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News :: Human Rights : Organizing
Tekiah Statement on Sunday's Nazi Demo
07 May 2005
Tekiah, a local Jewish radical group (http://www.tekiah.org), sent the following message to members on Friday, May 6 in regards to the Holocaust Commemoration, Nazi demo and anti-Nazi counter-demos planned for Sunday. The3 list of events at the bottom may not be entirely complete, but we post it here to offer a perspective, not a calendar.
Dear friends,

As many of you may have heard, Neo-Nazis from a group called "White Revolution" are planning a demonstration this Sunday, May 8, by the Holocaust Memorial in Boston. This disgusting act comes as hundreds will gather at nearby Faneuil Hall to observe Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, in a ceremony organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC).

News of the Nazi rally has only come recently. There have been announcements of counter-demonstrations, as well as a recent call from the JCRC to attend the ceremony at Faneuil Hall and ignore the Nazi rally. As we have received questions on how Tekiah plans to respond, we have tried to come up with an answer, and discussed the question at some length at a meeting this past Monday.

We considered saying nothing on the matter. In the past, we have not put our energy as Tekiah into organizing events on Yom HaShoah. While the Holocaust is a huge part of our collective history as Jews and must be remembered, we, as a small organization with a specific focus, we have left it to others in the community to organize events specifically around remembering the Shoah. And one could argue that to discuss the Nazi rally is to legitimize it. But at the same time, we were not comfortable being silent knowing that this was planned.

We believe that there is merit in going to the Yom HaShoah observation and not giving the Nazis any further publicity. We also believe that there is merit to protesting the Nazis in a strategic, thought-out way.

Compared to some other Nazi rallies in the Northeast in recent years, strategic anti-Nazi protest at this event is particularly complicated, because the Nazis themselves are already trying to dirupt the Yom HaShoah commemoration. We don't believe that showing opposition to the Nazis will AUTOMATICALLY cause them to get more attention--sadly, the media is likely to cover their provocation anyway. But we do believe that it is possible to protest them in deeply counterproductive ways, i.e.,with fights or in other ways that disrupt observations of Yom HaShoah or that allow the Nazis to portray themselves as victims of counterdemonstrators.

Because of the short time, we have not been able to meet with anyone planning counterdemonstrations to discuss their plans, their relationship to the JCRC event, or anything else. We have tried to engage them over e-mail to ensure that they are careful not to disrupt the JCRC event, but such communication is obviously limited.

We want people to be aware of what is going on so as to make informed decisions. We are including information below about the JCRC event and about the counterdemonstrations we know of. If anyone on this list is planning to counterdemonstrate, we urge you to do so in a strategic manner that, while making clear that we reject the Nazis, does not play into their hands.

----------
JCRC's Annual Yom HaShoah Holocaust Commemoration
Sunday, May 8, 1pm, Boston 's Faneuil Hall

More than 500 community members are expected for this event. Sponsored by JCRC and a host of community organizations, this year's event will commemorate the 60th anniversary of liberation and the 10th anniversary of the New England Holocaust Memorial. The program includes music and speeches by numerous leaders and dignitaries.

Following the commemoration, B'nai Brith Youth Organization students will create a "Path of Voices" between Faneuil Hall and the New England Holocaust Memorial as attendees prepare to recite Mourner's Kaddish.

To learn more about this year's commemoration, please contact Matt Lebovic at mlebovic [at nospam] jcrcboston [dot nospam] org.

Note that in a message to the community on Wednesday, the JCRC wrote, "Most importantly, please help us focus on the commemoration and not on the protest. As hard as this may be, please do not engage or acknowledge the demonstrators in any way. Any engagement will help give the protestors the very publicity that they want and help them circulate their message of
hate."
---------

Call to protest the Nazis at Congress Park (space in front of Fanuil Hall)
Sunday, May 8th at 11:30 am.
The call is endorsed by the Alliance for a Secular and emocratic South Asia; Artists for Peace and Justice; Fuerza Latina; Harvard Social Forum; International Socialist Organization; and Harvard's Progressive Jewish Alliance. For infor contact nonazisinboston [at nospam] yahoo [dot nospam] com .

