There is no place for racism in the world we build together: OPSEU/SEFPO statement against anti-semitic violence in North York

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OPSEU/SEFPO is horrified by the shooting at the Bois Chaya Mushka Girls School on Saturday night. This anti-semitic attack on the Jewish community in North York exemplifies the international implications of war, a clear result of the spiral of violence in the Middle East. There is no place for anti-semitism, or any form of racism, in the world we want to build together. The spiral of hatred, of anti-semitism, of Islamophobia and so many other forms of racism and harassment that we are seeing in Ontario is a reflection of unending death and destruction in Israel and Palestine. We stand against racist violence in Canada as much as we stand for peace in the Middle East – and an end to militarized violence across Turtle Island and beyond.

When politics fail, all we have is each other. Violence is not the solution: not in our communities, not on our university campuses and not in the Middle East. Democracy means that we must find ways to put our trust in solidarity and shared futures. We need to build bridges with each other, as individuals, as communities, and as a union – we take our responsibility to foster dialogue and debate seriously. For this reason, freedom of expression, association, and assembly are fundamental to our very existence. It is through the exercise of these freedoms that we learn to speak the language of justice and lay the blueprint towards a collective and just peace, here and everywhere else in the world. It is the same freedoms and the same peace that we wish for all people.