Urgent Galloway update!

March 27, 2009

March 27, 2009

For Immediate Release

Urgent Galloway update

Minister of Censorship Jason Kenney’s decision to ban British MP George Galloway from speaking in Canada has ignited a firestorm of protest across the country. Kenney’s office ­ and the entire Conservative caucus ­ has been bombarded with thousands of e-mails, phone calls and messages of protest. A legal challenge has been launched by Galloway’s legal counsel in Canada, and the media is reporting new developments every day.

The movement to reverse the ban on Galloway is big, and is growing by the minute.

We can defeat Jason Kenney’s ban, but we need your help over the next few days. Please read below and forward this message everywhere!

Here’s how you can help:

1. Promote the Defend Free Speech website: www.defendfreespeech.ca.

This site is the clearinghouse for all update about the campaign and includes documents from the legal challenge, breaking news, ticket information, and action items. Please upload a link of this site to your website, upload it to all Galloway groups on facebook and on your profile, and forward it to all your friends. If you have any news or updates for the website, email info@nowar.ca.

2. Join our next organizing meeting in Toronto.

If you’re not in Toronto, get active with local groups in the Palestine Solidarity movement or the anti-war movement. The Toronto meeting is as follows: Friday, March 27 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor Street West, Toronto (TTC: Spadina). The Toronto meeting will provide updates, distribute new materials, and make plans for weekend actions.

3. Picket Conservative MPs’ offices on Saturday and Sunday.

This weekend, we need to make sure we keep the pressure up. Organize pickets at your local Conservative MP’s office to say you want Jason Kenney to reverse the ban on Galloway. Ask passers-by to sign the petition, distribute leaflets to them, and display free speech placards. All materials ­ petition, leaflets, and placards ­ can be downloaded from www.defendfreespeech.ca. When you’ve filled out the petitions, fax them to Kenney’s offices: 613-992-1920 (Ottawa office) and 403-225-3504 (Calgary office). A picket in Mississauga is already organized for Saturday, March 28 at 2:00pm at the office of Conservative MP Bob Dechert (Mississauga ­ Erindale), 1270 Central Parkway West, Suite 101, Mississauga.

4. Come to federal court on Sunday in Toronto to hear the legal challenge to Jason Kenney¹s ban.

Galloway’s legal team was informed that the hearing will be open to the public, so we need to pack out the courtroom to show how much opposition there is to Kenney’s attacks on free speech. The hearing will take place on Sunday, March 29 at 11:00am at the federal courthouse at 180 Queen Street West, Toronto (TTC: Osgoode). This is where we’ll find out if Kenney’s ban on Galloway is overturned. Seating is limited, so show up early! In addition, Toronto organizers will hold a free speech rally outside the courthouse at 10:30am. Bring your flags and banners! And bring lots of people!

5. Keep e-mailing and phoning Jason Kenney’s office.

If you’ve contacted him already, do it again. Tell them you won’t stop until Kenney reverses the ban. Tell them you want a formal response in writing, explaining why Kenney has banned Galloway. If you phone and there’s only voicemail, leave a long message asking that they call you back. Don’t let up the pressure now. Keep phoning, e-mailing, faxing, etc. Kenney’s e-mail addresses are: kennej@parl.gc.ca; kennej7@parl.gc.ca; minister@cic.gc.ca; harpes@parl.gc.ca. His phone numbers are: 613-992-2235 (Ottawa office) and 403-225-3480 (Calgary office). And don’t stop e-mailing the entire Conservative caucus. You can find all their e-mail addresses in one block at www.defendfreespeech.ca.

6. Keep buying tickets.

George Galloway has personally committed to deliver a live, original, interactive speech to each of the four cities where he’s scheduled to speak ­ either live in person or live via broadcast. We want to make sure that he can see how many of us have come to hear his speech and to stand up for our right to hear it. Every empty seat or unsold ticket is a defeat for free speech and a victory for the Minister of Censorship. Buy your tickets now and help us sell out the event. Ticket information for all four events is available at www.defendfreespeech.ca.

