Progressive groups hold protest against arms companies in Canada

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This article is available in Pilipino

Canadian progressive groups protested on May 29 in Ottawa to call for an investigation into the Canadian state’s arms sales to Israel’s Zionist regime. They also called for the closure of CANSEC, the Canadian Association of Defense and Security Industries’ annual arms show, which opened at the EY Center in Ottawa that day.

Among those who participated in the protest were activists from the International League of People’s Struggle-Canada, Bayan-Canada, Palestinian Youth Movement, Solidarité Haiti-Québec, Migrante-Canada, and Labor 4 Palestine. Before the protest ended, Ottawa police illegally arrested eight activists.

The groups denounced Canada’s $28 million worth of arms sales to Israel starting in October 2023. They said this was not covered by the arms export suspension declared by Justin Trudeau’s government in March. Some Canadian-made weapons also pass through the US before being exported to Israel.

People deserve to know how our tax money…is going towards supporting the arms industry in Canada,” said Adrian She of ILPS-Canada.

The groups condemned Canadian arms companies for war profiteering in world wars, particularly Israel’s genocidal war against the Palestinian people. They have long been opposing CANSEC but the holding of the arms show became prominent because it took place amid intense Israeli attacks on the refugee camp in Rafah, the last sanctuary for Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

“We refuse to stand silent while corporations profiting from our people’s genocide are hosted year after year at CANSEC and while our government continues to maintain contracts with these corporations,” the Palestinian Youth Movement’s Sarah Abdul-Karim said.

AB: Progressive groups hold protest against arms companies in Canada