Author Archives: andrew

Toronto Symphony Orchestra: Don’t play in Israel!

On May 2, CAIA and 15 other signatory organisations sent a letter to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO), urging them to reconsider their decision to perform in Israel on May 11 and 13. Please take a minute to reinforce the message in our letter by sending your own message to the TSO using the five easy steps below:

One-minute e-Action in five easy steps:
STEP 1:
Cut and paste into subject line: “TSO, Just Say No! Don’t play in Israel”
STEP 2: Cut and paste the following sample letter into body of e-mail (modify as you wish), and add your name/city at bottom.
STEP 3: Cut and paste TSO email address into “To” line of your email: flabelle@TSO.CA, (Francine Labelle, TSO Director of Public Relations)
STEP 4: Cut and paste CAIA into “Bcc” line: caia.toronto@gmail.com
STEP 5: press “Send”!

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Criminalizing Resistance: Panel Discussion on the Joint Struggles of Land Defenders, Human Rights Activists and all who struggle for liberation

April 22, 2017 at 1:30 pm
OISE, Room 4-414,  252 Bloor Street West, Toronto
Find it on Facebook

In honour of Palestinian Prisoners Day, Actions4Palestine will host a panel discussion, Criminalizing Resistance: Joint Struggles of Land Defenders, Human Rights Activists and all who struggle for liberation.This is an opportunity for organizations and activists to share their perspectives on this subject, to develop and deepen existing networks of solidarity and to work towards joint struggle. Although this event is being held in recognition of Palestinian Prisoners Day, we are looking to honour and open a space to share and discuss the connected struggles of political prisoners in diverse contexts.

As of January 2017, there are 6500 Palestinians in Israeli jails. Over 300 prisoners are children. At least 530 are being held in Administrative Detention — without charge or trial. Palestinians are not the only people where mass incarceration is used as a tool of repression. In Canada over one quarter of the prison population is comprised of Indigenous peoples and another 10% are Black Canadians. In the U.S., of the 2.3 million people incarcerated over 1 million are Black. The rate of incarceration of Native Americans is 38% higher than the general population. In Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese government continues to target the Tamil community, imprisoning and torturing political dissidents. From Burma to the Philippines to Saudi Arabia to Germany to France to Peru to Australia, imprisonment has been used by the state to stifle dissent and punish resistance.

We invite you to come and share your stories, knowledge, and to talk about how incarceration has been used against your community, particularly imprisonment without charges. We hope that this can build on the work that has been done in the past and to help strengthen ties and build across movements. Continue reading

SJP OIT statement

Students for Justice in Palestine @ UOIT/DC:

We would like to express our deepest concern regarding the events that unfolded on Thursday, March 9 at the Mother Language Festival at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), which have resulted in a variety of racially-motivated attacks on Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), our affiliates, and on individual students.

We emphasize that the act of covering the Israeli flag as a show of political protest at the colonial nature of the Israeli state and its ongoing takeover of Palestinian land and the denial of the right of return for Palestinian refugees is a legitimate exercise of expressive freedom.

We condemn the defamatory and libellous accusations by Israeli-extremist student groups and right-wing media outlets. Once again B’nai Brith Canada, CIJ news, and the Toronto Sun are screaming false accusations of anti-Semitism and spreading defamatory statements about SJP, thereby promoting an environment of fear and hostility on our UOIT campus.

But by far the most disturbing aspect of this particular outbreak of right-wing extremist absurdity has been the conduct of the UOIT administration. Rather than protecting and defending its students’ rights, the UOIT administration is carrying out an ongoing witch-hunt in which members of the Arab Students’ Association (ASA) and SJP have been individually summoned in order to identify students who have allegedly breached UOIT’s Student Conduct Policy by participating in the flag action.

This distressful pursuit has left ASA and SJP members subjects of racism and intimidation by the UOIT administration’s scare tactics, racial profiling, and abuse of power. Such measures taken by the institution are simply another example of the ignorance and intolerance that are often experienced by marginalized student groups in our community, and make the administration complicit in fostering discrimination and hostility on campus.

As a response to the false allegations made against us we would like to clarify that SJP was not a participating club at the International Mother Language Festival at UOIT and that we had no part in the events that unfolded. Any discriminatory comments that were posted on Facebook were not made by members of SJP and are not a representation of our views. SJP is equally opposed to all forms of discrimination, including anti-Semitism.

We reiterate our position that Israel is a settler-colonial state that is responsible for the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories and the displacement of more than eight million Palestinians who continue to live in exile, four million of them registered as refugees with the UN.

Israeli state policy is rooted in an ongoing effort to confiscate Palestinian land and to erase the history, culture, and existence of the Palestinian people.

Until Israel is held accountable for its human rights violations, and until freedom, justice, and equality are achieved in Israel/Palestine, the Israeli flag will continue to represent the loss of the Palestinian homeland and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, and the ongoing denial of Palestinian rights. This is a colonial issue, and therefore criticism of a colonial flag by victims of its state’s ongoing colonization is simply a practice of the right to freedom of speech and expression.

