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!
Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA)
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA)
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR-uOttawa)
Association of Palestinian Arab Canadians