Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Canadian govt votes against human rights

More shocking news to contend with if you are a Canadian. The federal Conservative government is muddying our collective face as Canadians. Our nation is a pariah, an outcast from other humanitarian believing nations around the world. This new low, following on the heels of Canada condemning !!voting against!! the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Sept. 2007, is another example of our power cabal not representing the beliefs of most Canadians. I urge you to take time from your schedules today to take action and send letters to our government. Let them know you do not back their position. I received this call for letters today from the Toronto-based Coalition to Stop the War group:

Canada's shame: Conservative government votes against human rights.

Send a letter to Stephen Harper to condemn these actions.

On January 12, 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to condemn the "massive violations of human rights" by Israel in Gaza. Thirty-three countries voted in favour of the resolution. Shamefully, Canada was the only country to vote against.

Send a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper to register your opposition. Simply cut-and-paste the sample letter below into the body of your e-mail, and include your details at the end. Then cut-and-paste the e-mail addresses listed here (your e-mail will be sent to the Prime Minister, the Foreign Affairs Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, and all other party leaders in Parliament).

pm@pm.gc.ca; Cannon.L@parl.gc.ca; Ignatieff.M@parl.gc.ca; Layton.J@parl.gc.ca; Duceppe.G@parl.gc.ca

Let us know about your efforts. Please cc the Canadian Peace Alliance: cpa@web.ca.

To: Prime Minister Stephen Harper

The Canadian Peace Alliance, Canada's largest pan-Canadian peace network, representing more than 150 organizations, condemns your shameful decision to be the only country to vote against the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution calling for an end to the "massive human rights violations" against the people of Gaza. Further, we demand that the Government of Canada publicly support that resolution and call on Israel to immediately cease the killing of Palestinians and withdraw from the Gaza Strip.

After 17 days of fighting in Gaza, more than 900 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed by the Israelis, and more than 3,500 wounded. The Israeli actions have been condemned by international human rights organizations and the United Nations as violating international law and the Geneva Conventions. The systemic destruction of civilian infrastructure and the collective punishment of the people of Gaza is nothing short of a war crime. The Government of Canada, by not supporting this UN resolution, is complicit in those war crimes.

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza gets worse with each day of the aggressive Israeli attacks. The 1.5 million people of Gaza are threatened with a disaster as the necessities of life - water, food and medical supplies - run dangerously low. More than 25,000 Gazan civilians have been internally displaced and there is no route for them to escape the carnage.

The people of Canada want their government to ensure the just application of international law yet this decision, once again, shows that the Conservative government supports the wholesale slaughter of innocent people. Thousands of Canadians and hundreds of thousands around the world have demonstrated to end the war in Gaza. We demand you stand with the growing international consensus and call for an end to the war on the people of Gaza now.

Please include:

Your name
Postal Code

cc: Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Michael Ignatieff, Liberal Leader
Jack Layton, New Democratic Party Leader
Gilles Duceppe, Bloc Québécois Leader


marja-leena said...

Thank you for this as well as all your excellent and passionate articles on this awful situation in Gaza. By signing several petitions like this that are going around, I feel in my own small way that I can voice my opposition. There's so much passionate writing on the internet that I can hardly read it all - have you seen Naomi Klein's?


I'm still struggling for words for a post on my blog too. I hope for the Gazans that all our voices will affect a stop to the killings and promote lasting change in the middle East.

Aljermi said...

Hi Taina,

I congratulate you on this blog and also for the energy you have for such a great cause!!

God bless you

Niaraga Falls, Ontario

northshorewoman said...

marja-leena, thank you for the link to Naomi Klein. Yes, I did read her piece on boycott, sanctions, and divestments. This is a key step that we need to keep ongoing pressure on, not only in our own lives regarding shopping habits and consumer choices, but on our governments, so they, in our name, can effect real change for the Palestinians -- as well as for the Israelis! Aren't they tired of living in insecurity that their creation of a climate of fear and antagonism has birthed? Their experiment as a nation, as an exclusive Jewish Zionist state has failed. So, why don't they rise up and listen to the ones amongst them who have others ways of living together with the Palestinians?

I just read the statement of Al Mezan that also instructs us in the international community:

"The Center, while commending the worldwide action against these violations, calls on civil societies around the world to exert more pressure on their governments so that they act in conformity with the relevant human rights and humanitarian obligations as prescribed in relevant international law."


I. Aljermi, thank you, and God bless you, too; I am sure you too are doing your share for the just cause of the Palestinian people.

Merche Pallarés said...

I would love to send your letter to the neo-con Prime Minister that Canada (that great humanistic country that it has always been) doesn't deserve. Who voted for that shmuck??? (I still remember my Yiddish!!) but, unfortunately, being cyber-illiterate I don't know if I will be able to do it. Tomorrow I'll follow your instructions thoroughly and see if I'm lucky... Much love, M.