rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Toronto Declaration unstoppable

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Despite a week of attacks, artists from around the world rush to sign the declaration. The organizers of the Toronto Declaration -- No Celebration of Occupation are pleased to announce that 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 and Danny Glover, and despite an aggressive campaign of misinformation regarding the letter's content.

The organizers want to make it clear that the letter does not call for a boycott of TIFF. Several of the signatories have much anticipated films in this year's festival and many others plan to attend. Nor is it a protest against Israeli filmmakers, many of whom signed the letter. It is a statement of principled opposition to TIFF's highly political decision to honour the city of Tel Aviv with a celebratory "spotlight" this year.

Such a celebration, especially in light of the recent Israeli attacks on Gaza, not only ignores Palestinian suffering, but also helps to whitewash Israel's continued violations of international law. According to Naomi Klein, one of the declaration's co-authors, "Publicly opposing TIFF's decision is not an act of censorship, but its opposite: the use of cherished rights of freedom of speech and opinion."

In an effort to promote ongoing critical debate about Tel Aviv, Israel and Palestine, organizers will be holding a public forum featuring key signatories on Monday, Sept. 14, 2009. There will be an opportunity for press to talk to spokespeople prior to the event, beginning at 5 p.m. Location and further details to follow.

The full text of the letter, including new signatories is available at the Toronto Declaration blog.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.