CSJ Newsletter

June 6, 2024



One Year on From French Court INJUSTICE

One year ago, on 21 April 2023, the Special Court of Assize in Paris unjustly declared Canadian citizen Hassan Diab guilty, based on unfounded allegations and flawed intelligence that is not allowed in a Canadian court. He was sentenced in absentia to life in prison for a crime he did not commit: the 1980 bombing outside a Paris synagogue.

Driven by political pressure to scapegoat an innocent man, the Special Court of Assize trial ignored exonerating evidence and the alibi firmly establishing Dr. Diab’s presence in Beirut, Lebanon, at the time of the tragic 1980 attack. The prosecutors were allowed to vilify the accused, filibuster, and steal the defense’s speaking time. The court had no transcripts or other recording of the event.

In a mind-boggling irony, the Court of Assize in 2023 relied on the intelligence that France had withdrawn from the Canadian extradition hearing in 2011 to declare him guilty, AND discarded the handwriting analysis that was used to commit him to extradition in 2014 due to its unreliability.

Sign petition at ourcommons.ca.


Fast to Free the Canadian Captives

When: June 1 to 19

Please pick a day to fast in support of immediately freeing and bringing home 19 arbitrarily detained Canadian Muslim men, women, and children, including the longest-held detainee at 7+ years, Jack Letts. All of them are illegally held without charge in northeastern Syrian jails and prison camps under conditions the United Nations describes as meeting the “threshold for torture, cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment under international law.”

Their jailers have called on Canada to come and take these long-suffering detainees home. Yet Canada refuses.


All Out

When: June 6th, 2pm
Where: People’s Commons for Palestine, York University

Students at York University have started their encampment. Join students at the People’s Commons for Palestine in solidarity with their demands for disclosure, divestment, and boycott of academic institutions and companies that support the Zionist occupation!


Day of Action

When: June 6th, 4pm
Where: Various TTC locations

Help tell the TTC CEO Rick Leary to offer workers a fair deal and guarantee service for riders. Join us at TTC stations across the GTA between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm

TTC workers – members of ATU Local 113 – are fighting for good jobs, better staffing and better TTC services.


Book launch: Abolish Social Work

When: June 6th, 7pm
Where: Workers Action Center, 720 Spadina Ave

Abolish Social Work (As We Know It) responds to the timely and important call for police abolition by analyzing professional social work as one alternative commonly proposed as a ready-made solution to ending police brutality. Drawing on both historical analysis and lessons learned from decades of organizing abolitionist and decolonizing practices within the field and practice of social work (including social service, community organizing, and other helping fields), this book is an important contribution in the discussion of what abolitionist social work could look like. This edited volume brings together predominantly BIPOC and queer/trans* social work survivors, community-based activists, educators, and frontline social workers to propose both an abolitionist framework for social work practice and a transformative framework that calls for the dissolution and restructuring of social work as a profession.


Protest at Span bridge over the DVP

When: Fridays, 3-6pm
Where: Span Bridge over the DVP, Spanbridge Rd and Grtenoble Rd

Palestine Solidarity – demonstarting over the Don Valley Parkway since October at Span Bridge, and other bridges overlooking the Don Valley Parkway.


Celebrate Juneteenth with BCC!

When: June 7th, 6:30pm (doors open 6pm)
Where: 468 Queen St W

The Harmony In Heritage showcase is brought to you by the students of Blackhurst Cultural Centre. In celebration of Juneteenth, the show will highlight talented Black youth through singing, dancing, drumming, and more.


Palestine is the Red Line

When: Saturday June 8th, 2pm
Where: US Consulate, 360 University Ave

June 8th marks eight months of US-Israeli genocide of the Palestinian people, and marks the 54th anniversary of the occupation of Gaza.

Here in Toronto – where the Canadian government continues to support Zionism – tens of thousands of protestors will surround the US consulate asserting that US led imperialism is an enemy of the people, and that it is the people who draw the red line. We demand an immediate ceasefire, an immediate end to the siege on Gaza, the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners, and an end to the occupation of Palestine.


Gaza Square

When: Every Sunday, 11am to 1pm
Where: 371 Wallace Ave

We’ll be at Gaza square once again this Sunday morning with hot chocolate and coffee, buttons and posters, lawn signs and colourful chalk! Come say hi and meet your fellow neighbours/organizers as we make our presence known and continue to build safety in our community!

Instagram poster

Record release: Grievous Angels

When: Sunday, June 9th, 1pm
Where: Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St W



Weekly Phone-zap for Palestine

When: Mondays at 12pm

Week after week, we’re keeping the momentum going with our Monday lunchtime zaps.

