Protest shuts down Israel lobby group at Chicago LGBTQ conference

On Friday evening, dozens of people occupied public spaces in the Chicago Hilton hotel to protest the presence of an Israel lobby group and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency at the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Creating Change conference.


Alex Shams, a Palestine solidarity activist and graduate student at the University of Chicago, told The Electronic Intifada that protesters attempted to gain access to the room where a reception for the pro-Israel group A Wider Bridge was being held.

Shams said security personnel pulled a couple of the protesters into the room, but quickly shut the door on the rest.

Shams, citing a protest organizer, said that hotel security personnel shut down the reception.

But the activists marched throughout the hotel’s public areas, which were full of attendees of the Creating Change conference, Shams said.

Earlier, activist groups including Tarab-NYC, Black Lives Matter Chicago and Jewish Voice for Peace had objected to the inclusion of A Wider Bridge because of its role in pinkwashing – using LGBTQ issues to distract from Israel’s occupation and abuses of Palestinians.

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