Endorsements

GEOGRADS has endorsed the following positions through our General Assemblies since 2013 (listed in reverse chronological order):


Statement of solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux

Whereas graduate students in the GPE department share overarching concerns around intersecting social and environmental issues, in particular the importance of Indigenous rights and movements, the global dangers of extractivism and climate change.

Be it resolved that GeoGrads stands in solidarity with the Dakota Access Pipeline water protectors, the Standing Rock Sioux in their defence of land and water, and Indigenous peoples everywhere who struggle to defend their culture, land, and communities from colonialist and capitalist exploitation.

Approved unanimously at GEOGRADS General Assembly of Sept 15, 2016


Étudiant-e-s Contre les Oléoducs (ECO) / Students against the Pipelines

Whereas GEOGRADS recognizes the importance of student involvement in social and environmental justice work both on campus and beyond; and

Whereas the GEOGRADS value and seek to amplify the work done by les Étudiant-e-s Contre les Oléoducs (ECO) to inform the student population and the public about threats that these pipelines pose to all life and the mobilize them to action.

Be it resolved that the GEOGRADS renew their endorsement of ECO – (Students against the Pipelines).

Approved unanimously at GEOGRADS General Assembly of Sept 21, 2015


Solidarity Across Borders

Whereas GEOGRADS recognizes the importance of justice for migrants and values the work of Solidarity Across Borders in actively supporting communities fighting deportation; and

Whereas GEOGRADS echoes the call from Solidarity Across Borders to denounce the fact that Haitian and Zimbabwean migrants living in Canada have been left in limbo for years and are now threatened with deportation;

Be it resolved that GEOGRADS endorse the work of Solidarity Across Borders to fight for status for all migrants living in Canada by demanding the establishment of an inclusive and ongoing program for all migrants to gain full and permanent residency status, as well as access to full rights and services.

Approved unanimously at GEOGRADS General Assembly of Sept 21, 2015


In support of striking teaching assistants and course instructors at the University of Toronto

BE IT RESOLVED THAT GEOGRADS endorse the open letter to Meric Gertler and available in its full text at https://geographersforcupe3902.wordpress.com/

Approved unanimously at the GEOGRADS Special General Assembly of March 24, 2015

 


Opposition to municipal by-law P-6

(integral text not available)

Approved unanimously at the GEOGRADS General Assembly of November 1, 2013

 


Support for the Concordia Food Coalition and the campaign for a student- or community-run café or restaurant in the Hall Mezzanine space.

Whereas self-determined, healthy, locally-based food systems facilitate greater community autonomy, engagement and accessibility,

Whereas Concordia University has a failing grade in its STARS food systems report,

BIRT the Geograds call on the administration of Concordia University to support healthier food options by making healthy, local and organic food more readily available on both of Concordia University’s campuses.

BIFRT the Geograds endorse and ideologically support the aims of the Concordia Food Coalition in campaigning to make Concordia University’s food systems more just, sustainable and socially inclusive.

BIFRT the Geograds endorse the Concordia Food Coalition campaign to ensure that the Hall building mezzanine restaurant space, occupied by a Java U franchise, be replaced with a student-run or community-run cooperative café/restaurant (focused on healthy, local, organic food and proper labour practices) rather than a corporate franchise.

Approved unanimously at the GEOGRADS General Assembly of Sept 26, 2013


Denouncement of Proposed Quebec Charter of Values

“We are opposed to the proposed Quebec Charter of Values.

From the outset, the proposed Charter and related debate fails to recognize that Quebec and Canada are built on stolen Indigenous land, and constituted through the dispossession and genocide of Indigenous peoples. We assert our solidarity and support with Indigenous struggles for self-determination and cultural integrity.

We are for legal equality between all genders but we also assert our support for struggles against patriarchy, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, racism and all forms of oppression.

We oppose those aspects of the Charter that attack the personal dignity and self-determination of our fellow Quebec residents, including their ability to work and survive in major sectors of the economy.

We assert that the introduction of the Charter of Values is both hypocritical and xenophobic. It is hypocritical because ostentatious symbols of one religion will remain untouched (specifically the Duplessis crucifix in the National Assembly as well as the cross on Mont-Royal). It is xenophobic because Charter supporters are appealing to sensationalized and false fears of other cultures and traditions, as part of an electoral calculation to win the votes of bigots.

