Groundwire: 5th Annual Israeli Apartheid Week

Groundwire: 5th Annual Israeli Apartheid Week
March 1-9, 2009

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Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an annual international series of events held in cities and campuses across the globe. Israeli Apartheid Week aims to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns as part of a growing global BDS movement. In Montreal, local solidarity groups and individuals are planning nine full days of awareness-raising events ranging from lectures and workshops to film screenings.

opening panel of Israeli Apartheid Week
APARTHEID IN CANADA: Frontline voices of Indigenous resistance on Turtle Island
a lecture featuring: Elizabeth Penashue, Judy Da Silva and Laith Marouf
Concordia University, Hall Building, Room H-110
1455 de Maisonneuve West, (métro Guy-Concordia)

Prisoners of Apartheid: the struggle from behind bars
a lecture featuring: Soha Bechara
Cégep de St-Laurent, salle Émile-Legault
625 Avenue Sainte-Croix (métro Du collège)

Boycott Israel: The Apartheid State
a lecture featuring: Ronnie Kasrills
McGill University, Shatner University Centre , Ballroom
3480 McTavish, North of Sherbrooke (métro Mcgill)

THURSDAY MARCH 5th, 6:30pm
Apartheid Israel: Democracy as an Existential Threat
a lecture featuring: Omar Barghouti
McGill University, STEWART Biology, Room S 1/4
1205 Avenue Docteur Penfield, corner Drummond (métro Peel)

FRIDAY MARCH 6th, 6:30pm
A mother from Gaza: Surviving Under Seige
a lecture featuring: Laila El-haddad
Concordia University, Hall Building, Room H-937.
1455 Maisonneuve oust (métro Guy-Concordia)

No Pride In Apartheid: screening of two films
“Black Laundry” and “Zero Degrees of Separation”
Cinema du Parc (3575 Parc Ave.)

SUNDAY MARCH 8th, 12pm
Demonstration: International Womens Day and Palestinian Block
End Imperialism, Occupation, War, Exploitation and Repression!
carré Cabot corner St. Catherine | Atwater
(métro Atwater)

SLING SHOT HIP-HOP : Hip Hop against Apartheid
film screening co-presented with Cinema Politica
Concordia University, Hall Building, room H-110
1455 de Maisonneuve West, (métro Guy-Concordia)

speaker bios and film reviews.

* Elizabeth (Tshankuesh) Penashue: Innu elder from Nitassinan (Labrador) Elizabeth was born and raised into a traditional hunting and trapping family whose way of life was devastated by the flooding of their lands and the destruction of hunting equipment. Elizabeth has raised awareness and resisted the militarization and appropriation of Innu territory by NATO low-level military flying exercises out of Goose Bay over land that the Innu use for hunting and fishing. She has also opposed the further development of the Churchill River to power mainly settler communities in the south.

* Judy Da Silva: Anishinabekwe from Grassy Narrows, northwestern Ontario Judy is the mother of 5 children, fighting to protect the way of life of the Anishnabe people. She is active in resisting the environmental devastation and destruction of the land, animals and people, by logging and mining companies and the provincial and federal governments. She is currently involved in an environmental contaminants study of three northwestern Ontario Indigenous communities.

* Laith Marouf: Palestinian member of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR). Laith has visited and worked in solidarity with various First Nations across Turtle Island and has lectured on the similarity of the struggles for self-determination here and in Palestine. For the past decade he has organized with SPHR and currently is the Branches Coordinator at the National Office of the organization.

* Soha Bechara: Born in Beirut in 1967, originally from southern Lebanon, Bechara is a celebrated figure involved in the Lebanese national resistance. After the Israeli invasion in 1982 Bechara decided to join the resistance, becoming involved in the Lebanese National Resistance Front against Israel’s occupation in Lebanon. Bechara was imprisoned for ten years in Khiam prison and released after an international campaign. Bechara’s published an autobiography, Resistance: My Life for Lebanon, and is currently involved in Palestinian solidarity work in Europe with Urgence Palestine.

* Ronnie Kasrils: born Johannesburg, South Africa, 1938. Grandparents Jewish immigrants from Czarist Russia (Lithuania). Joined ANC 1960 after Sharpeville massacre. This led to a lifetime of political activism. Was a member of ANC’s military wing at its inception in 1961. Became chief of military intelligence, operated from exile in neighbouring African states and clandestinely in South Africa. For many years member of both ANC and Communist Party national executive committees. Appointed deputy minister of defence in South Africa’s first democratic government (1994-99); Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry (1999-2004); Minister Intelligence Services (2004-2008). Has retired from government and devotes himself to writing, lecturing and Palestine solidarity. Autobiography “Armed & Dangerous” (publisher Jonathan Ball, Johannesburg). Married to a fellow struggle veteran and has two adult sons.

