Thursday, April 17, 2008

National union votes for boycott and divestment against Apartheid Israel

Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid

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Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) Congratulates Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) on Historic Boycott Resolution!

16 April 2008 -

CAIA extends its warm congratulations to the delegates of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers national convention held in Ottawa, Canada, April 13-17th 2008. At the convention, CUPW passed an historic resolution, Resolution 338/339, in support of the global campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israeli Apartheid. This resolution is an extremely significant landmark for the Palestinian solidarity movement in Canada. It represents the first time in North American history that a national union has passed a BDS resolution.

The resolution recognizes Israel as an apartheid state and expresses CUPW’s support for boycott and divestment from Israel. It was passed almost unanimously after nearly one hour of discussion on the convention floor.

CUPW represents more than 50,000 postal workers across Canada and has been at the forefront of campaigns against privatization and deregulation at Canada Post. The union has a proud history of international solidarity. During the South African apartheid years, CUPW was at the forefront of labour solidarity with South African workers and engaged in concrete actions such as the refusal to handle mail from South Africa.

The CUPW resolution was modeled on Resolution 50 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (Ontario), which was passed in May 2006 and re-affirmed in 2007. The resolution commits CUPW to “support the international campaign of BDS until Israel meets its obligations to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.”

The resolution states that CUPW will work “… with Palestinian solidarity and human rights organizations to develop an educational campaign about the apartheid nature of the Israeli state and the political and economic support of Canada for these practices.” The resolution also calls on the Canadian government to increase humanitarian aid to Palestinians who have been affected by the conflict, and commits CUPW to research on Canadian involvement in the occupation.

CAIA congratulates CUPW on this vital show of support for Palestinian workers and their families. At a time when the Palestinian people are suffering under brutal siege and daily bombardment this resolution is an important show of solidarity. Today alone, 22 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children, were killed by Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip. The explicit recognition by yet another Canadian union that Israel is an apartheid state, deserving of international isolation and boycott in the manner of South African Apartheid, is an inspiration for the North American and international labour movements. It is one further confirmation that the Israeli apartheid regime has deservedly become a pariah for progressive movements across the globe.

We call on supporters across the world to take the following action in support of CUPW:

1) Immediately email and fax the CUPW National office congratulating them on their stand against Israeli apartheid (sample letter below). Please fax your letter of support to CUPW National Office at ++ (613) 563-7861 or email and we will pass them on to the CUPW national officeholders.

2) If you are a member of a union then get involved! Please contact the CAIA Labour Committee, Labour for Palestine, at for ideas and ways to get involved in Palestinian solidarity work within your workplace and union.

3) Visit your local post office and thank the workers for this resolution! Let them know that you appreciate this show of solidarity with Palestine.

fUNDraIseR: Turtle Island to Palestine: Free All Political Prisoners!

Location: The Cervejaria Downtown Bar and Grill, 842 College Street (College and Ossington) || Time: 7pm - 2am ||To coincide with Palestine Political Prisoners Day, the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA), is organising a fundraiser in support of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation (AAFN) in their struggle against uranium mining on their land.Join us for a night of live cultural performances, dancing, silent auction and great food! All funds raised will be forwarded to the AAFN community. The highly politicized nature of these sentences further underscores the on-going criminalization of indigenous people's basic rights to self-determination and the free use of their lands and resources. Just as Israel refuses to fulfill its obligations under international law with respect to the basic rights of the Palestinian people (including the incarceration of over 10,000 Palestinian political prisoners), the Canadian government has decisively rejected its obligations under the 'UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples' and continues to incarcerate indigenous leaders who defend the basic rights of their peoples to self-determination. Also be sure to read the solidarity statement with the AAFN and KI6 leadership recently issued by the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign.

"My Name Is Rachel Corrie" premieres @ Toronto's Tarragon Extra Space

Location: * Please Post Widely * Limited number of seats available! In 2003 American activist, Rachel Corrie was killed by an Israeli army bulldozer. She was 23 years old. Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner edited Rachel's diaries and emails turning them into a play, "My Name Is Rachel Corrie". The play was produced by the Royal Court Theatre in London where it played to sold out audiences and wide acclaim. Subsequent attempts to mount the play have met with stiff resistance from supporters of Israeli apartheid - including a year ago when a scheduled production at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Performing Arts was pulled. "My Name Is Rachel Corrie" premiers @ Toronto's Tarragon Extra Space. Freedom of speech will not be silenced, and so it is that My Name Is Rachel Corrie has found a home at the Tarragon Extra Space. To learn more, click HERE.

End the Assault on Gaza: Boycott Israeli Apartheid / March with CAIA on International Women's Day (March 8) and "World Against War" (March 15)

Join the CAIA contingent for Women’s Day (March 8) and the Anti-War Rally (March 15) under the banner: "End the Siege on Gaza." People of conscience around the world are mobilizing against this war, which is not only against Palestinians but against the very values of popular struggles for freedom, justice and equality over the world. We are calling all movements and organizations to join the call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli Apartheid and hold the Canadian government accountable for its diplomatic, financial and military support for Apartheid Israel. On Women’s Day, Saturday March 8, the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid will march in solidarity with the people of Gaza in a larger contingent of migrant women, women of colour and our allies. Please come out and join us on March 8 under the banner: "End the Siege on Gaza - Women Fight for Palestine." Also, on Saturday March 15 join the CAIA contingent for the “World Against War" rally to demand “Troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, End the Siege on Gaza”(look for the Palestinian flags).

Campus Repression at McMaster: February 29th Call to Action‏ - Defend the Rights of Student Organizers! Our Movement Will not be Silenced!

The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) calls on all supporters of Palestinian rights to defend the right to organize at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. Last week, the McMaster Provost office, second in authority to that of the President's office, announced that student clubs were banned from using the term “Israeli Apartheid”. This is an unprecedented attack on the right to free speech, academic freedom, and the right to organize. This shocking decision came as students were attempting to organize events as part of Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW). CAIA firmly believes that this attempt to repress student organizing will fail. We call on student organizations, social justice groups and concerned individuals to support students at McMaster and the broader rights of Palestine organizers (full statement : info on action).