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Asher
21-03-2009, 02:10:27
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090320.wminister0320/BNStory/Front

British MP barred from Canada

OTTAWA — Immigration Minister Jason Kenney will not intervene in a decision to bar British anti-war MP George Galloway from Canada.

Mr. Galloway termed the decision “idiotic” after Citizenship and Immigration Canada deemed the outspoken politician inadmissible on security grounds.

Mr. Kenney's office noted Mr. Galloway has expressed sympathy for the Taliban cause in Afghanistan and provided financial support to the Palestinian group Hamas, listed in Canada as a terrorist organization.

Speaking in Calgary on Friday, Mr. Kenney said that while he has authority to overrule his officials, he will not provide special treatment to the 54-year-old Scottish MP.

Mr. Galloway “last week publicly called for a coup d'etat in Egypt and the overthrow of the government there while at the same time delivering aid and resources to Hamas, which is a banned illegal terrorist organization,” Mr. Kenney said.

“In this case, I believe folks that are supporting and promoting and helping terrorist organizations are not needed to visit Canada.”

Mr. Galloway was to speak Monday at a Toronto conference entitled “Resisting War from Gaza to Kandahar,” hosted by the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, and at a public forum in nearby Mississauga the next day.

Mr. Galloway, considered a renegade in Britain's Labour party, issued a statement saying “this idiotic ban shames Canada.”

“This ... is a very sad day for the Canada we have known and loved — a bastion of the freedoms that supporters of the occupation of Afghanistan claim to be defending,” he said.

“This may be a rather desperate election ploy by a Conservative government reaching the end of line, or by a minister who has not cottoned on to the fact that the George Bush era is over.

“All right-thinking Canadians, whether they agree with me over the wisdom of sending troops to Afghanistan or not, will oppose this outrageous decision. On a personal note — for a Scotsman to be barred from Canada is like being told to stay away from the family home.

“This is not something I'm prepared to accept.”

It's not the first time the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been linked to a controversial decision to bar entry to high-profile activists.

In October 2007, officials banned two U.S. peace activists from speaking at a Toronto conference — Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CodePink, and retired U.S. army colonel Ann Wright, who has been arrested at various peace rallies.

And a day before U.S. President Barack Obama's inauguration, authorities barred Professor Bill Ayers from attending a conference hosted by the University of Toronto.

Prof. Ayers, who teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is a former founding leader of the radical left Weather Underground, which was responsible for a series of bombings and three deaths in the 1970s.

Prof. yers was thrust into the limelight during last year's presidential race when it was learned he had served on two non-profit boards with Mr. Obama and that the future president had attended a gathering at his home in 1995. The controversy eventually dissipated.

Mr. Harper's government has also waged a long-running battle with Arab groups in Canada over their policies and statements on Israel. It recently ended a funding arrangement with the Canadian Arab Federation because of “objectionable statements” by its president and others.

NDP immigration critic Olivia Chow said the Galloway ban perpetuates a pattern in which views that contradict those of the Conservative government have been suppressed. She said the Tories have adopted an “unhealthy, isolationist, bunker mentality.”

“The minister of immigration is becoming the minister of censorship,” Ms. Chow said in an interview. “We don't have to agree with everything Mr. Galloway talks about.

“But, at bare minimum, they should be allowed to express their points of view so Canadians can make decisions themselves. This is pure censorship and it's wrong.”

The decision received rave reviews from two of the country's most prominent Jewish organizations, B'nai Brith Canada and the Canadian Jewish Congress.

“We applaud the government for its explicit recognition that individuals who glorify terrorism, and promote hatred be denied access into Canada,” said a statement from B'nai Brith's executive vice-president, Frank Dimant.

“By logical extension those who support the pro-terrorist agenda of groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, whose avowed aim is the destruction of the Jewish state, should not be given public platforms to spew their vile messaging.”

He asked Ottawa to review its Anti-Terrorism Act and “close all legal loopholes that would allow for the open glorification of terrorism.”

Said congress CEO Bernie Farber: “George Galloway enables terrorism. In so doing he puts Canadian civilians at risk and comforts those who fight our soldiers in Afghanistan. The government's decision was the right one from legal, security and moral viewpoints.”

Mr. Kenney's spokesman, Alykhan Velshi, called the decision to bar Galloway a “matter of law” taken by border officials in accordance with Section 34(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which bans those who provide material support for terrorist groups.

