CUPE condemns Israeli crimes - will other unions follow?

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CUPE condemns Israeli crimes - will other unions follow?

Quote:

January 2, 2009

The Right Honorable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A2

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

Re: Middle East Crisis

On behalf of the 570,000 members of CUPE I am writing to demand that
the Canadian government condemn the military assault on the people of
Gaza that the State of Israel commenced on December 26, 2008.

CUPE condemns all acts of violence in the Middle East, including the
Hamas rockets being launched into Israel and the Israeli offensive
mentioned above. To date, your government has stated publically your
support for the Israeli people to protect themselves from attack.
This is a woefully inadequate and frankly shameful response on behalf
of Canadians.

Professor Richard Falk, the UN's Special Rapporteur for Human Rights
in the Occupied Territories has characterized the Israeli offensive as
containing "...severe and massive violations of international
humanitarian law as defined in the Geneva Conventions, both
in regards to the obligations of an Occupying Power and in the
requirements of the laws of war".

Professor Falk cites three clear violations, including: collective
punishment - the entire 1.5 million people who live in the Gaza Strip are being
punished. Dozens of civilians have been killed.

Secondly, he cites targeting civilians: The Israeli airstrikes are
aimed at the civilian areas of one of the most crowded areas on the
planet. Finally he cites, "disproportionate military response": The
air assault has not only destroyed Gaza's police and security offices,
but has killed and injured hundreds of civilians.

He concludes by stating while the Hamas rocket attacks are unlawful
they do not give Israel the right either as an Occupying Power or a
sovereign state to violate international humanitarian law and commit
war crimes or crimes against humanity in its response.

CUPE demands that the Canadian government, as a member nation of the
UN, condemn the serious violations of humanitarian and international
law by the State of Israel as outlined above, and to lend Canada's
voice to those nations seeking an immediate ceasefire and a renewed
commitment to the pursuit of peace in the Middle East.

Yours truly,

PAUL MOIST
National President
Canadian Union of Public Employees

cc: Michael Ignatieff, Liberal Leader
Jack Layton, NDP Leader
Gilles Duceppe, Bloc Québécois Leader
National Executive Board
Ken Georgetti, CLC

mf/cope 491

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I commend the CUPE for their stand on this.  

_________________________________________________________________________________________________
Our Demands Most Moderate are/
We Only Want The World!
-James Connolly

Unionist

From the [url=[=red]CAW">http://caw.ca/en/5346.htm][b]CAW website[/url]:

Quote:
January 4, 2009

The Right Honorable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A2

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

Re: Crisis in Gaza

I write on behalf of the 250,000 members of the CAW to urge you to add Canada's voice to those condemning the military assaults by Israel in Gaza and calling for an immediate and unconditional withdrawal by Israel from the Gaza Strip. With each day that passes the situation in Gaza becomes more acute. Civilian casualties, including women and children, now exceed one hundred and the situation is dire.

We also join with those who condemn Hamas for launching rockets indiscriminately into civilian areas and we urge you to call on the Hamas leaders to immediately stop this practice.

Mr. Prime Minister, I call on you to convey to Israel the urgent need to open up the border crossings to allow vital supplies to reach those in need. The blockade over the past year, which Canada supported, has already created a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. There is no justification for the collective punishment of Palestinian civilians in retaliation, which is a violation of international law.

The Fourth Geneva Convention obligates an occupying Power to protect the civilian population under its occupation, including through the provision of basic services, such as food and medicines.

Military force will never lead to a resolution of this conflict and can never address the legitimate grievances of the people of the region. Canada's voice needs to be heard as a call for diplomacy and discussion so that no further innocent lives are lost in this decades old conflict. I urge you to act without delay.

Yours truly,

KEN LEWENZA
National President
Canadian Auto Workers Union

NorthReport
Star Spangled C...

MY union certainly won't follow along and if CUPE ever brought it to us we'd tell them to go fuck themselves. MY union represents university teachers and is committed to protecting our academic freedom.

Unionist

LOL!!!

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I wonder if SSC sings "Blue & White" to himself when he posts. I like to think so.

