George Galloway barred from entering Canada for anti-war views

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Saber

Defend free speech.

Let George Galloway into Canada.
Stop Jason Kenney's attacks on civil liberties.
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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
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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

 

expathos expathos's picture

What has happened to my country?

I was going to write something up for Atlantic Free Press this morning on Galloway, but I am just too morose this morning to string together something that this topic deserves.

Being away for so long - I have only spent a few years in Canada since 1987 - and lived mainly overseas, I missed this transition to conservatism for the greater part.

I knew things were changing when I came home after one long trip and dad was reading the Globe and Mail. Apparently it was the last vestige of progressive rhetoric in the country. It was a paper he would not wipe his ass with ten years earlier.

How things change. 'Hippie-ish' west coast parents... lots of land, lots of peace - There was a wonderful blend of socio-anarchism in my house - enough leftie values to understand the collective and how we had to share as humans and enough anarchy to understand that government should not be telling people what to read, watch, or what to listen too... along with a healthy resistance to idea of collectivism in the form 1984 or Brave New World... we lived a kind of golden centre between despotism and anarchy.

I grew up Canadian - and was kinda' proud of it - in a quiet, personal, modest way.

But I really feel shocked today. And ashamed in a way. What has happened to my country?

Galloway? Fuck them. Fuck THEM.

Sorry I am really reconsidering the idea of moving my Dutch wife and daughters back to Canada. We have been thinking about if for a couple of years - moving from Holland back to Canada... for the fresh air, the green that this flat, packed country just does not have. Plus my family whom I miss terribly at times.

But I refuse to move anywhere where conservative values fuel the government and media - those of fear and not love, those of greed and not share, those of hate and not love.

Why oh why is my home, my birthhome... the abode of my cousins and uncles and aunts and grandparents and nieces and nephews... going backwards!? I actually feel pain thinking about it.

The rejection of Galloway is a watershed moment for me.

There's a fight that needs to be fought... I have been so wrapped up in battling conservatism in the US via www.freepressgroup.eu and all the writers we work with, and the Right here in Holland with my vote that I have left Canada in the wake over the past decade thinking it could NEVER possibly... really really, become driven on conservative values.

Today, I am going to start paying attention to what's happening at 'home' and that I mean Canada. And my start is participating in Rabble and Babble.

While everyone around the globe in the progressive movement has been watching in horror eight years of neocon, conservative hell in the USA for eight years, Canada has suffered some kind of coup - media, government... for sure, but I pray not our national psyche.

Richard Kastelein
Canadian Expatriate
Groningen, Netherlands
www.expathos.com
www.freepressgroup.eu

Cueball Cueball's picture

I know. Its all over the European net.

Funnily enough, my wife and I were just watching "Missing" last night. Sometimes thing happen fast.

Slumberjack

It'd be nice to see a statement from the leader of the NDP.

The sooner this rotten corpse of a government is buried, and the sooner this puss filled boil of an Immigration minister is lanced, the better.  With the recent Iggy coalition dealings still a little raw, I told the NDP to bugger off last week when they phoned for donations.  Sigh, it seems I'll have to call them back.

Cueball Cueball's picture

You think he has the guts? Doubt it.

Slumberjack

No, I don't, he's a spineless collaborator IMV.  Do you have another alternative?

Cueball Cueball's picture

Lets see if he stands up to be counted when it counts.

 

Michelle

Libby Davies (House Leader) and Olivia Chow (Immigration Critic) have condemned the decision in pretty strong terms.  As Immigration Critic, that's likely why it fell to Chow to make the statement.  I don't think you can blame the NDP for being asleep at the wheel on this one.

Welcome to babble, Richard!

Cueball Cueball's picture

No having the leader of the party make the statement is a devaluation of the importance of the issue.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

I agree. Ignatieff, as slimy as the chameleon of principles may be, at least spoke. Where is Layton?

Skinny Dipper

If Mr. Galloway cannot get into Canada, he can go close to Standstead, Quebec and stand on the Vermont side of the border while people can watch him on either side of the Canada-US border.  I was going to suggest some place along the Ontario-US border.  Unfortunately, it's mostly rivers and lakes except for one small spot in northwestern Ontario and Minnesota where the mosquitos rule.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I looked for this story on Newman's 'Politics' and The National last night - nothing.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

You mean a CBC national news program missed it? Shocking. I listened to a member of CAF get grilled on CBC radio the other day. Literally grilled. It seems calling a red neck, bigotted, and mean little fuck engaged in a collective punishment of immigrants a professional whore, which he is, is a far worse crime to the CBC than using one's authority to collectively punish immigrants for someone else's use of speech. I have no remaining respect for the CBC.