Mr. Velshi point out that American celebrity homemaker Martha Stewart was denied entry into Canada under the previous Liberal administration after she served jail time for insider stock trading.

AND STAY OUT.

Oerdin
21-03-2009, 02:59:07
Galloway is a turd but unless he's actually going to commit a crime I see no reason to bar him from speaking.

Asher
21-03-2009, 03:36:38
I'm pretty sure people who fund terrorist organizations are not permitted to enter the country. A sensible rule.

notyoueither
21-03-2009, 03:37:35
Originally posted by Oerdin
Galloway is a turd but unless he's actually going to commit a crime I see no reason to bar him from speaking.

The man is a crime.

He has done things that would be crimes were they done in Canada or by a Canadian.

Why should he get special treatment?

Lazarus and the Gimp
21-03-2009, 08:45:01
What did this "aid to terrorists" actually entail?

The track record on Galloway is usually a huge, damning headline, followed some weeks later by the quiet revelation that the "aid to terrorists" was actually food, blankets and first-aid supplies to the war-struck areas. Call me Osama Bin Laden if you must, but I just can't work up very much righteous anger over that.

The Shaker
21-03-2009, 09:08:46
Apparently because he handed the aid directly to Hamas (listed as terrorist organisation in US and Europe) rather than to the UN (for them to lose).
Doesn't explain why he's not allowed in Canada, but is allowed in the UK, or hasn't been arrested. Nor why the UN has not been blacklisted for dealing with a terrorist organisation. Could it just be massive posturing on both sides...oooh surely not, never, what really? .

Dyl Ulenspiegel
21-03-2009, 11:04:16
Bad, bad Galloway. How dare he!

notyoueither
23-03-2009, 03:22:49
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp
What did this "aid to terrorists" actually entail?

The track record on Galloway is usually a huge, damning headline, followed some weeks later by the quiet revelation that the "aid to terrorists" was actually food, blankets and first-aid supplies to the war-struck areas. Call me Osama Bin Laden if you must, but I just can't work up very much righteous anger over that.

Who's angry, other than George?

Lazarus and the Gimp
23-03-2009, 06:31:52
Sorry- I didn't realise "The man is a crime" was post-modern irony.

Funko
23-03-2009, 11:21:03
Can't take him seriously after he pretended to be a cat on Celeb Big Brother.

Lazarus and the Gimp
23-03-2009, 17:30:58
Well, quite. The man is an unbelieveable tool, and rather nasty with it. That's well-established.

Can't help feeling uncomfortable about what look like repeated and desperate attempts to smear him by a range of governments, though.

notyoueither
24-03-2009, 01:48:43
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp
Sorry- I didn't realise "The man is a crime" was post-modern irony.

It's the sort of thing he or his friends might say about some others.

Anger is the wrong word. I've been thinking about a better one. Opprobrium comes close.


Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp
Well, quite. The man is an unbelieveable tool, and rather nasty with it. That's well-established.

Can't help feeling uncomfortable about what look like repeated and desperate attempts to smear him by a range of governments, though.

You find it odd that a country would not like people who incite hatred to come for a visit?

Koshko
24-03-2009, 02:22:46
Yeah I mean we let Bill Ayers speak a bunch of times.

notyoueither
24-03-2009, 02:38:21
What?

notyoueither
24-03-2009, 02:56:12
Ah. I see. The former Weatherman who was denied entry recently. He's been here several times, and has been turned back a couple of times.

I find it odd that he got in several times. I mean, having been involved in setting off bombs is not a common thing. Nor is it minor.

I'd bet good money that his previous visits were during the open border era, when you could cross with a driver's license and a friendly hello.

If it makes you feel any better, we do a much better job of keeping crazy Yankees like those Westboro baptists out of the country these days.

Lazarus and the Gimp
24-03-2009, 06:17:25
Originally posted by notyoueither

You find it odd that a country would not like people who incite hatred to come for a visit?

Which example of inciting hatred did you have in mind? Bear in mind that we have laws against certain types of that here.

Funko
24-03-2009, 09:07:57
Out of all the things you could accuse him of, that's not one.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
24-03-2009, 09:52:20
Hey, nye hates him. So he's inciting hatred. Ban him!

Lazarus and the Gimp
24-03-2009, 17:47:27
I'd just love to see the US/Canadian/Israeli/UK governments issue the following statement-

"OK- we repeatedly accused Galloway of stuff that was either utterly unsubstantiated or wildly-exaggerated. We'll stop, and just agree that he's an almighty aching bell-end."

