"We reject all forms of racism, discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance. We strive for inclusivity at work, in our union and across society. Respect and compassion will always be at the forefront of our efforts." — Elisabeth Ballermann, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer
Ottawa (21 March 2019) — In 1966, the UN General Assembly proclaimed March 21 as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This day is to commemorate the 1960 Sharpeville massacre in South Africa. Ain which 69 black people were killed and more than 180 wounded, after police fired on a crowd of anti-apartheid protesters. Since then, people around the world have used this day to recommit to working against racism.
Rise of hate, in Canada, and around the world
Last week, the world witnessed the tragedy in Christchurch, New Zealand. Fueled by hate, it is not the first act of violence perpetrated by those in the far-right, nationalist and populist movements. Extremist actors target migrants, refugees, people of colour, Muslims, minorities, women and gender-diverse communities. They enjoy creating havoc and terror as they sow the seeds of division and suspicion.
The rise of extremist ideology isn't just taking place in other countries, it is right here in Canada. According to the latest data from Statistics Canada, police-reported hate crime in Canada had been on the rise for a few years before taking a sharp upswing in 2017.. There were 2,073 reported incidents that year, up from 1,295 in 2014, 1,362 in 2015 and 1,409 in 2016. The biggest increases in 2017 were in crimes related to race, ethnicity and religion.
Promote equality, social justice and peace
"We need to take the rise of these supremact groups in Canada and around the world more seriously," said Elisabeth Ballermann, Secretary-Treasurer of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE). "We need to meet extremist ideology with vigorous condemnation."
"As a trade union committed to equality and social justice, we will continue to promote human rights, peace, and democracy," Ballermann said. "We reject all forms of racism, discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance. We strive for inclusivity at work, in our union and across society. Respect and compassion will always at the forefront of our efforts."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE