A speaking tour featuring Amjad Barham of PFUUPE, Palestine

and representative for the newly formed

Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS - PTUC-BDS

and Norman Otis Richmond, Co-founder of the Biko-Malcolm-Rodney Coalition in Toronto in the 1980s and 1990s which worked on the cultural boycott of South African Apartheid.


Saturday May 21st, 2011
6:30 -9:30 PM
Beit Zatoun
(Accessible entrance – not bathrooms)
612 Markham St. (Bathurst Subway)

This speaking tour will be an important opportunity for debate and discussion on the question of how we as trade unionists can stand in solidarity with Palestinians. As labour activists, union representatives or grassroots union members, we will be discussing a number of key issues such as,

* Why are trade unionists globally comparing the situation in Palestine with that of South African apartheid?

* What is the situation of Palestinian workers today?

* Why has there been a call by Palestinian trade unions for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) modeled on the solidarity movement against South African apartheid?

There is a great urgency in building our solidarity with Palestinian workers. It is important to note that Palestinian trade unions continue to operate in and confront a daily reality of military occupation, apartheid walls and neoliberal austerity.

In Gaza, 98% of industrial operations remain idle as a result of Israel’s three-year blockade, which includes severe restrictions on electricity, heating oil, natural gas and construction materials. In the occupied West Bank, 25% of the population continues to face food insecurity as well as a complex network of 400-500 military checkpoints, roadblocks, fences, and other obstacles that separate Palestinian workers from their workplaces.

The “Building Solidarity from Palestine to South Africa” speaking tour is an important step in consolidating the worker-to-worker solidarity already established between Palestinian and Canadian and Québécois trade unionists. 


Dr. Amjad Barham is the head of the Palestine Polytechnic University employees union and the President of the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Employees and Professors. The Federation represents unions at all Palestinian universities in the West Bank and Gaza. Dr. Barham is a professor in applied mathematics.

PFUUPE is member of the Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS PTUC-BDS, which includes almost the entirety of the blocks composing the Palestinian trade union movement, and is based on the Palestinian civil society call for BDS launched in 2005, as well as the standards adopted by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC).

Norman Otis Richmond

Radio-producer, host for Saturday Morning Live and Diasporic Music (88.1 FM CKLN Radio). Co-founder of the Black Music Association (Toronto Chapter). Co-founder of the Biko-Malcolm-Rodney Coalition in Toronto in the 1980s and 1990s which worked on the cultural boycott of South African Apartheid. They demonstrated against artists who visited and performed in South Africa and gave “awards” to those who turned down lucrative offers to perform in South Africa such as Roberta Flack, Third World, Mighty Sparrow, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Dan Hill and “For the Moment” (female vocal group from Nova Scotia). He was also in the League of Revolutionary Black Workers (Detroit, U.S.) and African Peoples’ Party (US).

To Sponsor, Donate or Participate in the Tourplease contact: [email protected]

Sponsors & endorsers of the tour & local events include:

Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW-STTP), Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) – Ontario Division, CUPE Local 15, CUPE Local 2491, CUPE Local 3903, TCUPE Local 3906, Hamilton Political Action Committee, CUPE Ontario International Solidarity Committee, CUPE Toronto District Council, Fédération nationale des enseignants et enseignantes du Québec (FNEEQ), FTQ Regional Conseil Montreal, London & District Labour Council, Metropolitan Montréal Central Council, Confédération des syndicats nationauxRetail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) Local 568, Teaching Support Staff Union, Social Justice Committee, Simon Fraser University, Toronto Secondary Unit Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association Human Rights’ Committee, Vancouver & District Labour Council

Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign - Vancouver, Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, Faculty for Palestine, Independent Jewish Voices, London Solidarity Coalition for Palestine, Not in Our Name: Jewish Voices Opposing Zionism, Students Against Israeli Apartheid, Tadamon! Montreal, The Canada-Palestine Support Network (CanPalNet), Canadian Arab Federation, Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War