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

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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.

Labour Struggles in Palestine & International Solidarity | Sunday, May 8, 2016 @ 1 pm | Ryerson University, Jorgensen Hall (Room 5)

The global labour movement has long criticized Israel for human and trade union rights violations and abuse of Palestinian workers, while workers in Palestine are resisting oppression and building a movement we can support. Trade unions and federations of labour in Canada are heeding the call for solidarity made by 170 Palestinian organizations for a Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. Let’s discuss how we can continue to build this solidarity.

BDS_may8_2016, poster, May 8, 2016, FinalSpeakers:

  • Natalie Guay, Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN)
  • Mike Palecek, Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)
  • Mary-Jo Nadeau, Faculty for Palestine (F4P)

Moderated by:

  • Hassan Husseini, Ottawa CUPE District Council
Endorsed by:
  • Canadian Union of Postal Workers
  • Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA)
  • CUPE Ontario International Solidarity Committee
  • Faculty for Palestine (F4P)
  • International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI-Canada)
  • Take Back Labour
  • Ottawa CUPE District Council
    and more…
Presented at:
LabourStart Toronto 2016 Conference: labourstarttoronto2016.wordpress.com
Note:
The event is FREE. To register online for your e-ticket (no charge), go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/labourstart-global-solidarity-conference-2016-tickets-19797886010

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.