Tadamon! (Arabic for “solidarity”), is a Montreal-based collective which works in solidarity with struggles for self-determination, equality and justice in the ‘Middle East’ and in diaspora communities in Montreal and beyond.
Vision and Principles
We strive for a world in which every human being is free to live and flourish in dignity and justice. We oppose all systems of oppression whether based on gender, sexual orientation or class and we reject racism in its various forms, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.
We consider struggles for self-determination and justice in Lebanon and Palestine to be inseparable from each other and from other struggles in the ‘Middle East’, a region defined both by shared histories and contemporary imperialism. The significant cross-border displacement of people within the region has further eroded the relevance of national borders, already in question because of their colonial origins and because of the role they play in maintaining local privilege and power.
We recognize that the colonization of Palestine has, from its inception, been connected to Western European aspirations to dominate the entire ‘Middle East,’ We oppose the apartheid policies of Israel, which have been and continue to be supported by Canada. We endorse the July 2005 call by Palestinian civil society organizations for an international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.
Tadamon! works in coordination with grassroots activists in Lebanon, Palestine, Canada and internationally. Located in Montreal, our role is to challenge Canadian state and corporate complicity in injustice and various forms of exploitation and hegemony in the ‘Middle East’ and in Canada.
Nations and states
We reject nationalism, its exclusions and its tendency to exploit, rather than challenge, oppressions based on class, gender, ‘race’ and ethnic or religious affiliation. We do not support any government or political party. At the same time, we recognize that anti-colonial movements have, historically, been nationalist and statist in expression. We stand in solidarity with the popular movements striving for self-determination behind these expressions. Critical analysis and reflection consistently inform these stands.
Collective action, tactics and “terrorism” discourse
We believe that all social and popular-level movements have the right to debate tactics. We also advocate forms of resistance that maximize respect for life and the rights of the oppressed. Tadamon! considers that the Western insistence on “non-violence” in anti-imperialist movements works to deflect attention away from the considerable violence – direct and structural – by means of which western states and their allies advance projects of domination.
We also question the meaning and use of the word “terrorism” in dominant discourse about world affairs. We believe the term is used to marginalize targeted communities in Canada, to engender a climate of fear, silence certain voices in public debate, delegitimize all resistance to imperialism in the ‘Middle East’, and justify violent aggression against the people of the region. For these reasons, we are opposed to the existence of a “terrorist list” in Canada.
We support the efforts of Lebanese, Palestinian and other diasporic communities in Canada to confront immigration policies and racism which contribute to poverty, vulnerability and marginalization. We endorse the call for equal status for everyone in Canada. We also support full social, political and economic rights for refugees and economic migrants throughout the region and globally.
The right to remain, the right to migrate, and the right to return – recognized in international conventions – are all elements of self-determination that we support. We differentiate between the right to migrate – a necessity for millions of people facing poverty, persecution and violence – and settler colonialisms that destroy existing societies and steal land and resources for the benefit of privileged groups.
From Palestine to Turtle Island (North America), we affirm our solidarity with indigenous peoples seeking self-determination and sovereignty.
Globally, we align ourselves with movements that are anti-colonial, anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian in outlook and orientation
Tadamon’s work is guided by an organizational philosophy that gives primacy to decentralisation, autonomy and consensus.
Adopted December 2008