On Tuesday August 5th, a Die-In was staged outside the Montreal office of NDP leader, Thomas Mulcair, to oppose the NDP’s refusal to take a strong stance against Israeli violati…ons of international law and to oppose the Conservative Government’s unwavering support for Israel. Protesters covered in red paint and holding signs bearing the names of Palestinians killed by Israel’s latest offensive in Gaza lay on the pavement outside the office of the Canadian Federal Opposition Party.
The creative action was designed to condemn a recent statement (http://www.ndp.ca/news/statement-ndp-leader-tom-mulcair-situation-middle-east) issued by the NDP that protesters claim did not take a strong enough stance against the ongoing assault on Palestinians in Gaza. They described the statement as insufficient and riddled with omissions and have called on the party to oppose the Canadian government’s complicity with Israeli crimes.
Maire Noonan, one of the principle organizers of the creative action, explained that “the NDP is increasingly out of touch with the population. The Canadian population does not support the slaughtering of children, as we have been seeing. The NDP has to understand that they will lose their support within the population if they don’t change their position.”
On the same day, a letter with over 200 signatures was delivered to the NDP criticizing the opposition party’s recent statement and calling on the party to:
1. Call for an immediate cessation of the bombing.
2. Call for an immediate arms embargo on Israel.
3. Call for an immediate lifting of the inhumane blockade on Gaza.
4. Call on Israel to respect international law and end the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and to recognize the unified Palestinian government.
The letter stated that it: “is the duty and the responsibility of the NDP, as the official opposition and the most progressive party in Parliament, to demand that our government honour human rights and international law. Israel is in violation of numerous UN resolutions and acts as a repetitive violator of international law. The NDP needs to stand up for the rights of Palestinians and to counter the appalling degree to which Canada sides with Israel, the bully, against a defenceless population. Canada should stand for a just peace in the Middle East, and the NDP must press the government to use its diplomatic efforts towards a just peace.”