OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas issued the following statement on the mass murders at two New Zealand mosques.
OPSEU members, like many Canadians, were shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic shootings that claimed the lives of 49 people and wounded more than 40 during Friday prayers at two New Zealand mosques. As we grapple with this terrible news, we send our love, prayers and solidarity to the victims, their families and communities who are mourning this unbearable loss.
OPSEU condemns this act of cowardice in the strongest possible terms, and our members and leadership are absolutely sickened by the racism and Islamophobia that lie at the root of this heinous crime.
As we confront yet another atrocity, we must come together like never before; in our grief and sorrow, but also in our courage and conviction that we will overcome hate and division. We must confront those who spread and tolerate hate, and who commit such heinous acts of violence. We have a responsibility to the victims, their families and to all oppressed peoples.
Together we are indivisible, not intimidated, and we must practice love not loathing.
As Canadians and as trade unionists, we celebrate our diversity and understand that it’s our strength.
To all those touched by this terrible tragedy, please know that you have an ally in OPSEU. We stand in solidarity with all members of the Muslim community, today and every day.