We were disappointed to see that this call to action, while listing racism, anti-immigrant sentiments, gay-bashing, and other forms of violence, did not mention anti-Jewish oppression. A Tekiah member expressed this in a message to the organizers, who replied that the point was well taken and hat the call had been written hastily. But to our disappointment, the call has not changed.
---------

The Stop Nazis Now Coalition, whose members are not listed in a public posting, have also called for anti-Nazi protesters to gather on Congress Street across from the Holocaust Memorial. They also list a Youth Bloc meeting at Harvard Square at 11:30. No contact info was listed, but information was at http://boston.indymedia.org

-----------------
Tekiah is an alliance of progressive Jewish activists working for systemic change in US society. We seek to be a progressive voice in the Jewish community and a Jewish voice in the progressive community. For more info, visit http://www.tekiah.org.
See also:
http://www.tekiah.org

This work licensed under a
Creative Commons license
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Re: Tekiah Statement on Sunday's Nazi Demo
07 May 2005
But... the Stop the Nazis Now coalition meetings have been open and publicly announced.

"They also list a Youth Bloc meeting at Harvard Square at 11:30."

Pretty sure the word on this is that this contingent is meeting at Fanueil Hall... those responsible can verify this, not trying to contribute to confusion.
Re: Tekiah Statement on Sunday's Nazi Demo
07 May 2005
>> "They also list a Youth Bloc meeting at Harvard Square at
>>11:30."

>Pretty sure the word on this is that this contingent is meeting at
>Fanueil Hall... those responsible can verify this, not trying
>to contribute to confusion.

Whoops--looks like you're right. Sorry about that. An earlier posting at http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/36227/index.php
has said that it was at Harvard, and that's what I was going from. But I now see that it's listed as Faneuil in a more recent posting at http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/36227/index.php .

> But... the Stop the Nazis Now coalition meetings have been
> open and publicly announced.

Didn't mean to deny that. We didn't make it to them because of people having prior obligations for work and so on, combined with short notice. Or if you're objecting to our saying that there wasn't a list of coalition members, that was simply a reflection of not seeing on one the posts mentioned above.

As I said, we weren't really posting this on Indy to provide a calendar--users of this site can find those details. Just wanted to provide the perspective.

Take care!
Re: Tekiah Statement on Sunday's Nazi Demo
07 May 2005
The Stop the Nazis Now Coalition had agreed to list anti-Semitism first among the reasons to protest on Sunday. Why has the call to action not been changed accordingly?
Re: Tekiah Statement on Sunday's Nazi Demo
09 May 2005
"We were disappointed to see that this call to action, while listing racism, anti-immigrant sentiments, gay-bashing, and other forms of violence, did not mention anti-Jewish oppression."

Tekiah is not very radical is it. It is guiding the anarcho-socialists to do nothing which may compromise the jewish propaganda statement to be made. Tekiah is a zionist radical organization.
Re: Tekiah Statement on Sunday's Nazi Demo
09 May 2005
"me" has a good point.

I am glad Tekiah is against the racist ethnic nationalism of the Nazis. As weak and powerless as they may be, thier ideology is still something that should be only in the past.

I am waiting to see Takiah make a statement against that other more lively form of racist ethnic nationalism called Zionism, and one carried out in the name of Jewish people. I also hope they will protest the celebration of Israel day.
Re: Tekiah Statement on Sunday's Nazi Demo
09 May 2005
I was wondering this too...

http://www.tekiah.org/pages/history.html

"October 23 [2000] As the secnod intifada builds, Tekiah has a chaotic meeting to revisit its earlier policy of not working on Israel/Palestine issues. Though the member facilitating the meeting is a professional mediator, at least one person leaves and never returns. Ultimately, Tekiah re-affirms its decision not to work on the Middle East. While the reasons are many, two main points are that other Jewish groups are doing so and because it is clear that working on the Middle East would crowd out crucial local work where there is an unfilled need for a Jewish presence."

sounds like a pretty heavy meeting...
Tekiah folks, is there any talk of revisiting this policy in the future, or would it split your group along liberal-zionist and anti-zionist lines?