March 3, 2012
Deeming the subject of Palestine too “controversial” to be discussed at the LGBT Center, 208 West 13th Street, a year ago the Center’s board of directors banned Siegebusters, a group against the Israeli occupation, from using the Greenwich Village space for organizing meetings in support of Palestinian rights. Subsequently, NYC Queers Against Israeli Apartheid have also been banned and a “moratorium” imposed on any discussion of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict at the Center. Hence today’s action. The well-attended 4pm indoor protest against the ban was initiated by QAIA; its demands endorsed by 18 other groups, among them Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews Say No! Palestinian Queers for BDS*, Adalah-NY:The New York Campaign for Boycott of Israel, and Young, Jewish and Proud. They are calling for an end to the ban, opening the center to all who support its stated mission, and transparency–opening the Center’s board meetings and decision-making processes to the community. Video: One of the event’s many dynamite speakers, Tara Tabassi, accompanied by Ana Conner, speaks out passionately against the ban and against Palestinian oppression.