George Galloway barred from entering Canada for anti-war views

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Séarlait
George Galloway barred from entering Canada for anti-war views

A public forum featuring GEORGE GALLOWAY: Resisting war from Gaza to Kandahar
MONDAY, MARCH 30
6:15pm: Doors open 7:00pm: Event begins
Metropolitan United Church
56 Queen Street East
Directions: Two blocks east of Yonge and Queen (parking available on site)

British MP George Galloway recently led a massive aid caravan to Gaza, following Israel's 22-day war. Starting in London, England, the caravan drove over 10,000 km through eight countries in Europe and North Africa, before passing through the Rafah border crossing in Egypt on March 10, 2009. The caravan stretched more than two kilometers and was comprised of over 300 volunteers in 100 vehicles - including five ambulances, a fire truck and a boat. Over $1.1 million in aid was delivered to the people of Gaza. Join us for this special event to welcome George Galloway to downtown Toronto, his first speaking engagement during a four-day visit to Canada. The event will aim to raise additional funds for Galloway's Gaza aid caravan.

This event is expected to sell out. Please buy your tickets as soon as possible.

Tickets cost: $ 15.00 Adults $ 10.00 Students, youth and seniors

Tickets are available at: Toronto Women's Bookstore 73 Harbord Street, Toronto (cash, debit, credit card)
Hours: Mon to Wed 10:30am to 6pm Thurs & Fri 10:30am to 8pm Sat 10:30am to 6pm Sun 12pm to 5pm

Ryerson Students' Union
Ryerson Student Centre Info desk, main lobby 55 Gould Street, Toronto (cash, debit)
Hours: Mon to Thurs 8:30am to 7pm Fri 8:30am to 6pm Sat 11am to 5pm

Canadian Peace Alliance Trinity-St. Paul's Centre 427 Bloor Street West Suite 207, 2nd floor (cash only)

Hours: Mon to Fri 10am to 5pm Please call in advance to pick up tickets: 416-588-5555.

Organized by the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War
For more information, please visit http://www.nowar.ca.

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Thanks for the info, Séarlait.

I hope you don't mind, I edited your post to make it a bit more readable.

 

kim elliott kim elliott's picture

I find it hard to believe this is true, but Jason Kenney has banned George Galloway from speaking in Canada!

 From Galloway's website: http://www.georgegalloway.com/

Galloway: ‘This idiotic ban shames Canada’

WORLDPRESSNETWORK - 20 March 2009

Respect MP George Galloway today vowed to use “all means at my disposal” to challenge the decision by Canada’s pro-war, conservative immigration minister, Jason Kenny, to refuse him entry to the country to give a series of speeches.

 

Let Jason Kenney know what you think: 403-225-3480

Full contact details: http://tinyurl.com/djvps6

 

Slumberjack

I don't find it hard to believe.  Never let it be said of Jason Kenney that he is forgetful of the people who helped him get to where he is today.

johnpauljones

Slumber I don't get your post.  Who is he doing this for?

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Absolutely disgusting.

ceti ceti's picture

 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7954923.stm

So it's now illegal to even have an opinion on the war? If this is what they call security grounds, our government has passed even further than ever thought possible into Lalaland. This should go all the way to the Supreme Court.

Canada -- stronghold of conservative and neoconservative reaction. Great.

kim elliott kim elliott's picture

I called Kenney's office to get more info, details in the rabble staff blog here

 

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Kim's blog on rabble.ca

It really does defy belief.

ETA: whoops...crossposted

contrarianna

Surely the Brit parliamentarian is not allowed to speak here because he must "hate us for our  freedoms"?

No doubt Kenney is listening to what he considers "moderate" voices such as this open letter from the Jewish Defense League posted on the Canadian Coalition site:

====
"Keep George Galloway out of Canada - An open letter to our Gov't

"Posted by Rochelle Michaels on 17:15:17 2009/03/15

An Open Letter to the Government of Canada
Keep George Galloway out of Canada

It has come to the attention of the Jewish Defence League that a UK MP George Galloway, will be speaking in Toronto. As you are aware, anti Jewish attacks are on the rise across the world. Some of our campuses have given platforms to proxies from Radical Iran. It is our hope that the Government of Canada will not permit George Galloway entry into Canada...."
=====

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Can't Galloway be here on video by satellite uplink? Not as good as being here personally, but better than not at all. His banning needs to be widely publiciized and Jason Kenney shamed as much as possible.