RosaL

Then there was [url=http://www.codepink4peace.org/article.php?id=3502] the code pink incident[/url].

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

RosaL wrote:
Then there was [url=http://www.codepink4peace.org/article.php?id=3502] the code pink incident[/url].

From the above link (October 2007): "Four members of the Canadian Parliament--Peggy Nash, Libby Davies, Paul Dewar and Peter Julian-- expressed outrage that the peace activists were barred from Canada and vow to change this policy."

Two years ago. From what happened to Galloway, it looks like that policy is still intact. Frown

Michelle

I think it would be interesting to have a discussion (in another thread) about the "great man" or "strong leader" political culture we have, where no political statement counts unless it comes directly from the leader.  Of course, the NDP has cashed in on this attitude with their last election theme (Strong Leader Me Tarzan You Jane), but that doesn't mean we have to buy into it when we see a leader delegating authority and important statements to the appropriate critics in his party.  I don't really have a problem with the white male leader of the NDP sharing the spotlight on important issues with two women (one lesbian, one woman of colour) in his caucus.  They said the appropriate things and relayed the NDP's position on the matter.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Thems the facts. He's the leader. That's the game. Layton doesn't want to touch it, that is the point, otherwise he would not have deffered. I don't believe for a second that any of these other conisderations played any role in this matter. If the issue were related to any of those things, then I might agree. But: It's a matter of convenience for "leaders" that they have people who can run flack for them, and in this case its Chow, clearly. 

You put it best when you said: "As Immigration Critic, that's likely why it (the Hot potato) fell to Chow to make the statement."

The NDP has made a huge point of focussing on Layton as leader for branding, and household name recognition -- this fact alone shows how the NDP is ranking this.

Unionist

Cueball has a compelling point.

Fleabitn2

Canada Can't Muzzle Me

To ban me from the country for my views on Afghanistan is absurd, hypocritical, and in vain

by George Galloway

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.....

 

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/03/21-3

remind remind's picture

The only point Cue has is that he is sharpening his axe.

The strong leader meme is being dismantled within the NDP, if you look at the website,  the "Jack Layton's NDP" banner is gone.  The new one is not much better mind you, but it is an improvement.

If the NDP are serious about being opposition or government they need to have higher profile NDP's,  say nothing of the fact that it is typical for NDP critics to make the public comments, such as the case with DAWN BLACK. Remember your angst at her unionist?

Iggy making comments means 2 things, he does not want to share the spotlight, and they are trying to get Canadians to "know" him.

The NDP it seems, for some, just cannot dance fast and far enough.

 

 

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

Sure.

Fleabitn2 wrote:

Canada Can't Muzzle Me

To ban me from the country for my views on Afghanistan is absurd, hypocritical, and in vain

by George Galloway

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.....

 

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/03/21-3

What I would like to see is if Kenney can wear a cat suit and purr like a kitty cat on national TV, and still get elected in his riding.

remind remind's picture

Of course he can,  and will, war mongering racists, and misogynists are bred there, and others move to join them, kinda like ethnic enclaves ya know.

Again, I state it is time people started picketing media outlets in Canada. Demanding truthful unbiased reporting. All reporters pulling their usual non-reporting shit should be heckled and jeered publically and their offices picketed endlessly. As frankly, the corporate media in this country are just as  complicit, if not more.

Sponsors and companies should be boycotted and picketed too.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Michelle wrote:
I think it would be interesting to have a discussion (in another thread) about the "great man" or "strong leader" political culture we have, where no political statement counts unless it comes directly from the leader.  Of course, the NDP has cashed in on this attitude with their last election theme (Strong Leader Me Tarzan You Jane), but that doesn't mean we have to buy into it when we see a leader delegating authority and important statements to the appropriate critics in his party.  I don't really have a problem with the white male leader of the NDP sharing the spotlight on important issues with two women (one lesbian, one woman of colour) in his caucus.  They said the appropriate things and relayed the NDP's position on the matter.

If this was always the case, I would say "right on!" But when it is the economy or trade or autos I notice it is most often Layton who is doing the talking. 

