Hear George Galloway Speak at a live webcast, Monday, March 30

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Resisting War from Gaza to Kandahar

British MP George Galloway, prevented from entering Canada by Immigration Minister  Jason Kenney because of his leadership in  delivering humanitarian aid to the besieged  people of Gaza, will attempt to enter Canada on Monday.

Whether he is permitted to enter the country or not, he will give a speech that will be broadcast  on the Internet and viewed in halls across Canada. His speech is entitled “Resisting War from Gaza to Kandahar.”

Peace Alliance Winnipeg invites you to view his speech, live, on Monday.

Where: Room 3M71 (Manitoba Hall), University of Winnipeg
Time: 6:00 p.m. (Please arrive before 6:00.)
Date: Monday, March 30, 2009
Admission: Free. All are welcome.
Sponsor: Peace Alliance Winnipeg

On March 19, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney 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 a serious attack on free speech. Kenney’s office has publicly stated that Galloway will be banned because of his opposition to the war in Afghanistan and because he represents a “threat to national security”.

In the letter informing Mr. Galloway that he would not be permitted to enter Canada, he was told “There are reasonable grounds to believe you have provided financial support for Hamas. Specifically, we have information that indicates you organized a convoy worth over one million British pounds in aid and vehicles, and personally donated vehicles and financing to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya. Your material support for this organization makes you inadmissable to Canada pursuant to paragraph 34(1)(c) and paragraph 34(1)(f) of the IRPA.”

Whether the Government of Canada likes it or not, Prime Minister Haniya is the democratically elected head of the Palestinian people. On January 25, 2006, elections were held for the Palestinian Legislative Council, the legislature of the Palestinian National Authority. Hamas won the election, with 74 seats out of 132 available seats.

The Israeli invasion of Gaza (Operation Cast Lead), that began Dec. 27, 2008, left about 1400 Palestinians dead, including 437 children under the age of 16, and thousands more wounded.

According to Wikipedia: “The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that the Gaza strip humanitarian crisis is significant and should not be understated. It also states that the situation is a “human dignity crisis” in the Gaza strip, entailing “a massive destruction of livelihoods and a significant deterioration of infrastructure and basic services”. Fear and panic are widespread; 80 percent of the population cannot support themselves and are dependent on humanitarian assistance. The International Red Cross said the situation was “intolerable” and a “full blown humanitarian crisis.” The importation of necessary food and supplies continues to be blocked even after the respective ceasefires. According to the World Food Programme, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation and Palestinian officials, between 35% and 60% of the agriculture industry has been wrecked. Extensive damage has occurred to water sources, greenhouses, and farmland. It is estimated that 60% of the agricultural land in the north of the Strip may no longer be usable. More than 50,800 Gazans were left homeless. Extensive destruction was caused to commercial enterprises and to public infrastructure. According to Palestinian industrialists, 219 factories were destroyed or severely damaged during the Israeli military operation. They accounted as part of the three per cent of industrial capacity that was operating after the Israeli blockade was imposed, which mostly was destroyed during the operation.”

Delivering humanitarian aid in the aftermath of this horrendous invasion is hardly a terrorist act.

Take Action

The Canadian Peace Alliance and Defend Free Speech web sites contain numerous suggestions on what you can do to defend free speech in Canada. Don’t delay.

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