The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) condemns the recent violence in Charlottesville, the result of provocative demonstrations driven by racism, hate and exclusion. White supremacists, including the former director of the Ku Klux Klan, marched with torches, Nazi symbols and hateful, racist, anti-Semitic chants, attacking those who stood courageously in defence of human decency, murdering civil rights activist Heather Heyer and injuring dozens more. Canada’s unions stand in solidarity with the victims of this deliberate and hateful violence.
With a president who has himself promoted hate, and now champions rather than condemns the perpetrators of the violence in Charlottesville, the United States has a very frightening challenge ahead.
That challenge must also be faced here in Canada. Some of the neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville were from Canada, and support for the hatred they espouse is growing here too. From the treatment of Indigenous peoples to the murder of Muslim worshipers in Quebec to the countless other examples of hatred being experienced by racialized and vulnerable individuals, we must recognize that we too face an enormous challenge in combatting racism, xenophobia and hate across our own nation.
The CLC calls on labour, community, political and business leaders, regardless of partisanship, to work together in solidarity to take on this challenge, and to help stamp out the hate, discrimination, and oppression being visited upon minorities and vulnerable persons here in Canada.