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The Gandhi Peace Festival committee is deeply saddened and incensed by the recent murder of George Floyd. This murder follows in the wake of other recent killing of black men and women. We recognize that these deaths are manifestations of a history of oppression and anti-black racism that stretches back to the days of slavery and continues to the present day. Systemic and institutionalized racism is reflected in myriad forms, including social stereotyping, discrimination in employment, housing, health and social services, and unfair treatment by police and the criminal justice system, including disproportionate harassment, arrests and incarceration.

Canada is not immune from anti-black racism in its many forms, social, economic, in the education and health sectors, in unfair police stops or carding and disproportionate incarceration. Much the same can be said for Canada’s ‘original sin’, the treatment of its Indigenous population.

As a Gandhian-inspired organization we are committed to non-violent active resistance to oppression and discrimination directed against all racialized and marginalized people. As Hamiltonians we do well to remember that an attack on one is an attack on all. True peace demands truth-seeking, nonviolence and the wellbeing of all. We reaffirm our commitment to work locally with others on antiracism, justice, peace, and social inclusion as we respond to these tragic racially motivated murders and the system of inequality that underlies and enables them.

Martin Luther King, Jr and Mohandas K. Gandhi