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October 6, 2010

The Canadian Charger welcomes back George Galloway

The Canadian Charger

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In the media circus surrounding former British MP George Galloway's threat to sue Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney - the salient point in most of the corporate media - a couple of important factors are being ignored:

Mr. Galloway was going to speak out against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, in  a planned speaking tour in Canada in 2009; and a recent Canadian Federal Court ruling has made it easier for Canadians to donate to Palestinians in need.

Mr. Galloway began his speech, after receiving a standing ovation from a crowd of about 700, at a downtown Toronto United Church recently, by informing the audience that the judicial process, which paved the way for his entry into Canada, in the wake of a recent court ruling, would form a substantial part of what he had to say.

And for better or worse, he was true to his word, issuing threats to sue Mr. Kenney for slandering him in front of the world, by labelling him a terrorist, in 2009; and subsequently - as Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley's recent 60 page ruling indicates - having a spokesman from Mr. Kenney's office call British newspapers in March 2009, tipping them off that Mr. Galloway would be denied entry to Canada because he supports Hamas. 

“This is a breach of the Canadian Privacy Act,” Mr. Galloway said. “I saw on the front page of the Sun, that I was banned before any Canadian official in London contacted me.  That's a first breach of law.”

With regard to Mr. Kenney's terrorism allegations, Judge Mosley's judgement states that Mr. Kenney claimed that Canadian Immigration officials had reasonable grounds to suspect Mr. Galloway has engaged in terrorism, or is a member of a terrorist organization because he has publicly shown support for Hamas.

Judge Mosley rejected Mr. Kenney's argument because “there is no analysis in the document of Mr. Galloway’s purpose in delivering the aid or analysis of how his purpose would enhance the ability of Hamas to facilitate or carry out a terrorist activity.  Nor is there any apparent consideration whether Galloway, in going to Gaza, was making a political statement in opposition to the blockade rather than expressing support for Hamas.”

In his ruling, Judge Mosley added: “To hold otherwise could ensnare innocent Canadians who make donations to organizations they believe, in good faith, to be engaged in humanitarian works."

Mr. Galloway told the audience that this ruling is important because: “It means the end of a period in which support of the Palestinian people in Canada could be regarded as a crime.”

He said that when he leaves Canada he's headed for Damascus to participate in another convoy headed to Gaza, in a continuing effort to break the blockade of Gaza.

“The U.S. president said the siege is illegal and intolerable and must end. The British Prime Minister David Cameron (who was recently in Gaza) said it's an open-air prison. The only country in the world ready to be a trumpet for the most extreme Israeli government ever, is Canada.”

He added that 1.5 million people are locked in, in Gaza; Eighty percent of these people are unemployed and live on less than a dollar a day; and eighty percent of the residents of Gaza are refugees, some of whom are able to see their former homes being occupied by foreigners.

“The Jenin refugee camp is one square kilometre, with 1,700 families living in it. They're all refugees driven out of Haifa. They can see their old houses, with foreigners from Toronto, London and New York living there. And you wonder why these people are particularly angry. They've been living in a rat-infested hobble for 62 years, in sight of their own homes.” 

And what about the war – the one in Afghanistan? With the issue of whether or not war resisters should be welcomed to Canada, heating up, - including a private members bill in parliament last week – Mr. Galloway weighed in.

He said that Mr. Kenney called a man a coward, who had fought on the front line of the war and later refused to fight, because he came to realize the war was wrong.

“I don't think they're (war resisters) cowards; they're heroes. This is typical of government ministers who are always willing to fight to the last drop of someone else's blood. They never send their children to war, but they send your children to war.”

One would think people dying, people being killed and people becoming disabled should be at the forefront of people's minds, but the Canadian Charger venturing to say that Mr. Galloway's above-mentioned comments will never see the light of day in any corporate media outlet because the corporations are the media's benefactors; and, after all, who profits from war? The trillions of dollars being spent are going to those who produce the goods and services for war.

This is the same reason why Prime Minister Harper came to power promising to take a stand against Human Rights violations in countries like China.

However, soon after he began criticizing China's Human Rights record, Mr. Harper was scolded by titans in the Canadian business community; consequently he is now silent on this issue, while spouting the refrain: it's better to engage them (in business) in order to work toward Human Rights improvements. It didn't work under Mr. Chretien or Mr. Martin and it's not working under Mr. Harper.

Moreover, Mr. Galloway said the thousands upon thousands of people, who've died in the war in Afghanistan, have died for nothing, because the war will end with a negotiated settlement that could have been achieved without war.

And the governments of NATO countries would have trillions of dollars more with which to fight the economic downturn and provide vital services to their citizens, but those who profit from war would be trillions of dollars poorer.

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M. Elmasry

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