Fair and reasonable, I think.

notyoueither
26-03-2009, 02:11:35
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp
Which example of inciting hatred did you have in mind? Bear in mind that we have laws against certain types of that here.

What does "shut down Israel shops" mean?

He is a very intelligent man. He knows there are lines. He gets very close to those lines sometimes, and maybe across once or twice.

Aside from that
Mr. Galloway “last week publicly called for a coup d'etat in Egypt and the overthrow of the government there while at the same time delivering aid and resources to Hamas, which is a banned illegal terrorist organization,” Mr. Kenney said.

“In this case, I believe folks that are supporting and promoting and helping terrorist organizations are not needed to visit Canada.”

Along with food and medicine, he delivered vehicles and cash to an organization that the Govt of Canada considers terrorist.

He may feel that clapping along to "we are all Hamas" was good fun. Maybe it was. He might also find that there are consequences for his actions. Being able to visit foreign countries is not a right. If you're a bell-end, as you might call him, you may be told you are unwelcome from time to time.

At any rate, there will be more to this story for our amusement. He has retained lawyers to contest his ban.

Lazarus and the Gimp
26-03-2009, 06:38:09
Originally posted by notyoueither
What does "shut down Israel shops" mean?



It means "protest in front of shops selling Israeli goods and boycott their produce."

Where's the incitement to hatred? Why even raise that as an example?

As for Egypt? We're talking about a long-term dictator who makes tediously regular appearances on Amnesty's listing of human rights abuses. A desire to see Mubarak left in power is about international political expediency, not lofty values of moral worth.

Nills Lagerbaak
26-03-2009, 09:08:00
The US is very sensitive to the concept of boycotts, especially when they concern Israel and particularly when it could be perceived to come from a foreign interest...

Asher
26-03-2009, 11:02:07
I'm very happy to keep people like this, and Fred Phelps, out of Canada.

There's no right that says everyone has a right to enter Canada.

Funko
26-03-2009, 11:14:04
Fred Phelps actually is a hatemonger though.

MDA
26-03-2009, 12:17:14
Originally posted by notyoueither

I'd bet good money that his previous visits were during the open border era, when you could cross with a driver's license and a friendly hello.


Do they still have the pottery ban in place from back then?

Japher
26-03-2009, 17:12:46
*Pottery Barn

to pricey

notyoueither
27-03-2009, 03:21:21
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp
It means "protest in front of shops selling Israeli goods and boycott their produce."

Where's the incitement to hatred? Why even raise that as an example?

As for Egypt? We're talking about a long-term dictator who makes tediously regular appearances on Amnesty's listing of human rights abuses. A desire to see Mubarak left in power is about international political expediency, not lofty values of moral worth.

That's not what the Guardian says. They report it was a reference to shutting down specific businesses.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/11/gaza-israel-demonstration-embassy-police
In one of several speeches delivered in Kensington Gardens, George Galloway, leftwing MP for the Respect party, called on protesters to go to shopping centres and "shut down Israel Shops" – a reference to mobile retailers who operate in malls, selling Israeli products.

Why raise that as an example? Were those not some of the same protests where things like 'kill the Jew' were heard?

I find it really strange. I've listened to some of Galloway's rants against racism, Nazis, and assorted scum. How could he think it would be a good idea to get up in front of a crowd of people already well along the road to hate and violence and exhort them to shut down specific businesses? To target indivduals for group punishment? Was he selling glass?

re the Egyptian reference, I think it was an interesting turn of events and the main reason for him being excluded from Canada follows that bit. He didn't arrange for food and medicine to be delivered through relief agencies. He delivered vehicles and cash.

Lazarus and the Gimp
27-03-2009, 18:49:51
Originally posted by notyoueither
That's not what the Guardian says. They report it was a reference to shutting down specific businesses.



Where's the hatred?


Why raise that as an example? Were those not some of the same protests where things like 'kill the Jew' were heard?


Hearsay. And you're miles away from establishing factual causality, let alone mens rea. This would be laughed out of any court in seconds if anyone were daft enough to test it in court.


I find it really strange. I've listened to some of Galloway's rants against racism, Nazis, and assorted scum. How could he think it would be a good idea to get up in front of a crowd of people already well along the road to hate and violence and exhort them to shut down specific businesses? To target indivduals for group punishment? Was he selling glass?


