Cross-Canada Day of Action to End Israel Apartheid

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On May 18th we will be marching down the streets of Toronto to honour the Nakba and to call for an end to Israeli Apartheid. The energy and strength of Palestinians has been relentless in resisting colonial violence. Please join us on the streets and support our call by sharing the event with your network of activists and organizers. This is the Facebook page

We will be gathering at Yonge-Dundas Square at 2PM and marching to Yonge and Bloor to the Israeli Consulate. Please bring your energy and enthusiasm as well as your banners and placards. 

We urge you to endorse this day of action and our call for the right of return of Palestinians. An endorsement can mean simply stating your support to us, sharing the event page on Facebook, and/or supporting with resources. Some endorsing organizations include:

  • Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME)

  • Al-Quds Committee

  • Labour for Palestine

  • Canadians for Palestine

  • Canadian Federation of Students (CFS)

  • Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP)

  • Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)

  • Socialist Action

  • Canadian Council for Justice and Peace

  • International Socialists

  • Hugo Chavez People’s Defence Front

  • Independent Jewish Voices (IJV)

  • Canadian Union of Postal Workers

If you would like to endorse, please reach out to Toronto BDS on Facebook

Hope to see you all out on May 18th!

The Gaza Ghetto uprising

By Gideon Levy

May 06, 2019 “Information Clearing House” –  

The cruelty and temerity of the people in Gaza once more reached new heights Saturday: dozens of rockets on Israel before the week of its Independence Day, just after its Holocaust Remembrance Day, and worst of all, two weeks before its Eurovision. How dare you Gaza, how dare you.

Israel still hasn’t recovered from the Holocaust, is preening itself for its Independence Day, the musicians are starting to arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport, and you’re firing Qassam rockets. How will we be able to celebrate? News reports give the impression that Israel is under siege; Gaza is threatening to destroy it. Twitter has already suggested “Eva’s Story on the Gaza Border” – a play on the social media campaign about the Holocaust.

Pundits explain that it’s all because of Hamas’ greed. Ramadan is beginning and “they’re under crazy pressure for cash.” Or, “It’s all because of the weak security policy that has gotten the terror groups used to Israel; we only strike buildings.”

And so they shoot, those villains. Hamas wants money, Israel’s too soft on them, they are terror, we are peace; they were born to kill. On Friday the army killed four protesters by the Gaza border fence, but who’s counting. In Israel a teenage boy tripped while running for a shelter. “When a lack of policy and continuity yields to blackmail,” a voice of wisdom mumbled, and nobody could figure out what he was proposing. Benny Gantz, the alternative. This is what we have an opposition for.

Everything is completely disconnected from context and reality, intentionally and willfully. Half a week after Holocaust Remembrance Day,  the knowledge that 2 million people have been locked up more than 12 years behind barbed wire in a giant cage doesn’t remind Israel of anything and doesn’t arouse anything. Half a week before Independence Day, the struggle for freedom and independence of another people is perceived as murderous terror for no reason.

Even the desperate attempt to prevent the brink of starvation is perceived as greed; the effort to somehow impart the appearance of a holiday in the holiest month of the year is depicted as extortion. That’s how low the brainwashing goes and no one protests. Everyone accepts it with a shrug.  Anyone who doubts how hollow and destructive the inculcation of the Holocaust is in Israel should look at the responses in Israel to this Gaza Ghetto Uprising. Anyone who ignores the reality in Gaza or tries to deny its disaster has learned nothing.

Gaza is a ghetto and what’s happening in the south is a ghetto uprising. There’s no other way to describe it. You can make claims against Hamas but you can’t make any claims against Gaza. It’s fighting for its freedom and no struggle is more just than its struggle, and Hamas is its leader.

The countdown to Hamas’ death has already begun: Only seven more months until the UN report, until Gaza is unfit for human habitation. But Israel yawns and its spokespeople only know how to tout “deterrence,” that monster we’ve created to justify every killing, closure and bout of destruction, as we lie ourselves to death that there’s something to deter 2 million unemployed, desperate, humiliated people, some of whom are hungry or dying for lack of medical care, and all of whom are locked up.

No one in Israel can imagine life in Gaza over the past 12 years. There are people who see to it that we don’t know, including Israel’s ban on the entry of Israeli journalists, which has stoked no protest at all. “Eva’s Story” should be filmed in Gaza way before it’s filmed in the Gaza border area.

A country that is established on the memory of the ghettos, which only a few days ago sanctified that memory, hides its face from the much larger ghetto that it built with its own hands and doesn’t want to see, one hour from the center of that country. A country that was established in a bloody struggle will not recognize the justness of the struggle of another people and wonders whether that people even exists. A society that considers itself exemplary, which was established on the world’s indifference to its suffering, shows monstrous heartlessness to the suffering it is causing.

“What were they before?” a woman asked me Friday in a lecture I gave in Tel Aviv. And what were we? What have we become?