Red T-shirt

It sickens me to hear how closed-minded this country might become under the leadership of neo-con turds like Jason Kenney. Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism! Are you kiddin me? This guy came up throught the Reform Party, the Alliance and is now an extreme right-winger in Harpers Conservatives. Provided to us by the good folks of Calgary South East.

Shame on Kenney for not overturning this disgusting decision. I'm sending him my complaint right now, for all the good that will do. 

contrarianna

It's worth noting that even the Bush government didn't try to stop him talking in the US at the height of the Iraq war. That says volumes about the state of freedom under this Harper government. 

kim elliott kim elliott's picture

Libby Davies (MP for Vancouver East) just posted a letter to Jason Kenney on her website. She writes: 

"I find it reprehensible and outrageous that you would suppress this well know MP from coming to Canada to speak, for what can only be determined as purely partisan, political reasons by the Canadian government. That Mr. Galloway is outspoken on his views concerning the Middle East is not new, nor should it be of any concern to warrant this kind of action from the Canadian Government..."

 

Red T-shirt

Those who start wars on false pretences, toture people, imprisson Cdn. juveniles without trial for many years (George Bush) are welcome to hold speaking engagements in Minister Kenney's Calgary riding, but men like George Galloway who have risked their lives to bring much needed humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza are person non grata in today's neo-con Canada. The mind just boggles!

Joey Ramone

An article in today's Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/mar/20/george-galloway-banned-canada

Alykhan Velshi, Kenney's spokesman, said that the law was designed to protect Canadians from people who fund, support or engage in terrorism.

"We're going to uphold the law, not give special treatment to this infamous street-corner Cromwell who actually brags about giving 'financial support' to Hamas, a terrorist organisation banned in Canada," he said. "I'm sure Galloway has a large Rolodex of friends in regimes elsewhere in the world willing to roll out the red carpet for him. Canada, however, won't be one of them."

Unionist

Brava, Libby Davies, for her courageous letter! It deserves wide circulation. My question is, will Jack Layton, Paul Dewar, and others, share her sentiment, given that she wrote as an individual MP?

Same question regarding Ignatieff, although that one is easier to predict, and Gilles Duceppe.

That Kenney is a fascist has already been established in prior threads, by his words and actions. Whether there will be any effective opposition to this government's direction remains to be seen.

 

Star Spangled C...

Have to say...I am fucking speechless right now. What the hell is going on in Canada?

He's been allowed into the states on multiple occasions. He and Christopher Hitchens has a great debate at Baruch College in NYC. But Canada won't allow an elected member of the British House of Commons into the country? Unbelievable.

Ghislaine

Wow - what an embarassment. We look just as dumb as Britain did a few weeks ago when they refused entry to a sitting Dutch MP. It is a sad state of affairs for free speech in this country.

Joel_Goldenberg

Bernie farber of Canadian Jewish Congress wrote in the National Post today that Galloway has a right to speak in Canada, but not to help finance Hamas or Hezbollah during his stay.

 

www.nationalpost.com 

Fidel

I hope this backfires on them and makes Canadians more curious of what George has to say

guy cybershy

  And yet they'll allow a mass murderer like George Bush in the country to say whatever he likes.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

We are (and have been for a while) in an era of extreme right wing neoconservatism, and it matters not one whit whether we are led by Harper or Iggy - both are the same. Unless there is a huge (and unlikely) massive groundswell of support for the NDP nationally, this sad state of affairs will continue well into the future. Frown

Fidel

Quote:
[url=">http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0517-35.htm][b] I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims did not have weapons of mass destruction.

I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda.[/url]

I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11 2001.

I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.

Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 people paid with their lives; 1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies.

aka Mycroft

Bernie Farber in the National Post this morning:

Quote:
George Galloway has every right to speak here in Canada, no matter how offensive most Canadians would find his views and actions. But he does not have the right to raise funds for terrorist causes while on our shores. He does not have the right to promote terrorism or incite hatred.

