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Canadian students join BDS against Israeli apartheid! PDF Print E-mail
Oct 28, 2007 at 12:00 AM

October 28th, 2007

Worldwide Activism, Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign

In early October the Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale Étudiante (ASSÉ) passed an important motion joining in the global movement for BDS. In their motion they commit to an education campaign on Israeli apartheid and support for BDS, joining efforts with other Canadian organizations to stop their country’s cooperation and support to Israel.

The ASSE represents around 60,000 CEGEP students in Quebec. CEGEP is a network of colleges in Quebec and ASSE is the union of their student councils.

This motion follows other boycott resolution in Canada, notably the resolution of CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees), Ontario that has helped to spearhead wider trade union boycott motions.

Full text of the Resolution:

In light of ASSÉ’s commitment to social justice locally and internationally and previous ASSÉ resolutions in support of Palestinian human rights;

In the context of a growing international campaign rooted in a 2005 appeal from over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations to launch an international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israeli apartheid;

  1. ASSÉ in collaboration with Palestine solidarity and human rights organizations, develop an education campaign focused on the student movement about the apartheid nature of the Israeli state and the political and economic support of Canada for these practices.
  2. ASSÉ will support the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution194.
  3. ASSÉ will commit to supporting popular actions and education efforts focused on the Canadian and Quebec government’s involvement in the Israeli occupation and call on other Quebec and Canadian student unions to join us in lobbying against the apartheid-like practices of the Israeli state and call for the immediate dismantling of the wall.

ASSÉ is supporting this resolution for the following reasons:

  • The Israeli Apartheid Wall has been condemned and determined illegal under international law, according to the International Court of Justice (IJC);
  • Over 170 Palestinian political parties, unions and other organizations including the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions issued a call in July 2005 for a global campaign of boycotts and divestment against Israel similar to those imposed against South African Apartheid;
  • Other labor unions such as CUPE Ontario, the Congress of South African Unions (COSATU), the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU) in Ireland, the Norwegian Electrician and IT workers' union, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, the Transport and General Workers Union (UK), UNISON (UK), have firmly supported the international boycott campaign and answered the Palestinian call for solidarity.
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Facts and Figures about the Current Darkness in the Gaza Strip

January 23rd 2008

Report from the Palestinian Hydrology Group
  1. Gaza Strip today is facing a very harsh siege which is expected to have severely negative humanitarian impact.
  2. The distribution of drinking water and the collection and treatment of wastewater completely rely on electricity and fuel in Gaza Strip.
  3. For several months now Israel has imposed a cruel siege on the Strip preventing people and goods from free movement. This has immobilized the importing of spare parts, pumps, pipes and other necessary accessories for the water and sanitation providing facilities.
  4. According to different sources the water and sanitation services are expected to be completely paralyzed within a matter of hours due to the lack of fuel reserves.
  5. About 133 water wells are being used for domestic purposes in addition to 33 sewage pump stations and three treatment plants; 10 of these groundwater wells function using fuel while the rest rely on electricity. Diesel powered generators are normally used as backup for the whole system but only for a limited time.
    The Coastal Municipalities Water Utility needs at least 100,000 liters of diesel per month to operate the water system. An additional 100,000 liters of diesel per month are needed for the sewage system to prevent wastewater from flooding the streets and residential areas.
  6. Reducing electricity and fuel supplies are potential causes to trigger an environmental crisis especially in the wastewater pump stations and treatment plants. If wastewater is not treated it will have to be pumped directly to the sea. This will for sure have a direct and negative impact on the groundwater aquifer and marine life.
    During winter time sewage pumps need to operate about 24 hours per day due to rainfall. Therefore, interruptions in fuel and electricity supply would be particularly significant.
  7. The sewage treatment plant in Beit Lahiya is also vulnerable to interruptions in electricity supplies. The treatment lagoons must be pumped regularly, or else the 10,000 people living in the area are in danger.  Six months ago, one of the lagoons over flooded and caused the death of five persons. Proper maintenance could have prevented the disaster.
  8. The water supply in Gaza City, with a total of 600,000 residents, in addition to a major part of the central portion of the Strip is expected to be completely cut-off as a result of ceasing the pumping from the municipal groundwater wells. The City also faces the threat of overflowing wastewater since the pumps (especially Al Samer and Aqoola stations) are expected to stop operating within the next 24 hours.
  9. If the current situation should persist the solid wastes generated in the Strip will accumulate in piles on the streets endangering the health of the locals.

The WaSH Monitoring Program calls on the International Community to push Israel to immediately cease all military operations, reopen the borders to allow the movement of people and goods and provide fuel supply and humanitarian aid to the residents of Gaza.

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