"Ceasefire now, end the siege" -- 50 Canadian groups issue joint statement on Gaza
Palestinian solidarity rally in Toronto, October 21 -- Image via The Left Chapter
50 Canadian organizations that include labour, faith, community, peace and social justice groups issued a joint statement on Saturday, October 21 entitled "Ceasefire now, end the siege, for a just and lasting peace". Among the signatories are Black Lives Matter - Canada, CUPE, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Independent Jewish Voices Canada, the Iranian Canadian Congress, the Coalition of Canadian Palestinian Organizations, the United Jewish People’s Order and others.
Ceasefire now, end the siege, for a just and lasting peace
People in Canada are watching in horror as the violence in Israel-Palestine has escalated towards an all-out war.
On Tuesday, the bombing of the Anglican Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City killed hundreds of people, most of them children. Over 5,000 people had been sheltering inside. This is a war crime.
Since October 7, thousands have been killed following Hamas’ attack and the Israeli government’s response.
We unequivocally condemn the targeting of innocent Palestinian and Israeli civilians.
As representatives of leading pan-Canadian labour, faith, Arab, Jewish, and civil society organizations, we are calling on the Government of Canada to take these steps:
Call for an immediate ceasefire of all hostilities in Israel-Palestine
Call for an end to the blockade of Gaza and for the restoration of humanitarian aid and access to the basic necessities of life
We endorse the Canadian government’s call for humanitarian aid to Gaza and the safe return of hostages. These demands cannot be meaningfully addressed without an immediate ceasefire and while Israel's blockade of Gaza continues.
Gaza is facing a “complete siege” as food, water, electricity, and fuel have been cut off. Gaza’s last functioning seawater desalination plant shut down on Sunday after running out of fuel. Water and sanitation services have collapsed in the wake of widespread bombing.
UN shelters have also run out of water and hospital workers are warning that thousands more civilians could die if access to water, fuel, and medicine is not restored.
The already dire humanitarian crisis is rapidly deteriorating.
The Israeli government’s order to a million Gazans to evacuate to the south–an impossible feat in 24 hours–suggests that a ground war and intensifying bombing are imminent.
Our most urgent task is preventing the further loss of life and an even greater humanitarian disaster than what we have already witnessed in Gaza. An all-out war would bring catastrophe to the entire region.
As hostilities escalate, they are fuelling a rise of Anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian racism, Islamophobia, and antisemitism in Canada–which we also unequivocally condemn.
Beyond these immediate steps, the world must support efforts for a just and lasting peace in Israel-Palestine and address the root cause of the violence: Israel’s decades-long occupation of Palestinian territory.
Palestinians, Israelis, and all people in the region deserve to live in peace and security and with justice for all.
Arab Canadian Lawyers Association
Asian Canadian Labour Alliance - Ontario
Asian Canadian Women Alliance
Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI)
Black Lives Matter - Canada
Canada Stand Up for Palestinian Children’s Rights
Canadian Boat to Gaza
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Canadian Friends of Sabeel
Canadian Palestinian Professional Foundation
Canadian Palestinian Social Association of London
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario / Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique (SCFP) Ontario
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
Centre international de solidarité ouvrière (CISO)
Le CIBLES - Carrefour international bas-laurentien pour l'engagement social
Coalition of Canadian Palestinian Organizations
Conseil central du Montréal métropolitain CSN
Conseil régional Montréal métropolitain FTQ
Fédération autonome de l’enseignement FAE
Femmes en Mouvement du Québec
Front d’action populaire en réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU)
Independent Jewish Voices Canada
International Coalition For Human Rights in the Philippines Canada
Iranian Canadian Congress
Jewish Faculty Network
Montréal pour un monde sans guerre
Le Mouvement d'éducation populaire et d'action communautaire du Québec (MÉPACQ)
National Council of Canadian Muslims
National Union of Public and General Employees
Oblates Franciscaines de Saint-Joseph
Palestine Network, Shining Waters
People for Peace, London
Public Service Alliance of Canada / L’Alliance de la Fonction publique du Canada
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal, Social Action Office
Soeurs Auxiliatrices, Québec
South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario
Table ronde des organismes volontaires d’éducation Populaire de l’Outaouais
The United Church of Canada
United Jewish People’s Order
United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel
Urban Alliance on Race Relations
World Beyond War
Wildseed Centre for Art & Activism