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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com.
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.