Protesters blockading TTM Technologies in Toronto on Monday, February 26.
Protesters blockading TTM Technologies in Toronto on Monday, February 26. Credit: World BEYOND War Credit: World BEYOND War

Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the TTM Technologies plant on Monday morning, February 26 to block the morning shift from starting at the US-based arms manufacturer.

TTM Technologies builds circuit boards that are used in war planes and bomb systems, and their products have been exported to Israel to use in their military.

The Monday morning protest was just the first of what will be rolling blockades of Canadian arms manufacturers across the country, which will continue throughout the week.

“We’re here today because we refuse to stand aside when we know that companies from coast to coast are arming and profiting off of Israel’s genocidal violence in Gaza,” said Rachel Small, organizer of World BEYOND War, one of the groups organizing the blockades. “Frankly, we cannot in good conscience stand by and ignore what’s happening right in our backyards.”

Small explained that they were calling on the federal Liberal government and Global Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly to implement an arms embargo on Israel.

“This blockade here in Scarborough, in Toronto this morning is kicking off rolling actions across this week at weapons companies,” she said. “We’re joined by thousands, coast to coast, who are saying ‘enough is enough.’ We’re going to enforce an arms embargo ourselves, until Mélanie Joly and the government make it happen.”

In October Israel launched a large military operation against the Palestinians living in Gaza. On October 7 the Hamas terrorist group attacked Israel killing over 1,200 people and taking hundreds hostage.

Since Israel began its attack on Gaza tens of thousands of Palestinians have been killed, mostly women and children. The bombings of Gaza have completely destroyed most of the infrastructure in the Palestinian territory, including hospitals, churches, schools and other cultural centres and has made it difficult for Palestinians to access clean water and food.

South Africa brought charges of genocide against Israel, and in late January the International Court of Justice instructed Israel to take steps to prevent genocide. Throughout February, however, bombings of Gaza have continued.

READ MORE: International Court draws a line in the sand for Israel

“The circuit boards that are made right here are exported to Israel where they get put into the military’s war planes and targeted bomb systems,” said Small. “Israel is committing this genocidal violence that we’re all seeing and the Canadian government is refusing to give us a straight answer about the record breaking amount of Canadian military exports that they’ve approved to Israel just in the last few months.”

Unionized workers support blockade

Members of the labour movement were present on the picket line on Monday morning in front of TTM Technologies.

“Today we are upholding our trade union principles in the name of the Palestinian workers who have asked us to do all we can to stop the flow of arms to Israel as it commits genocide in Gaza. This is the picket line, and like all picket lines where workers are demanding justice and fairness, we ask that you do not cross” said Pamela Arancibia of Labour for Palestine.

Simon Black of Labour Against the Arms Trade called on unions to refuse to transport or load weapons bound for Israel.

“UN experts and respected civil society organizations, including Amnesty International and Oxfam, have called for the Government of Canada to stop military exports to Israel or risk being complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity,” said Black.

Earlier this month, a group of major Canadian unions called on the Canadian government to restore funding to the United Nations Refugee and Works Agency (UNRWA), the main aid organization supporting Palestinians who have been victims of the violence in Gaza.

RELATED: Canadian unions condemn decision to cut funding to UNRWA as Gaza burns and innocents die 

The government announced that they would withhold funding for UNRWA after Israel accused some of its members of supporting Hamas’ October 7 attack, an accusation that has yet to be conclusively substantiated.

On February 9, leaders of six unions wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling on his government to restore funding to UNRWA.

The letter signed by the presidents of the United Steelworkers, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Unifor, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and the National Union of Public and General Employees reads in part:

“On behalf of six Canadian labour unions representing over 2 million workers, we are writing to raise concern about the recent announcement by the Government of Canada to suspend funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the primary aid agency for Palestinian refugees in Gaza and throughout the region. In the interest of safety and security for millions of Palestinians, we request that you reverse this decision.”

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Nick Seebruch

Nick Seebruch has been the editor of since April 2022. He believes that fearless independent journalism is key for the survival of a healthy democracy. An OCNA award-winning journalist, for...