The Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia (CFS-NS) has joined allied organizations across the province in boycotting Halifax Pride. This boycott, spearheaded by Mount Pride – a society with the Mount Saint Vincent University Students’ Union (MSVUSU), has arisen as a result of the 2016 Halifax Pride General Meeting, where the voices of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community were violently overwhelmed by straight and cis attendees, which resulted in the mass departure of many racialized and indigenous people in protest of the procedings.
“It is critical that members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community are directing the vision and principles of Halifax Pride,” said Jade Peek, Women’s Representative for CFS-NS. “Students will not participate in an organization where the voices of queer people are not at the front and centre and where racialized and indigenous experiences are silenced.”
CFS-NS holds a long history of participating in Halifax Pride festivities, as well as marching in the annual Halifax Pride Parade. Until such time as the demands of the boycott are met, students will not participate in these events, and will engage in alternative community based initiatives to celebrate Pride.
Boycott demands include:
- Recognize the illegitimacy of the AGM proceedings, including the board elections, and acknowledge that this illegitimacy represents an abject failure of Halifax Pride to meet its mandate.
- Immediately call for a Special General Meeting to facilitate changes to the Board to ensure inclusivity through the allocation of seats for BIPOC Board members. This policy on Director appointments must see that BIPOC positions are filled before the society is able to proceed with any of its work.
- Amend its membership criteria at this Special General Meeting so that 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals are ensured the opportunity to have their concerns heard and addressed directly by the Board of Directors. In the event that the Board is unable to address the concerns, a non-oppositional, non-hierarchical space will be facilitated in which the concerns can be mediated by a third party.
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