Quote:
Duke, we thy anthems raise
For all thy praises untold;
We'll sing for the Blue and White
Whose colors we unfold.
Firm stands her line of blue
For they are loyal through and through,
Fighting with the spirit true
All for the love of old D.U.
Fight, we'll fight with all our strength and might- HEY!
Win, we can!
So here we give a hand:
Hey, Rah, Rah, Rah, Rah,
D-U-K-E, Rah!

Anyway, the Scottish Trade Union ruled to stand in solidarity with their Palestinian peers at their meeting yesterday. Text of open letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown:

Quote:
Dear Gordon,

On behalf of the Scottish Trades Union Congress I wish to express our outrage, condemnation, and deep concern at the current attacks being carried out by Israel on Gaza, which have killed over 500 Palestinian people, including women and children.

Given the ground incursion by Israeli troops into the densely populated area of Gaza, there is little doubt that the bloodshed and violence will continue and that the number of civilian deaths will only increase. The situation is bleak with hospitals running out of medical supplies as the Israeli blockade continues to suffocate the people of Gaza. The region's power and infrastructure networks are on the verge of collapse with over 85% of Gazans depending on UN food aid - which is at critically low levels.

We are deeply concerned at the economic blockade Israel has inflicted upon Gaza, the separation wall it has constructed, and its continuing occupation of Palestinian lands. The STUC is clear that the Israeli violence in Gaza and the killing of hundreds of innocent Palestinian people is out of all proportion to the attacks Israel is currently facing.

The STUC urges you to do all in your power to put pressure on the Israeli Government to halt its attacks on the people of Gaza. We believe that strong statements of condemnation must be forthcoming from world leaders and political institutions. As someone who prides himself in standing up for the vulnerable and oppressed, and who always promotes justice and fairness, we urge you to use your position to do what you can to end the killing of innocent people.

Yours sincerely,

Grahame Smith General Secretary

The STUC will also be trying to convince the Congress (and others) to join the CUPE boycott of Israel a week from Saturday.

Quote:
Speakers in Edinburgh:

Manawel Abdel Al will speak on behalf of the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU)

Salim Vally is a founder member of COSATU and a spokesperson for the South African Anti-War Coalition and Palestine Solidarity Committee

Katherine Nastovski was the Chair of the International Solidarity Committee of Ontario CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) when this key Canadian union body committed to boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel

Speaker from the Palestinian Grassroots Stop the Wall Campaign.

[...]

Aim of the conference:

To educate trade unionists on the current situation for Palestinian workers and to debate and provide information for grassroots trade unionists on the current call from Palestinian civil society, including the PGFTU and other Palestinian trade unions, for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.

 

 

Doug

The CEP may write a nasty letter on my behalf but I'd rather they spent the time figuring out how not to get totally hosed at negotiations this year.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

News from Norway:

Quote:
Demonstrations have now been held in at least 28 cities:

Oslo, Stavanger, Sandnes, Fredrikstad, Trondheim, Hamar, Sortland, Namsos, Arendal, Norheimsund, Mosjøen, Bergen, Sarpsborg, Tønsberg, Harstad, Tromsø, Kristiansand, Notodden, Vadsø, Mo i Rana, Alta, Kirkenes, Røros, Volda, Halden, Gjøvik, Lillehammer, Selbu.

The numbers of participants have never been bigger.

Union activities:

POLITICAL STRIKE: Thursday ALL trains in the whole of Norway, and all trams and subways in Oslo, will stand still for two minutes as a result of a political strike organized by the Norwegian Locomotive Union and the Oslo Tram Workers Union in protest of the Israeli invasion of Gaza.

A large selection of Norwegian trade unions and organizations has endorsed a new campaign for the withdrawal of all State investments in Israel. The call is endorsed by so far 6 of the largest national trade unions.

The Union of Trade and Office Workers calls on all members to ask their employers to remove Israeli produtcts from stores. The union is the by far largest union of workers in all types of private and public stores in Norway.

The confederation of Norwegian Trade Unions (LO), with apr. 1/5 of the whole Norwegian population as members, condemns the Israeli bombing and invasion in Gaza and calls for demonstrations.