7. Broadcast Galloway’s live speech in your town or city.

If you live in a city where Galloway is not scheduled to speak (if you’re not in Toronto, Mississauga, Montreal or Ottawa) but would still like to hear his speech, let us know. We are organizing now to broadcast his Toronto speech on Monday, March 30 to locations all over the country where he is not scheduled to speak. Book a room now that can accommodate large numbers of people, start promoting your event, and get a laptop/LCD projector so you can broadcast his speech live. We’ll send you a private URL to log onto the Toronto broadcast. To get the private URL, please e-mail info@nowar.ca.

8. Join the ban-busting caravan to meet Galloway at the Canada-US border.

Organizers in Montreal are organizing a caravan of MPs, lawyers, anti-war activists and supporters to meet Galloway at the Canada-US border on the day he is scheduled to enter Canada. If we reverse the ban, we’ll bring him across. If we don’t reverse the ban, we’ll hold a solidarity rally on the Canadian side while a delegation of MPs and lawyers meet Galloway in the US. Galloway will address the Canadian rally by phone (with sound amplification).

Here’s the call-out from Montreal organizers:

On Monday, March 30, Montreal organizers for the Galloway speaking tour (SPHR) are
calling for a mass presence at the Canadian-US border in Lacolle, Quebec to support Canadian and Quebec MPs and MNAs who plan to escort Galloway into Canada, if the ban is reversed.

A solidarity caravan will leave from Montreal on Monday morning. Please show up by 9:30am at Carre Cabot, on Ste. Catherine and Atwater, corner of rue Lambert Closse (across from the Pepsi Forum). There will be buses. If you have a car, we need you to help caravan people there to arrive by 12:00pm (noon).

If you have a car, please let us know how many people you can take. If you need a ride, please let us know how many seats you need. E-mail us at Galloway.Canada@gmail.com.

9. Don¹t let Kenney silence anti-war voices! Demonstrate on April 4.

The Canadian Peace Alliance and Le Collectif Échec à la guerre have called a pan-Canadian day of action for Saturday, April 4 to protest the 60th anniversary of NATO and to bring Canadian troops home from Afghanistan. Now that Kenney has expanded his attacks to the peace movement and our right to free speech, it’s even more important to be in the streets. Tell Kenney that we won’t be silenced! If Kenney doesn’t overturn his ban on Galloway, join us on April 4 to demand that Kenney be fired from his job. For more information, please visit www.acp-cpa.ca.


March 7, 2009

Mar 13-14, 2009, at the U of T

Join us for a teach-in on nuclear energy in Ontario. What are the concerns surrounding nuclear energy, and what are the alternatives?

Registration is now live! To register go to http://nuketeachin.eventbrite.com

On the evening of Friday March 13 at 7:00 p.m. there will a screening of the film Battle of Chernobyl. Earth Sciences Auditorium (ES 1050), U of T. For a description of the movie see http://icarusfilms.com/new2007/batt.html

Workshops will be held all day on Saturday Mar. 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Kofffler Centre, Room 108, U of T. The workshop on “What’s the Connection Between Nuclear Power and Nuclear Weapons?” takes place from 11 am to noon.

This conference will provide valuable information on the cost, the health effects, the ethical considerations, and the effectiveness of nuclear energy s compared to alternatives (e.g. renewable energy sources).

$25 – or pay-what-you-can. Free for U of T students.

Speakers include:

– Jack Gibbons, Ontario Clearn Air Alliance
– Dave Martin, Greenpeace
– Shawn-Patrick Stensil, Greenpeace
– Dr. Dorothy Goldin-Rosenberg, OISE
– Cherise Burda, Pembina
– Keith Stewart, World Wildlife Fund
– Greg Allen
– Phyllis Creighton, Veterans Against Nuclear Arms
– Helen Chilas, Canadian Voice Of Women for Peace
– Vinay Jindal, Physicians for Global Survival
– Jim Elve, Nanticoke
– John Morand, Port Hope
– Norm Rubin, Energy Probe
– Jos Higginson
And many more.

Sponsored by:
Ontario Clean Air Alliance, Greenpeace, University of Toronto Students Union, Students Against Climate Change, Veterans Against Nuclear Arms, Hiroshima Day Coalition, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, and Physicians for Global Survival.

