We are all McGill
This past weekend, MUNACA/PSAC tactics moved from reasonable, civil free speech into threats and vandalism. Picketers tried to disrupt our Homecoming events by defacing Martlet House, hurling insults, swearing and throwing objects at senior administrators, and behaving aggressively and threateningly toward guests, including elderly alumni at the Annual Red and White Dinner. Such actions are unacceptable in a civilized society.
Violence and vandalism are not hallmarks of McGill; they are not part of McGill culture and they have no place in it.
I understand that a strike is never an easy time, but I ask all to remember that this is a university, where discourse is sometimes sharp but civil, where viewpoints may clash but people do not, where we work out our differences talking around a table, where we do not deface buildings and engage in physical threats. We don’t do that here.
I sincerely trust that these are isolated incidents, and I urge all of us to move forward in our longstanding McGill tradition of respectful and civil discourse, where people are free to speak, to disagree and voice their views without harassment, intimidation and insult.
I pledge to all of you that the University will continue to do all it can to bring this dispute to a rapid conclusion. We are at the table, we will be at the table whenever we are asked to be there, and we will work diligently, with the guidance of the conciliator, to get through the many issues that remain in this negotiation.
We do so in good faith, with no agenda other than to reach a collective agreement that is fair, realistic and sustainable.
Let us not lose sight of the fact that we are all part of the same community. We are all McGill. We will be working together again, side by side, in what I hope will be the very near future.
October 18th, 2011