 

Slumberjack

More likely, he leaves it to others in these situations, so as not to be put into the position of making uncomfortable references to the main opposition party's lacklustre statement on Galloway's ban.  Makes it easier later on to be out in front on future coalition discussions if the opportunity arises again, as it soon will with the economic report card.

remind remind's picture

Pffft!

Unionist

remind wrote:

If the NDP are serious about being opposition or government they need to have higher profile NDP's,  say nothing of the fact that it is typical for NDP critics to make the public comments, such as the case with DAWN BLACK. Remember your angst at her unionist?

Yes, remind, and I always gave Jack the benefit of the doubt, that she did not fully reflect his position on Afghanistan. Though Jack waffled, he never went as far as she did. That's why, overall, I have always praised the party's position on Afghanistan since September 2006 (before that, of course, I scorned and condemned it in these pages for cowardice and collaboration). And I always warned supporters that they should not follow the line of such as Black and (later) Dewar. As I said, Jack had my support throughout on this issue, because he needed everyone's encouragement to stick to the convention decision.

In this case, I repeat what I said. Davies and Chow deserve high praise for their interventions. Ignatieff is a disgusting creep, but he did manage to say two or three words against the government censoring Galloway. Now that he has done so, I think Jack must speak out as well. Consider it a protocol thing. This is not a minor matter. It is about what kind of society we want to build and protect.

 

Slumberjack

Exactly.  That nicely summarizes my view of Layton's absent leadership on too many important issues, and his cabal of advisors for that matter.  I didn't care much for the cult of his pesonality either, with his image splattered on surfaces everywhere, but it doesn't mean they need to keep him muted altogether.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Anyway. Chow said what needed to be said. But with the leadership out to lunch its up to us again.

Slumberjack

Yes, the half full glass.  Better than nothing, which is Ignatieff personified.

N.R.KISSED

Surprisingly though, the majority of posts on the CBC and Toronto Star websites have been supportive of Galloway and critical of Kenny and the conservatives.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Not suprising at all. People are not so stupid as to see this for what it is. The reason that there are no rebutals, is because only dullards like Weinstien would bother to argue it.

N.R.KISSED

I was surprised because frequently comments posted on those sites do indeed suggest that people are that stupid

Skinny Dipper

Political parties will usually have someone else other than their leaders say negative comments.  The leaders usually try to stick with the positive comments.  This is probably one reason why Olivia Chow is handling the Galloway-Kenny issue instead of Jack Layton.  If Layton does respond, he will probably focus his thoughts on Harper.  Leaders of parties don't attack the subordinates of another party unless he or she can take a jab at the opposing party leader.

remind remind's picture

Those who believe in social justice, not all Cons and Liberals are fascists.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

That fact that Harper leads a government hostile to independent thought and that gives full rein to emerging little fascists like Kenney and his brown shirted minion provides Layton with plenty of ammunition to toss at Harper. The problem for Layton is that Galloway is an outspoken radical despised by Conservatives and spineless Liberals alike and whose votes is it Layton has been courting?

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

No? So why do they support parties with leaders like Harper and Ignatieff? Isn't it because they perceive "social justice" as being a threat to their own positions of privilege and entitlement? 

Ktown

I wonder what George thought of this;

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/?pageId=88528

remind remind's picture

Frustrated Mess wrote:
No? So why do they support parties with leaders like Harper and Ignatieff? Isn't it because they perceive "social justice" as being a threat to their own positions of privilege and entitlement? 

No, some just do not yet realize, however they will, when  they go seeking social justice for themselves and receive none.

I truly believe this all will come to rioting, at the very least in the streets. Especially if people do not start actively protesting NOW.

expathos expathos's picture

I just wrote a piece in Atlantic Free Press about this.

 

I welcome any writers that want to help cover Harper's gang and disseminate more information on the net  - please contact me if you are interested for more details. As an English publication based in Holland, we syndicate to Google News and, via Newstex, to Lexis Nexis, Ebsco, and Kindle so our reach is international, varied and quite broad.

Contact me at editor@atlanticfreepress.com

Richard 

crevan crevan's picture

Why all up in arms about Galloway? freedom of speech, Ha! Rabble has smothered freedom of speech from the beginning.

Nobody seems to see the elephant.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Start your own publishing company and you can decide what to publish. You seem like the "free enterprise" type, so you should understand that. Canwest doesn't have to publish my letters, and Rabble doesn't have to publish your crap, or rent out server space just so that you can have the privilage of being an idiot in public.

