A warm welcome in Derry for the fight against pinkwashing

Our banner on the Foyle Pride march

No to Pinkwashing travelled to Derry this August to take part in Foyle Pride and meet up with local Palestine campaigners.

Members of Derry IPSC with the No to Pinkwashing banner
Members of Derry IPSC with the No to Pinkwashing banner

On Friday 26 August, Colin Wilson from No to Pinkwashing and Abdul Rawashda, a Palestinian activist living in Norway, spoke at a meeting of the Derry branch of Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC). Both speakers talked about how Palestine solidarity and BDS overlaps with LGBT issues, and discussed Israel’s pinkwashing propaganda. Local activists also discussed how they can take forward the struggle for BDS in Derry, and about campaigning around the forthcoming football match between Dundalk and Maccabi Tel Aviv, an Israeli team – the match is to take place in Dublin shortly.

On Saturday 27, Derry ISPC brought their banner on the Pride parade, and local activists and also visitors helped to carry the No to Pinkwashing banner. Abdul spoke from the stage outside the Guildhall, receiving warm applause for his call for freedom for both LGBT people and Palestinians. All those of us who visited Derry were delighted by the warm welcome we received from local LGBT and Palestine activists, and are determined to maintain the links we’ve made.

Palestine campaigners on the Foyle Pride march
Palestine campaigners on the Foyle Pride march

“The queer folk of Bristol say no to pinkwashing”

Anti-Pinkwashing Campaigners at Bristol Pride

Pinkwashing protesters from Bristol PSC got a friendly reception at Bristol Pride on Saturday 9 July.

Ed from PSC reported that several hundred of No to Pinkwashing’s postcards had been given out and been well received by almost everyone.

Joe, who also took part, described his experience like this:

On Saturday 9 July, a small group was assembled to meet and talk to the lovely people at Bristol Pride about Israeli pinkwashing.

I write this after the very recent attacks on a similar group at Berlin Pride. My experience has taught me that this is a very touchy subject even within the British LGBTQ+ community. I have been verbally and physically threatened by bringing it up amongst other LGBTQ+ people, so I was a little apprehensive about going to Bristol Pride with a six foot flagpole bearing the Palestinian flag…

Despite my fears, we received a very positive response on the day. Many people were willing to admit that they “don’t know anything about it, but would like to learn.” We only encountered one individual out of thousands who was hostile, and we even bumped into one Palestinian marching in the parade, who was overjoyed to see a Palestinian flag at gay pride.

What struck me was the number of people who wanted to get “more involved”. A growing number of people are realising that LGBTQ+ rights are incomplete in a society of racism and apartheid. It makes a mockery of justice to talk about acceptance and equality when a wall and military checkpoints divide your country. It was a pleasure to see the queer folk of Bristol saying no to pinkwashing and apartheid.

If you want postcards for a local pride, you can email No to Pinkwashing at nopinkwashing@gmail.com. Our postcards are also available through the PSC national office on 020 7700 6192 or at info@palestinecampaign.org.

2014-15: steps forward against pinkwashing

Annual Report 2015We’ve just published an Annual Report for 2014-15.

Memorable points of the year included:

  • Joining a protest at G4S, who run prisons in Israel and the West Bank – they are now pulling out of these contracts
  • Marching on Pride London alongside victorious strikers from the Ritzy cinema
  • Joining the huge London protest on 19 July against Israel’s attack on Gaza
  • Organising a meeting with speakers from Palestine and America, attended by over 70 people
  • Fruitful discussions with Gay Star News about their Middle East coverage
  • A warm reception at the Palestine Solidarity Campaign AGM, where a motion was passed encouraging local PSC branches and unions to oppose pinkwashing by attending local prides and events for LGBT History Month

We’re now planning how we can raise our profile further, for example at union conferences and prides throughout the year.

PSC AGM takes forward fight against pinkwashing

PSC_AGM_2015The AGM of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign this year was the biggest ever, and the hundreds of delegates passed a resolution from No to Pinkwashing members confirming their opposition to pinkwashing, and highlighting how to take forward the fight against it.

The motion encourages PSC branches, unions and other affiliated groups to oppose pinkwashing by working with No to Pinkwashing and inviting speakers, and by intervening, where possible, at events including local Prides and those for LGBT History Month.

Members of No to Pinkwashing got an enthusiastic reception – we’re committed to working as part of the broader Palestine movement, and alongside our trade unions.