After asking three women to leave who were carrying Jewish Pride flags last weekend during the Chicago Dyke March, organizers of the event have started a crowfunding campaign for a “self-care retreat.” They are trying to raise $5,000 they say to go towards taking “a much needed retreat to rest, re-energize & be in a space of pure love” after “organizers and supporters, mostly queer and trans folks of color, have received countless threats of violence and aggression.”
The story goes that last week three participants in the march were forced to leave because they were carrying rainbow flags emblazoned with the Star of David, a symbol of Judaism. Organizers “were telling me to leave because my flag was a trigger to people that they found offensive,” Laurel Grauer told Windy City Times. “Prior to this [march] I had never been harassed or asked to leave and I had always carried the flag with me.”
According to the organizers, however, they issued a statement saying Grauer and other women bearing the flags were expelled not because of the flags, but because they were “expressing Zionist views that go directly against the march’s anti-racist core values.” Zionism involves the support of a Jewish state in Israel, but some, including the march organizers, believe the Israeli government is oppressive of the nation’s Palestinian residents. “The group in question was heard disrupting chants, replacing the word ‘Palestine’ with ‘everywhere,’ saying: ‘From everywhere to Mexico, border walls have got to go,'” the statement continued.
The ” threats|, the Collective claim have not documented or presented and were most likely backlash on social media.
Many are not happy that the CDM is raising funds for a vacation off the back of last weeks events.
As a Chicagoan it’s really painful, especially,” said Celia Sax, an organizer for Planned Parenthood as well as various Pride and Jewish events. “It’s demoralizing.” Sax feels said campaign puts salt in the wound. “It’s an additional layer of dehumanization,” she said.
Sax also was critical that the campaign funded a retreat rather than activism. “They could raise money for human rights, for reproductive rights, etc., but they are wasting it on self-care rather than any cause,” she said. “That is beyond awful.”
Activist Ilana Cohen also deemed the call for funds distasteful. “I can’t even fundraise $1,400 for surgery on my service dog’s eyes, and they want a retreat for being anti-Semitic,” Cohen said.
Source: The Advocate