Jay Cassano

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Mar 112013

Punks Against Apartheid is proud to co-sponsor:

Rock Against Racism MTL #3

Une soirée pour célébrer et bâtir la solidarité entre le punk et la Palestine // An evening to celebrate and build punk rock solidarity with Palestine

jeudi, le 14 mars
Katacombes, 1635 St-Laurent
$6-10 (selon vos moyens/sliding scale)

Une soirée bénéfice pour la Semaine contre l’apartheid israélien

Portes//Doors 20h


Autosuciciencia – Paralisis Permanente covers
LOUDbagSilent Bones
May Day

DJs// 23h30
Aaron Maiden + invités

March 14-2013 RAR

Dec 102012

If the recent bombardment of Gaza by Israel in the ominously named Operation Pillar of Cloud has confirmed anything, it’s that solidarity is sorely needed, perhaps now more than ever. In the wake of these attacks and the World Social Forum-Free Palestine, recently held in Porto Alegre from November 28th-December 1st, Punks Against Apartheid wishes to answer the call to intensify BDS campaigns worldwide and redouble its commitment to solidarity with the people of Palestine.

As always, we heard the same tired and offensive script about a “two-sided conflict” as the fourth largest military on the planet did their best to lay waste to the world’s largest open-air prison. We heard so much empty twaddle about the Palestinians’ need to “renounce violence” while little pressure was placed on Israel to do anything of the sort. And even now, when the final count of deaths is shamefully lopsided (160 Palestinians, 6 Israelis) we hear close to nothing about holding Israel’s system of apartheid and occupation accountable.

We’re also aware that in the weeks since the declaration of this recent cease-fire (a cease-fire Israel has already broken several times) there have been some significant developments in the Palestinian struggle, and in particular the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel, beyond Abbas’s last-ditch effort to regain legitimacy with his contentious statehood bid.

From the endorsement of BDS by the world’s largest body of public sector unions to Stevie Wonder’s announcement that he would not play the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces gala in Los Angeles, to the University of Oslo’s canceling of its contract with Israeli prison security firm G4S, BDS is continuing to gain ground and generalise the Palestinian struggle worldwide. In the coming months, we will be answering the call to intensify boycott activities by setting up fundraisers featuring local and regional punk bands for the people of Palestine, building even more links between punk groups and the Palestine solidarity movement. But even more importantly, in the true rebel music spirit, we’d like to announce Punks Against Apartheid’s newest and most exciting adventure: releasing our very first music compilation for digital download!

For the price of a beer, or maybe a few, you’ll be able to purchase an online album featuring songs from punk, hardcore and ska groups who are supportive of the Palestinian struggle and the cultural boycott of Israel. All proceeds will go to benefit to-be-determined Palestinian groups fighting for a free Palestine.

If you are interested in contributing to our comp, send us a line. We want to take the cultural boycott beyond the big names, forge links and build bridges too freaky and too militant for their tastes! And our message: decolonize everything, end all apartheids, and free Palestine!

And let’s not forget that the momentum the worldwide solidarity movement is gaining becomes especially poignant as winter closes in, and announcements about summer festival seasons soon start poking their head out. As much as the big names don’t really tickle our fancy, we will not stop TP-ing their reputation and egging their proverbial status until they join the side of justice. What makes this coming music fest season particularly terrifying is that Lollapalooza, one of North America’s largest musical shit-shows, will also be holding a version in Tel Aviv! Perry Farrell, a dyed-in-the-wool Zionist who has raised large sums of the money for the IDF himself, is positively over the moon about delivering Lolla’s cultural cache to the world’s last legal apartheid state.

Rubbing salt in the open wound is the fact that the Tel Aviv Lolla will be held in Yarkon Park, which is built on the ruins of the Palestinian village of Jarisha. We must ensure that the campaigns to pressure bands not to play at Lollapalooza are impossible to ignore. We at PAA will do everything we can to be a part of that. We’re not going away anytime soon–that’s for damned sure.

There’s much work to be done, and the stakes are arguably as high as they’ve ever been. And so, for that matter, are the opportunities to bring Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian front-and-center. We write to you all with loving rage to say that we intend to dive in head first. And we intend to get it done in the only way that we know how: loud and brash and shameless!

