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Bay Area Queers Protest Film Festival's Partnership with Israeli Government
For the second year in a row, queer activists had to protest our own film festival because festival organizer Frameline is in bed with Israel.
On a blustery Friday evening, about 75 LGBT activists protested outside the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, which accepted Israeli government sponsorship and financing for the second year in a row. The Brass Liberation Orchestra was on hand to provide a spirited soundtrack.
Activists chanted "Frameline Frameline Shame Shame Shame, No Apartheid In Our Name" and "I'm an angry queer, and I'm here to shout, Israeli Consulate, get the f*** out!" Leafleters offered filmgoers stickers to wear inside to show their support for severing ties with the Israeli apartheid government, as well as a $3 bill to give to an usher asking Frameline to return the blood money. While many festival attendees affected "apathetic chic", some were interested and even appreciative, as were a number of passersby and local merchants.
The demonstration was organized by Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT!), in cooperation with SouthWest Asian and North African Bay Area Queers (SWANABAQ), the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Arab Resource and Organizing Center and Middle East Children's Alliance. Palestinian Queers for BDS and Israeli Queers for Palestine endorsed the action and the demand for Frameline to sever its ties with the Israeli government.
QUIT! launched the campaign to get Frameline to divorce the Israeli Consulate in 2007. In 2008 and 2009, the festival did not accept Israeli sponsorship, after having done so for years. But last year, under pressure from the consulate, the new festival director and executive director renewed their partnership with the Israeli government. This year, filmmakers John Greyson and Elle Flanders, as well as author Sarah Schulman initiated discussions with the festival directors, but failed to convince them to drop the consulate. All the Palestinian queer organizations have called on Frameline to support them by not partnering with Israel.