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Intolerance and war are not solutions to terror
25 September 2001
In the days following the devastating terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, on New York and Washington, it is little wonder that people in the U.S. and elsewhere have experienced great difficulties in coming to terms with these horrific events.
The toll of innocent lives was mind-numbing. Many of the slain were union members or unorganized workers, murdered at their workplace. There can be no goal or cause which could ever justify the crimes carried out by the faceless and hidden killers responsible for these acts.
While the membership and leaders of CUPW join in unconditionally condemning these terrorist acts and in calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, it is also important for us to renew our commitment to the struggle against the cycle of hatred, bigotry and violence threatening to follow on the heels of this outrage.
Recently, we have witnessed a disturbing increase of verbal and physical attacks against Arab and Islamic people, as well as against some non-Islamic religious communities. Most of these working people are not connected to the Middle East, much less to a terrorist group. Our desire to see terrorists brought to justice should never be confused with attacks on ethnicity, religion or on whole communities.
In fact, perhaps the strongest statement CUPW members can make to commemorate those who have suffered and died in this tragedy is in expressing our solidarity with all our sisters and brothers, whether at work, in the community or abroad, who are in danger of suffering retribution in response to a horrific act for which they are not responsible.
For this reason, we view with alarm the calls for massive military intervention in countries in the Mid-East, an intervention which can only lead to unthinkable carnage and the deaths of uncountable innocents. This is precisely in line with the designs of those who planned and carried out the attacks of September 11.
CUPW calls upon the Canadian Government to take a stand against military adventures at this crucial time and, instead, embark upon a more difficult but also more courageous effort to find political solutions to the politial and ideological conflicts underlying the attacks of September 11.
Solidarity and the struggle for peace are not dispensable.
Dale Clark, National President,