Crackdown on BDS: Criminalization of Dissent? | Tuesday, April 26 @ 6:30 pm | United Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street, Toronto

On February 18, 2016 Canadian parliament passed a motion condemning “any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS [Boycott Divestment Sanctions against Israeli apartheid] movement, both here at home and abroad.”

• What are the legal implications of this motion? Is BDS being criminalized?
• What is the political and transnational context?
• How have activists and university campuses been affected by the vilification of BDS?
• What does this mean for the BDS movement?
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This speakers panel and discussion addresses this recent anti-BDS offensive including legal, campus-based, labour, and social movement reflections and analysis.

Organized by: Faculty for Palestine
Endorsed by: Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) and U of T Divest

This event is wheelchair acccessible. Admission is Free. Invite your friends on Facebook here.

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Black Lives Matter rally | Saturday, March 26, 4pm | 40 College Street

The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter-Toronto tent city.

We believe that an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, and stand behind your demands for justice and police accountability. We are firm in our support of the Black Lives Matter Movement, and stand against anti-black racism, mass incarceration and police brutality and violence, all of which are far too familiar practices of Israel’s occupation and apartheid.

CAIA also calls on its members and supporters to join the Black Lives Matter rally on Saturday, March 26 4 p.m. at 40 College Street.

BDS News: McGill Students Vote to Support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement

On February 22 almost 900 students attending the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Winter 2016 General Assembly (GA) voted on, and passed, a motion in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement with 58 per cent of the vote.

The BDS motion, brought forth by the McGill BDS Action Network, sought that the  SSMU support BDS campaigns through the office of the VP External, and that the President lobby the McGill Board of Governors for “divestment from companies profiting from violations of Palestinian human rights” by bringing the issue up at every meeting. Last year, two similar motions were brought up at the Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 GAs, where they were, respectively, postponed indefinitely and voted down.

McGill holds investments in at least three companies that profit from Israel’s activities in the occupied territories: L-3 Communications, Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank, and RE/MAX. Following the GA vote a petition in solidarity McGill BDS received close to 2000 signatures.

Motions that pass at the GA need to be ratified online before they can be put into effect. On February 27 results of the online ratification process were announced with 2,819 votes (57 per cent) against the ratification and 2,119 votes (43 per cent) in favour effectively nullifying the motion.

In a statement published on its Facebook page following the ratification process, the McGill BDS Action Network, also known as McGill BDS, thanked it supporters and declared that “the fight is not over.” Melis Çağan, an organizer with McGill BDS, said, “Though we are disappointed with the outcome of the online ratification process, we are proud of the 2,119 students who stood for the rights of Palestinians… And that we have still made history. We passed the BDS motion on the same day as the [House of Commons of the Canadian] Parliament voted to condemn BDS. As history has shown, real change comes from the people and not from governments.”

12th Annual Israeli Apartheid Week: “Our Struggles Unite” | March 8 -10, 2016 | Toronto

Mark your calendars! The 12th Annual Israeli Apartheid Week will take place in Toronto from March 8 to 10. Check back for updates and more details.

First launched in Toronto in 2005, IAW has grown to become IAW 2016 posterone 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 actions will build support for the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement.

Inspired by the ongoing popular resistance across historic Palestine and the intersections being made globally between various struggles with Palestine, we hope to make Israeli Apartheid Week 2016 a powerful contribution to the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice.

Tuesday, March 8: “Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Movement Intersections Across Palestinian, Indigenous, and Black Struggles”
Featuring: Amanda Lickers and Remi Kanazi, Ntuthuko Makhombothi
Organized by: UTGSU BDS Committee, CUPE 3902 BDS Committee
Location: University of Toronto, Rm 103 – Fitzgerald Building (150 College Street)
Time: 7 – 9 pm
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/187935918242314/
Contact: divest@utsgu.ca

Wednesday, March 9:
Film Screening: “Pressure Points: Israel, Berkeley and the Divestment Resolution”
Speakers: Laura Al Khoury and Ralph Haddad, BDS McGill student organizers
Co-sponsored by: Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP Ryerson)
Co-organized by: Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA),
Endorsed by: The Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR), Faculty for Palestine (F4P)
Location: Ryerson University, Rm RCC204, Rogers Communication Centre (80 Gould Street)
Time: 7 pm
trailer: https://vimeo.com/52124491
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/742843045816524/
Contact: endapartheid@riseup.net
The historic campaign for divestment on Berkeley campus depicted in the film is highly informative, documenting how a successful BDS resolution was eventually passed despite enormous opposition from Zionist organizers.
Students at McGill University are currently undergoing a similar campaign and challenges, so we are very fortunate to have two speakers from Montreal joining us to share their reflections on the campaign and the film.
Film Description: In 2010 students at the University of California Berkeley put forward a resolution advocating divestment from companies militarily supporting Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories and the blockade of Gaza. PRESSURE POINTS includes footage from the UCB’s Student Senate proceedings and explores the historic significance of the campaign within the context of U.S. social justice movements. The public debates on the resolution and the senate votes marked a significant advance in the acceptance of boycott, divestment and sanctions as effective tools for ending the occupation and blockade.

Thursday, March 10: “The Politics of Divestment: Building Links Between Movements”
Organized by: Students Against Israeli Apartheid UofT, Arts & Science Students’ Union UofT
Location: University of Toronto, Rm 1101 – Sandford Fleming Building (10 King’s College Road)
Time: 6 – 8 pm
Contact: saia.opirg.uoft@gmail.com

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PEN Canada Presents: Embattled Truths: Reporting on Gaza with Max Blumenthal

Wednesday, 24 February 2016, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Atrium – Toronto Reference Library | 789 Yonge Street, Toronto
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1686776078269546/
Tickets*:
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/embattled-truths-reporting-on-gaza-atrium-tickets-19745562509
*Book two free tickets at above link.
$15 suggested donation. All proceeds go to PEN Canada.
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PEN Canada presents acclaimed US journalist Max Blumenthal, author of The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza on the challenges of sifting truth from propaganda when reporting on conflict in the Gaza Strip. The event will also feature Toronto Star Foreign Affairs reporter Olivia Ward.

Searching for truth within the fog of war is particularly consequential in dispatches from Israel’s occupied territories. Depending on where we get our news, Gaza is either a terrorist haven and a legitimate military target, or a zone of unjustified violence against a captive civilian population.

This event is presented in partnership with the Toronto Public Library, Another Story Bookshop and Independent Jewish Voices in honour of Freedom to Read Week.

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