Monthly Archives: December 2012

BDS Reportback from the World Social Forum: Free Palestine

Friday January 11, 2012 7pm
Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham St. Toronto

In the aftermath of apartheid Israel’s most recent attack on the people of Gaza, over 3000 delegates travelled to Porto Alegre, Brazil to participate in the World Social Forum – Free Palestine. From November 28 to December 1, 2012 this historic gathering brought together Palestinians and Palestine solidarity activists from more than 35 countries to discuss, educate, strategize, mobilize and expand networks across organizations and global campaigns. A popular theme of the forum was building joint strategies for advancing the Palestinian-led movement for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). BDS was also a primary focus for delegates from across Canada, all of whom are eager to share news of connections made, information gathered and insights gained through participation at the forum. Continue reading

University of Toronto Graduate Students Union Endorses BDS!

In yet another momentous vote that adds to the growing list of student unions in Canada endorsing the global campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israeli apartheid, the University of Toronto’s Graduate Student Union (GSU) voted overwhelmingly in favour of a resolution to endorse the campaign. Over 150 graduate students were present at the meeting, of which approximately 97% voted in favour of the motion, with only a few students opposed.

The resolution states “Be it resolved that the Graduate Students Union endorse Palestinian civil society’s 2005 call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions by calling on the University of Toronto to refrain from investing in all companies complicit in violations of international law. This includes any company that: profits from the illegal occupation of Palestinian land, directly benefits from the construction of the Wall and Israeli settlements, is economically active in settlements, and profits from the collective punishment of Palestinians. This would include the companies BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Hewlett Packard”.

The resolution was adopted in support of Palestinian rights and opposition to Israel’s illegal military occupation of Palestine and its violations of international law under the Geneva Conventions, as affirmed by the International Court of Justice in 2004. By divesting, the University of Toronto will fulfill its legal obligation not to invest in companies or organizations that are complicit in human rights violations, and will help force Israel to comply with international law.

The passage of this resolution is a milestone in divestment activities for the University of Toronto and will hopefully pave the way for a broader divestment campaign launched in 2011 by Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA). This campaign addresses the university’s investments in companies that assist in, and profit from Israeli apartheid and the occupation of the Palestinian territories.

In passing this BDS resolution, U of T now joins many universities around the world, who have all passed similar resolutions at their student unions. In Canadian universities, the BDS campaign has had several milestones in the last year at Carleton University, University of Regina and most recently, York University.

For more information, please contact SAIA at the University of Toronto at saia@riseup.net.

Celebrating People’s Resistance: Forging Solidarity in the Struggle for Human Rights

Occupation, Militarization, Political Prisoners, Apartheid: Joint celebration of International Human Rights Day

Join us for a day of celebration, resistance, education, community and culture as we gather to reflect on and participate in the annual International Human Rights Day (December 10). Gather materials and learn about upcoming events at the information tables; meet and speak with community organizers and activists; attend the speakers panel and discussion: and stay around for cultural performances, food and refreshments. All welcome!

3 – 4 pm: Community information tables

4 – 6 pm: Speakers panel and discussion:
* Monira Kitmitto, Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA)
* Krishna Saravanamuttu, Coalition for Tamil Rights (CTR)
* Iliam Burbano, Latin American Caribbean Solidarity Network (LACSN)
* Alex Felipe, Bayan Toronto spokesperson / Philippine Solidarity Network (PSN)

6 – 8 pm: Cultural performances and social
Music, dance, film, art

Snacks and refreshments will be served!
Facebook event page here.

Jointly organized by:
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA), Coalition for Tamil Rights (CTR), Latin American Caribbean Solidarity Network (LACSN) and Philippine Solidarity Network (PSN)