We call on the UOIT administration and President Tim McTiernan to respect and protect our freedom of speech and expression on campus. We demand that UOIT condemn the vicious media attacks we have been subjected to. We demand in the strongest terms that UOIT ceases its ongoing witch hunt against students; we will not tolerate racial profiling and discriminatory investigative processes. And we are disturbed and embarrassed by the administration’s capitulation to far-right extremist groups.

We also urge the UOIT administration to challenge the ongoing exclusion and discrimination that have been directed towards Palestine-solidarity activists on campus.

Take Action: Urge your MPP to vote “NO” on the anti-BDS Private Member’s Motion

An Anti-BDS motion will be presented in the Ontario Legislature this Thursday December 1, 2016.

The motion, presented by MPP Gila Martow, asks the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to stand firmly against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and falsely equates it to anti-Semitism and racism.

Please ask your MPP to vote “NO” on the Private Members’ Notice of Motion Number 36. We have provided a sample model letter below for you to cut-and-paste and/or to modify as you wish. It is important that MPPs hear opposition before the vote on Thursday, December 1. If you are able, please send your email tonight (November 29) or tomorrow morning (November 30).

Please also share this Call to Action to your networks as soon as possible.

See below for instructions on contacting your MPP in 5 easy steps:

Step One
Write to your MPP and ask them to vote NO to Private Member’ Notice of Motion Number 36– a short note will do. Or, you can copy/modify the model letter provided below. Make any modifications you want or use as-is. Please make sure you add your MPP’s name on the first line.

Step Two
Write in subject line: Please Vote “NO” to Private Member’ Notice of Motion Number 36.

Step Three
Find your MPP’s email address using this link
Click on the MPP’s name as highlighted on the list (sort by MPP or by riding):
Once located, click Contact Details below their picture to find/copy their email address.
Also copy Premier Kathleen Wynne’s email at premier@ontario.ca

Step Four:
Copy caia.toronto@gmail.com (so we can keep track of how many MPPs are receiving letters)

Step Five
Add your name, city, title and affiliation at the end of the letter – and press send!

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PROTEST! TRIO OF WAR CRIMINALS COMING TO TORONTO

PROTEST!
TRIO OF WAR CRIMINALS COMING TO TORONTO:
HENRY KISSINGER, SHIMON PERES, AND MICHAEL OREN
MAY 26, 2016
METRO TORONTO CONVENTION CENTRE
4:30 PM

EVENT PAGE: www.facebook.com/events/219223015127686

If your group would like to endorse this action, please email actions4palestine@gmail.com

On May 26, War Criminals Henry Kissinger, Shimon Peres & Michael Oren will be in Toronto to participate in what is called the “Spirit of Hope,” an event hosted by the “Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre” insidiously focusing on human rights, justice, freedom & democracy, all of which were denied to their victims.

trio

HENRY KISSINGER: The mastermind of imperialist policies directly causing millions of deaths. He is responsible for massive blood-drenched crimes against humanity that swept across the Global South, from the operations of the Shah of Iran’s secret police, the brutal Pinochet years in Chile, the secret U.S. indiscriminate bombing of Cambodia & Laos, still murdering civilians *to this day,* the U.S.’s villainous Anti-Communist war against Vietnam and the entrenchment  of apartheid in South Africa, amongst many other heinous crimes committed in East Timor and Bangladesh.

SHIMON PERES: Former Prime Minister & President of Apartheid Israel, whose extensive list of atrocities include serving in the Haganah, a Zionist Militia that massacred Palestinians during 1948-1952, the planning and execution of the Qana Massacre in Lebanon; the killing of Palestinians during the Aqsa uprising; involvement in the massacre of Jenin and gave the green light for Israel’s violent incursion against besieged Gaza in February of 2008.

MICHAEL OREN: Former Israeli ambassador to the US and former Israeli Occupation soldier who served during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, served again as the Israeli Occupation Spokesperson during Israel’s barbaric assault on Lebanon in 2006, as well as a stint posturing as “media relations officer” during the massacre of over 1,200 Palestinians in Gaza in 2008-2009, where he disseminated war propaganda and whitewashed Israel’s crimes to major media outlets, globally.

We call on all people of conscience to join together to let them know they are not welcome and demand justice for decades of unimaginable crimes against humanity perpetrated during their reigns of violence, terror and intimidation.

Let’s give them the “welcome” they deserve!

Endorsements include:
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA),
Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) York, and
SAIA UofT
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)-Canada,
Stop the Jewish National Fund (JNF)-Canada
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) McMaster,
Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) Toronto
If your group would like to endorse this action, please email actions4palestine@gmail.com

What: Protest War Criminals
Where: Toronto Convention Centre

What Day: Thursday, May 26, 2016
What Time: We gather @ 4:30 PM