* Omar Barghouti: is an independent Palestinian researcher, commentator and human rights activist. Barghouti is a founding member of the Palestinian campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel to uphold international law and universal human rights. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Columbia University, NY. He contributed to the philosophical volume, “Controversies and Subjectivity” (John Benjamins, 2005) and to “The New Intifada: Resisting Israel’s Apartheid” (Verso Books, 2001). He advocates an ethical vision for a unitary, secular democratic state in historic Palestine.

* Laila El-Haddad: is a freelance Palestinian journalist, media activist, and mother from Gaza. She writes mainly for the Guardian and Aljazeera. She has also appeared on CNN, the BBC, NPR, CBC, and Democracy Now among others. Laila has been published in Le Monde Diplmatique, the New Statesmen, the International Herald Tribune and the Washington Post among others. From 2003-2006, Laila was the Gaza correspondent for the the English Aljazeera website. In 2007, she directed two Gaza-based documentaries for Al-Jazeera International (Tunnel Trade and A Rafah Playground) with Tourist With A Typewriter production company. Her award-winning blog “Raising Yousuf and Noor: diary of a Palestinian mother explores the complex relationships between the personal and political as she raises kids and negotiates displacement and occupation. Laila is currently based in the United States.

* Black Laundry: is an Israeli group of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders and others who utilize direct action to oppose the occupation and to support other social justice causes. This short film chronicles the emergence of the group and their activities.

* Zero Degrees of Separation: is a feature-length documentary examining a unique and complex relationship between two lovers, two nations that are less than 3 kilometres apart. Selim and Ezra, a gay Palestinian-Israeli couple, are fighting for the right to live together in Jerusalem. Edit and Samira, a lesbian Palestinian-Israeli couple, are trying to figure out how to bridge the divide between their cultures - often so close and yet so far. Through the lives of these two couples we gain a unique perspective on the Middle East conflict. Interwoven with archival footage belonging to director Elle Flanders’ grandparents, Zero Degrees of Separation takes on the larger questions of humanity, conflict and nationalist aspiration.

* Slingshot Hip Hop: braids together the stories of young Palestinians living in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank as they discover Hip Hop and employ it as a tool to surmount divisions imposed by occupation and poverty. From internal checkpoints and Separation Walls to gender norms and generational differences, this is the story of young people crossing the borders that separate them.

Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an annual international series of events held in cities and campuses across the globe. The aim of IAW is to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns as part of a growing global BDS movement. In Montreal, local solidarity groups and individuals are planning nine full days of awareness-raising events ranging from lectures and workshops to film screenings.

This year, marking its 5th anniversary, IAW is taking place in the wake of Israel’s barbaric assault against the people of Gaza. Recently, across Montreal, and around the globe, thousands of people took to the streets to denounce the ongoing atrocities committed by Israel. The past few years have seen a sharp increase of literature and analysis that has sought to document and challenge Israeli apartheid, including reports issued by major international bodies and human rights organizations, and findings published by political leaders, thinkers, academics, and activists. Since the assaults on Gaza, these voices have grown stronger, louder, and have captured the world`s attention. The aim of IAW is to contribute to this chorus of international opposition to Israeli apartheid.

Israeli Apartheid Week in Montreal is endorsed by the following groups:

* Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiant (ASSÉ)
* Association étudiante de la culture arabe de l’UQÀM
* Association facultaire des Sciences humaines de l’UQÀM (AFESH)
* Association des Étudiants Musulmans de L’Université de Montréal
* Association Générale des Étudiant-e-s du Cégep de St-Jérôme
* Bloquez l’empire-Montréal
* Canadian Arab Federation
* Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)
* Centre Communautaire Musulman de Montréal (CCMM)
* Centre des femmes d’ici et d’ailleurs
* Centre for Philippine Concerns
* Centre Social Autogéré/Autonomous Social Center
* Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine (CJPP)
* Coalition pour la justice en Palestine (UQÀM)
* Collectif féministe les Sorcières
* Collectif opposé à la brutalité policière (COBP)
* Collectif de recherche sur l’autonomie collective
* College and University Workers United (CUWU)
* Comité d’action pour la lutte étudiante boulonnaise (CALEB)
* Comité des sans-emploi Montréal Centre
* 8 March Coordination and Action Committee of Women of Diverse Origins
* Immigrant Workers Center
* Independent Jewish Voices
* Iranian Women’s Association
* No One Is Illegal-Montréal
* Opération Objection
* La Otra Campaña de Montréal
* McGill Arab Law Students Association
* Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU)
* PINAY - The Filipino Women’s Organization in Quebec
* Projet Accompagnement Solidarité Colombie (PASC)
* La Pointe Libertaire
* Quebec Public Interest Research Group (QPIRG)-Concordia
* Quebec Public Interest Research Group(QPIRG)-McGill
* Q-Team * Radlaw - McGill University Radical Law Community
* Solidarity Across Borders
* Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR)-Concordia
* Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR)-McGill
* Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR)-National
* Tadamon
* Tamil Action Committee-Montreal
* 2110 Centre for Gender Advocacy