Archive for March, 2010

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Martin Gladstone’s campaign of lies and defamation

March 31, 2010

Toronto lawyer Martin Gladstone has recently been quoted in the Toronto Sun claiming that members of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid wore “Nazi memorabilia” in last year’s Toronto Pride parade. He is making this claim based on one person, not a QuAIA member, marching in last year’s parade with a well known Anti-Racist Action t-shirt which features a crossed-out swastika, like a no smoking sign.

Here is an image of this t-shirt from Martin Gladstone’s own homemade film, Reclaiming Our Pride.


Even though this very clear and unambiguous image was available to Gladstone, he has been circulating the following blurry image that obscures the t-shirt, and has been claiming that it shows a swastika and is evidence of anti-Semitism. (Annotations are from Martin Gladstone’s submission to the “Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism”):

Gladstone has been lobbying city councillors, media, Members of Parliament, and  Pride sponsors to ban QuAIA from Pride, and has used this fabrication as the basis of his demand. The Toronto Sun reprinted this lie without seeking comment from QuAIA or verifying the accuracy of the claim. Gladstone has also reported that QuAIA marchers chanted “fist by fist, blow by blow, apartheid state has got to go.” The actual chant was “brick by brick, wall by wall, Israeli apartheid is going to fall.” Again, Gladstone is trying to create an atmosphere of violence that is based on falsehoods.

QuAIA believes that it is irresponsible to use lies and fabrications to foment fears of anti-Semitism.

Saying that an anti-Nazi symbol is a Nazi symbol is like saying a “no smoking” sign means “please smoke”, or a “no left turn” sign means “please turn left”, or a “no parking” sign means “park here”.  We can only hope he doesn’t have a driver’s license.

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QuAIA NEW MEMBERS MEETING!

March 25, 2010

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Date: Wednesday March 31st

Time: 7pm-9pm

Location: Beit Zatoun – 612 Markham  St. (http://beitzatoun.org/cms/Home.aspx)

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Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, or QuAIA, is holding a new members meeting for all those interested in joining. Come meet other queer activists and learn about how you can get involved in QuAIA’s upcoming campaigns and actions!

RSVP: quaia.toronto@gmail.com

Refreshments will be served

Background:

QuAIA formed to work in solidarity with queers in Palestine and Palestinian resistance movements around the world. Today, in response to increasing criticism of its occupation of Palestine, Israel is cultivating an image of itself as an oasis of gay tolerance in the Middle East. As queers, we recognize that homophobia exists in Israel, Palestine, and across all borders. But queer Palestinians face the additional challenge of living under occupation, subject to Israeli state violence and control. Israel’s apartheid system extends gay rights only to some, based on race.

There is no pride in apartheid, and QuAIA is dedicated to fighting it wherever it exists. We work in solidarity with anti-colonial struggles and with queers leading their own struggles of resistance.

QuAIA works to:
* mobilize in solidarity with groups and individuals to advance these political goals
* engage in a queer analysis of colonialism and anti-colonial struggles
* build a queer, anti-colonial, anti-racist, feminist movement against apartheid through mutual education and dialogue
* foster a culture of radical queer organizing

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Coming Out Against Apartheid: Queer Solidarity Activism

March 4, 2010

Queers Against Israeli Apartheid invite you to join us at an important, exciting, and timely event.

On Thursday, March 4th, Toronto’s Israeli Apartheid Week will host:

“Coming Out Against Apartheid: Queer Solidarity Activism

An evening of critical and compelling speakers and dialogue that you should not miss.

Location: OISE Auditorium, 252 Bloor St. West (map)
Hosted by Students Against Israeli Apartheid – a working group of OPIRG-Toronto

Trish Salah is a Montreal-based writer, activist and teacher at Concordia’s Simone de Beauvoir Institute. She has been politically active organizing around a wide range of issues, including Palestinian solidarity, sex workers’ rights, anti-racism and anti-capitalism, employment security and healthcare for transsexual and transgender people. Her first book of poetry, Wanting in Arabic, was published by TSAR Books and her recent writing appears in the journals Open Letter, No More Potlucks, and Aufgabe. Her new manuscript is titled “Lyric Sexology.”

John Greyson is a Toronto video artist/filmmaker whose features, shorts and installations include Fig Trees (Best Documentary Teddy, Berlin Film Festival, 2009), Proteus (Diversity Award, Barcelona Gay Lesbian Film Festival, 2004), and Lilies (Best Film ‘Genie’, 1996). An associate professor in Film at York University, he was awarded the 2007 Bell Canada Award in Video Art.

Jenny Peto is an activist with the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid and a student in Sociology and Equity Studies at OISE. Her research on Israeli Apartheid has focused on the co-optation of human rights, including queer and feminist issues, by the Israeli State and its supporters.