This is Britain. I can't speak for your side of the ocean, but over here it is not considered reasonable to expect that calls to protest/boycott businesses will, on balance of probability, result in Kristallnacht.

How were the ensuing riots reported over there? There weren't any, by the way.


re the Egyptian reference, I think it was an interesting turn of events and the main reason for him being excluded from Canada follows that bit. He didn't arrange for food and medicine to be delivered through relief agencies. He delivered vehicles and cash. [/B]


And what was in the vehicles?

Lazarus and the Gimp
27-03-2009, 18:55:39
Seriously- what's the message here? If you get food, medicine, clothes, toys, ambulances and fire engines to Gaza, but don't go through official channels TEH TERRORISTS WIN!!!!!!

The Mad Monk
27-03-2009, 19:17:22
Yes, because official channels are more likely to catch the guns and rockets smuggled in with all that.

Lazarus and the Gimp
27-03-2009, 21:13:24
I suspect you probably can't back that statement up. Which is about par for the course on this topic

George Galloway. A towering dick, but also the target of astonishingly widespread libels and slurs. And whatever you think about the man, that's wrong.

The Mad Monk
27-03-2009, 21:20:41
Which part? The smuggled weapons, or sanctioned, inspected shipments not having them?

Lazarus and the Gimp
27-03-2009, 21:31:00
The former.

The Mad Monk
27-03-2009, 21:51:53
Hmm. I can't find anything about weapons smuggling apart form the tunnels. Not directly into Gaza, anyway.

notyoueither
31-03-2009, 01:31:40
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp
That's not what the Guardian says. They report it was a reference to shutting down specific businesses.
Where's the hatred?

Why raise that as an example? Were those not some of the same protests where things like 'kill the Jew' were heard?

Hearsay. And you're miles away from establishing factual causality, let alone mens rea. This would be laughed out of any court in seconds if anyone were daft enough to test it in court.

You asked why I said incite hatred. That is the effect reading about Galloway's statements had for me. He is either a very stupid man, which I find unlikely, or he knowingly urged that individuals be punished for their citizenship. That is inciting hatred, to me. Especially when combined with the atmosphere of hot heads and wider incidents where Israelis and Jews are being assaulted.


This is Britain. I can't speak for your side of the ocean, but over here it is not considered reasonable to expect that calls to protest/boycott businesses will, on balance of probability, result in Kristallnacht.

How were the ensuing riots reported over there? There weren't any, by the way.

Over here it is not considered acceptable to target individuals for group punishment.

Oh, and the Guardian apparently did not get the no riots memo.
Violent clashes broke out near the Israeli embassy in London yesterday as tens of thousands marched in protest against the military action in Gaza. Shop windows were smashed and police pelted with missiles by masked youths near the embassy during the largest demonstration in Britain against the Israeli offensive.

Last night, broken glass and debris littered the scene of the disturbances on Kensington High Street, where ranks of riot police waited behind locked gates near the embassy entrance.

Earlier in the evening, a number of demonstrators attacked a branch of Starbucks, smashing its front windows and ransacking it before shattering the facade of a clothes shop. Panic rippled through the crowd as riot police advanced repeatedly with batons drawn before being later backed up by dozens of mounted police.

Officers were pelted with missiles, including shards of glass from shattered shopfronts, as stewards from the demonstration called for calm and tried to separate police from protesters.

Women and children took cover in doorways as missiles were hurled at helmeted riot police. Youths let off firecrackers and fire extinguishers and pushed over crowd control barriers. Three officers were injured, including one who was knocked unconscious, the Metropolitan police said. At least 15 people were arrested as the remaining demonstrators were corralled by riot police and held in the area for a number of hours after darkness fell.

The trouble came after tens of thousands of protesters from groups including the Stop the War Coalition marched from Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park to another demonstration at Kensington Gardens, near the embassy.



And what was in the vehicles?

Seriously- what's the message here? If you get food, medicine, clothes, toys, ambulances and fire engines to Gaza, but don't go through official channels TEH TERRORISTS WIN!!!!!!
[/B]

How many ambulances? I've read something like 10 to 20 and the fire engine. That leaves ~90 other vehicles.

It seems to me that giving a vehicle full of food is a very ineffecient means of delivering humanitarian aid. A used vehicle is worth quite a bit more than the cargo if loaded with food, I would think.

Why do it that way if getting humanitarian aid to people in Gaza were the goal? Maybe nobody would have allowed 90 vans to cross any other way?

