Monday, June 29, 2009

Harassment & Intimidation at Toronto's Pride Parade

Harassment & Intimidation at Toronto's Pride Parade 2009 from josephinejosephine on Vimeo.

As I was videotaping groups in the parade line-up, no one complained until I reached a keffiyah-wearing, Palestinian-flag-waving group. I recognized a few members of "Queers Against Israeli Apartheid" as well as NION and was shocked to see a man with his head & face wrapped in a keffiyeh like a terrorist and wearing a bracelet made of bullets.

They saw me videotaping and quickly moved, in a well-rehearsed manner, to physically prevent me from seeing and taping. After I moved at least 15 feet away, they crossed the wide sidewalk, climbed a brick wall mounted by a low iron fence and stood directly in front of my camera... then told me not to photograph them!

They denounced me as a Zionist and told me I was not welcome in the Pride Parade which was being held in my own city of Toronto, in my own country of Canada, where my ancestors have lived since 1750.

The sponsors of Pride should think twice about having their names associated with an event that includes such groups.

Thanks to the organizers of the Pride Parade for allowing a group that uses Hamas-style tactics to poison the formerly open and free atmosphere of Pride.
Update: Welcome, fellow readers and fans of Five Feet of Fury and Halls of Macadamia!
Update #2: And a hearty welcome to fellow readers and fans of Girl on the Right!
Update #3: Hello & welcome to readers of another one of my favourite blogs, Blazing Cat Fur! As usual, the title of his post is much funnier than mine!
Update #4: From the comments: "It's impossible to believe that the traditional Gay Pride chant has become 'We're here, we're queer ... hey, what the f*** are you lookin' at, asshole? Put the camera away!'"


The Phantom said...

People just hate being filmed when they're marching with a hate group, eh? Love the stupid kid with the head scarf, he's got that mum's basement pallor big time.

Good on ya for telling them to step off. "Stop filming us!"??? Its a parade, for crap sakes. You don't want to be seen with the Pali flag over your head, don't be in it.

Anonymous said...

I went last year to see it...but what I find more horrifying is that no one seems to think there is anything wrong with being served at my bank by a woman wearing her head covered, or at the theatre with the two relatively new Canadians that I mentor, a woman and young boy 13, by two headscarf wearing young women...
Would people wonder if these were nuns? Or would say a Jehovah Witness be allowed to work in these two areas wearing, say, an Easter bonnet all year long.
Some of the costumes or lack there of at these pride parades are outrageous and funny and this attracts people from all over to watch...and thank goodness we have this freedom in Canada...the guy wearing the pali barfscarf is a pathetic paradox walking...however, he is not yet in the majority...
The braindamaged group that seemed to align themselves against the videographer needed someone like me to detract their attention...Next time take me...and although a senior...I will strip to the waist, show off my perky breasts and flaunt my bare chest with a blue star of David painted on it...

Anonymous said...

If you *just happened* to be videotaping all the contingents at Pride, why do you only have photos and video of the pro-Israel contingent and the anti-Zionist contingent?

Obviously you were videotaping them for surveillance purposes, which anyone who is actually LGBT would know is incredibly offensive to do at a Pride parade. You can even see a Pride Toronto marshall in the video telling you to stop. What's your damage?

And why would you complain about people videotaping and taking photos of you if you think it's your right to do the same to others?

You have twisted logic.

Josephine said...

Phantom: Exactly!

Anon: I hope that group won't be allowed in the parade next year but, if they are, it's a date!

Josephine said...

Anon @ 10:24:

I have other video that isn't up yet. So far, I've put up that one segment. I am a beginner and it is a slow process (plus, I'm busy).

Not once did I tell anyone at the parade not to photograph me. But for people who objected to one person taping them (me), they had at least six lined up in a row in front of me for the sole purpose of intimidating and harassing me.

You cannot see a Pride marshall in the video telling me to stop. A whiner complained to a volunteer, who spoke to me after I had stop taping and while I was walking away.

Please define "surveillance purposes".

Josephine said...


..."after I had stopped taping"...

Qob said...

Anonymouse piaranoia! catch it!

Blazing Cat Fur said...

Hey did you get any pics of Bernie Marchin? What was he wearing? Not a thong I hope;)

Josephine said...

Hey, BCF! Nope, no thongs.

IIRC, everyone marching with Kulanu Toronto was fully clothed.

kursk said...

Damn that CBC, City TV, CTV etc for their intrusive video surveillance eh, anonymous?

I would suggest not supporting terrorists at a public funded event if you don't want scrutiny.

The biggest laugh is that these people don't even seem to realize that their lifestyle is forbidden in Palestine and in Islam.Try flaunting your homosexuality in the middle east chum, see how far you get.

Josephine said...

Qob: LOL.

kursk: It's so bizarre.

Anonymous said...

YES! I love this time of year, I can say this with impunity: Wow, that's gay.

Anonymous said...

