Banned British MP will be ‘escorted’ into Canada

March 23rd, 2009 - 1:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, March 23 (IANS) Groups organising the speaking tour of a British anti-war MP whose entry has been banned into Canada say they will now “escort” him into the country from across the US border.
The Canadian government Friday slammed doors on George Galloway, citing his opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and open support for Hamas.

The left-wing MP was thrown out of the British Labour Party in 2003 for urging British soldiers not to participate in the Iraq war.

As an independent MP since 2005, he has espoused various controversial causes, including support for Hamas which is banned in Canada.

The organisers of his speaking tour here - Council of Canadians, Canadian Civil Liberties Union, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights, anti-war coalitions and trade unions - said Sunday they will try to have the ban overturned in court this week.

If they don’t succeed in court, they said, their activists and supporters will “escort” Galloway across the border from the US where he is also scheduled to speak.

Laith Marouf of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights was quoted as saying that they will “mount our physical confrontation” if the ban on Galloway is not lifted.

He said: “On Monday the 30th in the morning, Mr. Galloway will attempt to cross the border. It has not been decided yet which land crossing - most probably in Quebec.

“He will be met by throngs of supporters on the other side.”

It remains to be seen how the government reacts to the belligerent stand of the organisers of the British MP’s speaking tour.

The controversial MP was to speak on the “failed” wars in Afghanistan and Iraq during his tour of various Canadian cities next week.

But the organisers maintained that he will still speak in Toronto March 30, Mississauga March 31, Montreal April 1 and Ottawa April 2. The organisers claim to have support of more than 50 organisations.

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