We reject the monolithic portrayal of our communities and we assert the diversity of our cultures and traditions as well as our multiple identities.

We also reject the Charter as sexist as it is based on stereotypes of women who choose to wear the hijab. We reject the notion that women of faith need to be saved, and instead we support the women who are on the frontlines of their own struggles for liberation, as subjects, not objects or victims, of their own transformation.

We support struggles against poverty, precarity, social exclusion, assimilation, borders, racial profiling, sexism and gender violence. We unite to build across differences and struggle against all forms of oppression, whatever their source.”

Declaration by the Ensemble Contre la Charte Xenophobe, endorsed by Geograds!

Approved unanimously at the GEOGRADS General Assembly of Sept 26, 2013

 


Reaffirmation of Fossil Fuel Divestment

BIRT the Geograds reaffirm its position promoting the divestment of Concordia University’s finances from fossil fuel and pipeline companies, reinvesting them into renewable energies, energy efficiency and other green and sustainable initiatives.

BIFRT the Geograds endorse Divest Concordia, in solidarity with other fossil fuel and pipeline divestment movements across Montreal, Canada and North America, in their aim to make Concordia University’s investments more sustainable and ethical.

Approved unanimously at the GEOGRADS General Assembly of Sept 26, 2013

 


Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS)

For more information: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2013/concordia-graduate-students-association-endorses-bds-campaign-against-israeli-apartheid-10448

“Be it resolved that the Geograds endorse Palestinian civil society’s 2005 call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions by calling on Concordia University to refrain from investing in all companies complicit in violations of international law. This includes any company that: profits from the illegal occupation of Palestinian land, directly benefits from the construction of the Wall and Israeli settlements, is economically active in settlements, and profits from the collective punishment of Palestinians. This would include the companies BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Hewlett Packard.”

The BDS-Concordia committee implements the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign “against the state of Israel until it respects international law and ends its apartheid system”, a mandate created by the GSA General Assembly in January 2013. This committee plans awareness raising events, challenges university programs that normalize relations with the state of Israel, and supports off-campus endeavors of the international BDS movement. There is a petition you can sign demanding Concordia cease all interactions with Technion University:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/553/306/262/petition-to-stop-concordias-support-for-apartheid/

For more information about the BDS movement: http://www.bdsmovement.net/

Approved with no opposition, two abstentions, at the GEOGRADS General Assembly of Sept 26, 2013.


 

Proposal that Concordia divest from fossil fuels and other carbon intensive industries: Carbon and fossil fuel divestment campaign

Whereas the growing usage of fossil fuels presents a threat to Earth’s social and environmental health with the growing risks associated with disastrous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, or climate change,

Whereas the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the greater scientific community have established that the impacts of anthropogenic climate change are currently being expressed in the melting of arctic sea ice, the acidification of world oceans and extreme meteorological anomalies,

Whereas the collective action of reducing fossil fuel consumption is a priority for all the peoples of the world and particularly a responsibility for those who disproportionately consume our natural resources, within this context of climate change and its impacts,

Whereas we as students concerned with geography, urban planning and environmental issues agree that the task of advocating for the reduction of carbon emissions is the responsibility of those from all spheres of social structures and institutions,

Whereas Concordia University has strived to be portrayed as a “green” university by building environmentally certified buildings as well as supporting sustainable student initiatives on both of its campuses,

BIRT we, the Geograds, in solidarity with the growing fossil fuel divestment movements across North America, urge the Board of Governors of Concordia University to cease any new investments in fossil fuel companies and technologies.

BIFRT we also urge the Board of Governors to divest financial assets currently invested in fossil fuels and other carbon-intensive technologies, with the aim of reinvestment in sustainable, renewable energy initiatives, programs, research or technologies,

BIFRT we adopt this resolution with the intention of aiding the greater movement within Concordia University and the rest of Canada by offering our knowledge and by raising awareness of the risks associated with growing climate change.

Approved unanimously at the GEOGRADS General Assembly of Feb 15, 2013

 

Mar 16, 2012

 

 

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