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Celebrating solidarity: A different spotlight

On Sept. 2, 2009, a group of Canadian and international cultural producers in the film, culture and media arts communities issued a statement called the Toronto Declaration.

In opposition to the Toronto International Film Festival's (TIFF) celebratory spotlight on Tel Aviv this year, artists from around the world sent a strong message that occupation anywhere will never be celebrated.

Despite a week of attacks on the signatories of this letter, the Toronto Declaration is unstoppable. Since its initial release, the letter has continued to gather signatures. Now more than 1,000 people from around the world -- including many Israelis -- have signed on in protest of TIFF's City-to-City Spotlight on Tel Aviv.

New signatories include music and cinematic legends Harry Belafonte and Julie Christie. Actor Viggo Mortensen, who will be attending this year's festival, just added his name. Leading intellectual figures Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler and Anne McClintock have also recently endorsed the declaration, along with prominent Canadian writers Rawi Hage, Joy Kogawa, Dionne Brand and Kerri Sakamoto. Celebrated local filmmakers Velcrow Ripper, Min Sook Lee and Lynne Fernie have also signed the letter.

International support for the declaration continues to grow despite denunciations, unfounded personal attacks on earlier signatories Jane Fonda, Danny Glover, and Naomi Klein, and despite an aggressive campaign of misinformation regarding the letter’s content.


 


On Monday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. some of the names behind the Toronto Declaration will gather in Toronto to share messages of solidarity and responses to their critics. Watch it live on rabbletv!

For more information, and to read the Toronto Declaration and the full list of signatories, visit The Toronto Declaration blog.

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