Fuck the haters, fuck the state, up the punx and viva Palestina!

 Posted by on December 10, 2012 at 9:45 am
Nov 252011

On Wednesday night the radio show Roots Rock Rebel hosted one of Punks Against Apartheid’s founders, Alex Billet, for an interview about the origins of PAA, our campaign to get Jello Biafra not to play in Tel Aviv, and where we’re going from here. The discussion spanned from the boycott in South Africa to the punk scene in Israel. From the interview:

One of the most common arguments trotted against boycott is “well, there’s bad policies everywhere, why are you just singling out Israel?” I think that’s a valid question in some ways. But really it comes down to solidarity – straight up. This movement is really rooted in the 2005 call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions that came out of any civil society group of note within Palestine and from Arab communities within the ’48 borders.

This [cultural boycott] is not about silencing voices. As a matter of fact, it’s about the voices of Palestinians being heard much more than they currently are.

You can find the entire show from Wednesday night archived here (or here – just in case). The interview itself starts around the 36-minute mark, but it’s worth listening to the whole show if you have the time, especially if you need your daily dose of ska-punk.

Roots Rock Rebel airs every Wednesday night from 10pm-midnight on CKUT 90.3 FM in Montreal. It also streams live at www.ckut.ca. Roots Rock Rebel host & DJ, Aaron Lakoff, is a PAA member.

In other news, thanks to the efforts of a couple of generous community members, our points of unity have already been translated into Arabic and Korean. We’re expecting translations into Hebrew, French, and Turkish shortly. If you can help out by translating the points of unity into any other language please get in touch!

 Posted by on November 25, 2011 at 9:18 pm
Jun 272011

Head over to Mondoweiss to read Colin Kalmbacher’s thoughts on what Jello’s gig in Tel Aviv would mean for the future of punk rock. Here’s a snippet of it:

In a surprisingly well-lit basement I found myself alone and in the best of company.

Of course, Jello Biafra’s words came accompanied with music that sounded like Dick Dale on dextroamphetamine. These were your, our, the Dead Kennedys. America’s foremost political punk rock band and one of the most seminal groups of all time.

It was the purest, fastest, nastiest and most abrasive music still capable of retaining melody. And it came outfitted with anthemic battle cries, calls to action and instructions on how squares ought to fuck right off. I was no intellectual. But this was music with so much intelligence, passion and daring that it seemed as if Rimbaud picked up an Armalite and joined the fifth column.

Read the full thing at Mondoweiss.

Jun 232011

Tali Shapiro, an Israeli activist with Anarchists Against the Wall and Boycott from Within, told Jello what the really radical thing to do is: honor the boycott call from Palestinian civil society! It’s the best non-violent weapon Palestinians have at their disposal! Jello, if you’re against oppression, then stand with the Palestinian people on this one!

And you, dear reader, do you have a webcam and five minutes to spare? Why not record your own personal appeal and tell Jello why you think he should cancel his gig in Tel Aviv? After you’re done, shoot us an email and we’ll post your video on the website.

Jun 222011


Sabina England is a member of Artists Against Apartheid. Her personal appeal is the latest in a series that will be coming out over the next several days. We really want Jello to understand how much this matters to people around the world!

If you want to submit your own testimonial, contact us! Or just upload it to youtube and let us know you posted it.

And if you haven’t signed the petition already, it’s not too late!

Jun 122011

PACBI just released its official appeal to Jello Biafra:

You write that you hope your performance will help bring down Israel’s colonial wall.  Let us assure you it will hurt the persistent, years-long popular, non-violent struggle against the wall. All the popular committees struggling against the wall are part of the BDS movement and have called on their supporters to respect our boycott guidelines as a means to support their/our struggle.  Crossing our boycott picket line will only contribute to Israel’s arrogance of power and impunity. Continue reading »

Jun 112011

Nora Barrows-Friedman wrote up a great blog post at Electronic Intifada:

Someone once said that “punk rock is dead.” Alas, another nail in the coffin was hammered in on Tuesday, when punk rock legend and former frontman of the anti-imperialist, anti-corporate San Francisco-based band Dead Kennedys, Jello Biafra, decided to go ahead with a planned gig in Tel Aviv despite pressure on him to respect and honor the Palestinian-led call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).

Read the rest here.

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