Quebec peace conference highlights genocide in Palestine

By J.P. Fortin  

Delegates and affiliated organizations of the Mouvement québécois pour la Paix (MQP, Quebec Peace Movement) concluded the organization’s second annual conference on December 10, with the shared aim of strengthening the struggle against imperialism in Quebec.

In addition to the six delegate members of the MQP, three organizations were represented around the table: the Greek Workers Association of Quebec, the Montreal central council of the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN, Confederation of National Trade Unions) and the Parti communiste du Québec (PCQ-PCC).

The conference kicked off with a speech by Aqel Taqz, president of the Palestinian Committee for Peace and Solidarity, highlighting the situation in Palestine and the role of peace-loving forces in bringing about a short-term ceasefire and a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Delegates also received greetings from Iraklis Tsavdaridis, Executive Secretary of the World Peace Council (WPC), and a visit from Larry Wasslen, President of the Canadian Peace Congress.

The president of the MQP, Jad Kabbanji, spoke of the organization’s application to join the World Peace Council and noted that MQP had been an observer at the WPC Americas regional meeting in October in Pachuca, Mexico. At the end of that meeting, the MQP was accepted as an “affiliated organization” and expects to be ratified soon as a full member by the WPC executive.

The core work of the MQP conference was discussing the political resolution, a document which is adopted each year and serves as the organization’s basis of unity. Together, delegates and representatives identified three main areas where escalating tensions could lead to global conflict: Eastern Europe, particularly Ukraine; the China Sea, with the risk of war in Taiwan; and the Middle East, with the worsening situation in Palestine. Delegates unanimously agreed to describe Israel’s attacks on Palestine as genocide.

The MQP firmly opposes the Canadian government warmongering policies starting with Canada’s participation in NATO and NORAD, two military alliances at the root of numerous conflicts and escalating tensions. Nuclear disarmament and the reduction of military spending are also crucial issues for MQP.

Special resolutions at the conference reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to building with the labour movement and praised the struggle of the Common Front of public sector unions against the Legault government.

The conference concluded with elections for the MQP executive committee. The presidency was not part of this, as Jad Kabbanji is currently in the middle of his two-year term. Vice-president Gregoire Beaune was re-elected to another one-year term, and three members from the labour and associative movements were selected to join the executive committee.

[Photo: Aqel Taqz, president of the Palestinian Committee for Peace and Solidarity, addresses delegates via video]

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