STATEMENT ON THE PROTESTS AGAINST SYSTEMIC RACISM
June 8, 2020
On rare occasions, history summons us to greatness. For the generations who have been asked to answer history’s call, much has been demanded.
For some it meant facing incredible hardship and persecution in order to defy injustice and inequality. For others, it meant laying down their lives by the millions to defend liberty. They gave all that they could so we could experience this moment in history as free people.
We cherish their contributions and sacrifice, but we fail to uphold the spirit of their fight. Many of our fellow citizens are not equally free and continue to face the hardship and oppression generations before us fought and died to defeat.
It is our generation’s turn to answer the call of history. We are not asked to give our lives; only to value life equally and recognize that Black, Indigenous and People of Colour are not afforded equal justice and protection.
Far too often, our system leads to violent and unjustifiable death for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. Their lives matter. They always mattered except that we, as a society, failed to speak out to assert that inalienable truth.
That is our generation’s call. We can only be free and we can only honour all that generations before us gave if we create a society where every Black life matters. Where every Indigenous life matters. Where every citizen experiences freedom to its fullness without fear of violence, oppression and disregard.
In 1919, the founders of Manitoba Building Trades launched the largest General Strike in Canadian history. They answered the call of history and changed the future.
As their successors, we accept the call of history and are ready to stand with all who are marginalized and victimized by our imperfect system.
We are not free till each of us, Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, can walk freely in every space in every corner of our nation and know that they are equal citizens, entitled to the equal and unequivocal respect from and protection of our system.