March 21, 2009

Protest Jason Kenney's decision to bar George Galloway from 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:

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

E-mail: ;
Phone: 613-992-2235 (Ottawa office); 403-225-3480 (Calgary office)
Fax: 613-992-1920 (Ottawa office); 403-225-3504 (Calgary office)

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