This Is Not About Freedom Of Speech

Diogenes's picture
galloway3 (5K)

Last month George Galloway, a British Member Of Parliament for 25 years, was banned from entering Canada to give a talk to a peace activist group sponsored by a Toronto church. The original reason given by the government of Canada was that they did not like his views on the war in Afghanistan.

Realizing that this line of reasoning goes against all principles of Freedom Of Speech, the government quickly changed it reasons. They now have claimed that George Galloway supports terrorism, specifically citing his recent "material and financial aid" to Hamas. Hamas is "recognized" as a terrorist organization by Canada, the US, Britian, some European countries and, of course, Israel.

wienstein2 (36K)

This is somewhat remarkable because Hamas, despite its high profile international notoriety, is only a threat to people in certain border towns and settlements in Israel. The militant resistance in Gaza keeps launching these cheesy homemade rockets into the border towns, which really pisses off the Israelis. Over 3000 rockets were launched at Israel in 2008, killing at least eight people. The Israelis are also very displeased that Hamas is the democratically elected government of Gaza.

Enough is enough. On December 27th, 2008, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, a brutal assualt, by any measure, against the people of Gaza. Over the next 3 weeks, 1300 died and 5400 were wounded in the Gaza strip, the vast majority civilians, over 1/3 of them children. Over 5000 homes in Gaza were destroyed.

Israel, by contrast, lost 13 of its own, 10 of them soldiers. After Israel ended Operation Cast Lead by declaring a "ceasefire", it imposed a siege on the Egyptian/Gaza border, delaying and blocking aid to the afflicted region.

Not long after after the carnage stopped, George Galloway, a five time elected British Member of Parliament and a long time supporter for an independent Palestinian state, started a humantarian aid effort in London with the aim of taking 100 trucks filled with food medicine, clothing, and other essentials to the war torn people of Gaza.

Galloway is a brilliant orator, every bit as good as Barak Obama. The main difference between them is that Galloway speaks what he thinks rather than speaking what he thinks people want to hear. A master debater, he is an inspiration to many who hear him speak or share his beliefs and compassion.

Within three weeks the "100" goal had been met and exceeded. Galloway and over 300 volunteers from Britian had pulled together 110 vehicles, including 24 ambulances, a firetruck and a fishing boat, all packed with medicine, food and clothing. The Viva Palestina convoy, starting on Valentines Day, began a 8000 km trek that would take them through France, Spain, north Africa, Egypt and into Gaza strip.

viva_banner (12K)

The total value of the aid delivered on March 11 was estimated to be about £1 million, almost all of it in the form of vehicles, medical supplies, food and essential things needed for basic living. There was also a small amout of cash collected, £25,000 in total, that was presented to elected Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

If a Canadian MP or a Terry Fox type were to organize a smiliar convoy across the USA to an earthqake devastated town in Mexico, he would be a hailed a hero and the event would be reported and documented by a media circus. He would likely be awarded the Order Of Canada and have a good chance of retiring as a senator.

But George Galloway is different, you see. His efforts or accomplishments are not worthy of any press or media coverage in Canada, except for the most damning and derogatory kind; a weird kind of jackboot jingoistic journalism that would have made Hilter proud. The irony here is that the media in Canada is highly concentrated. Fully 60% of the major market dailies in Canada are owned by Canwest, a media conglomerate controlled by the Aspers, a prominent Jewish family known for it's control of editorial content in its newspapers.

JasonKenney (6K)

The Government of Canada has embraced this blatant example of manufactured consent in defining a new foreign policy and charter of rights for Canadians. In a nutshell, it goes something like this: if you're not with us then you are probably a terrorist, and if you leave the country, you're on your own pal, Canadian citizen or whatever. We don't trust people with funny names anymore.

Harperstein5 (4K)

Any threat to the citizens of Israel, including those in their illegal settlements in the occupied lands, is a threat to ALL Canadians and a threat to OUR national security. National security and our laws trump all other rights like Freedom Of Speech, Freedom Of Association, Democracy, and even Humanity.

BernieFarber2 (7K)

In this brave new Canada, an act of humanity can be an act of terrorism, the victims of a horrific, indiscriminate attack can actually be the terrorists. And those who advocate peace can actually be the instruments of terror. George Galloway does not advocate peace, he supports and promotes terrorism, why else would we prevent him from entering the country?

Besides, George Galloway was able to exercise his freedom of speech even though he was not allowed into Canada. What he was not allowed to do here in Canada is serve as an international financier for terrorism.


We have no good reasons to second guess our Border Security, our RCMP, our Intelligence services, or the fine work of our embassies abroad. They are there to serve and protect.

Just ask Maher Arar or Robert Dziekanski or Abousfian Abdelrazik or maybe Omar Khadr.

So you see, it's not about free speech, it's about our laws and ensuring they are consistently enforced.