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QuAIA drops banner from Wellesley subway station

QuAIA drops banner from Wellesley subway station

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Queers Against Israeli Apartheid makes statement on parade day
As Toronto’s Pride parade steamrolled down Yonge St on July 3, a group of queer activists dropped a 40-foot banner off the roof of the Wellesley subway station.
 
The group, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA), voluntarily withdrew from the parade earlier this year after city councillors threatened to yank Pride Toronto’s funding.
 
The move caps a two-year saga in which some councillors claimed that QuAIA breached the city’s anti-discrimination policy, rendering Pride Toronto (PT) ineligible for city funding. A report from the city manager’s office eventually exonerated QuAIA and Pride Toronto.
 
Tim McCaskell, one of the organizers of QuAIA, compared the banner drop to tactics used in early AIDS activism.
 
He said that the banner represents a commitment to convey QuAIA’s messages without jeopardizing PT, which lost $450,000 last year and could face bankruptcy if the city withholds its nearly $125,000 grant in 2011.
 
“In the parade, we got a simple message across. This is a little more nuanced,” McCaskell says.
 
The banner does not use the phrase Israeli apartheid, but it calls for gays to boycott Israeli tourism.
 
Lauren Prangg, who was standing on Wellesley St when the banner was unfurled, says she feels that QuAIA should have marched in the parade but that the banner was a good alternative.
 
“QuAIA has done exactly what they said they would do, by not participating, and letting the parade go on,” she says.
 
But that doesn’t sit well with Joanne Cohen, a former member of the Canadian Jewish Congress, who was also on hand.
 
It’s clear that QuAIA can’t be “civil,” Cohen says, and compared the action to that of the Black Bloc during last summer’s G20 summit in Toronto.
 
“That’s city property. That’s TTC property. They did not get consent to do that,” she says.
 
That’s not exactly true, says a subway manager Xtra spoke to at Wellesley Station. The station’s roof houses an outdoor tennis court, which is owned by the neighbouring condo building, according to the TTC employee, named Janet.
 
PT staffer Ryan Lester and board member Roy Mitchell were quick to admit that the banner drop was a “complete surprise” to them.
 
“The organization — staff and volunteers — were not aware of the banner,” says Lester.
 
PT has no control over the TTC’s subway stations, and the organization didn’t “activate any infrastructure inside TTC property,” Lester adds.
 
Mitchell says that even though Wellesley Station is geographically close to the parade, Pride Toronto doesn’t control the station.
 
“They could have put this on the Lakeshore for all we know,” he says.
 