The Norwegian Church has protested Israels invasion of Gaza and was, according to media, "called to the carpet" by the Israeli embassador.

22.000 supports the Facebook-group demanding the embassador to be expelelled from Norway. The Facebook-group has got attention in all major newspaper and was hacked by a Zionist hacker-group but is now back on track.

31% of Norwegians supports the boycott of Israel, in a survey by the pro-Israel tabloid VG today. The question was politicaly charged "Do you support the Socialist Left's boycott of Israel?" If not mentioning the Socialists the number would probably be much higher. The vast majority in all groups in the survey is against the Israeli invasion of Gaza.

[url=Source[/url]">http://www.marxmail.org/msg55354.html]Source[/url]

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Meanwhile the NDP is still M.I.A.

Quote:

While parties normally love to get their name in print, the NDP is uncharacteristically reluctant to talk up its Mideast policy. I try to get Foreign Affairs critic Paul Dewar on the phone only to be told he won’t be available for comment.

Source: [url=Gutless">http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=166692][u]Gutless Canadian politicians...[/url]

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quote:
MY union represents university teachers and is committed to protecting our academic freedom.

Yes, Academic Freedom. Not to be confused with FREEDOM. Let them enslave and slaughter them but let me enjoy my cappucino with the brutes who did it while discussing matters of intellectual irrelevance. 

Actually, now that I think of it, as much as I've always opposed the idea of labeling academics elitist, here we have an academic newly elected president of the USA and another leading Canada's Liberal Party and they're both proving as gutless as their colleagues who are so silent on the destruction of a univesity in Gaza and yet so protective of their own little empires of entitlements and perqs. Hmmmm!

 

Red T-shirt

CUPE and others are doing the right thing. Unfortunately, my union won't be doing squat. I was also dissappointed when I went NDP.ca and read the federal parties statement. Way too much fence sitting going on there.

penumbra

i think we really need to defend sid somehow... maybe we can start another thread on this? (unless i missed one. in which case i'm sorry, my concentration isn't the best atm.) there are no canadian news articles supporting him if you run a search of his name on google news. the sick majority are trashing him endlessly, basically trying to ruin him. if a windsor star article is accurate, a growing number of people within the union may be trying to push for his resignation. we can't lose someone like him, or have his political reputation ruined just because he shows the exact type of political bravery we need right now. maybe rabble should have an article to support him for the front page? maybe someone should start a facebook group? it's minor, but an anti-cupe group already has over a thousand memebers. aside from that, i can only find ones that are anti-sid and anti-cupe, except for one small group of 8 or some people that does claim to support him, but can't spell and comes across as awkward and having true anti-semitic issues that they need to address.

am i right to be worried? i'm no expert on interpreting political situations, so i'm sorry if i am way off base.

Star Spangled C...

Frustrated Mess wrote:

Yes, Academic Freedom. Not to be confused with FREEDOM. Let them enslave and slaughter them but let me enjoy my cappucino with the brutes who did it while discussing matters of intellectual irrelevance. 

I can assure you that few people who ahve benefitted from medical research consider the collaboration on research and sharing information "intellectual irrelevance."

Unionist

Letter of support from Canadian Union of Postal Workers


Quote:

JANUARY 7TH, 2009

The Right Honourable Stephan Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington street.
Ottawa, On K1A 0A2


Re: Middle East crisis

On behalf of the 56,000 members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, I am writing to demand that the Canadian government condemn the military assault on the people of Gaza that the state of Israel commenced on December 26th, 2008.

Canada must also call for a cessation of the ongoing Israeli siege of Gaza, which has resulted in the collective punishment of the entire Gaza population.

Canada must also address the root cause of the violence: Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

Israel's current actions are totally out of proportion with any notion of self-defense. Israel's actions are resulting in the massacre of people in Gaza.

Israel's action will not bring peace to the region. they will result in Israel being less secure.

Professor Richard Falk, the UN's Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied territories, has characterized the Israeli offensive as containing "...severe and massive violations of international humanitarian law as defined in the Geneva Conventions, both in regards to the obligations of an occupying power and in the requirements of the laws of war."

