George Galloway labeled a terrorist supporter and banned from entering Canada for giving humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza

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The outspoken peace activist and five term British MP, George Galloway, is scheduled to give a series of speeches titled "Resisting War from Gaza to Kandahar" in four Canadian cities this week. Earlier this month Mr. Galloway led the 99-vehicle 'Viva Palestina' convoy bringing a generator, medicine, food, clothing and toys from the UK into the Gaza strip after an historic 24-day journey through Europe and Africa. 300 people made the 5000 mile journey in a convoy that stretched for 3 miles.
This incredible, humanitarian accomplishment, that went unremarked in the main stream press, was
a moment cherished by the Palestinians in Gaza. In a letter of thank you to George Galloway, Dalal Alhusseini Muhtadi writes:

"I welcome you as a Palestinian brother of mine...I think Mother Palestine is weeping today with joy not sadness, for having such a son, a hero, that along the many, many long years of suffering, refused to forget.... Refused to forget the horrifying suffering, the tremendous pain, the inhumane genocide...Her rape and torture in every way possible...And he kept on going and going...Until justice and defeat of the siege prevailed. Sir, this is not just a victory for Mother Palestine....but rather a victory for all of humanity indeed.

Upon entering Gaza, Mr. Galloway handed over the vehicles and supplies to the Hamas authorities.

Last week, after receiving letters from the Jewish Defense League (JDL) and B'nai Brith urging the Canadian government to do "everything possible to keep this hater away", the Canadian Border Services Agency informed Mr. Galloway he was considered a threat to the national security of Canada and would not be allowed to enter the country. The story is rather confusing (mostly because the officials involved keep changing their stories and passing the buck) but initially we learned it was because of his views on the Afghanistan war. Now, we're told it is because under Canada's anti-terrorism laws he is considered to have "financially supported" a terrorist group when he delivered humanitarian aid to Gaza's Hamas government.

Jason Kenney, Canada's Minister of Immigration and Multiculturism, has been under fire all week for the decision as Canadians rallied in protest. In a bizarre statement, Kenney's spokesman Alykhan Velshi, told Britain's Channel Four news that Galloway was an "infandous street-corner Cromwell" that would not be allowed into Canada to "pee on our carpet". (Watch here.)

George Galloway fired back with a statement of his own saying a "quick trawl" established that Kenney is "a gay-baiter, gung-ho armchair warrior, with an odd habit of exceeding his immigration brief" who "three years ago...attacked the pro-Western prime minister of Lebanon Fuad Saniora for being ungrateful to Canada for its support of Israeli bombardment of his country." And further said,

"being banned by such a man is like being told to sit up straight by the hunchback of Notre Dame or being lectured on due diligence by Lord Conrad Black – a Kenney ally, now breaking stones in the hot sun. On another, and personal, note for a Scotsman to be excluded from Canada is like being turned away from the family home."

March 20th in a Channel 4 News interview, Meir Weinstein (of the JDL) took credit for having had George Galloway banned from Canada. Galloway, who has legally challenged the Canadian Government's ruling, vowed to speak to Canadians by other means if he is not allowed to enter Canada. Weinstein threatened that "we will see to it that the Canadian government will be monitoring every individual and organization that will have anything to do with it” and that he and the JDL "will be looking into these organizations that invited him… their links to terror groups as well” and that he will “see to it that the Canadian Government will be monitoring every individual and organization that has anything to do with George Galloway”.

Galloway's lawyers were in court today to have the ruling overturned. The court room was packed for the hearing and there was a demonstration outside the court house. The judge will make a decision on the case before 2 pm tomorrow. Regardless of the outcome, a large convoy of lawyers, MP's and antiwar activists will be meeting Mr. Galloway at the US/Canada border on Tuesday.

Galloway is currently on his US leg of the speaking tour, having no problem getting into the US because he is not considered a terrorist supporter there. Unlike Galloway, the JDL has been called by the FBI "a violent extremist Jewish organization in their report "Terrorism 2000/2001" and whose activities have since been described in congressional testimony by FBI agents as terrorist".

George Galloway will be on "The Hour" with George Stroumboulopoulos, Canada's award-winning late-night TV talk show, on Monday, March 30. If you're in Canada, tune in on CBC at 11 pm. If not, catch the interview after it airs at (I'll embed the video here if I can.)


mini-empires are like mini-bosses...

Mini-empires always appear clumsy when they try to imitate their big brother, and that's the case here, because I seriously doubt many Canadians will simply accept the fact that George Galloway is a terrorist. They can get away with any Mohammed but George? No way in hell.

What do you think the court decision will be McJ? Hard to tell from here. Would the confirmation of this sentence be a huge step towards "Imperialism Thinking" or is Canada already knee-deep in the PNAC?

Thanks for bringing us perspectives from other countries.

McJ's picture

"What do you think the court

"What do you think the court decision will be McJ? Hard to tell from here."

Well, I'm watching today to see what the decision is. It's hard for me to tell from here as well. smiling
The whole thing appears to be rather bizarre from a legal perspective - but then I know nothing about law - there are those much smarter than I trying to figure it out.