ALBA’s 16th Summit: Towards A Democratic International Order

December 15, 2018

Resumen Latinoamericano and the Third World

ALBA’s 16th summit ended Friday in Havana. Its final declaration called for a new world order based on democracy, equality, and sovereignty.

The members-states of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our America-Peoples’ Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) gathered in Cuba to celebrate 14 years of working to defend regional peace and consolidate Latin American and Caribbean integration.

“We reiterate our will to continue promoting the construction of a new democratic, fair, inclusive and equitable international order in which sovereign equality between the states and respect for the free self-determination of the peoples is effective,” the summit’s final declaration stated.

“We reaffirm the need to strengthen the community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) as a mechanism of regional political concentration based on respect of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-intervention in the internal affairs of each country.”

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said earlier Friday that integration is the only way to face threats from interventionist countries. He also defended Nicaragua and Venezuela, saying that constant political subversion, economic aggression, and threats of the use of force endanger the region’s peace and security.

Diaz-Canel wrote on Twitter: “On the 14th anniversary of #ALBAunited we pay homage to that endeavor, to its realization, to the dream, to the dreamers and to all those who made it possible for us to settle centuries-old debts. #WeareCuba #WeAreContinuity.”

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro urged the members of the alliance to strengthen the platform based on agreement, cooperation, unity, and solidarity.

“We insist that unilateral coercive measures are contrary to the United Nations charter and international law, violate international trade rules, threaten international peace and security, and restrict the enjoyment of human rights,” the final declaration reiterated in a rebuke against the United States blockade of Cuba, its recently-approved NICA Act against Nicaragua, and the economic and financial sanctions against Venezuela.

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales said that the best tribute to the revolutionary leaders, and the main promoters of ALBA, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, would be to commit to the struggles for the liberation of the region and achieve social justice and peace.

“We attended the XVI ALBA-TCP Summit in Havana, Cuba, to commemorate the 14th anniversary of its founding by the commanders Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez and we reaffirmed our willingness to work together to strengthen the brotherhood and integration of Latin America and the Caribbean,” wrote the Bolivian leader on Twitter.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega denounced the interventionist acts of the U.S. against Venezuela and Cuba.

The member states also showed their solidarity with Brazil’s former President Lula Da Silva who was sentenced to 12 years and a month in prison accused of passive corruption and money laundering. Lula denies his involvement in any of the cases and claims he’s the target of political persecution, along with President Dilma Rousseff and their Workers’ Party (PT).

“We reiterate our solidarity with comrade Lula Da Silva, emblematic leader of our America, political prisoner in Brazil,” ALBA’s final declaration states.

The Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves said that a military intervention against Venezuela would have happened if ALBA did not exist.

“Venezuela is not a threat to anyone, it is not disturbing world peace, it is not in the midst of a civil war, there is no condition of international law that allows (the U.S.) to intervene in Venezuela,” the Caribbean leader said.

According to him, these threats from the U.S. should be taken seriously because they are coming from the world’s largest military power. Hence, the ALBA-TCP must respond with greater unity, he said.

Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, ratified the defense of the people’s sovereignty and the validity of the ALBA-TCP, especially for the most vulnerable and marginalized.

“We are interested in solving the problems of the people … that is what will always be done,” said Skerrit.

The general secretary of ALBA-TCP, David Choquehuanca, called for the unity and integration of Latin American peoples within the framework of fraternity and the defense of sovereignty in order to strengthen multilateral development.

Nicolas Maduro wrote on Twitter, “We proposed at the XVI Summit of the ALBA-TCP, to strongly promote the construction of an integrating development model, capable of generating the wealth that allows us to achieve economic liberation, to advance towards a higher level of shared development. #AlbaIstheFuture.”

Choquehuanca highlighted the importance of consolidating the monetary systems developed in the region, referring to the Venezuelan cryptocurrency Petro and the Sucre, as bases for a new economic model.

“We must be active in the multilateral scenario, in the mechanisms of alliances, the social and economic movement, councils of our peoples, who want to integrate, who want to work for their land (…) We must also adapt to work and build that new economic thinking with Sucre and Petro, a new financial architecture that is now a reality,” said the secretary.

He also focused on working with Russia, China, Iran, and Turkey as they are interested in working with the governments ALBA member states. The secretary added that they need to work together with social movements.

“We have to become the spirit of integration of the peoples of the world, to awaken that feeling of brotherhood,” he concluded.

Trudeau seriously out of step with Canadian attitudes towards Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights

 Sheryl Nestel

Rabble.ca February 22, 2019

At a Brock University town hall on January 15, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was challenged by an audience member who lauded the PM’s apology for Canada’s role in turning back Jewish refugees from Nazi persecution during the Second World War, but then went on to dispute the PM’s understanding of contemporary anti-Semitism. “I believe, to my consternation,” stated the questioner, “that you equated the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement with anti-Semitism. Will you take this opportunity today to retract your condemnation of the BDS movement?” The PM’s response appeared to come straight from the playbook of Israel-affiliated lobby groups when he declared that the BDS call is anti-Semitic and that “Canadian values” dictate that it must be opposed. Indeed, even Trudeau’s language (“single out Israel,” “delegitimize and demonize”) directly references Israeli government talking points. Adhering to the “anti-Zionism equals anti-Semitism” position of the Israeli government and many pro-Israel Jewish organizations, the PM demonizes and potentially imperils the rights of those who care about and advocate for Palestinian self-determination and an end to violations of the rights of the indigenous population of Palestine.