At any rate, we will indeed get more amusement from this story. His efforts to be allowed in have been turned down by a court, so he will address the people who want to hear him speak via video hookup. That should be amusing, as will the court case he intends to bring against the Gov of Canada.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090330.wPOLgalloway0330/BNStory/politics/home
British MP loses bid to enter Canada
Galloway to appear at speaking event by video after Federal Court denies request for injunction

COLIN PERKEL AND ALLISON JONES

The Canadian Press

March 30, 2009 at 8:41 PM EDT

TORONTO — A court decision Monday upholding a ban on George Galloway from entering the country amid allegations he engaged in terrorist acts will see the British MP deliver speeches to Canadian audiences via a live video link from New York.

Following the Federal Court ruling, organizers of Mr. Galloway's now aborted speaking tour said the maverick politician would not attempt to enter Canada.

“We're not interested in doing anything illegal whatsoever,” said James Clark, a peace activist and one of the speaking tour's organizers.

“Our expectations were such that we were already implementing Plan B, which was to make sure that he can still deliver the speech from a live broadcast.”

Mr. Galloway had been set to visit Toronto on Monday, the first of four scheduled speaking engagements in Canada.

The Canada Border Services Agency advised Mr. Galloway, in a letter dated March 20, that he had been deemed inadmissible to Canada on the grounds he allegedly engaged in terrorist activities.

The MP has denied such links although he has openly voiced support for the Palestinian cause and was part of a group that delivered financial and other assistance to Gaza.

Mr. Galloway and supporters asked Federal Court on Sunday for an emergency injunction allowing him to come, pending the possibility of a judicial review of the government's position.

However, Justice Luc Martineau ruled Monday he was not in a position to allow Mr. Galloway into the country although he did say there were “serious issues to be tried” if the judicial review occurs.

“The arguments raised by the applicants are not frivolous or vexatious,” Martineau ruled. “However, a proper factual record and the benefit of full legal argument . . . are lacking at the present time.”

The decision represented a “partial victory” in that the court did recognize there was a serious issue at stake, Mr. Clark said.

“We want to pursue and examine all the questions that have come up about how and why the (border agency) preemptorily issued this ruling of inadmissibility to Mr. Galloway,” Mr. Clark said.

Mr. Galloway planned to deliver his speeches to Toronto, Mississauga, Ont., Montreal and Ottawa this week from a studio in New York City.

In the letter to Mr. Galloway, the government said he had given $45,000 to Hamas, which is a banned terrorist organization in Canada.

Under Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act, it is an offence to knowingly participate in or contribute to any activity of a terrorist group.

His supporters say Mr. Galloway had given money to the head of the government in Gaza but not to the head of Hamas, even though they are the same person.

Canadian Jewish Congress CEO Bernie Farber said the fact Mr. Galloway would still broadcast what he had to say showed that free speech was not at stake.

In a release, the congress said Canadians understand that “fundraising for international terrorism puts us all at risk here at home.”

“Canada must not be regarded as a piggybank for international terrorist financiers like George Galloway,” the release stated.

Mr. Clark called the suggestion that Mr. Galloway was soliciting Canadian donations to support terrorism “absurd.”

The money raised by the events will go toward organizing them, logistics for the video feeds for Galloway, and a possible legal challenge.

“Beyond that, we are unapologetic if we do decide to fundraise for the people of Gaza,” Mr. Clark said.

“It's not illegal in this country or around the world to raise funds for humanitarian relief.”

About 500 people filled a downtown church for the broadcast of the speech Monday. Tickets were $15 with a discount for students and seniors.

The government, in its letter to Mr. Galloway, did not make the allegation that he was coming to Canada to raise funds for terrorism.

The British legislator is no stranger to controversy.

In 2007, the British Parliament's lower house suspended him based on accusations he concealed his financial dealings with deposed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's government.

Mr. Galloway was suspended for 18 days following an investigation which found that a charity he set up was partly funded by the now-executed Iraqi dictator.

He accused his opponents of hypocrisy, saying none of the political parties in the House had ever asked people who gave them money where it came from.

In 2005, Mr. Galloway created a spectacle on Capitol Hill by denouncing U.S. senators while voluntarily testifying under oath before the committee. He called the panel of senators a “lickspittle Republican committee” and accused them of “the mother of all smoke screens.”

After he was expelled from the Labour party for urging British soldiers not to fight in Iraq, Mr. Galloway formed his own party, Respect, and won re-election to the Commons in 2005.