Author Archives: nausheen

Toronto Protest for Palestinian Political Prisoners

Saturday, May 13th @ 2pmMay 13th rally
Israeli Consulate, 180 Bloor Street West
Find it on Facebook

More than 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails launched a hunger strike on April 17th for their basic human rights.

Join us at the Israeli Consulate to support their demands and to urge the Canadian government to pressure the Israeli government to stop violating prisoners’ rights!

Demands of the strike include:
* End to denials of family visits
* Access to a public pay telephone to communicate with family members
* Appropriate medical care and treatment for sick prisoners
* Right to access higher education at a distance
* End to solitary confinement

* End to administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.

The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) has unleashed a wave of repressive tactics, including the denial of family visits, the denial of legal visits, confiscation of clothing (even toothbrushes and underwear), conducting violent prison raids and reportedly confiscating salt from the prisoners; the viral #SaltWaterChallenge campaign on social media has highlighted the way strikers have consumed only a mixture of salt and water to prolong their survival.

Since 1967, more than 800,000 Palestinians have been detained under Israeli military orders. Human rights organizations such as Amnesty International have called on Israel to end “unlawful and cruel” policies towards Palestinian prisoners.

13th Annual Israeli Apartheid Week | Toronto, March 9th-17th, 2017

100 YEARS OF SETTLER COLONIALISM, 100 YEARS OF POPULAR STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE

First launched in Toronto in 2005, Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) has grown to become one of the most important global events in the Palestine solidarity calendar. This year, IAW will take place in more than 150 cities across the globe. The week aims to raise awareness about Israel’s ongoing practices of apartheid, occupation, and dispossession against the Palestinian people. Lectures, films, and creative performances will build support for the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

This year’s IAW will reflect on 100 years of resistance to settler colonialism across historic Palestine since the issuance of the Balfour Declaration in 1917. The Week will also link the history of Palestinian resistance to the struggles of the Indigenous peoples on whose territories we live, work, and study, and who are resisting settler colonial violence and dispossession. Our speakers this year will include Vijay Prashad, Lee Maracle, and Hind Awwad, among others.
To endorse Israeli Apartheid Week in Toronto, or to make a donation, contact: divest@utgsu.ca or saia.opirg.uoft@gmail.com.

The full program is available at www.uoftdivest.com/iaw17 and on Facebook.

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Gaza Calling: Film Screening and Discussion | Thursday, March 16, 2017 | University College | 15 King’s College Circle, Room 140 | 7 – 9 p.m.

The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA), together with Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP Ryerson), Students Against Israeli Apartheid – UofT St. George, and UofT Divest, invite you to a screening of Gaza Calling, a documentary by Nahed Awwad. Inspired by the director’s own experiences, the film captures the personal costs faced by Palestinian families torn apart by arbitrary Israeli barriers within their own country.

In addition to the film, there will be a brief report back from the June 2016 fact-finding trip to Palestine by a group of Modern Languages Association (MLA) members who travelled to the Occcupied Territories to investigate the conditions for students and faculty under occupation. University of Toronto Professor Rebecca Comay was one of the MLA members on this trip and a co-author of the report. Their eyewitness report documents the difficult and deteriorating conditions that Palestinian academics and students face.

The final segment of the event will be a moderated discussion featuring Issam Alyamani and Jehad Elewiwi, two prominent Palestine solidarity activists based in Toronto.

EVENT DETAILS
Gaza Calling: Film Screening and Discussion
Time: Thursday, March 16, 2017 | 7 – 9 p.m.
Location: University College (University of Toronto) | 15 King’s College Circle, Room 140
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/442805949395489/

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TAKE ACTION: Urge your MPP to vote “NO” on the Private Member’s Bill 202, “Standing Up Against Anti-Semitism in Ontario”

An anti-BDS bill just passed first reading in the Ontario legislature, and is going to second reading tomorrow (May 19). The bill was drafted by Tim Hudak (Conservative) and Mike Colle (Liberal). For many reasons, including those outlined in our model letter below, we must stop this bill!392425_443465705683571_1952206214_n

Please urge your MPP to vote “NO” on the Private Member’s Bill 202, “Standing Up Against Anti-Semitism in Ontario.” 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 May 19. If you are able, please send your email before May 19, 2016.