Bernie Farber to Canadian Press this afternoon:

Quote:
"George Galloway enables terrorism. In so doing he puts Canadian civilians at risk and comforts those who fight our soldiers in Afghanistan. The government's decision was the right one from legal, security and moral viewpoints."

While Farber's article in the post this morning condemned Galloway it did not call explicitly for him to be banned from the country and seemed to defend his right to speak here. This afternoon Farber is cheerleading the government's decision and says that Galloway should be banned because he "comforts those who fight our soldiers" which he would do by expression of speech.

redwestcoast redwestcoast's picture

Welcome to the police state.

 

What else can I say.  Unbelievable. 

farnival

Joey Ramone wrote:

An article in today's Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/mar/20/george-galloway-banned-canada

Alykhan Velshi, Kenney's spokesman, said that the law was designed to protect Canadians from people who fund, support or engage in terrorism.

"We're going to uphold the law, not give special treatment to this infamous street-corner Cromwell who actually brags about giving 'financial support' to Hamas, a terrorist organisation banned in Canada," he said. "I'm sure Galloway has a large Rolodex of friends in regimes elsewhere in the world willing to roll out the red carpet for him. Canada, however, won't be one of them."

Could this be the same  Alykhan Velshi who interned at the American Enterprise Institute,as he mentions here in an FDD blog post waxing nostalgically about raging anti-communist and former Reagan Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick?  apparently it is.  Is it any wonder that Kenny would take this stance when he has a such a spokesman? and he called him an "infandous street-corner Cromwell" not "infamous".  who is this guy?

Stockholm

"Brava, Libby Davies, for her courageous letter! It deserves wide circulation. My question is, will Jack Layton, Paul Dewar, and others, share her sentiment, given that she wrote as an individual MP?"

Olivia Chow has issued a statement condemning this ludicrous act by Kenney  and its posted on the front page of the NDP website.

http://www.ndp.ca/press/harper-government-continues-to-limit-free-speech

"“Harper's Conservatives are wrong to bar MP George Galloway,” said New Democrat Immigration Critic Olivia Chow. “The Minister of Immigration is becoming the ‘Minister of Censorship’. This bunker mentality indicates a government afraid of hearing contradictory points of view." 

Unionist

Excellent! Thank you, Stockholm.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Good statements from both Libby and Olivia. Bravo!

Unionist

Ignatieff deserves to be tortured for his remarks:

Quote:

"I have never in a long life of listening to George Galloway heard a single sentence out of his mouth that I believed," said Ignatieff. "But that's not the issue.

"We let into Canada all kinds of people who say ridiculous and absurd things and Galloway has said his share of ridiculous and absurd things. The issue ... is whether the security services know something about George Galloway that I don't.

"If he's being barred on free-speech grounds, that's an outrage. He can come to Canada and talk rubbish all day long, as far as I'm concerned. If there's a security threat, that's another matter. I've heard no evidence yet that he presents a security threat."

While both Farber and Dimant, low-life thugs that they are, deserve to be barred at the border for their comments. Particularly Farber:

Quote:
"George Galloway enables terrorism. In so doing he puts Canadian civilians at risk and comforts those who fight our soldiers in Afghanistan. The government's decision was the right one from legal, security and moral viewpoints."

Only Galloway shows a  true appreciation for what Canada is about:

Quote:

"All right-thinking Canadians, whether they agree with me over the wisdom of sending troops to Afghanistan or not, will oppose this outrageous decision. On a personal note - for a Scotsman to be barred from Canada is like being told to stay away from the family home.

"This is not something I'm prepared to accept."

We should send Farber, Dimant, and Ignatieff to the U.K. in exchange for Galloway. Perhaps they can grant them honorary earldoms - then render them to the U.S. for imprisonment, like Lord what's-his-face.

 

 

 

sgm

We let into Canada all kinds of people who say ridiculous and absurd things...

 Ignatieff is living proof of the truth of this statement, uttered on the sixth anniversatry of the illegal war of aggression he championed.

