CUPE’s Solidarity with Peaceful Student Pro-Palestine Protests

cupe4163 Uncategorized, University Issues & Events

CUPE fully supports students and CUPE members who are participating in Gaza solidarity encampments on Canadian campuses and exercising their rights to assembly and peaceful protest.

Students have always been at the forefront of the struggle for justice and peace, including for Palestinian liberation. As workers, we know picket lines, protests and civil disobedience are essential tools to challenge power and fight for justice.

CUPE stands with student organizers and calls on university administrators to reject the criminalization of peaceful campus protests, which will only lead to police violence. Instead, administrators should be negotiating in good faith.

Occupations, encampments, and sit-ins have a long history in student and labour movement organizing. Campuses must be places to engage in – not shut down – debate, discussion and demands for change.

The urgency of the current wave of pro-Palestine protests is clear, as the horrifying genocide in Gaza escalates despite the International Court of Justice’s formal call to Israel to stop their offensive on Rafah.

Students are reclaiming democratic space and calling for their institutions to disclose their investments and divest from companies supplying the Israel military, as well as to cut ties with Israeli academic institutions.

Some encampments have faced police violence or the threat of forced eviction, including at the University of Alberta and now at the University of Toronto. We denounce any aggressive escalation or police involvement in the forced removal of students from encampments, and call on administrators not to penalize students or workers for their involvement.

CUPE continues to call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, an end to the blockade of Gaza, the release of all hostages, the restoration of humanitarian aid, and for the Canadian government to immediately suspend the trade of arms and military equipment with Israel.