UNIFOR passes BDS resolution

UNIFOR, Canada’s largest private-sector union with over 310,000 members, passed a motion in support of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) at its August 18-20 convention.

Resolution number 5, entitled, “Palestinian Self-Determination and the Movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions,” was put forth by the Oshawa-based Local 222 and was easily adopted at the Unifor Canadian Council.

The full text of the resolution reads:

Palestinian Self-Determination and the Movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions

WHEREAS article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention prohibits an occupying power from transferring parts of its own civilian population to territory it occupies; and

WHEREAS the International Court of Justice has ruled that Israel’s settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) violate international law; and

WHEREAS Israeli settlement expansions in the OPT are an undeniable obstacle to the Israel – Palestine peace-process; and

WHEREAS Israel has continued, despite international pressure, to expand its settlements and to demolish Palestinian homes and other infrastructure in the OPT; and

WHEREAS Canada and other nations have previously succeeded in ensuring respect for human rights through the use of economic and political sanctions, including in the case of South Africa; and

WHEREAS the Liberal and Conservative parties recently supported a motion ‘condemning’ attempts by Canadians to promote the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement; and

WHEREAS nothing in this resolution condones the use of force against innocent civilians or other human rights violations by either side in the conflict;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Unifor supports the use of divestment, boycott and sanctions (“BDS”) that are targeted to those sectors of Israel’s economy and society which profit from the ongoing occupation of the OPT; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Unifor will support such a form of BDS until such time as Israel implements a permanent ban on further settlement construction in the OPT, and enters into good faith negotiations with representatives of the Palestinian people for the purpose of establishing a viable, contiguous and truly sovereign Palestinian state ; and

THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that Unifor opposes all efforts to prohibit, punish or otherwise deter expressions of support for BDS.


PSN session at Ignite Change 2017

Intersections of Advocacy
Part of Ignite Change 2017
Tuesday, August 22 (2:45 pm – 3:45 pm)
Grant MacEwan University

PSN is pleased to be hosting a session, Intersections of Advocacy, at the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Right’s Ignite Change 2017 conference.

Join this diverse panel for a lively discussion about the intersections of struggles for equity and justice in the face of oppressive institutions and misinformed citizens. Activists from the Palestinian and Indigenous communities will trace their justice movements and discuss the differences and similarities between their movements. This intersectional panel will provide a broad perspective on the never-ending work that is undertaken to abolish hatred.

You can register for Ignite Change 2017 online, and if money represents an impediment to attend the conference, JHC is sponsoring spots (free admission) and accepting donations (pay what you can).

About the speakers:

Ranya El-Sharkawi is a first generation Canadian with Palestinian roots in Gaza and Jaffa. She is a political science (hon.) student at the University of Alberta and the Vice President External for the Political Science Undergraduate Association. Ranya’s research explores how generations of diasporic Palestinians conceptualize Palestine as a homeland.

April Eve Wiberg is an advocate, survivor and founding member of the Stolen Sisters & Brothers Awareness Movement, a 100% grassroots movement raising awareness on the national epidemic of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Men and Boys. April Eve continues to strive at breaking the cycle of poverty and violence, committing herself to being a strong voice against racism, sexual exploitation and other human rights abuses.

Moderated by Fatme Elkadry, representing the Palestine Solidarity Network. Fatme Elkadry is a first-generation Canadian Muslim with roots in Safed, Palestine. She is pursuing her undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta in Human Geography (hon.). Fatme actively seeks opportunities to engage her local community in the preservation of a lost Palestinian culture and in advocating for the human rights of Palestinian people.

Souls by Aksam Alyousef at the Fringe

Souls at the Edmonton Fringe
August 18 – 27
Venue #4 – Academy at King Edward
8525 101 St

Souls, a play exploring the situation in Israel-Palestine is part of the 2018 Edmonton Fringe Festival.

“Do you see an end to this struggle?” asks Hannah, the protagonist of Syrian playwright Aksam Alyousef’s new play Souls. This daring and sensitive play explores the notions of justice, guilt, redemption, and the complex emotions and opinions that swirl around the ongoing conflict in Israel-Palestine.

It tells the story of Hannah, a Canadian lawyer who moves to Israel with her husband, and into the home of a displaced Palestinian family. Hannah’s conscience is shaken when she meets the soul of the previous resident – a woman killed by a settler’s bullet.

Venue #4
Academy at King Edward
8525 101 St


Friday, August 18 at 9:30 pm
Monday, August 21 at 3:45 pm
Wednesday, August 23 at 2:15 pm
Thursday, August 24 at 8:45 pm
Friday, August 25 at 12:00 pm
Sunday, August 27 at 8:00 pm

Tickets $13 – Students/Seniors $10. Tickets go on sale at noon on Wednesday, August 9, 2017. You can purchase tickets in advance on the Fringe Festival website or call (780) 409-1910. Tickets can also be purchased in person at any of the Festival Box Offices.

If you can’t make it to the play, you can also make an online donation to support the costs of the production of Souls.

Presented by Multicultural Theatre
Written and directed by Aksam Alyousef
Featuring: Sarah Spicer, Shawn Prasad, Amena Shehab and Gnin Alyousef
Stage managed by FengYi Jiang
Stage design by Sarah Kostaska
Poster art by Aboud Alsamlan
Dramaturgy by Morgan Norwich