Jordan Cantwell (The Right Reverend), Moderator
United Church of Canada
Dear Rev. Cantwell
I am writing on behalf of the Seriously Free Speech Committee to commend you on the courageous letter you sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opposing the Conservative motion “to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad”. Continue reading
February 21, 2016
The Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Dear Prime Minster Trudeau,
Re: Greatest Threat to Free Speech in the West: Criminalizing Activism Against Israeli Occupation (1)
I am writing on behalf of the Seriously Free Speech Committee to urge your government to oppose the Conservative motion “to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad”. At the very least, this motion should be given a free vote as it is not a confidence motion and is a motion of deep moral concern.
Support for this motion betrays your government’s commitment to seek balance for Canadian policy in the Middle East and supports the “through fire and water, Canada will stand with [Israel]” one-sided policy of the previous Conservative government.
It is ironic that you are requesting Canadian citizens to engage in debate on government policy while at the same time condemning their right to debate BDS, and criticize Israel. You do not condemn the right of Canadians to criticise their own government’s policy or that of any other government except Israel. Why this exception? Continue reading
M. DIAB Hassan
416299 Z D3
Maison d’arret des hommes
7, avenue des peupliers
I am writing on behalf of the Seriously Free Speech Committee (SFSC) to express our solidarity with you in the totally unjust situation in which you find yourself.
The SFSC was formed seven years ago to defend three people faced with a civil lawsuit for producing a parody of the Vancouver Sun’s (Vancouver’s dominant newspaper) one-sided reporting of the Israel-Palestine situation. We have since continued defending organizations and individuals who have been attacked for their support for Palestine or criticism of the Israeli occupation.
Your case, despite the substantial evidence of your innocence, exhibits the profound viciousness of the Stephen Harper Conservative government towards anyone not uncritically supporting the State of Israel. The flawed evidence that was used to justify your extradition is hardly conceivable in a fair justice system. Legal experts, handwriting experts and even the judge question the evidentiary flaws exhibited in the handwriting analysis. The unfair trials under France’s anti-terrorism law, the prejudice of the French legal system against Palestinian supporters and the weakness of extradition laws in Canada have resulted in your extradition. Unfortunately your extreme situation reflects the Canadian government’s ruthless reaction to dissent. Continue reading
Posted in SFSC
Tagged SFSC Letter
Honorable Judge Gershwin Drain
Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse
Detroit, MI 48226 USA
Dear Judge Drain
We are writing on behalf of the Seriously Free Speech Committee (SFSC) to express our concern regarding the situation of Rasmea Odeh. As a committee of individuals concerned with issues regarding Free Speech we feel that the roots of Ms. Odeh’s situation lie in precisely her inability to speak freely.
Our understanding of her situation is that she was tortured by Israeli security forces into making a false confession many years ago. This led to her serving many years in prison. Everything else that puts her in the situation she is in today flows from that basic denial of free speech years ago.
Posted in SFSC
Tagged SFSC Letter
The Seriously Free Speech Committee opposes Kinder Morgan’s SLAPP suit against Burnaby Residents Opposing Pipeline Expansion and four protesters and joins with more than 65 community, environmental and labour groups and thousands of citizens condemning this outrageous attack against citizens’ rights of free speech and protest, including civil disobedience.
The Seriously Free Speech Committee was originally formed to fight this type of legal bullying when CanWest, former owners of The Vancouver Sun, filed a SLAPP suit in 2007 in an attempt to punish those who published a satirical critique of The Sun’s pro-Zionist coverage of the Middle East. Though Canwest went bankrupt and dropped the suit, we’ve continued to advocate for the need to pass anti-SLAPP legislation to stop corporate giants from misusing and abusing the legal system. Continue reading
To: Dr. Phyllis Wise, Chancellor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
I write concerning your university’s firing of Prof. Steven Salaita in blatant violation of academic freedom and appeal to you to promptly re-instate his appointment, an act that would go a long way toward reassuring your university and scholars around the world that you value free speech and you mean to encourage the open discussion of political issues, no matter how contentious. Continue reading
Dr. Phyllis Wise, Chancellor, University of Illinois
I am writing to you to request that you reverse the transparently political decision to dismiss Dr. Steven Salaita. I believe that on this occasion you have received misleading advice from one of your most senior colleagues, Professor Cary Nelson, who has been very active in this matter–but who in my opinion has behaved in a wholly improper manner. Continue reading
I am writing on behalf of the Seriously Free Speech Committee based in Vancouver, BC. Seriously Free Speech was founded six years ago. We are, as our web site says- (www.serioulsyfreespeech.ca) “committed to free expression of views on Israel/Palestine. Members are concerned about growing intimidation, censorship and legal threats against individuals and organizations who criticize Israel’s actions.” In that context you won’t be surprised to know that we have followed the situation of the art of Rehab Nazzal at the Karsh-Masson Art Gallery in Ottawa’s City Hall.
Posted in SFSC
Tagged SFSC Letter
To: Leslie Wong, President San Francisco State University
Timothy White, Chancellor California State University
Larry Mandel, CSU Vice Chancellor and Chief Audit Officer
Carrie Hemphill Reith, CSU Resource Attorney for Conflict of Interest & Governance
May 31, 2014
Dear President Wong,
Our organization, The Seriously Free Speech Committee is committed to defending free expression of views on Palestine and Israel. Because our members are concerned about the growing intimidation, censorship and legal threats against individuals and organizations for criticizing Israel’s occupation and racist policies, we are writing to express our concern with the inflammatory statements in a March letter to you from the AMCHA Initiative and widely circulated by their network.
To Dr. Alan Wildeman, President, University of Windsor
I am writing on behalf of the Seriously Free Speech Committee to express our grave concern over your responses to the recent referendum in which a majority of students at the University of Windsor supported the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.