Want more background info? Check out http://www.renewableisdoable.ca

Register now: http://nuketeachin.eventbrite.com

For more info: nuketeachin@yahoo.ca

McMaster University Tar Sands conference

March 7, 2009

Faces of Resistance: The Future of the Tar Sands and You

Sunday, March 15th, 2009


Third Floor, McMaster University Student Centre

McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario

Faces of Resistance is a day-long conference bringing together diverse groups opposed to the Alberta Tar Sands. We are combining the voices of citizens, labourers, environmentalists, indigenous communities, youth, political activists, and non-humans to learn about Tar Sands resistance and envision how to transition towards a just and sustainable society.

With workshops and speakers aimed at making the issue of the tar sands real for people in this region, we will explore strategies for collaborative resistance and alternatives. In partnership with the Polaris Institute and MacGreen we are inviting Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, the Sierra Youth Coalition, labour organizations from across Canada, representatives of impacted communities, artists, youth activists and politicians to share their insights, experiences, and ideas.

Guest speakers include Gordon Laxer, a political economist from the University of Alberta and founder of the Parkland Institute, Dave Martin, energy campaigner for Greenpeace Canada and Clayton Thomas-Muller, the tar sands campaigner for the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN).

Invite your political representatives!

Sliding scale admission fee: $5-$20.

No one will be turned away due to lack of funds. Register online by March 1st, for a reduced fee at: www.facesofresistance.ca

The Faces of Resistance Coalition is committed to environmental justice and anti-oppression politics. We are interested in creating a space where dialogue and collaboration is fostered as we work towards a just and sustainable future. Join us!

If you are unable to come, but still want to support this event, we welcome donations from individuals and on behalf of organizations. We would be happy to acknowledge all those who contribute in our programme, and for donations that exceed $50, we can offer to post your logo and provide a link to your organization on our website.

Celebrate Canadian Landmine Action Week: Feb 23-Mar 1!

February 24, 2009

Canadian Landmine Action Week is fast approaching!

It’s that time of year again!  The 10th annual Canadian Landmine Action Week (CLAW) will take place from February 23rd-March 1st, 2009.

In the past, the participation of our supporters during CLAW has helped reinforce the Canadian public’s and government’s commitment to realizing a world free of landmines and cluster bombs.  We would like to thank you for your continued support and ask you to join us – virtually or in person – in Canadian Landmine Action Week activities!

Ten years ago on March 1st, the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty became international humanitarian law! Last December, the work of Canadians, concerned civil society groups, as well as supportive governments around the world, resulted in the newly created Convention on Cluster Munitions. Together, these international treaties outline state obligations on these indiscriminate weapons, and affirm the global community’s commitment to end the suffering they create. From words to concrete action, the fulfillment of these goals is becoming a reality. As Canadians, we have played a fundamental role in clearing the dangerous and devastating path left by these weapons.

Despite these achievements, as you are well aware, there is still much to be done. Canadian Landmine Action Week (CLAW) 2009 (February 23 – March 1, 2009) is the time to reinforce Canada’s commitment to the safety of civilians around the world! It is our chance to let the world know that we want to see the removal of all barriers inhibiting the full realization of a world free of landmines and cluster bombs – the barriers are real and their consequences are lethal.

There are MANY ways you can participate – click here to find out how!

Read full story >>

MAC launches BOMBS AWAY! button drive!

BOMBS AWAY! logoDuring Canadian Landmine Action Week (CLAW), MAC will be launching our BOMBS AWAY! lapel button drive!

The new BOMBS AWAY! buttons are an ideal fundraising tool – these eye-catching accessories are a great way to raise funds in schools, workplaces or in your community. Perfect incentive for a casual or hat day! Sell them by donation, and use them as an opportunity to tell people about the issues of cluster bombs and landmines.

Although we are launching the campaign during CLAW, the button drive will last for the rest of the year. If you or your group are interested in this campaign for CLAW or later on, please email claw@minesactioncanada.org for more information or call 613 241 3777!