Just how out of step is Justin Trudeau with the Canadian public’s attitudes towards Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights? The PM’s most recent attack on the non-violent Palestinian civil society-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement appears to be in direct contradiction to the opinions of the majority of Canadians. The evidence for this claim can be found in two surveys conducted recently by the EKOS polling organization. The first survey, conducted in 2017 and sponsored by Independent Jewish Voices Canada and Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, revealed that 46 per cent of Canadians hold a negative view of the Israeli government. In Trudeau’s own Liberal party, the number of those with negative views was a substantial 55 per cent. Nonetheless, Canada’s Liberal government continues to demonstrate virtually uncritical support for Israel. They justify their position by claiming that it is necessary to “support Jews and to oppose anti-Semitism.” This serves to perpetuate the misconception, encouraged by Israel-aligned Jewish communal organizations such as the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and B’nai Brith Canada, that Jews are ideologically unified in their support for the Jewish state’s current political regime. A recently released EKOS survey of Canadian Jews’ opinions on Israel, sponsored by Independent Jewish Voices Canada and the United Jewish People’s Order, is the first of its kind and demonstrates conclusively that there is no unity among Canadian Jews regarding Israel’s policies.

Indeed, the study concludes that Jewish Canadians are deeply divided in their opinions of the Israeli government. More than a third of Canadian Jews (37 per cent) have a negative opinion of the Israeli government, while only half view it positively. In addition, almost one in three Canadian Jews (31 per cent) oppose the military blockade of the Gaza Strip, and nearly half (45 per cent) oppose the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state. Fifty-eight per cent of Canadian Jews do not see criticism of Israel as necessarily anti-Semitic, and 48 per cent believe that charges of anti-Semitism are often used to silence legitimate criticism of the Jewish state. Astonishingly, over a third (36 per cent) of Jews in Canada think that the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israel is reasonable, while 44 per cent oppose Parliamentary condemnation of those who endorse a boycott of Israel. Unlike Prime Minister Trudeau, 28 per cent of Canada’s Jews believe it is reasonable to impose sanctions on Israel for its violations of Palestinian human rights.

Clearly, Trudeau does not represent general Canadian public opinion when it comes to Israel/Palestine. Moreover, his opposition to BDS, his support for measures that would censure anti-Zionist expression, and his clear mimicking of Israeli Foreign Ministry language and ideology are unacceptable to significant numbers of Canadian Jews who have parted ways with those in the community who march in lockstep with the Israeli government. Trudeau’s position is not only ill-advised, it is dangerous — dangerous for Palestinians whose situation grows graver by the day, and dangerous for Jews in the current climate of rising anti-Semitism from the right. As Oxford philosophy professor Brian Klug has argued, “When anti-Semitism is everywhere, it is nowhere. And when every anti-Zionist is an anti-Semite, we no longer know how to recognize the real thing — the concept of anti-Semitism loses its significance.” It’s time to bring our government’s policies on Israel’s 51-year occupation into alignment with the decidedly more critical, and ultimately more moral, stance of the Canadian public.

Mujeres: Feminismo, Soberanía y Auto-Determinación

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Join us for an evening of music, poetry, and more to celebrate FEMINISM, SOVEREIGNTY & AUTO-DETERMINATION.

Organized by:
Victor Jara Cultural Group
Casa Salvador Allende Toronto
Hugo Chavez Front (HCPDF)
LACSN – Latin American And Caribbean Solidarity Network

Toronto Education Workers / Local 4400
1482 Bathurst St., Toronto M5P 3H1

4:00 – 11:00 pm

Llamado a todas las compañeras!
Dinos cuál es tu definición de Feminismo o Soberanía o Auto-Determinación en un corto video. LACSN está preparando un video especial para el Día Internacional de La Mujer y necesita de tu ayuda.

Tu video puede ser de 10 segundos, y puede ser cantado, poesía, mudo con letras, lo que tú quieras!

Mándalo antes de el 20 de Febrero a lacsncanada@gmail.com

Gracias

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Calling all compas!
Tell us your definition of Feminism or Sovereignty or Auto-Determination in a short video. LACSN is preparing a special video to celebrate #IWD19 and we need your help.

Your video can be up to 10 seconds long, you can sing it, say it in prose, just letters, whatever you want!

Send it to lacsncanada@gmail.com before the deadline of February 20th, 2019.

Thank


This event page will also have details for the Latin American Bloc that will be marching together on #IWD19