Main | Thursday, June 17, 2010

TORONTO: Anti-Israeli Apartheid Activists Plan To Defy Pride Events Ban

A new group called the Pride Coalition For Free Speech plans to march in Pride Toronto's parade and will appear at other events to denounce the decision to ban Queers Against Israeli Apartheid.
Go to Pride Toronto (PT) events and defy the ban — that is the message queer activists are sending partiers in the lead-up to Toronto’s gayest weekend. That stands in contrast to early calls for a boycott; most now plan to use official events to denounce organizers and make statements about PT and censorship. Since PT announced its ban on the term “Israeli apartheid” on May 25, gay people have been organizing through Facebook and in person to convince PT to reverse its decision. The Pride Coalition for Free Speech — an ad hoc group founded to fight the ban — hosted a meeting at the 519 Church St Community Centre on June 7 that drew more than 300 people. Roy Mitchell, a member of the coalition, says he’s watching people organize in a flurry — everything from skits to banner-making — as people turn their frustration into action. “We want Pride. We love Pride. We probably love it more than we ever had,” he says. He’s never seen this kind of energy before, he says. Those who oppose PT’s decision to censor QuAIA, no matter how they feel about the Middle East, are invited to march with the Pride Coalition for Free Speech — if its application is approved by PT staff, that is. “We are happy to take anyone under our banner who wants to join us,” says Mitchell, who is also organizing a free speech cabaret on June 29.
The Facebook page for the new protest group is here.

Labels: , , , ,

comments powered by Disqus