Building Solidarity from South Africa to Palestine

April 27th, 2011 | Posted in Boycott, Canada, Palestine, Quebec

A speaking tour with trade union representatives from South Africa & Palestine
May 22 – June 2, 2011


    Photo: Palestinian flag at Gaza solidarity protest.

featuring representatives from
The Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors & Employees (PFUUPE)
The South African Union of Municipal Workers (SAMWU)

Cross-Canada tour stops include: Montreal + Ottawa + Toronto + Hamilton + London + Windsor + Regina + Vancouver. see below for more detailed information on events in different cities

Purpose of the tour:

This speaking tour will be an important opportunity for debate and discussion on the question of how we as trade unionists can stand in solidarity with Palestinians.

The tour will ask:

* Why are trade unionists globally comparing the situation in Palestine with that of South African apartheid?

* What is the situation of Palestinian workers today?

* Why has there been a call by Palestinian trade unions for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) modeled on the solidarity movement against South African apartheid?

* What is the role of trade union activists in what is happening in Palestine and South Africa today?

There is a great urgency in building our solidarity with Palestinian workers. It is important to note that Palestinian trade unions continue to operate in and confront a daily reality of military occupation, apartheid walls and neoliberal austerity.

In Gaza, 98% of industrial operations remain idle as a result of Israel’s three-year blockade, which includes severe restrictions on electricity, heating oil, natural gas and construction materials. In the occupied West Bank, 25% of the population continues to face food insecurity as well as a complex network of 400-500 military checkpoints, roadblocks, fences, and other obstacles that separate Palestinian workers from their workplaces.

The General Union of Palestinian Workers (GUPW), Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), and the Palestinian Federation of Independent Trade Unions (PFITU) have been at the forefront of the Palestinian movement challenging these multiple violations of Palestinian workers’ rights.

The “Building Solidarity from Palestine to South Africa” speaking tour is an important step in consolidating the worker-to-worker solidarity already established between Palestinian and Canadian and Québécois trade unionists. Make your union part of this historic step in the movement for Palestinian human rights by sponsoring this tour!


Dr. Amjad Barham is the head of the Palestine Polytechnic University employees union and the President of the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Employees and Professors. The Federation represents unions at all Palestinian universities in the West Bank and Gaza. Dr. Barham is a professor in applied mathematics.

PFUUPE is member of the Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS PTUC-BDS, which includes almost the entirety of the blocks composing the Palestinian trade union movement, and is based on the Palestinian civil society call for BDS launched in 2005, as well as the standards adopted by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC).

Sponsors & endorsers of the tour & local events include:

• Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW-STTP)
• Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) – Ontario Division
• CUPE Ontario International Solidarity Committee
• CUPE Toronto District Council
• CUPE Metro Vancouver District Council
• CUPE Local 15
• CUPE Local 2491
• CUPE Local 3903, Toronto
• CUPE Local 3906, Hamilton Political Action Committee
• CEP Local 2025
• Fédération nationale des enseignants et enseignantes du Québec (FNEEQ)
• FTQ Regional Conseil Montreal
• London & District Labour Council
• Metropolitan Montréal Central Council, Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CCMM-CSN)
• Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association’s Toronto Secondary Unit Human Rights Committee
• Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) Local 568
• Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU) Social Justice Committee, Simon Fraser University
• Toronto Secondary Unit OECTA Human Rights’ Committee
• Vancouver & District Labour Council

• Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign, Vancouver
• Canada Palestine Association Vancouver
• Canada-Palestine Support Network
• Canadian Arab Federation
• The Centre for Race Autobiography Gender and Age Studies (RAGA)
• Faculty for Palestine
• Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War
• Independent Jewish Voices
• London Solidarity Coalition for Palestine
• Not in Our Name: Jewish Voices Opposing Zionism
• South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD)
• Students Against Israeli Apartheid
• Tadamon! Montreal
• The Canada-Palestine Support Network (CanPalNet)

Ways your union can support this important tour:

Sponsor the tour, host the trade unionists, organize members to come out to the event in your community, donate funds, publicize the tour or write about it in your newsletter or website.

To Sponsor, Donate or Participate in the Tour
please contact: satopalestine(at)

tour dates

Sun May 22
Oak Room, Vanier Hall, University of Windsor

Sat May 21
Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham St. (Bathurst subway)

Thurs May 26
CUPE Ontario Convention, Sheraton Hotel, 123 Queen St. West

info: 416-828-3851

Tues May 24
McMaster University

Wed May 25
Tolpuddle room, 380 Adelaide St. North (at King)

contact: David Heap
Email: david.heap(at)
Phone: 519 858 9560 or 519 859 3579

Thurs May 27
7:30 pm
Regina Union Centre
2709 12th Ave

contact info: (306)569-9787 or info(at)

Sun May 29
Maritime Labour Centre • 1880 Triumph Street, Vancouver
(Victoria and Triumph, two blocks north of Hastings St.)
Email: boycottapartheid(at)
Phone: 604-779-7430

Wed. June 1
Centre St. Pierre, room 200
1212, rue Panet (metro Beaudry)
info: 514-659-0106 or info(at)

Thurs. June 2
McNabb Community Centre
Preschool Room
180 Percy Street


we have been informed the tour is postponed b/c the Palestinian representative was unable to get a visa (got notice after sending out an event listing last night)

Comment by org4justice — May 16th, 2011 @ 10:01 AM

There is no mention of the talk event in McMaster university!

Comment by Mohamed — May 21st, 2011 @ 7:20 AM

Mohamed, McMaster is actually mentioned, check under Hamilton…

Comment by Ramy — May 23rd, 2011 @ 8:37 AM

The event at McMaster was excellent, with an unexpected third guest speaker also. Will try to comment more fully later.

Comment by Anne — May 25th, 2011 @ 1:00 PM

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