DALHOUSIE ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE STUDENTS
LOCAL 113 OF THE CANADIAN FEDERATION OF STUDENTS
Dear members of the Dalhousie University community,
On Saturday August 12th, white Nationalists and Supremacists held a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The rally was held in protest to the city’s proposed removal of a statue of a top Confederacy general, Robert E. Lee, from a local park. The proposal was met with vitriol from many members of the community, culminating into a “Unite the Right” rally that was organized by white nationalist Jason Kessler. Counter protestors showed up in response, and the rally ended in violence. Three people died. One counter protester, Heather D. Heyer, was killed when a car ran over the crowd; and two State Troopers, Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Berke Bates, whose helicopter crashed and caught fire after watching over the scene. Although reports differ, it is estimated that between twenty and thirty people were wounded in the clash.
The Ku Klux Klan, Alt-Right and other racist groups have made their presence increasingly known since the election of Donald Trump. And while white supremacist resistance against the removal of colonial statues continues to the South, similar forms of resistance are being felt up North. A gathering was held in solidarity with the counter protestors of Charlottesville at the Cornwallis Statue in Halifax on Tuesday, August 15th. The statue has been a point of contention for many members of the community. Not simply because of its representation of colonialism, but because Cornwallis offered bounties in return for Mi’kmaq scalps. Given his genocidal past, it remains a mystery to many why the statue continues to stand, and the calls for it (as well as the streets named in honour of him) to be removed continues.
The Dalhousie Association of Graduate Students stands in solidarity with the victims and counter protestors in Charlottesville, VA and the “Against white supremacy! Against the far-right! Solidarity with Charlottesville!” rally held at the Cornwallis Statue. It also stands in solidarity with victims of all forms of racist discrimination – anti-black, anti- Semitism, anti-Indigenous, and Islamophobia included.
DAGS seeks to create an inclusive space for all groups to co-exist. If you have been affected by these terrible acts and are looking for support and community, please email email@example.com, join us at the Muse Café and Pub located at 1252 LeMarchant Street, or contact one of the many community groups within Halifax.
As we prepare to welcome students, faculty, and staff back to our campuses for a start of another academic year, it is important that we reaffirm our collective and unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. These are among the Dalhousie Association of Graduate Students core values. They are corner stones of outstanding scholarship, teaching, and learning which can thrive only by embracing the broadest range of people, and encouraging the free expression of diverse perspectives in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Bigotry, hate, intolerance, and violence have no place in our campuses.
The Dalhousie Association of Graduate Students