Action Canada stands in solidarity with the professor and students targeted in the violent attack at the University of Waterloo, Women’s and Gender Studies Recherches Féministes.
On Wednesday, Professor Katy Fulfer of the University of Waterloo and two students in her Gender Studies course were attacked and sustained serious injuries in a hate-motivated attack due to the course’s exploration of gender expression and identity. This type of violence must always be condemned and called by its name: an act of terrorism.
This is not an isolated incident.
Terrorism is the use of force and violence against people or property to intimidate or coerce a government, institution, or civil society into advancing political or social objectives. In recent years, we have seen an acceleration of attacks on gender equality, women’s rights, LGTBQ+ rights, feminism, drag shows, sex-ed, abortion, gender-affirming care, and more. Human rights groups have been sounding the alarm for some time and shining a light on the connections between seemingly separate events.
At Action Canada, we urge everyone to connect the dots between the horrific attack in a gender studies class at the University of Waterloo, the rollbacks of protections for queer and trans youth in New Brunswick, the suspension of Planned Parenthood Regina’s community Sexual Health education program in Saskatchewan, calls for books being banned in Manitoba and the recent anti-trans protests in front of schools by far rights groups in Ottawa and many other communities. What all these events have in common is that they are symptoms and manifestations of an organized backlash driven by online misinformation, disinformation, and conspiracy theories. It is originating from and fueled by far-right extremism and is part of a global movement against the universality of human rights.
We will continue to shout on all rooftops that the way to counter these rollbacks of rights and these attacks is not to play whack-a-mole but to counter their vision of the world with a better and stronger vision and to go all in.
We call for a strong civil society with diverse and thriving feminist movements.
We work toward human rights for all, not just some.
We dream of a world where everyone has what they need to thrive and to make meaningful choices about their bodies and lives.
We strive for caring and thriving communities.