 

josh

This is totally outrageous.  Harkens back to the worst of the McCarthy era, where people were kept out for the views.  Maybe, in a role reversal, Galloway can give a speech standing on U.S. soil at the Canadian border, the way Paul Robeson had to give a concert in 1952.

http://tinyurl.com/cjmdpb

 

josh

contrarianna wrote:
It's worth noting that even the Bush government didn't try to stop him talking in the US at the height of the Iraq war. That says volumes about the state of freedom under this Harper government. 

Ouch.

 

Unionist

sgm wrote:

We let into Canada all kinds of people who say ridiculous and absurd things...

 Ignatieff is living proof of the truth of this statement, uttered on the sixth anniversatry of the illegal war of aggression he championed.

 

Laughing

Bravo, sgm.

 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quote:
Have to say...I am fucking speechless right now.

That would be the point.

When Kenney abused his ministerial role and subjected us to his Christian values of petty vindictiveness and tyranical authority by removing funding for immigrants in an act of collective punishment because a Canadian-Arab leader spoke his mind, there was an eerie quiet. First they silenced the Arabs ... 

 

Sven Sven's picture

This is yet another example of why those who value free speech must remain vigilant in their support for that right...against attacks on that right by both the Right and the Left.

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Red T-shirt

I just hope all those posting here are writing to Kenney and their own MP to express their disgust with this decision.

Ktown

I really hope they keep this fella out of Canada. This shit is strange.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j09Fj0yOM-E

Michelle

This is so totally fucked up that I can't even believe it.  And who knew the CJC would turn into the JDL?  Are they on crack? 

RosaL

Ktown wrote:

I really hope they keep this fella out of Canada. This shit is strange.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j09Fj0yOM-E

Well, I think it was a dumb thing to do but it's certainly no reason to keep him out of Canada. And that's not why they're keeping him out of Canada. In short, it's completely beside the point.   

aka Mycroft
Naci_Sey Naci_Sey's picture

Good report in Al Jazeera English - AJE has quickly become my favourite source for International news. The report includes a quote from Olivia Chow, identified as "a politician from the Opposition New Democratic Party." It quotes nothing from Ignatieff. Smile

Unionist

Red T-shirt wrote:
I just hope all those posting here are writing to Kenney and their own MP to express their disgust with this decision.

Done.

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

FUCK!  This seals the deal for me.  I live in bizarro world.  It's no wonder they recommend meds. 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Naci_Sey wrote:
Good report in Al Jazeera English - AJE has quickly become my favourite source for International news. The report includes a quote from Olivia Chow, identified as "a politician from the Opposition New Democratic Party." It quotes nothing from Ignatieff. Smile

Funny that, because the national public broadcaster on radio spent a lot of time quoting Ignatieff (he of the chameleon principles) bashing Galloway but didn't even indicate there was an NDP to have a statement. I think it says a lot that despite the cuts and layoffs the CBC hasn't reduced coverage of the NDP one single sound bite.

RosaL

Quote:
More than half a century ago Paul Robeson, one of the greatest men who ever lived, was forbidden to enter Canada not by Ottawa but by Washington, which had taken away his passport. But he was still able to transfix a vast crowd of Vancouver's mill hands and miners with a 17-minute telephone concert, culminating in a rendition of the Ballad of Joe Hill. Technology has moved on since then. And so from coast to coast, minister Kenney notwithstanding, I will be heard - one way or another.

More [url=here[/url]">http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/mar/21/george-galloway-cana....

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quote:

The Canadian immigration minister Jason Kenney gazetted in the Sun yesterday morning that I was to be excluded from his country because of my views on Afghanistan. That's the way the rightwing, last-ditch dead-enders of Bushism in Ottawa conduct their business.

He does know what he's up against.

Jingles

I gotta stop reading comments on news sites. It depresses the hell out of me that I'm surrounded by knuckle dragging fascist morons. Good christ, people are 99 44/100 percent pure fucking stupid.

 

Saber

I just got an email about a meeting Sunday to organize against this ban.  I will post the email below.  Hope it's helpful.

 

 

Saber

Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 17:05:53 -0400
Subject: Stop the ban on George Galloway! Defend free speech!
From: stopthewar@sympatico.ca

Please forward widely!

