Saturday, May 29, 2010

QuAIA's Tim McCaskell: Pride Toronto's censorship is making "Israeli Apartheid" household words

QuAIA's Tim McCaskell: Pride Toronto's censorship is making "Israeli Apartheid" household words

rabbletv May 28, 2010Pride Toronto's censorship is making "Israeli Apartheid" household words: interview with QuAIA's Tim McCaskell

After extensive lobbying of Pride Toronto, corporate sponsors and city officials by Martin Gladstone and right-wing Jewish groups, Pride Toronto's Board decided, by a vote of 4 - 3, to disallow the use of the term "Israeli Apartheid" at the 2010 Pride festivities. At a press conference in Toronto on May 25, 2010, Pride Toronto's Executive Director and several Board members were met by 150 outraged protesters chanting "Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Censorship has got to go!", "Politics are what makes pride, we won't run, we won't hide", "Whose pride? Our pride! Queers against Apartheid!", and "Resign!"

Tim McCaskell of QuAIA ( says that Pride Toronto's "attempt to ban the speaking of the words 'Israeli Apartheid' has meant that the term 'Israeli Apartheid' has been in every newspaper, in every newscast, on everybody's lips." Pride Toronto has "made 'Israeli Apartheid' a household term... they have pulled people who didn't know anything about the situation in the Middle East but who hold very clear principles around free speech and freedom of the press... into our movement and therefore those people are beginning to understand the real gravity of the situation in Israel and Palestine and how Apartheid is a completely apt term to describe the situation."

Will QuAIA violate the ban on the terms 'Israeli Apartheid'? Tim McCaskell says, "The term 'Israeli Apartheid' will be front and centre in this year's Pride Parade. I'm told [Toronto Councillor] Kyle Rae threatened to start arresting people... Being arrested to talk about my politics in my community is something that I'm quite willing to envisage.... Not everybody would want to be arrested and they might want to protest in other ways. I think what we'll see is a real diversity of tactics around this around the parade. But you can be very certain that 'Israeli Apartheid' will be communicated to all those people who are coming to participate in and watch the parade this year. It will not go away!"

Video Production: Anita Krajnc, rabbletv

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