The Sixth Annual Israeli Apartheid Week 2010
Israeli Apartheid Week is upon us again already! Events are happening in a number of cities across Canada and Québec in March (March 1st-7th in some places, like Waterloo and Mar 8th-14th in others). While the first IAWs took place in Canada back in 2005, it is now spread not just within Canada, but now also within the United States, Europe, South Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, making it now a firmly worldwide event. The global focus this year will be the BDS or Boycott – Divestment – Sanction campaign.
Last year in Canada there were a number of issues around Zionists and Zionist-sympathisers attempting to censor or interfere in some way in the events held across the country. All of this was made worse by the fact that the Israelis and Zionists were attempting damage control after their most recent romp through Gaza which left over a 1000 people dead, mostly civilians, and the infrastructure of Gaza destroyed. Here in Waterloo, Ontario IAW is organized jointly by Students for Palestinian Rights (of which I am a member) at the University of Waterloo and Laurier 4 Palestine at Wilfred Laurier University and we both ran into a lot of interference being thrown at us from groups like Israel on Campus and sympathising members of the staff and faculty. Here at UW they attempted to ban our posters for the event and were actually successful at doing it at WLU. In both cases they argued against the supposed “graphic violence” and “offensiveness” of the image. A second major issue thrown at us literally came the day before the events started. Israel on Campus had called up the head of the Federation of Students Club Operations and requested a joint meeting between Students for Palestinian Rights, Israel on Campus and himself. So we went, on February 28th, the day before we were supposed to start, and we got completely side-swiped by Feds and IOC. IOC essentially demanded that we pull our posters, censor our other materials and wanted to review the speeches that three of us (including myself) were going to be delivering the next afternoon at the opening march and rally. Luckily, that night as we were in the Student Life Centre getting our placards and speeches finished up, I ran into a friend of mine, a queer activist and no friend of Zionism, who happened to also be that year’s Feds Vice-President Internal, which made him the Club Director’s boss, and as he was outraged by not having been included on any of the decisions and over-ruled him in an email right then and there. Our speeches were still reviewed the next morning, but without Israel on Campus present, only make sure we were swearing too much.
In the end though last years events here went off extremely well, and I hope we can replicate that success again this year.
From the IAW website:
The Sixth International Israeli Apartheid Week
Solidarity in Action: Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions
Mark your calendars – the 6th International Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) will take place across the globe from from the 1st to the 14th of March 2010!
Since it was first launched in 2005, IAW has grown to become one of the most important global events in the Palestine solidarity calendar. Last year, more than 40 cities around the world participated in the week’s activities, which took place in the wake of Israel’s brutal assault against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. IAW continues to grow with new cities joining this year.
IAW 2010 takes place following a year of incredible successes for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement on the global level. Lectures, films, and actions will highlight some of theses successes along with the many injustices that continue to make BDS so crucial in the battle to end Israeli Apartheid. Speakers and full programme for each city will be available soon.
If you are planning to organize IAW in your city in 2010, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations to Nidal El Khairy for winning the first international Israeli Apartheid Week poster competition.
Places that will be holding IAW events this year include:
- St Catherine’s
- Waterloo (that’s me!)
- Ann Arbor
- Bard (NY)
- New Jersey
- New York City
- San Francisco
- Santa Cruz
- Truro (CA)
- Al Quds
- Khalil (Hebron)