CUPW strongly urges the Canadian government to condemn the serious violations of humanitarian and international law by the state of Israel.

The Israeli Government's siege and military incursions into Gaza are not isolated events. It is a direct result of Israel's ongoing occupation of Palestine and the refusal of the Israeli government to abide by numerous United Nations security council resolutions.

Therefore, as a longer term strategy, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers is asking your government to adopt a program of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and complies with international law, including the rights of palestinian refugees to return to their homes as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

Yours truly,

Denis Lemelin
National President

cc.
Michael Ignatieff, Liberal Leader
Jack Layton, NDP Leader
Gilles Duceppe, Bloc Quebecois Leader
National Executive Board
Locals
Ken Georgetti, Canadian Labor Congress

 

lagatta

There doesn't seem to be a thread on this weekend's demos, and I can't start threads on this board (among the many software incompatibility problems), so just a reminder here:

Do keep warm, everyone, on your respective demonstrations for the people of Gaza.

Reminding everyone that ours is at Dorchester Square today - Saturday the 10th of January, (opposite the FORMER Israeli consulate, Peel and René-Lévesque) and no doubt marching to Guy-Favreau. There is also a demo in Québec City, from Carré d'Youville.

Fuck, is it cold.

Lord Palmerston

Lewenza's statement is far better than what Hargrove had to say during the Lebanon war.

Unionist

Lord Palmerston wrote:
Lewenza's statement is far better than what Hargrove had to say during the Lebanon war.

That's the understatement of the century!

After his luxury visit to Israel as the pampered guest of Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman, Hargrove wrote a horrendous op-ed piece in the Toronto Star, which gave the Zionists orgasms. [url=http://www.jewishtoronto.net/page.aspx?id=118739]Here is one reprint[/url] of that infamous screed. I won't quote from it, because I plan to have lunch today.

Lewenza's piece (among other developments) is a sign that, hopefully, the CAW can now return to normal.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=Australian">http://links.org.au/node/845][u]Australian unionists back "boycott apartheid Israel" call[/url]

miles

like the blowhard that Syd is he has once again buckled to pressure

 

http://cupe.on.ca/doc.php?document_id=677&lang=en

 

Quote:

It is important to understand that this is not a call to boycott individual Israeli academics. Rather, the boycott call is aimed at academic institutions and the institutional connections that exist between universities here and those in Israel.

 

funny a week ago it was about individuals

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

miles wrote:

funny a week ago it was about individuals

Nonsense.

The link you posted makes it clear that CUPE Ontario calls on Ontario universities and university workers to "refuse to participate in academic cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli universities..." Such a position would inevitably involve refusal to cooperate and collaborate with individual Israeli academics, and a refusal to have visiting Israeli academics speaking and working on Canadian campuses. That doesn't mean the boycott is directed against individuals as opposed to Israeli academia in general.

CUPE's position has not changed. Nor should it.

penumbra

miles wrote:
like the blowhard that Syd is he has once again buckled to pressure

 

miles, like one out of every five national post articles mentioning him, you can't even spell his name.

blake 3:17

Ryan rebuked by national CUPE head 

Union leader softens stance on boycott of Israeli academics

Jan 14, 2009 04:30 AM

Kenyon Wallace
STAFF REPORTER

CUPE's national president has rebuked the union's Ontario leader over his call for a boycott of Israeli academics.

On Jan. 2, Sid Ryan, head of the provincial office of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, said in a news release "... we are ready to say Israeli academics should not be on our campuses unless they explicitly condemn the (Islamic) university bombing and the assault on Gaza in general."

Jewish groups condemned the proposal and, yesterday, they were joined by Paul Moist, president of CUPE's national office.

"I believe such a resolution is wrong and would violate the anti-discrimination standards set out in the CUPE Constitution," Moist said in a release.

"I will be using my influence in any debates on such a resolution to oppose its adoption."

In an interview, he added: "We don't discriminate against people based on their nationality."

Yesterday, Ryan, whose union is autonomous from the national office, insisted he and Moist are "on the same page" and that he changed his proposal more than a week ago to focus on Israeli institutions, not individuals.

 

http://www.thestar.com/News/Ontario/article/570631