Main | Wednesday, May 26, 2010

TORONTO: Anti-Israel Protesters Jam Pride Group's Press Conference

Yesterday protesters jammed a Pride Toronto press conference held to address the swirling controversy over their decision to ban Queers Against Israeli Apartheid from their events.
About 80 QuAIA members and supporters turned out to protest the move, chanting "Whose Pride? Our Pride!" and "Resign! Resign! Resign!" Though Pride Toronto insists the action isn't "directed at any one group," the decision affects the group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA). Pride Toronto executive director Tracey Sandilands and board co-chairs Genevieve D'lorio and Margaret Ngai told the jeering crowd that the term "Israel apartheid" has led to "complaints of discriminatory and exclusionary messaging." The issue "has escalated to the point where Pride Toronto's festival is in a state of operational crisis," D'Iorio told the crowd. With the City of Toronto and corporate sponsors threatening to pull funding, she insists, the board has rescued the Pride festival from cancellation.
On June 14th the Toronto city council will meet to decide on cutting funding to Pride Toronto, a threat that may be moot now that the anti-Israel group has been banned.

[Photo credits: Matt Mills, David Walberg]

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