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BDS and Beyond: A Queer, Anti-Capitalist Critique of Occupation
March 27, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Note from tonight’s organizers
“Sorry for the incredibly brief notice but our speaker from SJP for tonight cancelled last-minute and we don’t feel that it would be appropriate to put on the panel without any Palestinians formally represented. The plan currently is to postpone the event for a future date TBD.”
At the national DSA convention in August, the organization overwhelmingly voted for a resolution supporting the Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions movement “in solidarity with Palestinian civil society’s nonviolent struggle against apartheid, colonialism, military occupation and for equality, human rights, and self-determination.” This panel, therefore, is intended to provoke further discussion inside Chicago DSA about how this resolution impacts our ongoing work as socialists, and connect interested members with organizations in Chicago opposing the occupation. An anti-capitalist framework can give us a unique understanding of the way that the physical violence and denial of resources which encompass the colonialist occupation of Palestine prop up a fetid military-industrial complex for Israel and its allies in the West.
Last summer, two queer demonstrations in Chicago became the subjects of intense international scrutiny after they expressed their their principled opposition to a constitutionally undemocratic ethno-state in Israel, and their solidarity with Palestine. The controversy re-ignited the conversation around “pinkwashing,” or the way that the claim that Israel is a country committed to freedom for gays and lesbians is contrasted with an orientalist stereotype of Palestinian sexual backwardness — a claim that denies Israel’s oppression of its own queer folks and its support from the homophobic and transphobic religious right, erases the existence of numerous Palestinian queer organizations, and obscures the lack of freedom that all Palestinians have with regards to Israeli oppression.
As queer socialists, we have a responsibility to stand with oppressed people all around the world, and know that nobody can be free until Palestine is free.
Speakers for the event will include Scout Bratt from Jewish Voices for Peace, Andy Thayer from the Gay Liberation Network, Rami from Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Chicago, and Professor Andrew Clarno, Acting Director of the Social Justice Initiative at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
A $5 suggested donation will be collected to benefit al-Qaws, a leftist group in Palestine organizing for sexual and gender diversity in Palestinian society. Learn more at http://www.alqaws.org/