I think they will be denouncing Israel in the Santa Claus parade next...why does every venue have to be hijacked for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Don Sharpe said...

Way to hold your ground!
'Go get the police, This is Canada'
You Rock!
I hope to have the same courage and conviction you've shown when confronting both demonstrators and misguided parade marshals!

Gordon MacDonald said...

The left are always so paranoid - so sad. Of course paranoia is the flip side of delusional grandeur.

Josephine said...

generalbrock: Several people have said the same thing to me. What's next? Leprechauns against Israel in the St. Patrick's Day Parade?

Don Sharpe: Thanks!

Gordon MacDonald: So true.

Dutch Canuck said...

Anon @ 10:24 AM: LOL on stilts! "Surveillance"! **SNORT** People don't walk in the Gay Pride parade to avoid public scrutiny. It's impossible to believe that the traditional Gay Pride chant has become "We're here, we're queer ... hey, what the f*** are you lookin' at, asshole? Put the camera away!"

Here's the thing: I watched the video she posted and if you take away the intimidation tactics and the phony-toughguy in the keffiyeh, it's actually pretty boring - a bunch of people standing around on the street, talking. If they'd just ignored Josephine, she would have had what, maybe 5 or 10 seconds of footage worth posting? Baby-face Arafat wrapping his headgear and the guy holding the Apartheid sign, and that's about it.

Instead, lucky for Josephine, they do the full-court-press Grievance Theatre, and give her 10 solid minutes of craziness. Whadda buncha maroons! Probably learned this "maximum confrontation" technique at university. If so they should ask for a refund.

"Outed as a Zionist" -- well it looks to me that the Queers against Gay-Friendly Middle Eastern Liberal Democracies outed themselves as thin-skinned immature passive-aggressive narcissist bullies. You'd almost think they didn't like getting filmed publicly supporting (but don't look!) groups who'd rather see a dead Jew than a live Arab queer.

Indeed, whether they know it or not, they're encouraging support for folks like Hamas, Hesbollah and the PA who prefer both Jews and queers to just die and go away. Leftism is a mental illness. It's time to turn all Canadian universities into mental hospitals, because they certainly aren't in the business of turning out healthy brains.

This episode reminded me of a (far less serious) little gem of whiny activism from February: the "occupation" of the NYU food court by keffiyeh-sporting nitwits. Watch the video, read the comments and laugh through your tears. At least they didn't blame the Joooooos.

Josephine said...

Right on, Dutch Canuck!

Anonymous said...


As we say in our tradition "Kol Hakavod" for your courage and determination in filming QuAIA during the Pride Parade. If one were to compare the sour and ugly messages we saw on your clip emenating from this group to the pics and clips (you can see them on our site of the KULANU group presenting a positive and celebrative message about Israel you see the difference between us. Pro-Israeli supporters were there to celebrate Israel as a Jewish state that welcomes everyone gay and straight alike. QuAIA was there to target the only Middle East state that provides a safe haven for LGBT. Go figure.

Clips such as yours go a long way to put power and truth to words.


Bernie M. Farber
Canadian Jewish Congress

Josephine said...

Thank you, Bernie! It was a pleasure to meet you and march alongside you with Kulanu Toronto at the Pride Parade on Sunday.

I posted the CJC photos and video here (in the post below my own video) after Vardit told me about them: they're great.

You are right about the contrast: it is striking.

Vardit said...

I love shulem.. peace!!:):) hahahaha
Happy Canada Day everyone

Yariv said...

I am surprised and have to say pleased to see Mr. Farber commenting on your blog. I do not recall seeing him do that often so he must really have been taken with your excellent clip.

I suppose I should say that I don't always agree with your points of view but on this we are of one mind.

Having lived in Israel I can say with certainty that gay and lesbian Palestinians find refuge in Tel Aviv from the possibilty of assault and even death in the PA.

What a bunch of hypocrites are these QuAIA! They would condemn their own brothers and sisters simply to take a swipe at Israel.

I was at Pride parade. I too saw Farber marching with the others and he should be commended for walking as a Proud Jew in this parade.

And thank you Josephine for exposing the ugly other side.

Josephine said...

Thank you, Vardit! Happy Canada Day!

Josephine said...

Thank you for your kind comment, Yariv.

I am open to different points of view. I know that I can be wrong sometimes. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am interested in understanding all sides of an issue (hence the subtitle of my blog) but there are some issues on which I will not budge.

Hopefully, we can all find our common ground and agree to disagree on the rest.

Vardit said...

Josephine! You plagarist! "agree to disagree" That's my line. BF will attest to this! Just consider yourself lucky you live in a country where stoning is forbidden but being stoned.....on Canada Day... izzz nice:):):)Only kidding. I'm a tea totaler..I drink lots coffee.

Josephine said...

LOL, Vardit.

I think some people in the crowd at the Pride Parade were smokin' the ganja.

Caffeine is my drug of choice.