All posts for June 2015

The BDS Movement: A Ten Year Retrospective

June 27th, 2015 | Posted in Other

BDS-@-Montreal

Tuesday July 7, 2015
6:30pm- 9pm

CSU Lounge
Concordia University
1455 de Maisonneuve West, 7th floor
(Metro Guy Concordia)

Ten years ago, on July 9th 2005, the Palestinian civil society issued a call for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.

Since then, the call has picked up momentum globally and regionally and the movement has grown considerably. Closer to home, several labour unions, organizations, advocacy groups, artists (500 Montreal artists against apartheid), academics, student unions and associations adopted the BDS mandate and carried out various campaigns.

Globally, successes of BDS are numerous. From the Presbyterian Church’s divestment of over $20 million to European divestment from Israeli banks, from artists boycotting shows in Israel to Sodastream closing its illegal factory in a West Bank settlement (for several others, see http://www.bdsmovement.net/victories).

While the occupation is still going strong and brutal, while racism flourishes in Israel and while refugees are still denied going back to their homes, the BDS campaign has succeeded in negatively impacting public opinion about Israel. Ten years into the movement, Israel is threatened by BDS.

This panel discussion will offer reflections on the BDS campaigns and their outcomes, both globally and regionally. Panelists will critically assess the successes and discuss the future of the movement. The discussion will also reflect upon the current political landscape in Canada where the Harper government is looking to criminalize any opposition to Israel, including those advocating for BDS.

For Justice, Freedom and Self-Determination!

Speakers:

Introduction and moderation by Amy Darwish, a long time member of Tadamon!, one of the groups that has led BDS organizing in Montreal since 2006.

Samia El-Botmeh is a visiting Palestinian professor from Birzeit University. Samia is on the steering committee of The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), one of the founding civil society organizations of the BDS movement.

Mostafa Henaway has been involved in Tadamon! since 2005-2006 and thus been one of the main organizers that brought to life the first BDS conference in Montreal in 2010 among building other major foundational elements that paved way for BDS in Montreal/Quebec. A community organizer with the Immigrant Workers Centre (IWC) and Tadamon! Montreal member, Mostafa was based in Montreal till 2014, and is currently based in Berlin. He is the author of the zine Capitalism on Edge: the Crisis that came and the crisis yet to come. Mostafa will join us via a video/live on skype.

Zahia El-Masri, born as a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon. Her work and activism is mainly around areas of social justice, intercultural communications and peace building through recognition. She has mediated and participated in numerous interfaith, intercultural round table discussions and conferences, on the question of Palestine.

Zahia has worked on a wide variety of peace development and promotion projects. She holds an MA in public policy and public administration, as well as a graduate diploma in theological religious and ethical studies. Currently she is working at ROMEL, an NGO specializing in social housing for all cultural communities and immigrants, focusing on their integration process through empowerment.

FACEBOOK Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1602692253339625/

A blast from the past:
— CKUT Radio: Boycotting Israeli Apartheid :: From South Africa to Palestine, http://www.tadamon.ca/post/250 (2006)
— Israeli Apartheid: Racism, Occupation & Discrimination: A public talk on Israeli Apartheid with Jamal Juma’a of the International Stop the Wall Campaign.
http://www.tadamon.ca/post/249 (2006)
— Five-year of BDS celebration in Montreal: http://www.tadamon.ca/post/8445

Organized by Tadamon! in collaboration with Concordia Student Union (CSU)
Endorsed by BDS Quebec and SPHR McGill

Solidarity with Egyptian Political Prisoners

June 17th, 2015 | Posted in Other

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    Sunday, June 21st, 2015
    1pm-3pm Parc Mont-Royal
    Beside the Tam-Tams, near the George-Étienne Cartier Monument
    Montréal, Québec

    A call by Egypt Solidarity on behalf of Egyptian activists who are deeply involved with mobilizing solidarity campaigns for political prisoners both inside and outside Egypt, including relatives and friends of detainees.

    Click here for Facebook Event

    Global days of action: June 20-21, 2015

    http://egyptsolidarityinitiative.org/2015/05/25/take-action-in-solidarity-with-egyptian-political-prisoners-on-june-20-21/

    Stop repression of protests – Free political prisoners- Fair trials for all – End abuse and torture – No executions

    On 21 June 2014 a small group of demonstrators approached Egypt’s presidential palace. Their demonstration was the first to challenge the repressive anti-protest laws since Abdelfattah Al-Sisi had been sworn in after victory in the presidential elections. Armed thugs and police attacked their peaceful march, and 23 people were arrested and later sentenced to years in jail, simply for exercising their rights to assembly and free expression. Al-Sisi, whose election was hailed by Western leaders as a step forward in Egypt’s “transition”, crushed their protest.

    A year later, we are calling for international solidarity with all Egyptian political prisoners, in the hope that highlighting this one case will help build a movement campaigning for justice for the tens of thousands jailed by the military regime.

    In January 2011, protesters in Egypt inspired the world with their bravery and determination in the fight for democracy and better life. Today, many of those brave protestors have been either killed or jailed. At the same time, Mubarak and his supporters, including the police generals responsible for killing protesters and corruption, have been set free.

    In July 2013, after a popular uprising against then-president Mohamed Morsi, the military overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi, who had been elected president the previous year. Since then, more than 3000 Egyptian citizens have been killed, and no-one has been held accountable. More than 40,000 were arrested during the first year of the military regime. Those arrested have not received a fair trial and many had no access to legal procedures at all. Military and civilian courts in Egypt have issued death sentences against some of the leaders and hundreds of alleged supporters of Muslim Brotherhood, including the ousted president Mohamed Morsi. Human rights groups have condemned these trials as completely unfair.

    Revolutionary activists who had opposed Morsi’s regime, and taken to the streets in defiance of the Brotherhood, are also being arrested, abused and jailed. Activists such as Ahmed Douma, who played a leading role in the 2011 revolution have received life sentences. Under a draconian anti-protest law many youth have been jailed. Everything associated with the January revolution of 2011 is now a target in Egypt.

    Meanwhile terrorist attacks are escalating, and the current regime has used the discourse of the war on terror to justify a backlash against everything related to civil liberties and human rights. Egypt does not have a parliament. The president holds both legislative and executive power. And parliamentary elections have been delayed yet again.

    The president has used this power to issue an enormous number of laws to expand state repression. In 2014, about 90 Egyptian citizens were tortured to death in police stations, without anyone being held accountable or even proper legal investigations. According to the Arab Network for Human Rights Information, 61 journalists have been jailed because of their writing or their work over the last two years in Egypt. Shooting live ammunition at protesters has been normalized.

    Al-Sisi’s regime is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries from the Gulf. Western regimes which recently paid lip service to support for human rights and democracy are now sending billions of dollars in military and economic aid, as well as selling arms and surveillance technologies and to the repressive regime in Egypt.

    We call for international solidarity with Egyptian political prisoners on June 20-21, 2015.
    • Stop repression of protests
    • Free political prisoners
    • Fair trials for all
    • End abuse and torture
    • No executions

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