Comments

@ Joanne / more research
Get some help - seriously.
Here's the Xtra evidence
Rich and readers, here again is the Xtra story on QUAIA's banner drop at Wellesley Subway. Note the posts in real time, as the events and information developed. Xtra was the only media on scene and had advance knowledge of this event. Xtra promoted QUAIA and Flanders and has capitalized on this controversy, which most of us wish would go away. From the posts I've seen so far, most readers support Israel, even if they're not Jewish and are sick of QUAIA's antics. Now, perhaps under influence from Flanders (facing charges for her posts here) or Xtra's editorial board (possibly facing charges like conspiracy to commit indictable offence), the link has disappeared from Xtra's main pages. It may be an editorial decision, now that they have 3 current stories on QuAIA - one here and two in Toronto. Or, are THEY hiding evidence? Are THEY suppressing free speech? QuAIA's bullies have used profanity but not much wit and tried personal attacks - we won't be intimidated but most of us don't bother with Xtra anymore. Now, if this evidence is good enough for police and crown attorneys to lay charges (on presumption that they have a good chance of winning beyond a reasonable doubt), and good enough to be reviewed by Canadian and Israeli government agencies and intelligence agencies who had made public statements that supporters of the Flotilla could be prosecuted, what conclusions do you draw? If anything, I'm sure the pro-Israel folks are grateful for the relative quiet in relation to harassing calls and e-mails by Xtra dropping the story, but its here, and you can see the trajectory of attacking discourse and embrace of lawlessness. Israel and its supporters didn't start this, QUAIA did. In politics, scandals like criminal charges and investigations have ruined many, including Svend Robinson. But you embrace QUAIA. http://www.xtra.ca/public/National/QuAIA_drops_banner_from_Wellesley_subway_station-10428.aspx
Did Xtra just pull this story?
Hi, I just checked xtra.ca and found this story was no longer a front pager on the home page or Toronto page - what's up? But, they published Elle Flanders' "Driving force for QUAIA' article July 7. Conflict of interest? Anyhoo, in response to crackpot, here's that story about a violent Palestinian murder of an innocent man and wife and their children. No, religious Jews like anyone else are not perfect in Israel but don't wantonly murder Palestinians - there have been cases in the Israeli courts of unlawful acts by them, but in Canada, Jews in support of Israel (religious and not) remain the most law abiding, non violent, educated, progressive, supportive of human rights, philanthropic, professionally distinguished and well organized of any ethnic group in Canada. So, take your 'research' elsewhere, 'cuz we're not playing point counterpoint anymore. Again, we'll see you in court. Ciao for now. Xtra, please hang on to these arguments - free speech is important! Especially if you hate criminals and hate crimes. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4041237,00.html
Thanks more research
Thanks for explaining further more research. I didn't understand initially Quaia was under investigation. I thought you meant a charge for the banner incident. I agree 100% that by targeting Israels policies in turn Jewish communities around the world will suffer as the association to being Jewish and Israel is synonymous around the world. I do not think the two perspectives can be isolated. Most don't realize the holocaust did not have over night. The German Goverment and other European Countries started years earlier to create myths regarding Jewish people in order to stereotype. This amounted to First marginalization, and allowed the propaganda, to strive. You can hear the Jewish supporters of Quaia echoing that the Jewish community is wealthy, and influential, and right wing. Jen Peto who is a leading activist and works with Quaia states in her thesis, that the Holocaust is used to gain sympathy as an excuse to secure Israel as a Jewish State. This is the most vile, and shameful propaganda against our oppressive history. It was years of wide spread stereotyping of Jews, around religion, and their biblical connection to the land of Israel, and the death of Christ. Anti Semitism is not isolated to skin color, or just a differing religious view. The European Government’s at the time felt Jews were educated, economically secure by working hard, and they were afraid that as a people they were ‘owning’ too much. It took thousands of people to participate in the killings of millions. The atrocities showed that the Jewish people are still scapegoats for the world’s ills in the 20th century. The Jewish History does repeat itself.
Hey, xtra, where's that missing post?
Free speech fans, if you've been following this thread, you'll remember there was a post earlier inviting Ms. Flanders to contact the head of the IDF Military Directorate which has a special unit studying radical left anti-Israel activists like Ms. Flanders and their links to the BDS/boycott movement and the flotilla. Flanders said she could be reached c/o the Flotilla. Now, if the Mossad removed the post because it named the head of that division as a matter of national security, I'm fine with that. But, Flanders said she's in 'Palestine' and was born in Israel and has lived there and knows more than any of us, so if she wanted to prove her arguments and QUAIA's with IDF, it probably would be a local call. I believe IDF headquarters is in Tel Aviv (which has an awesome Pride celebration with no Israelbashers). Also, there may have been an earlier comment suggesting (from a legal perspective) that Flanders and QuAIA are too dumb for words, which I think is fair comment at this point. And, I think that post noted as a matter of free speech and political comment on a matter of public interest that a criminal conviction could impede Flanders' academic career at York University (where she admits on her website she teaches in 'hands on' Dept. of Film and Video as a Ph.D. student), and her mideast travels, as a criminal conviction would impede anyone's academic career (universities have morals clauses) or freedom to travel. It may be that Flanders is being charged too with criminal offences relating to this incident and remember that the Muslim mommy of that anti-Israel bomber of a Hebrew school in Montreal attempted to aid and abet the defendants and and obstruct police, which are also criminal offences, aside from libel, harassment, and intimidation of witnesses or anyone else. So, what's the deal, Mr. Moderator? Fill us in? Who asked that those posts be removed?
crackpot - sorry QuAIA lost - go away