Defend free speech.
Let George Galloway into Canada.
Stop Jason Kenney's attacks on civil liberties.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ITEMS IN THIS EMAIL:
1) Call to action to defend free speech
2) Statement by George Galloway MP on Jason Kenney's ban
3) TCSW media release
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1) Call to action to defend free speech

Defend free speech. Let George Galloway into Canada.
Stop Jason Kenney¹s attack on civil liberties.

Dear friends:

By now you will have heard that Jason Kenney, Canada's Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, has banned British MP George Galloway from entering Canada. Galloway is scheduled to speak in four cities during a pan-Canadian speaking tour from March 30 to April 2.

Kenney's decision to ban Galloway is an unprecedented attack on free speech and on the right to criticize our own government's foreign policy. Kenney's office has publicly stated that Galloway will be banned because of his views on the war in Afghanistan and because he represents a "threat to national security".

The ban follows Kenney's recent attacks on Canadian Arab and Muslim organizations and on Palestine solidarity campaigners for their criticism of Israel's war on Gaza and its treatment of Palestinians. In the last few days, Kenney unilaterally cut funding to the Canadian Arab Federation for its immigrant settlement program. Kenney also recently attacked students organizing Israeli Apartheid Week on campuses across Canada.

Kenney has attempted to silence their voices by accusing them of anti-Semitism, despite the wide range of support and participation of Jewish organizations and individuals in these Palestine solidarity events.

The organizers of Galloway's speaking tour ­ the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, the Ottawa Peace Assembly, and Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights ­ condemn in the strongest terms Kenney's attack on free speech and our right to criticize our government's foreign policy. We call on all supporters of civil liberties to join us in challenging these attacks and in reversing Kenney's ban.

In the next few days, we will launch a pan-Canadian campaign to defend free speech in Canada and to reverse Kenney's ban. We call on you to join in this campaign to ensure Galloway's entry into Canada. We must organize now to ensure that all events where Galloway is scheduled to speak will proceed as planned.

Supporters should continue to buy tickets for these events and to promote them widely.

To that end, we urge you to take the following steps:

1) Contact Jason Kenney's office to condemn the ban and to demand its immediate reversal:

E-mail: minister@cic.gc.ca; kennej@parl.gc.ca
Phone: 613-992-2235 (Ottawa office); 403-225-3480 (Calgary office)
Fax: 613-992-1920 (Ottawa office); 403-225-3504 (Calgary office)

2) Join an emergency city-wide organizing meeting in Toronto to defend free speech and to reverse the ban:

Sunday, March 22
3:00pm to 5:00pm
Ryerson Student Centre
55 Gould Street
Ryerson University

This organizing meeting will take place during the closing session of the Student Assembly against War and Racism, scheduled to take place from Friday, March 20 to Sunday, March 22 in the same location (www.unitedagainstwar.ca). Anti-war delegates from across the country will be present to participate in developing a pan-Canadian campaign to defend free speech and to reverse the ban on Galloway.

3) Are you on facebook? Join the facebook group: Let Him Speak: Allow George Galloway to Speak in Canada:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=62965075809

4) Buy tickets for the Galloway events in Toronto, Mississauga, Montreal and Ottawa.

Help us promote these events. Spread the word widely. Ticket information for each city is available at www.nowar.ca and www.acp-cpa.ca.

5) Forward this e-mail across all your lists to build the biggest response possible.

If Kenney does not reverse his ban, a delegation of Canadian MPs, lawyers, peace campaigners, and civil liberties advocates will travel to the US to escort Galloway across the border on the day of his scheduled arrival to Canada.

We will join with Galloway in publicly defying Kenney's attack on free speech, civil liberties and the peace movement.

Please spread the word about Sunday's meeting. If you are outside Toronto and would like to get involved, please contact us:

Email: stopthewar@sympatico.ca
Web: www.nowar.ca or www.acp-cpa.ca

Campaign materials will be ready following Sunday's organizing meeting in Toronto for local organizers to distribute across the country.

Together, we will defend free speech and civil liberties.

And one way or another, we will bring George Galloway to Canada!

Thank you for your ongoing support.

In peace,
Toronto Coalition to Stop the War
Ottawa Peace Coalition
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights

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