From (a legal blog) on the hearing yesterday:
"Barbara Jackman, counsel for the Applicant, noted that in her 30 years of immigration practice she had never seen a case like this..."
..."The presiding judge, Justice Luc Martineau, also noted that unless either counsel could indicate otherwise, there was no case law on anything resembling this fact scenario..."
..."Mr. Galloway received a letter from Robert J. Orr, Immigration Programme Manager at the High Commission of Canada in London, U.K., dated March 20, 2009. The letter stated that according to a preliminary assessment under s. 34 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), Mr. Galloway was inadmissible to Canada. It is unusual for someone to receive such a letter before even applying to enter Canada."
..."The effect of the Crown’s position, according to the Applicants, was that since Mr. Galloway is considered a terrorist, he could be detained according to IRPA while trying to enter Canada - and possibly indefinitely. "

And from Galloway's lawyers' legal submission to federal court (which you can find here along with lots more info if you are interested):

10. On March 20, 2009, Mr. Galloway’s office was advised by letter dated March 19.
2009 from Robert J. Orr, Immigration Program Manager for the Immigration
Section or the Canadian High Commission in London, UK, that a preliminary
decision had been made to deny him entry to Canada to speak because he was
believed to be inadmissible under s. 34(1)of the IRPA. This letter was gratuitous
as Mr Galloway did not make an application for a visa to enter Canada. As a
British citizen, he is permitted to visit Canada without having to secure a visa
beforehand. Moreover, the letter arrived at his office hours after the British press
began reporting that he had been denied admission to Canada. Mr. Galloway’s
office made a number of calls asking if the press reports were true before being
formally advised by the letter that such a decision had been made.

11. Mr. Orr indicates in his letter that Mr. Galloway is believed to be a member of a
terrorist organization, Hamas, and to have engaged in terrorism. He refers to Mr.
Galloway’s participation in organizing a convoy of aid for Gaza. He indicates that
Mr. Galloway provided financial support to Hamas and personally donated
vehicles and financing to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya. Mr. Orr invited Mr. Galloway
to make submissions in response...

I think that most Canadians who know about this probably feel the same as I - appalled, ashamed, embarrassed (...and I might add amused at the bumbling nature of it all...because we Canadians love our humor and our politician are always willing to provide material smiling ).

"The most unpleasant truth in the long run is a far safer travelling companion than the most agreeable falsehood." Emerson

McJ's picture

Motion Dismissed!!

Well, it looks like the court rolled over for the JDL - disgusting!!! What a sad fucking day for Canada. Cussing

The motion was dismissed and Galloway will not be allowed into Canada.
"Controversial British MP George Galloway will not be allowed into Canada to deliver a series of anti-war speeches, a Federal Court judge has ruled."
"CTV Toronto's Chris Eby told Newsnet that lawyers working on behalf of Galloway are going over the decision "line by line."
However, the lawyers appear "fairly dejected," he said."

"The most unpleasant truth in the long run is a far safer travelling companion than the most agreeable falsehood." Emerson

McJ's picture

Canada Israel "Public Security" Agreement

British MP George Galloway barred from Canada under the Canada Israel "Public Security" Agreement
by Michel Chossudovsky

"The most unpleasant truth in the long run is a far safer travelling companion than the most agreeable falsehood." Emerson

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All I can say is wow. great post McJ. thanks for letting us know about this. this is the first I'm hearing of it, this is so crazy. I almost can't believe it. lines in sand are being drawn. we now know on which side of the line Canada's government has chosen to stand.

McJ's picture

Thanks, I'm spitting nails


I'm spitting nails right about now... however, ironically this bonehead move by our government means that thousands (maybe millions) will listen to Galloway's speech rather than the few hundred that would have attended if they hadn't banned him from entering Canada. And that's a good thing. smiling

"The most unpleasant truth in the long run is a far safer travelling companion than the most agreeable falsehood." Emerson

McJ's picture

I'm lovin me some Gorgeous George ... :)

Here is George Galloway's first speech to a packed audience in Toronto. He is speaking via video link from New York city. Twenty cities across Canada (and others worldwide) hosted their own meetings tonight and listened to this live. I have embedded it in this comment but it doesn't seem to want to load for me so if you have the same problem you can go to Rabble TV at this link to watch it. Click 'On Demand', click 'Galloway: Breaking the Ban live from New York' and then 'Live Galloway show Mar 30, 2009'. There are two video links. One is Galloway's speech and his answers to questions (1:10:36 min) and the other is the introductory speeches for the meeting (33:44 min). His speech is just under 40 minutes long and then he answers questions by telephone. You can't hear the questions so there are some long silent stretches but his answers are worth the listen. He has many great things to say but my favorite quote was:
"Not since Caligula appointed his horse a pro consul of Rome has there been a more inappropriate appointment than Tony Blair as a peace envoy to the Middle East." . The guy has got a way with words. smiling

"The most unpleasant truth in the long run is a far safer travelling companion than the most agreeable falsehood." Emerson


a justice system so openly biased and compromised has to be a little terrifying. The accusations made by Mr. Orr are downright ridiculous, yet they are in line with the official stance. Anything goes in the great labelling game, reduced to an all-emcompassing word : terrrist.

The amount of bullshit we have to take each day...inane ramblings by thousands of Mr Orr's and officials serving their half-baked terrist scare to the media, groundless accusations that become facts...all of this participates in trying to artificially impose a new "worldview" in which war is not only unavoidable but necessary. And good police states don't care about public opinion.

From the global research article : "The [Canada-Israel Public Security] agreement would allow officials from the State of Israel, a country on record for its numerous human rights violations acts directed against the people of Palestine and Lebanon, to play a role in Canadian public security." From "public safety" to "public security"...

McJ's picture

Well, if you listen to

Well, if you listen to Galloway's speech (and it is really worth taking the time to watch) he says that some of what the court decided was good but the review process will be on lawyer's time and that could take months.

As for the Canada-Israel 'Public Security' agreement, that is odious!

btw - did the embedded video load for you?

"The most unpleasant truth in the long run is a far safer travelling companion than the most agreeable falsehood." Emerson

Thanks, McJ. The video

Thanks, McJ. The video loaded fine, didn't have the time to listen to it in full yet :Cool It sounds like the court decision was in fact a complicated matter even though it looks quite simple (as in "simplistic neocon mush") from the outside...

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