End the Assault on Gaza, End McGill’s Complicity

Over the past few weeks, Israel has waged a brutal assault on the people of Gaza, leaving nearly 2,000 Palestinians dead and thousands more injured. The casualties are overwhelmingly civilians, and many are children. Although a ceasefire is presently in effect, it is far from permanent, and Israel’s devastating blockade on Gaza, and occupation and colonisation of Palestine, continue.

Tadamon! Montreal's Gaza solidarity demonstration arrives in front of McGill's Arts Building on August 6

Tadamon! Montreal’s Gaza solidarity demonstration arrives in front of McGill’s Arts Building on August 6

We continue to absolutely condemn Israel’s assault and occupation, and wish to reiterate our solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Canada is complicit in Israeli apartheid, and its elite research universities are no exception. Here in  Montreal, McGill University collaborates with the army and with weapons manufacturers to develop some of the technologies essential  to Israel’s murderous incursions in Gaza as well as to Israel’s  capacity to defend its colonial borders and control every aspect of Palestinian daily life.

The flight simulation research group at  McGill’s CFD Lab collaborates with CAE, which manufactures flight simulator technology used to train Israeli Air Force pilots, and  with Bell Helicopter, which sells military aircraft to Israel.

Between 1999 and at least 2006, researchers at McGill’s Department of  Electrical and Computer Engineering collaborated with Lockheed Martin,  the Canadian military, and military researchers at the Technion in Haifa, Israel, to improve missile guidance systems used by Israel, the  US, and their allies.

We have recently produced a short video outlining this complicity in warfare, in spite of Principal Suzanne Fortier’s claims to oppose unethical research at McGill.

Demilitarize McGill opposes all forms of imperialism and colonialism,  and we hope to support, from afar, Palestinians’ struggle against Israel’s  apartheid regime and for dignity and freedom, including by making the Montreal community more aware of McGill’s complicity in these attacks.

Strikes on UN shelters, schools, hospitals, refugee camps, homes, and cemeteries in Gaza are somehow still being tolerated by Canada, defended by every single federal political party, and by the academy. Demilitarize McGill refuses to allow this university’s support for Israel to continue unchallenged. We need McGill to understand that its roles in the attacks on Gaza are not something we will ignore, are not something we will stop resisting.

We intend to  build a collective force capable of putting an end to McGill’s  involvement in military research and its complicity in Israeli  apartheid, in the hope that our actions will inspire others to attack  the global infrastructure of apartheid present here in Montreal.

We denounce Canada’s, Quebec’s and McGill’s complicity in the deaths of thousands of Gazans and want to make it impossible for this complicity to continue.

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Please feel free to be in touch if you are interested in getting involved in our efforts to end military research at McGill. As well, a number of members of the McGill community have written to university researchers and administrators to express their outrage at McGill’s complicity in Israel’s attacks- including this engineering student who has taken classes with Prof Hannah Michalska, the lead McGill researcher during the University’s work on Israeli military missile guidance systems. If you wish, here a few suggestions people you may wish to contact (please also feel free to share your letters with us, if you wish):

Wagdi Habashi (Directeur, CFD Lab wagdi.habashi@mcgill.ca 514-398-3747

Hannah Michalska (chercheuse, missiles) hannah.michalska@mcgill.ca 514-398-3053

Inna Sharf (chercheuse, drones) inna.sharf@mcgill.ca 514-398-1711

Rose Goldstein (VP Recherche) rose.goldstein@mcgill.ca 514-398-2995

Suzanne Fortier (Rectrice) suzanne.fortier@mcgill.ca 514-398-4180

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