Following this week’s report from City of Toronto staff concluding that the term ‘Israeli apartheid’ does not violate the city’s anti-discrimination policy, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid is announcing new plans for Pride 2011 that will pose a challenge for Mayor Rob Ford. Instead of marching as a contingent in the parade this year, QuAIA will focus its Pride Week activities on hosting a community event to raise awareness of Israeli apartheid, and how LGBTQ communities can pressure the Israeli government to comply with international law through the campaign for boycotts, divestments and sanctions. QuAIA will also continue to contest Israel’s “pinkwashing” campaign, which attempts to use LGBTQ human rights to obscure Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights.
“Last year’s struggle was around censorship and our right to march in our community’s Pride parade,” says QuAIA spokesperson Tim McCaskell. “With the City report settling that debate, now is the time for us to move beyond the parade to build our community’s response to Israeli apartheid.”
QuAIA’s new plans will pose a challenge for Mayor Rob Ford, who announced that he would cut more than $100,000 in city tourism funding for Pride Toronto if QuAIA continued to march.
“Rob Ford wants to use us as an excuse to cut Pride funding, even though he has always opposed funding the parade, long before we showed up,” says Elle Flanders of QuAIA. “By holding our Pride events outside of the parade, we are forcing him to make a choice: fund Pride or have your real homophobic, right-wing agenda exposed.”
March 26, 2011
As part of the 2011 Global BDS Day of Action, the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, held a march and rally in Toronto. CAIA was joined by allied groups including anti-poverty activists, environmental justice groups and migrant justice organizers. The march targeted the centre of the Canadian economy and the heart of Canadian complicity in Israeli apartheid – Toronto’s financial district. Over 100 people marched under the banner Divest Now! The march highlighted local divestment campaigns being organized by Teachers for Palestine and Students Against Israeli Apartheid at the University of Toronto and York University.
The day was filled with energetic chants, passionate speeches and a memorial for the martyrs killed on Land Day and all our fallen comrades. The march was centred around creative BDS actions including dancing, posting a huge “Divest from Israeli Apartheid” banner on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the presentation of a plaque in honour of the 35th anniversary of Palestinian Land Day. The event ended at Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) where activists filled the ‘comments and suggestions’ box with dozens of cards telling MEC to drop Israeli products now!
For more information on the Day of Action please see our leaflet
In the first few weeks of 2011, revolutions have swept across the Arab world, toppling dictators in Tunisia and Egypt, and threatening to topple one in Libya. Uprisings are also underway in Bahrain, Yemen, and elsewhere, as people all across the region – including in Saudi Arabia – stand up against tyranny and oppression.
Please join us for this special event to hear long-time anti-war and Palestine solidarity campaigner George Galloway talk about the current situation in the Arab world, and what we can doing Canada to support the Arab peoples’ struggle for liberation. A discussion period will follow Mr. Galloway’s speech.
Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre
427 Bloor Street West
TTC: Spadina | Parking available on side streets
Doors open: 6:15 p.m.
Event begins: 7:00 p.m.
This this event on facebook – click here.
Tickets: $10 and up – or pay what you can
There are no advance ticket sales. Please arrive early to guarantee admission.
On Monday March 7th, the first night of Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) 2011,the Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA), at the University of Toronto and York University officially launched a campaign demanding that their respective universities divest from four companies involved in violations of Palestinian human rights and Israeli Apartheid. Investments in BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Hewlett Packard have been found in the University of Toronto’s Pension Master Trust, Long Term Capital Appreciation Pool, and Expendable Funds Investment Pool, as well as in York University’s Pension and Endowment Funds. The complicit companies create military technologies used in the murder of civilians, the destruction of infrastructure and the daily humiliation of Palestinians. Just under two decades ago York University was one of the first to divest from South African Apartheid; U of T was shamefully one of the last.
The entire week of IAW events, including guest lectures from Judith Butler, Ali Abunimah, Judy Rebick and Riham Barghouti, focussed on institutional complicity and the importance of the campus as a site of resistance. All of the week’s speakers have signed on to our divestment campaign in the spirit of holding our universities accountable to their purported commitment to the “vigilant protection of human rights”.
Join these renowned intellectuals and social justice activists, in addition to over 100 faculty members who have already signed on, to demand that our universities do the right thing and take action to divest now! Please sign our petition below and encourage your organization, union or club to stand with us against our universities’ complicity in human right’s violations against Palestinians.
The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) takes the occasion of International Women’s Day (IWD) to press our call to lift the siege on Gaza. The urgent goal is to bring aid to the women of Gaza who suffer with their families and children imprisoned there by the Israeli government. They endure malnutrition and poisoned water, and they lack medical care, sufficient shelter, and quality of life.
We will march this Saturday, March 11th, angered by the Israeli apartheid system that attacks Palestinian women by means of land confiscation, impoverishment, daily harassment, imprisonment, and indirect and direct violence. We call on the Israeli authorities to immediately release all Palestinian female political prisoners and detainees from Israeli jails, including women in administrative detention. Palestinian female prisoners and detainees are subjected to cruel and discriminatory treatment during their arrest, interrogation, and in prison, including sexual harassment, psychological and physical punishment and humiliation, and deprivation of gender-sensitive healthcare. The repression of Palestinian women’s resistance must end!
Join the CAIA contingent on International Women’s Day to call for an end to the siege of Gaza, an end to violence against Palestinian women, and the immediate release of Palestinian women prisoners. You may also with to sign the petition on Palestinian Female Political Prisoners. For more information on the CAIA Contingent at the IWD March, please click here.