Event: Montreal BDS Conference Update

This is an update on the upcoming Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Conference taking place in Montreal from October 22-24, 2010!

1. Conference speakers: Update and exciting news!!
2. Saturday October 23: Artists Against Apartheid Concert
3. Registration
4. Schedule
5. Logistics – conference location, housing, translation, etc.
6. Endorsements
7. Fundraising and Donations
8. Get involved!

1. Conference keynote speakers: Exciting news!!

The Organizing committee of the BDS Conference wishes to share some exciting news: the participation of the Confederation of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) will make this a truly historic moment in the movement against Israeli apartheid in Canada and Québec!

On Friday evening, October 22, 2010, the conference opening panel, “From Sharpeville to Gaza, 5 years of BDS” will feature Sidumo Dlamini, COSATU President, COSATU International Affairs Secretary Bongani Masuku, and Omar Barghouti, founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).

Other speakers confirmed for the conference include:

Faiha Abdelhadi, feminist scholar and activist, Birzeit University, Palestine
Riham Barghouti, member of Adalah, the New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel
John Greyson, queer filmmaker and activist, Toronto
Ewa Jasiewicz, Free Gaza Movement, England
Denis Lemelin, President, Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)
Representatives of the grassroots Stop the Wall Campaign, Palestine; the British Committee for Universities in Palestine (BRICUP); and US feminist organization CODEPINK

More speakers to be confirmed soon!

2. Saturday October 23: Artists Against Apartheid Concert

The evening of Saturday October 23, we will present the fourteenth edition of the Artists Against Apartheid concert series.

The concert will feature performances from some amazing local and international hip hop artists:

Invincible, Detroit
Obsesión, Cuba
Members of Nomadic Massive, Montréal

Admission to the concert is included in your Conference Weekend Pass. Alternatively, tickets for the concert only are available for $10-$15 sliding scale.

3. Registration

Registration is now open on-line at www.bdsquebec.org!

Registration fees:
Before Oct 10: only $25!
After Oct 10: sliding scale $35-$45

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if the registration cost is a barrier to your participation in the conference. Subsidies are available. Just email info@bdsquebec.org.

4. Schedule

We will be making the full schedule available online soon!

The BDS conference will consist of three main sections. Participants are free to attend all or only part of the conference, based on their interests and availability. The sectoral work on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning will be the most important part of the conference.

Saturday October 23, 9 am – 12:15 pm

::Informational workshops::

Apartheid 101
Lessons from South Africa
Indigenous struggles from Turtle Island to Palestine
Access to Health Care Under Apartheid
Israeli Apartheid as a Feminist Struggle
Popular Resistance to Israeli Apartheid
Land and Environment under Israeli Apartheid
Canada and its relationship to Israel
Jewish support for BDS

Saturday, October 23, 1:45 pm – 6 pm and Sunday Oct 24 9 am – 12 pm

::Sectoral Organizing::

This is the most important part of the conference! Participants will have the opportunity to discuss work being done in the different sectors and campaigns of the BDS movement. The strength of the growing movement against Israeli apartheid is the diversity of tactics and strategies being adopted by different communities, social movements, artists, trade unionists, academics, students, and queer organizers in solidarity with the people of Palestine. This diverse work has taken to a new level the creative actions and campaigns against the corporations and institutions facilitating and profiting from Israeli apartheid.

The workshops within these sectors are designed bring together conference participants from across Québec and Canada to reflect on what they have accomplished so far, to learn from past and current campaigns and initiatives, and finally, to coordinate on future work so that we can make the most of the ongoing momentum for BDS against Israeli apartheid.

The Sectors

1. Labour: Trade union and worker support for BDS
2. Academic: Campus boycott and divestment campaigns and support for Palestinian students and academics
3. Cultural: Cultural sector efforts for BDS and support for Palestinian artists
4. Consumer Boycott: Initiatives for the boycott of Israeli consumer products, currently focused on Ahava Dead Sea Cosmetics, Chapters Indigo, Mountain Equipment Co-op, and Israeli diamonds
5. Community Sector: Grassroots community groups working on BDS, including but not limited to feminist groups, faith groups, anti-poverty groups, housing groups
6. Queer Community Organizing Against Israeli Apartheid: work on BDS from a queer perspective and within LGBTQ communities

Please note: There will be room at the conference for caucuses and different sectors that are not mentioned! Space and other resources will be provided for separate, spontaneous sectoral meetings based upon the interests of participating organizations, as needed.

5. Logistics

We are currently confirming the venue and we hope to hold the entire conference at the Université de Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) in downtown Montréal. We are also working on providing simultaneous translation, housing for those in need of a place to stay, and offering snacks.

More details coming soon!

6. Endorsements

If your organization would like to endorse the BDS Conference, please contact info@bdsquebec.org to add your organization’s name to the list of endorsers.

If you would like to receive more information on the conference as the schedule, speakers and other details are confirmed, email us and request to have your address added to the conference info email list.

7. Donations and Conference Fundraising

We are still desperately in need of funds to make this historic conference a success!!

There are two easy ways make a donation to the conference organizing fund:

a) Click on the “Donate” link on our website: www.bdsquebec.org!


b) Cheques may be made out to “Congrès BDS 2010” and mailed to:

BDS Conference 2010
4755 van Horne, suite 110
Montréal, Québec
H3W 1H8


If you’d like to get involved in organizing the conference, please email info@bdsquebec.org to find out about our next meeting.

Stay in touch!

Email: info@bdsquebec.org
Phone: (514) 921-6414

We are truly looking forward to seeing you on October 22 to 24!!

Towards a free Palestine!!

The BDS 2010 Conference Organizing Committee:

Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) / Syndicat des travailleurs et travailleuses des Postes (STTP)
Coalition pour la Justice en Palestine – Université du Québec à Montréal (CJP-UQÀM)
Coalition pour la Justice et la Paix en Palestine / Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine (CJPP)
College and University Workers United (CUWU)
Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) / Voix indépendantes juives (VIJ) Canada
Palestinian and Jewish Unity / Palestiniens et Juifs Unis (PAJU)
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR)
Tadamon! Montreal

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