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Rallies in defence of free speech as George Galloway appeals ban in Toronto court today

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Today the Federal Court of Canada will be hearling arguments by lawyers representing British MP George Galloway and the organizers of his 2009 speaking tour who are challenging Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney's decision to ban Galloway from Canada. Galloway's legal team will be joined by lawyers representing the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) which has been granted leave to intervene in the case.

The Defend Free Speech Campaign came together in March 2009 in response to the decision by Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney to ban British MP George Galloway from Canada. They describe themselves as a pan-Canadian, non-partisan campaign that supports and defends freedom of expression - including the right to hear others - and freedom of association.

Close to 100 free speech and George Galloway supporters rallied outside Federal court this morning in Toronto, as well as a handful of members from the extremist Jewish Defence League, who were present to to support the ban.

Jewish  Defence League support the Galloway ban. Photo by Sandra Ruch

The hearing is open to the general public and media.

Monday, April 26, 2010
Hearing: 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Federal Court Building
180 Queen Street West

rabble expects to have a video and a report on courtroom proceedings later today, and will be tweeting updates from the rally and hearing throughout the day at http://twitter.com/rabbleca

Solidarity rallies will also be held today from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Federal Court Buildings all across Canada.
Federal Court Building, 333 Laurier Avenue West
Federal Court Building, 701 W. George Street
Rallies are also tentatively planned for Montreal, Winnipeg and Edmonton. For more information about local rallies, please visit http://www.defendfreespeech.ca.

rabble.ca broke the story last week of new revelations in the court documents about Minister Jason Kenney's involvement in the ban of the British MP. See further details here:

Court documents put spotlight on minister in banning of British MP
By Cathryn Atkinson, April 19, 2010

National security claim rejected by judge in bid to redact Galloway emails
By Cathryn Atkinson, April 20, 2010

Jason Kenney: Point man for a theocratic state?
By Murray Dobbin, April 21, 2010

George Galloway: leaked papers reveal Canada's torment over banning MP
By Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian, April 21, 2010

And last night the Globe & Mail began reporting on this angle:

How George Galloway was banned in less than two hours

By Cambell Clark The Globe and Mailm April 26, 2010


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