On the other hand the government doesn't have the right to dictate what people should and should not print, say at events. So, the infringement is actually not on Galloway's right to speak, but on our right to have events and chose who gets to say what.

Or do you want me forming a government, where I get to decide wether or not Bibi Netanyahu gets to visit in Canada, and say things at private events, or not, or wether you can reprint his bullshit?

It's clear "the elephant"  you are speaking about is in your head, and it is obviously putting a lot of preassure on your brain.

Unionist

crevan wrote:

Why all up in arms about Galloway? freedom of speech, Ha! Rabble has smothered freedom of speech from the beginning.

Nobody seems to see the elephant.

Tusk, tusk.

 

lagatta

???

This sounds very, very confused.

I am not an unmitigated fan of Gorgeous George. Viva Palestina was heroic and wonderful, but he is also a woman-hating slime.

That said, Kenney and company aren't opposing him because he thinks women should be sex slaves; I'm sure they go along with that sentiment.

crevan crevan's picture

Rabble doesn't have to publish your crap. - OK.

Galloway's right to speak - I am all for Galloway's right to speak been watching him for years.

Bibu Netanyahu gets to visit university campuses in Canada, or not - Bibu Netanyahu is racist scum, but still should be allowed to speak.

Canwest doesn't have to publish my letters - Canwest would never publish me, or anybody who criticizes Israel.

So, "the elephant" is in your head, and it is obviously putting a lot of pressure on your brain. - No its in the room.

You see my understanding of "freedom of speech" and Rabbles may conflict ie: right wing (wrong), left wing (right). I believe in letting it be said and debuting it, no need to ban it.

Cueball Cueball's picture

crevan wrote:

Rabble doesn't have to publish your crap. - OK.

Galloway's right to speak - I am all for Galloway's right to speak been watching him for years.

Bibu Netanyahu gets to visit university campuses in Canada, or not - Bibu Netanyahu is racist scum, but still should be allowed to speak.

Canwest doesn't have to publish my letters - Canwest would never publish me, or anybody who criticizes Israel.

So, "the elephant" is in your head, and it is obviously putting a lot of pressure on your brain. - No its in the room.

You see my understanding of "freedom of speech" and Rabbles may conflict ie: right wing (wrong), left wing (right). I believe in letting it be said and debuting it, no need to ban it.

No it is in your head. I will open a door for you. Rabble.ca can publishe anything it wants because it is a private institution. The government is not a private institution, therefore they do not have the right to determine what you read, what you think, or who go to see at meetings, because theoretically at least, they represent you. You, by right, in the political sense have (theoretically speaking) "ownership" over the vehicle of expression.

Its the difference between what is private and what is public. And the issue of freedom of speech relates to public, not private, except in as much as private citizens have the right to express themselves without government interference, and that includes the right of publishers to censor their content, for whatever reason they choose.

I am under no obligation, for example, to go to a party and parot what you want me to say, just to be nice to you, or because you ask me to. Such is not an infringement on your right to freedom of speech, but actually an assertion of my freedom of speech to not say things you want me to say.

Cueball Cueball's picture

lagatta wrote:
??? This sounds very, very confused. I am not an unmitigated fan of Gorgeous George. Viva Palestina was heroic and wonderful, but he is also a woman-hating slime. That said, Kenney and company aren't opposing him because he thinks women should be sex slaves; I'm sure they go along with that sentiment.

Where is the GG sex slaves quote. Rather, I saw Galloway in a blue skin tight suit pretending he was a cat for his faux mistress. Purring and all. Quite the opposite of what you describe.

Is this just some kind of extrapolated "theory" inferred through an objective analysis of what he choses not to explicitly denounce?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I hope Galloway does take this to court - I'd love to see the SCC slap down the Cons. Laughing

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

double post

crevan crevan's picture

Wow, round about way of saying Rabble does not support freedom of speech.

(And the issue of freedom of speech relates to public, not private, except in as much as private citizens have the right to express themselves without government interference, and that includes the right of publishers to censor their content, for whatever reason they choose.)

So I rest my case Rabble does not support free speech.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Sure it does. It insists on the freedom to define its own content, without the undues influence of others.

 We have a conversation. You say what you want to say. I say what I want to say. On what grounds am I as a private individual required to say what you want me to say?

None.

In fact, your insistance that Rabble should publish any crap you want, just because you say so, is an infringement of Rabble's right of freedom of speech.

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