Call Center on Halsted Tomorrow!

It would mean a lot to me if everyone that read this post could take a couple minutes to call.  

Don’t ‘pinkwash’ apartheid at the Center on Halsted!

Call-in day – Friday, October 19th!

This call to action is coming from an ad-hoc group of Palestinian, Jewish and LGBTQ organizers in Chicago, in response to the LGBT center’s decision to participate in the Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema.   

Last week, an ad-hoc group of Palestinian, Jewish, and LGBTQ community members met with Tico Valle, the C.E.O. and Julie Walther, the Chief Program Officer of the Center on Halsted, the largest LGBT center in Chicago.  We discussed our concerns with their decision to participate in an Israeli government-sponsored event, and asked them to cancel their screenings of “Yossi” and “Melting Away,” which are a part of the Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema, scheduled for October 25th.  As of Thursday October 18, their answer was to proceed with the screenings.  Express your disappointment to the Center on Halsted for their decision and let them know that we don’t want our LGBT community center participating in the Brand Israel campaign in the future!

What you can do:
On Friday, October 19th,  We are asking for people to call the Center on Halsted at 773-472-6469 and ask for either the C.E.O, Modesto Tico Valle (ext. 250) or Chief Program Officer, Julie Walther (ext. 178).  If possible, tell whoever answers the phone that you would like to leave a message with them and not a voicemail.

Some things you could say:

“Hi, my name is __________________. I’m calling to express my concern/disappointment to the Center on Halsted for their sponsorship of the Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema. I feel strongly that:
  • Events like this use queers to paint Israel as “gay-friendly” and divert attention from Israel’s crimes of occupation and apartheid. 
  • Hosting this event, sponsored by the Israeli government, would create an unwelcoming and hostile environment at the Center on Halsted for Palestinian and Arab queers, and for all of us LGBTQ-identified folks who are opposed to racism and militarism.
  • Pinkwashing narratives exploit the realities of self-determined LGBTQ Palestinian, Muslim and Arab people, without a legitimate commitment to solidarity with those communities.
If you make a call, please join the facebook event and let us know how what kind of response you got from the Center on Halsted!

And if you’re in Chicago, join us on Thursday, October 25th for a protest outside of the Center on Halsted! There will be a demonstration to show our queer and justice-lovin rage if Center on Halsted decides to go forward with the screening.  More creative details to come soon, so be sure to join the Protest Pinkwashing @ Center on Halsted Facebook Event!

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