ABCs of BDS series: Concordia University

January 20th, 2013 | Posted in Other

ABCs of BDS series: “Do we have a role in the Palestine-Israel conflict?”

Time: 2:00pm-4:30pm
Location: DeSeve Cinema
Concordia University

As part of the GSA winter orientation series, this event will focus on Palestine solidarity work and specifically on one the most growing forms of global solidarity with the Palestinian struggle, that of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions.

Inspired by the global boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement in solidarity with South Africans against Apartheid and following a call by broad based Palestinian institutions, Labour unions, and civil society organizations in 2005 for a global boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign, people involved in Palestine solidarity work around the world have been increasingly working towards building BDS as a response to the call and as a way to put pressure on the state of Israel until the rights of Palestinians highlighted in call are met.

On Monday January 21 the GSA will be hosting a panel discussion on Canada-Israel relations, the BDS movement in Canada, and BDS work particularly on campuses. The panel will feature speakers with broad experiences from across Canada sharing their experiences from their cities and campuses.


Mary-Jo Nadeau:

Mary-Jo Nadeau is a Lecturer at the Department of Sociology, University of Toronto Mississauga, and a member of faculty for Palestine.

Faculty for Palestine organizes around the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (including academic boycott), right to education under occupation and building ties with Palestinian colleagues, students and staff, as well as freedom of expression on Canadian campuses around Palestinian solidarity and Israeli apartheid.

Yves Engler:

Yves Engler is an Ottawa and Montréal based activist and author. He has published seven books: The Ugly Canadian — Stephen Harper’s Foreign Policy, Lester Pearson’s Peacekeeping — The Truth May Hurt, Stop Signs — Cars and Capitalism on the Road to Economic, Social and Ecological Decay (with Bianca Mugyenyi), The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy (Shortlisted for the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non Fiction in the Quebec Writers’ Federation Literary Awards), Playing Left Wing: From Rink Rat to Student Radical and (with Anthony Fenton) Canada in Haiti: Waging War on The Poor Majority and Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid.


The past few years have seen growing numbers of Québec civil society organizations taking up the call for BDS. From the student movement and the commitment to BDS passed by L’Association pour une Solidarite Syndicale Étudiante (ASSÉ) in 2006; to college and university workers calling for boycott under the banner of College and University Workers United (CUWU) in early 2009; to the resolution in support of BDS adopted by the members of the Centrale des syndicats du Quebec (CSQ), one of Quebec’s largest labour federations, growing numbers of people have enthusiastically joined the international BDS movement. Beyond Québec, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has become the first union at the Canadian level to join the BDS campaign, while the Ontario branch of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE-ON)has also helped to push the boycott to centre stage. There has also been increasing public debate on the issue of BDS , whether during the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival; within the United Church; in the public debates on the academic boycott on university campuses in Ontario; or in LGBTQ communities, where queer activists organized anti-Israeli apartheid contingents in pride parades in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.
This energy in diverse sectors of society shows that the movement for BDS against Israeli apartheid is growing.

For more information on this event and GSA Winter orientation:



tel: 514.848.2424.x7900

GSA House
2030 Mackay
Montreal QC
H3G 2J1

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