By Paul Miller, Originally published in the New York Observer
Anti-Israel protestors stormed Friday’s gay rights Creating Change Conference at the Chicago Hilton, hosted by the National LGBTQ Task Force, forcing the cancellation of an event hosted by A Wider Bridge, an organization that advocates growing the relationship between the “LGBTQ communities of North America and Israel.”
Reportedly chanting “no justice, no peace,” protesters displayed signs equating the Jewish state with apartheid and Zionism with racism, targeting a reception featuring Israeli LGBT rights activists Sarah Kala-Meir and Tom Canning of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, an Israeli LGBT advocacy group.
“There were about 200 protesters outside the room. They blockaded the room, three of them entered the room, took over the stage, and the people from Jerusalem Open House were not allowed to speak,” explained Adrian Shanker, Executive Director of the Allentown, Pennsylvania-based, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center. “They [Kala-Meir and Canning] were escorted out of the room so they would be safe, and we were all asked to leave through the service entrance for our safety.”
Many of those attending the Jerusalem Open House reception were there to show support and learn how the organization was dealing with the aftermath of a stabbing rampage this past July at the Jerusalem gay pride parade.