June 6, 2011

QAIA calls Sit-In at LGBT Center - Wed 6/8

In response to the LGBT Center's second (or third) refusal to rent space to anti-Occupation groups -- and its announcement that such refusal is now the Center's policy -- NYC Queers Against Israeli Apartheid is calling a sit-in this Wednesday, 6pm at the LGBT Center.

Many other cities have queer groups organizing around Palestine, in some cases actively supported by queer institutions like Pride Committees. In Toronto, where the city's Pride march was threatened with de-funding because of the participation of Toronto's Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, the exclusion was overturned as improper. As in New York, the politics in Toronto are complicated and cross over queer-straight boundaries. (But they're not too complicated to muddy the difference between those who would silence queer organizing, and those who would fight to hold space for it.)

Here's NYC QAIA's call for this Wednesday's sit-in.
The Center has done it again. After a brief flirtation with openness, the NYC LGBT Center has capitulated to right-wing pressure – and shut down progressive queer political organizing again.


Wed., June 8, 6pm

Queers Against Israeli Apartheid was supposed to have our meeting at the Center at that time... but since the Center won't stand up for us, we have to SIT IN! 
Last week, the Center responded to community demands that the Center remain open to queers, by finally granted meeting space to Queers Against Israeli Apartheid. But on Thursday, after a new round of threats and bullying from the right, the Center cancelled all future QAIA meetings. In short, the Center has said that it won't stand up for queers' right to organize if that organizing becomes “controversial.” (Read statements from the Center and QAIA here.) 
Please call and/or e-mail Center director Glennda Testone and board president Mario Palumbo (again!) Tell them they can't avoid controversy just by slamming the door on queer activists. You can email from here: http://openthecenter.blogspot.com/p/action.html

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About Queers for an Open LGBT Center