In Toronto: Jews Say No to Genocide Coalition Condemns Arrests In Regards to Indigo Postering, Calls for All Charges to be Dropped

By Jews Say No to Genocide, November 23, 2023

Jews Say No to Genocide oppose in the strongest terms the arrest of Toronto peace activists in relation to posters that were allegedly put up at an Indigo bookstore naming CEO Heather Reisman’s support for Israeli occupation forces. For years, Reisman has made it her mission through her foundation, HESEG, to provide direct financial support to Canadian citizens to join the Israeli military.

These arrests are a clear effort by police to target and repress Palestine solidarity peace activists even as the majority of people in Canada are calling for a ceasefire. The 11 peace activists who have been charged are friends, community organizers, teachers, legal workers, labour activists, and parents. We call for all the charges to be immediately dropped.

We are now aware that 11 peace activists have been charged with allegedly conspiring to put up posters exposing Indigo founder Heather Reisman’s financial support for Israeli war crimes. These actions have been dubbed as “hate-motivated mischief”. We absolutely and unequivocally reject this characterization: denouncing Reisman and her pro-IDF actions is neither anti-semitism nor a hate crime. The real injustice is trying to silence and criminalize any form of solidarity with Palestinians. We will not be silent as a genocide rages on in our name.

The arrests are some of the worst examples of police overreach, intimidation, and waste of community resources. We are aware that:

  • Police simultaneously raided seven houses in the middle of the night on November 22nd between 4:30 and 6:00am. At least 8 officers were involved in each of these raids. One peace activist had been arrested at an earlier date.

  • Police knocked and then burst through the doors, often without identifying themselves. In some cases, even when the peace activists they were looking for were not at home.

  • All residents of the house, including those who were not charged, were handcuffed.

  • Elderly family members of peace activists, in some cases who do not speak English as a first language, were handcuffed, sometimes in view of their neighbours.

  • Parents were handcuffed in view of their children, causing harm and trauma to the entire family.

  • Doors were broken and peace activists were taken away leaving their apartment open to outsiders.

  • In all cases, laptops and cellphones, including employer provided cell phones and laptops, have been seized. As a result, the peace activists are unable to complete their employment duties.

  • A car was impounded for three days.

  • Once arrests were made, peace activists were kept handcuffed for hours, sometimes in the back of police cars with their hands behind their backs.

These arrests are aggressive, unjustified, abusive – and are specifically designed to silence all those who oppose genocide and support a Free Palestine. We will not be silenced; solidarity actions will continue. We reiterate our call for a permanent ceasefire, an end to the occupation and siege of Gaza, and an end to Canada’s government and corporate complicity in Israeli apartheid.

The Jews Say No to Genocide Coalition represents Jewish people from organizations across Toronto including IfNotNow Toronto, Independent Jewish Voices, United Jewish Peoples Order (UJPO), Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Toronto, and World BEYOND War Toronto.

2 Responses

  1. I knew google groups was not a secure choice for arranging and scheduling.
    Google is part of the MIC operative, as are the Reisman clan.

  2. This is a national issue of privacy and human rights violations by the police and should be investigated as such. All Canadians should be outraged.

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