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.


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:
Hamilton
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

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

Windsor
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.

Trenton
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.


Online Bailout Outrage Jumps to Streets, and Into Lawmakers’ Inboxes

September 25, 2008

An e-mail that began as a rallying cry from a lone journalist to an influential circle of friends to protest the U.S. government bailout of Wall Street has ignited a national day of street protests. Some demonstrators plan to dump their rubbish in front of the bronze bull sculpture near Wall Street in downtown Manhattan Thursday.

“People are going to bring their own personal junk that they think is worth as much as the junk financial instruments that the government is proposing to buy from the Wall Street banks,” says Andrew Boyd, an activist and freelance online-video artist for nonprofit groups in Manhattan. “We’re hoping that people show up with their 8-track cassette collections, their old Spice Girl CDs, their surf boards that got bit by sharks and old Enron stock certificates.”

Boyd is just one of thousands of Americans from all over the political spectrum who the Bush Administration has angered with its vague proposal to hand $700 billion over to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to restore U.S. financial markets’ health. That anger has manifested itself online through e-mail, web sites and other online chatter, with one site, BuyMyShitPile.com, going rapidly viral this week. The site, a parody of the dire financial situation, is what is inspiring the self-organizing group of activists to show up in downtown Manhattan Thursday evening with all their junk. They hope to make their simmering fury palpable to Wall Streeters getting off work.

… Read more (Wired Blog Network)

Protest the Bailout Today
There are more than 200 events planned coast to coast for today, September 25, protesting the Bush Administration’s proposed bailout.  Find an event near you and contact your elected reps and implore them to reject a plan that bails out Wall Street but not Main Street.


Sign Up for Fall 2008 Caravan to End Canadian Involvement in Torture, Southern Ontario, October 17-22, 2008

September 18, 2008

Join the Fall 2008 Caravan to End Canadian Involvement in Torture, Southern Ontario, October 17-22, 2008

Join a nonviolent community on wheels for part or all of our journey as we travel through dozens of communities in a large triangular area — Toronto to Kitchener-Waterloo to London (via Punkeydoodle’s Corners), then through Tillsonburg, Simcoe and Welland, up through Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Hamilton and Mississauga — October 17-22.

There will be lots of street theatre, dialogue, public education, and more as we expose and challenge the many ways in which the Canadian government is increasingly involved, both directly and indirectly, in policies and practices that result in the torture of human beings.

Among the many participants will be three Canadians tortured overseas with Canadian government complicity: Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad El Maati, and Muayyed Nureddin. They will be continuing to press for full disclosure of the role Canadian officials played in their detention, interrogation, and torture. An inquiry tasked with looking into their cases has barred them, their lawyers, the press, and the public from entry, and has been held in complete secrecy.

Unable to attend the Caravan will be Syrian refugee Hassan Almrei, who during the caravan will be marking seven years of detention without charge (almost all of it in solitary confinement) because of secret “allegations” neither he nor his lawyers are allowed to challenge under the so-called security certificate regime. He, like the others held under the certificates — Mahmoud Jaballah, Mohammad Mahjoub, Mohamed Harkat, and Adil Charkaoui — is fighting deportation to torture.

They represent but a handful of the many human rights violations the Canadian government continues to engage in.

To find out more background information, view a three-minute youtube piece from the spring caravan, and learn how to get involved, please go to this site:
http://homesnotbombs.blogspot.com/2008/08/move-against-torture.html

If you plan on taking part in part or all of the caravan, please let us know as soon as possible so we can arrange transportation, billeting, and more: tasc@web.ca, (416) 651-5800

If you cannot take part but would like to contribute to our costs, cheques can be made out to Homes not Bombs and mailed to PO Box 73620, 509 St. Clair Ave. West, Toronto, ON M6C 1C0 (put caravan in memo portion of cheque)

Thanks!

Stop Canadian Involvement in Torture
A fully-realized subsidiary of the Homes not Bombs direct action network


Green Party is in thanks to Canadian people-power!

September 10, 2008

Due to the massive show of support by Canadians — including grassroots New Democrats — the Conservative Party and the New Democratic party ended their opposition to having Green Party Leader Elizabeth May included in the nationally televised candidates’ debates.

I’d like to thank all those Canadians and fellow bloggers who adamantly voiced their outrage at the exclusive, misogynist, chauvinistic stance of Harper, Layton and the media consortium.

This shows us that people-power and democracy are still alive and well in Canada!

“I want to express my gratitude for the tens of thousands of Canadians who responded with outrage to the decision to bar the Green Party out of the Leaders’ debates, said Elizabeth May.

NDP Leader Jack Layton and minutes later Conservative Leader Stephen Harper withdrew threats to boycott.


Demand Democratic Debates in Canada!

September 8, 2008

The continuing exclusion of the Green Party from the leaders’ debates during general elections is a blatant subversion of democracy in Canada.

I urge all Canadians who care about our democratic process — regardless of party affiliations — to demand democratic debates by signing the petition at the link below and pass it along to friends to do likewise.  Fellow bloggers, I ask that you please put this link on your sites.

http://demanddemocraticdebates.ca/petition.html.