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QuAIA likely to march in Toronto Pride parade

QuAIA likely to march in Toronto Pride parade

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'We have as much right to be in the parade as anyone else:" McCaskell
Tim McCaskell says the group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) will likely march in the 2012 Toronto Pride parade. No application has been submitted yet to Pride Toronto (PT), but, he says, plans to participate in the parade are being developed.

“Unless something extraordinary happens, our default will be to march,” McCaskell says. “We have as much right to be in the parade as anyone else.”

Last year, McCaskell says, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti cited QuAIA as one reason the city should refuse to participate in Pride. QuAIA's presence was also cited in the attempt to withhold city funding and in-kind services for PT. Ford, Mammoliti, the Jewish Defense League and others argued that QuAIA, which advocates for a boycott, divestment and sanctions against the state of Isreal, is a hate group.


McCaskell says some members of city council argued that the mayor could be in physical danger if QuAIA marched. Mammoliti was seen video taping last year's Dyke March in a stated effort to capture marchers “using hate speech.”

But in April last year, a report from the city manager's office concluded that QuAIA's presence in the parade did not violate the city's anti-discrimination policy. Even after that report was released, the city tried to compel PT to "guarantee a QuAIA-free week."

Vindicated by the decision, QuAIA bowed out from participating in the parade last year. The group did not even submit an application. Instead, on the day of the parade, group members dropped a 40-foot banner from the roof of the Wellesley subway station.


“Rob Ford wants to use us as an excuse to cut Pride funding, even though he has always opposed funding the parade, long before we showed up,” said QuAIA's Elle Flanders at the time. “By holding our Pride events outside of the parade, we are forcing him to make a choice: fund Pride or have your real homophobic, rightwing agenda exposed.”

This year, McCaskell says he sees no reason the group wouldn’t participate in the parade. Plans will be discussed and finalized following the Town Hall for Political Queers at the 519 Church St Community Centre at 2pm on May 27.

“It has been such a fucking roller coaster for the past two years. We just want to attend Pride, carry our messages and have a great weekend,” McCaskell says. “That’s what Pride should be about, not these kind of entrenched battles around people’s right to self-expression, and whether or not people have the right to be there, which is hoisted on the community from the outside.”


The deadline to submit applications to march in the parade is June 1, at which time PT will post the list publicly, says PT co-chair Francisco Alvarez.

Alvarez points to the dispute-resolution committee, which was created following a recommendation in the Community Advisory Panel report, the result of a series of community meetings held last year. The committee would act as an arms-length arbitration body, made up of mostly lawyers, which would handle any complaints. The decision of the panel would be final, he says.

“The process is in place to handle any complaint about any type of group. That could be a religious group, environmental group or political group,” he says. “This takes the decision-making out of our hands because we’re not experts in human rights arbitration.”

So far, says Alvarez, that process has not been invoked. Since it hasn't been tested, there’s no way to know how long the dispute-resolution process will be, so there may not be a verdict before Pride, he says.

“Given the complexity of different issues, we may not be able to resolve it before the parade,” he says. “If a complaint is received, but the resolution is not made before the parade, the group will be allowed to march . . . Obviously, QuAIA has the biggest profile,” he says.

Alvarez says he is somewhat concerned that QuAIA's appearance at the parade could spark a new battle with the city. “I’m hoping it won't. I feel the issue has kind of played itself out.

“I hope we are past those disagreements and we can all work together rather than against one another. I hope everyone accepts everyone else’s right to be there and express their opinions.”
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Comments