Please also share this call-out for action to your networks as soon as possible.

INSTRUCTIONS ON SENDING IN 5 EASY STEPS

Step One
Write to your  MPP and ask them to vote NO to Bill 202 – a short note will do.  Or, you can copy/modify the model letter provided below. Make any modifications you want or use as-is.  Note:  Make sure you add your MPP’s name on the first line

Step Two
Write in Subject Line: Please Vote “NO” to PMB 202 “Standing Up Against Anti-Semitism in Ontario Act”

Step Three
Find your MPP’s email address using this link: http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/members/members_current.do?locale=en&ord=Member&dir=ASC&list_type=all_mpps

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 add Premier Kathleen Wynne’s email at premier@ontario.ca

Step Four
CC fac4pal@gmail.com (so we can keep track of how many MPPs are receiving letters)

Step Five
Add your name, city, title and affilliation at the end of the letter – and press Send!
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TAKE ACTION TODAY | City of Toronto: Don’t whitewash racist Israeli policy in the name of equity!

The City of Toronto has just confirmed its plans to participate – and to provide the keynote speaker through the Office of Equity, Diversity and Human Rights – in the upcoming conference, “Jerusalem as a Culturally Competent City,” in Jerusalem on May 17, 2016.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is the first speaker of the conference. In 2010, he told the Israeli Knesset (parliament) that the number of Palestinian residents in Jerusalem poses a “strategic threat”, citing a racist policy target of a 70-30 Jewish majority as “the government’s goal.” Just recently in October 2015, Mayor Barkat was roaming an East Jerusalem neighbourhood with a gun. A statement by the City of Jerusalem affirmed his actions saying that “the mayor encourages licensed gun owners to carry their weapons to increase security. He himself serves as a personal example of this.” These statements not only reflect the mayor himself, but the official policy of the City of Jerusalem towards the indigenous Palestinian population.

The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) believes that the City’s participation in a conference with speakers from Israeli settlements encourages settlement activity and undermines Canada’s responsibility to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law. It also undermines the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). In its letter dated May 8, 2016 to the City of Toronto, the General Union of Palestinian Women (one of over 170 signatory organizations on the 2005 BDS call) is clear in identifying the problem:  “Your participation in this conference plays in the hands of Israel’s propaganda. Falsely presenting Jerusalem as a ‘culturally competent city’ masks the city’s reality: arbitrary killings of indigenous Palestinians and systematic discrimination with the explicit aim of ridding the city of its Palestinian residents. Equity cannot exist in Jerusalem until Israel’s systematic discriminatory laws are changed. We urge you to refrain from aiding our oppression: cancel your participation in this conference.”

CAIA formally reached out to the city of Toronto on April 30, 2016 to express its concern over the city’s participation in the conference and to request a formal meeting to discuss the issue. The city responded on May 6, 2016 to confirm that it will continue its participation, and has declined to meet with us.

TAKE ACTION NOW

tory landscape

Please join the CAIA in telling Toronto’s Mayor John Tory that there is no ‘equity’ in apartheid!  Urge him to cancel the City of Toronto’s participation in the May 17th Jerusalem conference now by withdrawing the participation of the City’s Director of Equity, Diversity and Human Rights.

a) Sign the CAIA petition, “City of Toronto: Don’t whitewash racist Israeli policy in the name of equity!” and share it widely with your friends and networks.

b) Check out more information on this campaign here. Educate your friends, family and colleagues by sharing the information on this page including organizational list-serves, social media. Use the following: #EquityNotApartheid @John Tory

c) Send an email from yourself or your organization to Mayor John Tory – mayor_tory@toronto.ca – urging him to cancel the City of Toronto’s participation in the  Jerusalem conference. Use the material from our campaign page in your email.

d) Join us at the rally at Nathan Phillips Square on Friday May 13, 2:30pm. Help us deliver the message to Mayor Tory in person, loud and clear! Invite your friends over Facebook here.