In light of troubling events in Canada, the USA and around the world, the Canadian Polish Congress unequivocally condemns any form of racism and discrimination and stands in solidarity with all affected communities. We are very saddened by the death of George Floyd and others tragically lost in recent months.

Polish immigrants, alongside millions of others from across the globe, came to Canada to escape persecution and injustice and to build a better future for their children. The Canadian Polish Congress that represents them values our relationships with other cultural communities in Canada and offers our support. We believe that dialogue is important, and we will continue to explore the best ways to strengthen inter-cultural relationships.

We were saddened to see the thoughtless vandalism of a monument to Tadeusz Kościuszko, a great Polish-American hero, during recent protests in Washington, DC. Kościuszko was a strong advocate for African-American emancipation who stipulated that the proceeds of his American estate be spent on freeing and educating African-American slaves. Moreover, Kościuszko had also hoped to trigger the end of institutional slavery in the USA by persuading his friend Thomas Jefferson to free his own slaves.

Poles are rightly proud of their long history of standing up “for your freedom, and ours.” In this vein, heroes like Tadeusz Kościuszko are worth honouring and commemorating – especially in times like these.