% across the country in recent years—particularly hate crimes targeting Muslims.

CUPE Ontario is not letting Islamophobia and hate go unchallenged. Under the leadership of our Racial Justice Committee we are pursuing an Anti-White Supremacy Campaign to fight racism in workplaces and communities. We are also implementing a wide-ranging Anti-Racism Organizational Action Plan to fight discrimination in our own union. And we are a key part of the fightback against regressive Ford Conservative policies that put racial justice further out of reach.

The #IRememberJanuary29 Campaign is a grassroots effort led by the National Council of Canadian Muslims to get the federal government to designate January 29 as a day of remembrance and action on Islamophobia. We encourage CUPE members to wear a green square in solidarity with those affected by Islamophobia hate crimes. Learn more at www.nccm.ca/greensquare.

CUPE Ontario joins community partners in joining the #IRememberJanuary29 campaign and mobilizing against Islamophobia in our communities and in our union as part of our efforts to combat the rising tide of hate and white supremacy.

We will always remember Mamadou Tanou Barry, Azzedine Soufiane, Abdelkrim Hassane, Ibrahima Barry, Aboubaker Thabti, and Khaled Belkacemi.