QuAIA doesn't mind using lies and attacks on their opponents. I said IN CANADA - I know there have been occasional acts by religious right folks in Israel that are not lawful - they murdered Yitzak Rabin, a peace advocate. But that doesn't take away from the fact that no sane Parliamentarian or civic leader will endorse QUAIA (except Councillor Wong Tam). Even Mario Da Silva said QUAIA's claims are a pack of lies. And we're sorry you're sore losers, but free speech belongs to everyone, and your intimidation tactics won't cut it. QUAIA is a laughingstock and like a case of cockroaches in the Village that moves from building to building. Enjoy your 'success' and see you in court.
NO MORE VERBOSE CRAP
No MORE RESEARCH. NO MORE VERBOSE CRAP. And you fail to mention that there also exist “Religious Jews” who burn down Palestinian villages and withhold vital services to those who don't speak Hebrew with perfect flair. And how are the racist Rabbis who advocate violence towards Arabs, different than the Muslim clerics who advocate violence towards Israelis and Westerners? To me they are equally guilty of inhumanity. You make your arguments sound important with references, but you pick and choose your one sides arguments even from the references you cite. Your arguments, or rather written screaming, is totally one sided highly prejudiced slander. You would be dangerous if you had a gun... You are already dangerous. I hope you are not in charge of anyone's life. You are a verbose pretentious idiot. Just fu*k off !!!
Massive rise in antisemitic crimes!
Why lookee here! Its already in Xtra! Here's a report on the latest Parliamentary paper on the massive increase in anti-Jewish hate crimes (which includes vandalism and targetting religious Jews and others in support of Israel) alongside anti-gay hate crimes! And re: that post above suggesting one Palestinian from the lefty wingnut protest of 2000 in Israel says 'ending the occupation' would end the opprobrium against Israel and false claims of Israeli apartheid, well, giving up Gaza didn't end the terrorism and neither will giving up the West Bank, which in International Law, as these terrorist groups continue to refuse to admit to Israel's right to exist in secure borders as an autonomous and sovereign state free from aggression and violence, and as the Palestinians have breached every ceasefire or peace agreement and even former US Pres Bill Clinton said Yasser Arafat was a man who never failed to miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity for peace and recognition of Palestinian statehood, we can only say, bring that post to the attention of the Israeli gov't immediately because I'm sure they'll laugh as hard as I am. Also, literati, do read Phyllis Chesler's The New Anti-semitism, written just after 9/11, it shows the link between Israel bashing and the usual bully tactics of the politically correct and usually misguided feministas. The new anti-semitism, according to both Chesler and the Parliamentary report, and Bnai Brith's Annual Audit of Anti Semitic Incidents in Canada, and the US index of global antisemitism and terrorism show theseare linked to disproportionate demonization and attempts to delegitimate Israel and eliminate it from the world's nations. (Cotler said that too). This is the genocidal agenda of lefty feminist and gay peaceniks, who are advocating for a 'binational state of Israel/Palestine' which would eliminate Israel's character as a Jewish state http://www.xtra.ca/public/National/Parliamentary_antiSemitism_report_tabled-10473.aspx
Thanks jamie
Thanks Jamie - I think you mean well by your comment but it's confusing. No one is prosecuting QuAIA for hate speech. Many are prosecuting them now for offenses under the Criminal Code of Canada linked to bias against Israeli citizens and members of the Jewish community supporting Israel and risks to public safety. They are being investigated by the Israeli and Canadian governments for links to terrorism. I think that there is no point in debating those who support propaganda. As Goebbels showed in the Nazi era, repeating a lie often enough made it true for all political purposes. Most Germans backed the Nazis. Most gays and Canadians and feminists and Pride backed QuAIA's 'free speech' just as they backed Svennie Robinson until his downfall. I think public opinion is now more and more against QuAIA and its threats to Pride's funding and public safety (regardless of your views on Israel - anti-Israel groups' message is irrelevant and intimidating from the lawful participation of pro-gay Jews at Pride and has been since 2001). It's also irrelevant what people think of Mammoliti. I don't like some of Rob Ford's or Georgio Mammoliti's agenda, but as they say in politics, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. If they can get rid of QuAiA when Pride and CAP never could, or if a legal prosecution will do it, that's politics. And legal. And if the gay community does not stand up to these threats, it will only continue to be misidentified with freaks and lawbreakers and druggies and public sex fiends as they already are in Xtra and now in many letters in the left press such as The Toronto Star and NOW Magazine. I joined our LGBT community and fought for LGBT equality because I fell in love, not because I identified with dysfunctional gay culture or organizations, and now it's not safe for many in the Jewish community to work with you or help you without facing anti-Israel and anti-Jewish abuse and ignorance. Your loss, not ours.
A whole pile of verbose crap and slander
“until QUAIA renounces unlawful tactics linked to criminal activity in Canada and abroad, they will have little credibility.” This sound very grand and important --but it is just lies and slander. The 2,000 Jewish Israelis and Palestinian activists who marched through East Jerusalem on Friday in a show of support for Palestinian statehood --were not supporting Hammas nor any terrorism. The QuAIA do not support Hammas nor any terrorist, as most of them are Jewish and criticize only to improve Israel. “Daniel Argo, from the Israeli group Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity, the main organizer of the march, asserted that Palestinian statehood would free Israel from the burden of occupation. “The struggle for Palestinian independence is also a struggle for freedom for Israelis.” Therefore, people who post in these columns, who mix a whole pile of verbose crap accusations and slander together to make themselves sound knowledgeable and important are not helping any cause. They are just shit-disturbers who have lonely lives and have nothing better to do...Just stop it. Go for a walk in the sunshine it will do you more good.

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