Main | Thursday, June 10, 2010

Israel Fallout Continues For Pride Toronto

Last month Pride Toronto banned Queers Against Israeli Apartheid from all of its events, prompting many to complain of censorship. On Monday over two dozen former Grand Marshals and honorees marched on Pride Toronto's office to return their awards. All of the speakers at Pride Toronto's planned June 28th human rights event have canceled their appearances. And now some of Pride Toronto's hired performers are pulling out.
Soon after Pride Toronto chose to censor the term "Israeli apartheid" the anarchic folk-rock band Tomboyfriend pulled out in protest. At the packed town hall meeting held at the 519 Church St Community Centre on June 7, lead singer/songwriter Ryan Kamstra expressed surprise that no other bands had yet done the same. But earlier that afternoon, John Caffery of Kids on TV announced his withdrawal from a DJ gig at Pride. Singer Troy Jackson, writer David Demchuk and Pride stage host and mayoral candidate Keith Cole also dropped out. And now other scheduled performers are mulling over whether or not to do the same. "I view free speech as vital to social change and empowerment," says Caffery. "If free speech is to be taken away then it certainly is not a party I can play music for."
Some musicians scheduled to appear are staying out of the political fray entirely. Crackpuppy guitarist Patricia Wilson: "Fuck Pride. Fuck Israel. Fuck Palestine. Only rock and roll matters. It is the only true government, the only true religion."

RELATED: Pride Toronto's problems on this issue began long before last week's Gaza flotilla raid.

Labels: , , , ,

comments powered by Disqus