Our collective action is making waves, but we need to ensure our elected officials continue to feel the pressure until real change happens.

Instagram poster | Register at zoom

Canadian Foreign Policy Hour with Yves Engler

When: Mondays at 6pm

Join author Yves Engler on Mondays for a weekly news roundup and interactive discussion about Canada’s role abroad. This weekly session will delve into the latest developments on subjects ranging from military affairs and Canada’s role in Ukraine to its contribution to Palestinian dispossession, and the exploitation of African resources. Join Yves for a critical take on Canada’s foreign policy. Questions, comments, and criticisms are all welcome.


Book launch: Black Cake, Turtle Soup, and Other Dilemmas

When: June 11th, 6:30pm
Where: CSI, 720 Bathurst St

Another Story Bookshop presents the Toronto launch of Black Cake, Turtle Soup, and Other Dilemmas by Gloria Blizzard.

eventbrite.ca | Facebook


When: Tuesday, June 11th, 7pm

Indigenous people have worked for wages for more than two centuries – originally in the fur trade, logging, fishing, food processing, construction and mining and now in the full range of occupations in our economy.

All too often, their work has been shaped and constrained by colonialist racism. How have unions responded to the key issues in the lives of Indigenous peoples? How have Indigenous peoples organized themselves within their unions? How have those groups been able to convince their unions to support the rights of Indigenous people?

We have invited three people who have been deeply involved in raising these issues and concerns within their unions – Merv King from the United Steelworkers, Krista Maracle from the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, and Joanne Webb from the Canadian Union of Public Employees – to discuss the history and ongoing struggles of Indigenous people within the labour movement.



The Inexorable Rise of the Belgian Workers’ Party

By Nico Biver

European Parliament elections in Belgium (June 9) are once again taking place in the shadow of national parliamentary and regional elections. One could, therefore, expect similar results in both sets of polls. In 2019, the Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB/PVDA) first succeeded in winning one of Belgium’s then 21 parliamentary mandates (today 22). With 14.6 percent of the vote in the country’s French-speaking region, Wallonia, Marc Botenga became the first radical leftist from Belgium to make it into the European Parliament. The 5 percent attained in the larger Flemish-speaking region, however, was not enough to win a seat.

Source: The Bullet No. 2997

Stop Privatization of Our Healthcare

Instead of expanding services in our public hospitals, the Ford government is giving hundreds of millions in public dollars to for-profit corporations to privatize healthcare. As he announced his plan to privatize, Mr. Ford promised we would never have to pay for care with our credit card, only our OHIP card. But his government is letting private clinics get away with charging Ontarians for healthcare, which is illegal under our Protection of Public Medicare laws.

Source: LeftStreamed

Open Letter to Canadian Government: Support the ICC’s Work!

The following is an open letter that I (Mark Kersten) had the pleasure and honour of drafting alongside Canadian justice and accountability leaders Alex Neve, Heidi Mathews, Ardi Imseis, Kjell Anderson, Leilani Farha, and Michael Lynk. As can be seen below, it has been endorsed by a remarkable number of Canadian civil society leaders, former diplomats and parliamentarians, and others. Our message is clear: Canada must end its dithering and support the ICC’s work in Israel and Palestine. As we write: “To assert that there is something objectionable about holding Israeli officials to the same standards of international criminal justice as Hamas officials is to promote a double standard and to suggest that the rights of Palestinians matter less than those of Israelis. That is a racist, dehumanizing and discriminatory approach to international justice which Canada cannot countenance in any way.” I hope the letter is of interest to readers, in Canada and beyond.

Source: The Bullet No. 2998

The Economic Fallout of India under Modi and the BJP

Paramjit Singh

India is the world’s largest democracy, but perhaps not as secular as it was before PM Narendra Modi, leader of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), came to power in 2014. As Modi stands at the edge of his second term, all efforts are being put into making history by becoming the second person, after Jawaharlal Nehru, to rule consecutively for three terms in India. Although Modi miserably failed to achieve anything concrete economically, he successfully used religious and cultural rhetoric to dilute mass consciousness against the economic failure of his government. The majority of the people, hooked to the rhetoric of PM Modi spread over the small screen nationwide, are still oblivious to the tragic state of the economy. The alliance between BJP, neoliberal capitalist elites, and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS – a right-wing Hindu paramilitary group linked to the BJP) has thrown the Indian economy into what the economist John Maynard Keynes called, in the context of the great depression, a ‘colossal muddle.’

Source: The Bullet No. 2999

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