Canadian franchise Freshslice Pizza is doing what so many food chains refuse to do: stand up against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and demand that the Canadian government end its support for Saudi Arabia, in the face of the war crimes being committed in Yemen.
Right now, the conditions in Yemen have overtaken those in Syria as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Thanks to a Saudi-led war supported by a number of Western nations—including the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Australia, Finland and Canada—nearly half of the country’s population, about 14 million people, are on the brink of famine. The World Health Organization has said that there are more than 10,000 cases of cholera reported weekly. United Nations aid chief Mark Lowcock described the famine there as “much bigger than anything any professional in this field has seen during their working lives.”
Despite the atrocities committed by the Saudi coalition, the majority of the Western countries backing the coalition with weapons, training, logistical support, blockades and intelligence refuse to drop their support. German Chancellor Angela Merkel claims that she will be freezing the flow of arms exports to Saudi Arabia; however President Trump has made it clear how valuable support for the Saudi Kingdom is. In Canada, Trudeau says that he is unlikely to end a 2014 $14.8 billion deal to sell armored vehicles to the Saudis. In most cases, the world leaders are responding to outcry in response to the torture and murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, not the ongoing torture and murder being inflicted on the Yemeni people.
While the entire world should be up in arms about the crisis in Yemen, a pizza-by-the-slice chain is doing more than many of us.
My local pizza joint has sent a strong principled letter to the prime minister demanding he cancel his arms sales to Saudi Arabia and in related news I think I'm really fucking losing my mind pic.twitter.com/qx3uF7wMX4
— The Lound of the Baskervilles (@JimfromBC) October 25, 2018
Shared on the Freshslice Pizza Facebook page is a letter from the company’s CEO to Prime Minister Trudeau and B.C. members of Parliament. In the letter dated October 24, Freshslice Pizza CEO Ray Russell explained to Trudeau that, if the vehicle sale goes through before the country’s next national election in October 2019, Freshslice will hang a poster “condemning any party that supports the brutal Saudi absolute monarchy” at every one of its 75 locations across British Columbia. Russell estimates in his letter that over 700,000 people walk in front of his stores, which generate $35 million in annual sales.
The letter is published below. Isn’t it about time that the CEOs of Domino’s and Pizza Hut follow suit? Also, how did Canada wind up with Ray Russell when the U.S. ended up with Papa John; why isn’t the entire world screaming about what’s happening in Yemen all of the time; and is any of this really happening?