WTF
This group and the situation they've created is beyond ironic that it's moronic. If they were interested in justice they'd be protesting Iran that hangs gays. This group only agitates around Pride like they're out to sabotage the party like the Phelps clan. So sick of these losers.
Misguided McCaskell and minions
Oh gawd, not this old saw again. QuAIA may think it has a right to march in the parade...but I also have the right NOT TO ATTEND the parade because of them, and I will be avoiding the parade - again. Timmy, take your far flung geo-political grievances elsewhere more fitting - such as the Israeli consulate here in T.O. or to their embassy in Ottawa if you must...but let's save Pride Day for QUEER issues. Sheesh.
Iranian MP says gay pride parades are Zionist
A senior Iranian legislator has blasted a gay pride parade planned to be held in the Muslim state of Azerbaijan on May 26 as a Zionist plot. He said (quote) "The parade has been planned based on the goals of the Zionists and the world arrogance (the US). (end of quote). If a strong enemy of Israel like Iran thinks that gay pride parades are Zionist and QuAIA passionately hates Zionism, will QuAIA still want to march in this year’s pride parade in Toronto? See: http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9102112615
Against Israeli Apartheid movement mostly Jewish
Many members of the QuAIA are Jewish. Many of the “Against Israeli Apartheid” -AIA- movement around the world are Jewish. The QuAIA are just a tiny portion of the larger AIA movement. They do NOT want to end Israel. They are criticizing the Israeli government's handling of Palestinian issues. The Jewish AIA movement is like Canadian citizens criticizing Canada over the treatment of Aboriginal people --yet they still love Canada-- they just want to improve Canada. Like Israel has been criticized by the United Nations (and other nations worldwide) about their breaches of accords and treaties with Palestinians, the UN has also criticized Canada over our treatment of Aboriginal people. Harper now is riding roughshot over Aboriginal lands to build the Northern Gateway Pipeline. Israel is stealing Palestinian land by building settlements on Palestinian land in the WestBank. Do you see the parallel situation of Canada and Israel? While Jewish and Israeli citizens do have the right to criticize Israeli policies, the Israeli/Palestinian situation has no relevance in the Toronto Pride Parade. The Pride Parade should include only LGBT related issues, such as Gays being executed in Iran and Russia banning Gay Parades, etc.
Again?
Does anyone have the balls to protect our gay pride from this and other hate groups? Now that Ford has discredited himself in the gay community we are completely helpless to their attack. If the mayor does anything to stop these ass holes it will just help their false narrative that it is gays against "The outsiders". By the "outsiders", they mean,of course, the Jews. When this fight is actually between hateful gays who want to enforce their despicable agenda on us and the rest of the gay community. We're screwed this year!
Political high jacking
The irony and absurdity of a pro-Palestinian group of queers high jacking a parade is too much. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts. QuAIA needs to be shamed for the hateful idiots they are.
Not them again
Why protest a country that supports gays when Uganda is killing them.

They should protest at the Israeli embassy and let the gays have their celebration.

QAIA only springs into action to fuck with the gays. Leave the hate at home.
Restrict Pride 2012 to LGBT related issues only
Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Homosexuality is legal and non-punishable by state laws. YET, IRONICALLY, the racist rabbis who advocate the refusal of services to Arabs in Israel and who advocate the stealing of Palestinian land for settlements --are also deeply Homophobic. Religious Israelis are deeply Homophobic --it is only state laws which keep these religious nuts in check. Ultra Orthodox rabbis in Israel or even in Toronto are as Homophobic as the Muslim Clerics/Mullahs who preach hate in Islamic countries. As well the Christian Evangelists in the U.S. who have exported their hatred of Homosexuals to African countries are equally despicable. It is only in democratic countries that Gays/Lesbians are no longer tortured for being Gay. So the cherry-picking of protest may be more relevant for Pride if the issue was about something LGBT related. Otherwise the Parade is already too long. Let QuAIA march in the Santa Claus Parade or in Caribana.
Here we go again..
Personally, I am sick of hearing about this group...
QuAIA has absolutely nothing to do with Pride.. we are talking about a completely different cause...and a group out to exploit free speech for sensationalism....
How about putting your energy into supporting the equality struggle currently unfolding in the U.S. and giving your queer american brothers and sisters some support.. you know.. the ones who come here in droves to celebrate with us and spend money !!
Get out of our Pride...
QuAIA is apart of the BDS cult anyway
M, the goal of anti Israel activists is not peace but destroying Israel as a country and they are not even interested in Israel's right to a Jewish country or to exist anyway, just destroying it and making another Yugoslavia. Like other Anti Israel organizations they do not want a two state solution but want Israel to committed national suicide. As a result QuAIA like other Anti Israel Organizations are a cult just preaching to their members the news they want to hear. Even Norman Finkelstein points this out in a interview known as "Arguing the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaign". He points out the errors groups like the QuAIA do and shows how BDS is a failure from what they do. (https://vimeo.com/36854424) and the QuAIA is a example of this.

Also M. Please tell us when Israel has ever used a nuke on another country? I bet when Iran pushes the button on Israel the QuAIA will be celebrating and cheering Iran. Phosphorous is used by all armies and is not illegal for use in war. Hamas also has been known to use it on Israelis on rockets but of course they are cheered by the Anti Israel organizations. Also I wonder why QuAIA says nothing on Assad when he has murdered more then Israel has ever had and Assad in the process of killing his own people has killed Palestinians but nothing of course.

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