Ontario Health Coalition: Important Town Hall Meetings

February 24, 2009
Save Public Medicare! Information

We need your help to STOP THE HOSPITAL CUTS across ONTARIO.
If you live in the area, please come to one of the following Town Hall Meetings and forward this info widely. We are organizing Town Hall meetings across Ontario and we’ll be sending a province wide list shortly:

Hamilton Health Coalition-Monday, February 23rd,7pm @Michelangelo’s Banquet Centre, 1555 Upper Ottawa Street

Sarnia-Lambton Helath Coaltion- Tuesday, February 24th, 7pm @Victoria Playhouse Petrolia, 411 Greenfield-Petrolia

Windsor Essex Health Coalition-Wednesday, February 25, 7pm @CAW Local 2458/195 Hall, 3400 Somme Ave, Windsor

Trenton-Thursday,February 26th Batawa Community Centre Gd Stn Main, Belleville K8N 4Z8,

Your presence – and a giant turnout – will help send a message that the government cannot ignore. In bad economic times, we need our community hospitals more than ever.

Recent cuts announced:
Emergency room closing -McMaster; $21 million cut from budget – Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS); 400 nurses and staff cut – HHS & St. Joseph’s Healthcare; Hospitals in Fort Erie and Port Colborne are also being closed, this will strain Hamilton health care even further

Blue Water Health (Sarnia and Charlotte Eleanor Engleheart Site) – Proposed closure of Petrolia’s emergency room and other services

Windsor Regional Hospital- cuts to  neonatal intensive care beds, the pain clinic, respiratory therapy, x-ray services; Windsor Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital-This hospital also faces a deficit and is so over capacity that surgeries had to be canceled this fall due to a lack of beds.

Massive cuts to hospital beds in Trenton

The McGuinty government is not giving hospitals the funding they need. In 2008, half of Ontario’s hospitals faced deficits due to chronic underfunding by the McGuinty  government. That  figure is expected to grow to more than 70% of our hospitals in 2009. The government is forcing hospitals to eliminate their deficits – caused by government underfunding, even if  it means cuts to needed patient services.

Ontario’s hospitals are funded less than anywhere else in the country — $100 less per person or $1.2 billion less across the province. They have been cut and restructured for 15 years already. The current cuts will lead to worse access, longer waits and poorer quality of care. Please join us in raising our deep concerns about the impact of these cuts on our access to care.

Your presence matters — we need a show of strength.
Please spread the word as far as you can — ALL ARE WELCOME.

Give a gift for Valentine’s Day that supports women worldwide

February 6, 2009

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner!

Now is the perfect time to show your appreciation for all those people who are special to you.

Give a gift of love. Give a gift from MADRE.

Show your love with a gift from MADRE. Choose from dozens of beautiful, hand-crafted items from around the world.

Shop your beliefs at MADRE’s Webstore.

Let us send your friends and loved ones a Valentine’s Day card that was hand-made from natural materials by women in Colombia.

Make a donation to MADRE in their honor.

MADRE: Demanding Rights, Resources & Results for Women Worldwide


Feb 14: 4th Annual Rally for Our Missing Sisters

February 5, 2009

Stop impunity around the disappearances and murders of Indigenous women on Turtle Island!

When: Saturday February 14, 2009 at noon
Where: TO Police Headquarters at 40 College St. (near Bay St)

Rally and march to the Coroner’s office (26 Grenville St), followed by a
gathering with food at U of Tâ’s Centre for Women and Trans People (563 Spadina Ave).

Hundreds of Indigenous women have been murdered or have gone missing over the last 30 years.  We come together in defense of our lives and to demonstrate the complicity of the state and its institutions (police, RCMP, coroners’ offices and the courts) in the ongoing genocide of Indigenous peoples.

In addition to the Toronto rally and march, similar events will be occurring in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Sudbury, and London, ON.

The February 14 rally in Toronto is being organized by No More Silence (NMS).   NMS aims to develop an inter/national network to support the work being done by activists, academics, researchers, agencies and communities to stop the murders and disappearances of Indigenous women.  To get involved or endorse the event email us at nomoresilence@riseup.net.

The Toronto event is endorsed by CUPE-SCFP; Trans Feminist Action Caucus, CUPE 3903; Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP); Centre for Women and Trans People, University of Toronto; Centre for Women and Trans People, York University; Canadian Chiapanecas Justice for Women; No One Is Illegal Toronto (NOII); For Women’s Autonomy, Rights and Dignity (FORWARD); Toronto Haiti Action Committee.