Archive for August, 2009

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Call to queers in Ottawa, Gatineau: march to show there is no pride in apartheid!

August 28, 2009

After Toronto and Montréal’s highly successful contingents of queers against Israeli apartheid, it is now Ottawa’s turn to declare that THERE IS NO PRIDE IN APARTHEID!!

Queers who are taking a stand against apartheid are inviting all queer people and allies to join in the struggles for the rights and dignity of queer people of territories occupied by Canada and Israel.

We reject the corporatization and depoliticization of queer identity that is being “celebrated” today. Instead, we celebrate the long history of queers being at the forefront of social justice movements (from the Civil Rights movement in the U.S. to the Anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa).

This year, we continue this legacy of Queer resistance. As we march against different manifestations of homophobia both at home and across the world, we also march in solidarity with all people struggling for social justice and self determination everywhere.

Like many queers throughout North America and beyond, we are fed up with Israel’s attempts to falsely brand itself as a safe haven for queers in order to divert the world’s attention from its racist policies towards Palestinian people. We believe all forms of oppression are related. We do not support the fight against homophobia if it is perpetuating racism.

We are also standing in solidarity with indigenous people in ”Canada” who are confronting colonization and imperialism. We recognize that the Canadian state, from its very beginning, has disrupted and destroyed many first nations communities through sexual violence, repression, assimilation and occupation. Queer rights are moot if they mean legitimization of occupation. There can be no pride in our communities if we do not stand in solidarity with others who are resisting all forms of oppression.

Canada and Israel bolster each other’s colonial occupations through political, military and economic support. To us, the links are clear. As queers our role in the struggle is obvious.

It’s been 8 months since Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza which saw hundreds of thousands of people across the world take to the streets in outrage. Many have joined the global movement of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel. In Tyendinaga, Six Nations, Barriere Lake, Akwesasne, Coast Salish and across the continent, first nations communities are fanning the flames of resistance to colonization.

Recently, in Toronto and Montréal, Queers have taken to the streets during Pride parades to loudly declare their love and solidarity towards the people of Palestine and their struggle for justice, land and dignity.

This Pride week, it’s time for us in Ottawa to reaffirm our solidarity and to march with our allies in our hearts.

Join us as we loudly declare:

THERE IS NO PRIDE IN OCCUPATION!

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this pride parade contingent is endorsed:
AGITATE!
QUEER fACTION
Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA)
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA)
Q-TEAM MTL
OPIRG-GRIPO
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR-uOttawa)
Association of Palestinian Arab Canadians
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Queers proudly march against Israeli apartheid in Montreal

August 28, 2009

On a scorching August afternoon over 75 proud and political Montreal Queers and allies gathered at the corner of DeLorimier and St-Catherine carrying Palestinian flags and wearing bandanas and shirts saying ”Queers Come Out Against Israeli Apartheid” and ”Les Queers Niquent l’apartheid Israelien”. Organized by Q-team, the contingent brought together people from many different organizations throughout the city who celebrate the long history of queers being at the forefront of social justice movements.  Rejecting Israel’s attempts to falsely brand itself as a safe haven for queers in order to divert the world’s attention from its racist policies towards Palestinian people, Q-team’s contingent marched against homophobia at home and across the world, and in solidarity with all people struggling for social justice and self-determination.

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Appeal to help a gay Palestinian refugee

August 6, 2009

QuAIA has received this appeal for help for a gay Palestinian in Gaza seeking refuge and medical treatment in Portugal. We have verified the details of this story through Amnesty International and LGBT organizations in Portugal.

“Mahmoud” was born in Saudi Arabia, but returned to Gaza — the birthplace of his parents — at the age of 12, in 1997. It was around the same time that he discovered his homosexuality. When his family learned this news, he was repeatedy beaten by his father and nine uncles; if it hadn’t been for the intervention of his mother, he would likely not have survived. When Israel attacked Gaza in May of 2008 (the January assault was only the most recent one), his father threw Mahmoud out of the house, thinking it was the perfect opportunity to get rid of him. This is what happened next, in his own words:

“The tanks were about 200 meters from our house and approaching. Outside, there were snipers that I couldn’t see, so I began to run. Suddenly, I remember a big explosion and blood all over my body, coming from my head. Some women came and tried to help me, and I was taken to the European Hospital. My heart stopped twice, but they saved me — barely.”

Now blind in his left eye and with shrapnel still embedded throughout his body, Mahmoud was allowed to go to Egypt, then Syria, in search of treatment that would save his eye and remove the shrapnel moving ever closer to his carotid artery. Unfortunately, it now appears that this treatment can be obtained only in the West. His ultimate dream is to get that treatment — along with asylum, and freedom from persecution — in Portugal, where his boyfriend of two years lives. “I just want to be safe and happy,” he says.

Amnesty International has arranged for him to get to Portugal, but we need to raise money for his airfare, temporary lodging along the way and the procedural requirements imposed by the Portugese embassy. We figure we can make this happen if we can raise about $4,500, and we already have raised $1,000 of that. Can you help? Even $10 or $25 will bring him one step closer to safety and health.

A Portuguese association called “Opus Gay” is collecting and disbursing the funds. There are several ways to send the money to them.

Send cheques and money orders payable to “Pam Rasmussen” to:

Pam Rasmussen
17612 Hollingsworth Dr.
Derwood, MD 20855
USA

Send cheques or money orders (Euros preferred) made out to “Opus Gay” care of Amnesty International:

Amnistia Internacional
Av. Infante Santo, 42, 2º,
1350-179 Lisboa
Portugal
ATTN: D. Oliveira

Send the money to Opus Gay directly:

Obra Gay associação
Rua da Ilha Terceira, 43- 2º –
Lisboa 1000-173
Portugal

Wire the money to Opus Gay (this costs a lot of money):

IBAN PT 5000 33 000000 22963 8286 05
CIC /SWIFT:BCOMP TPL.

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QuAIA deplores homophobic murders in Tel Aviv

August 5, 2009

QuAIA deplores the homophobic murders of 26-year-old Nir Katz and 16-year-old Liz Tarboush, and the injury of 13 other people at the gay youth club Bar-Noar in Tel Aviv on August 1. We offer our condolences to their loved ones. We must continue our struggle for justice and against homophobic violence everywhere.