Tag Archives: SFSC Letter

SFSC letter: To Ontario Premier re SLAPP legislation

The Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

Dear Premier Wynne

I am writing on behalf of the Seriously Speech Committee – Vancouver to urge the enactment into law of Bill 83, Protection of Public Participation Act, 2014.

Frivolous lawsuits initiated by corporations and governments are designed to divert the financial and human resources of community organizations, effectively restricting their ability to freely express themselves and to participate in the political process. Legislation against SLAPP suits (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) is a fundamental reform to encourage broader participation on important public issues. Continue reading

SFSC Letter: Re: Professor David Klein hosting BDS website

Dear Professor Klein,

I write on behalf of the Seriously Free Speech Committee-Vancouver (SFSC) to support your work in defense of Palestinian human and political rights. We are cheered to see that you have won every challenge from the ultra-zionists so far, and congratulate you on having been so well supported and well defended.
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SFSC: Statement of Support for Edward Snowden

When the state of a country comprehensively and secretly, in violation of it’s own laws, monitors the private communications of its citizens; when an employee of that state reveals this illegal practice and that state then pursues him with the aim of subjecting him to a rigged trial, imprisonment and silencing; then those who uphold the democratic right of freedom of expression have the responsibility to defend the persecuted against this injustice. In this spirit, the Seriously Free Speech Committee expresses its deepest respect and most profound best wishes to Edward Snowden.

Oh, and the direct connection with trying to silence critics of Israeli policies and practices? According to The Guardian, 11 September 2013: “The National Security Agency routinely shares raw intelligence data with Israel without first sifting it to remove information about US citizens, a top-secret document provided to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals. Details of the intelligence-sharing agreement are laid out in a memorandum of understanding between the NSA and its Israeli counterpart that shows the US government handed over intercepted communications likely to contain phone calls and emails of American citizens. The agreement places no legally binding limits on the use of the data by the Israelis.”

The Support Edward Snowden facebook page can be found at: facebook.com/pages/Edward-Snowden-Support-Page

SFSC Letter: Denouncing Vancouver Sun’s and Courier’s Attacks on Palestine Awareness Coalition Spokesperson

Letter to the Editor of the Vancouver Sun and Vancouver Courier

Several weeks ago ads from the Transit Ad Coalition first appeared in Vancouver showing four historic maps of Israel/Palestine. Since that time there have been a variety of critical responses emanating from various Zionist organizations and from some journalists across the country. However, nothing compares to the outrageous and libelous comments printed in Thursday’s Vancouver Sun and the scandalous lack of research displayed in Allen Garr’s column in Friday’s Courier. Continue reading

CSCP: SFSC shares grave concern about UMSU’s decision to ban SAIA

Canadian Students’ Coalition for Palestine

SFSC has signed on to the following statement. Other organizations are invited to sign on to this statement. To sign on, email canadianSCP@gmail.com or use the online form.

April 14, 2013
To: The University of Manitoba Students’ Union Council
Local 103 of the Canadian Federation of Students, 101 University Centre, Winnipeg, MB

We are writing to express our grave concern about the UMSU’s decision to revoke the student club status of the University of Manitoba’s branch of Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA), and further to ban SAIA from operating in “UMSU spaces.” By denying students at UManitoba the right to initiate and operate SAIA, you are denying them the right to engage in criticism of the State of Israel, and this decision is a flagrant violation of students’ Fundamental Freedoms of Expression and of Association as enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms under sections 2(b) and 2(d). Continue reading

SFSC Letter: Academic freedom at Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Gideon Sa’ar, Minister of Education, Government of Israel,
PO Box 292, Jerusalem, Israel 91911

To the Minister of Education:

The Seriously Free Speech Committee (Vancouver) is mandated to defend free speech in connection with the Israel-Palestine conflict, both on and off the university campus. We join many thousands of teachers, students and others internationally who have demanded respect for academic freedom at Ben Gurion University of the Negev.  Continue reading

SFSC Letter: To the Knowledge Network about Israeli Film Series

Rudy Buttignol
C.E.O./President, Knowledge Network

October 27, 2012

Dear Mr. Buttignol,

The Seriously Free Speech Committee is committed to free expression on issues relating to Israel and Palestine and while we do not adopt any position on what is needed to achieve a just resolution of the conflict, we believe the exclusion of Palestinian voices by the mainstream media is a form of censorship and constitutes a denial of free speech so fundamental to our democracy. As you see from our list, honourary members of SFSC reflect a wide spectrum of the Canadian population: Anton Kuerti, Naomi Klein, George Heyman, Gabor Mate, Michael Mandel to name a few.

This letter is in reference to the recent Knowledge Network series “Who Am I?” (July 3-Sept.4) which presented documentaries from 10 Israeli film makers. Continue reading

SFSC Letter: Support for University of California Student Association resolution defending free speech

Ms. Angelica Saleceda, President, 2012-2013, University of California Student Association

Dear Ms. Saleceda

On behalf of the Seriously Free Speech Committee (SFSC) – Vancouver, Canada, we congratulate you and your fellow Board members on the resolution passed on Sept. 15, 2012 opposing the California Assembly Bill HR 35.

Attempts to conflate criticism of Israel and/or solidarity with Palestinian human rights with antisemitism, and therefore hate speech, is a tactic used by Israel supporters for the last forty years. The last five years have seen the usefulness of this tactic diminished as many courageous individuals and organizations have fought back against such claims. HR 35 demonstrates that attempts to use the false charge of antisemitism to smear and frighten Israel´s critics is still an ongoing strategy. Your resolution, and the unanimity of the UCSA Board, is an important step in opposing these attempts and diminishing their credibility.  Continue reading

SFSC Letter: To the President of Ecuador re Julian Assange asylum

Mr. Rafael Correa, President of the Republic of Ecuador

Dear Mr. President

On behalf of the Seriously Free Speech Committee – Vancouver, Canada, I am writing to support your decision to offer asylum to Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks.  Mr. Assange has been the target of a wide-spread campaign of disinformation and vilification by the US, British and other governments for simply providing information on the real politics and actions of their governments.  Information to which all people should have access.  In the second decade of the 21st century, forcing open government information leads to terrorism and espionage charges being leveled.

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SFSC: Letter to the United Church re boycotting Israeli settlement goods

Rev. Mardi Tinsdall, Moderator
Rev. Nora Sanders, Executive Secretary
The United Church of Canada

Dear Reverends Tinsdall and Sanders,
The Vancouver-based Seriously Free Speech Committee (SFSC) was founded in 2008 to defend activists who were being sued by Canwest for producing a parody of The Vancouver Sun’s one-sided coverage of Palestine and Israel. We have subsequently broadened our activity to defend individuals and organizations who are being attacked because of their criticism of Israel and their defense of Palestinian human rights. We are writing to support the process through which the United Church is reconsidering its policy on Palestine/Israel.

The report of the United Church’s Working Group on Israel/Palestine Policy (WGIP) is an important step forward and provides the basis for a thorough discussion of the issues at the 41st General Council meeting.

We are concerned, however, that the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) has responded by attacking the document, using threatening, inflammatory language: “If the United Church adopts this highly biased report without amendment, it will place the Church outside the genuine peace movement and in the same camp as the most virulent anti-israel activists.” Those who demand that others overlook injustice are not providing help or friendship. They are seeking to intimidate and to silence.

Many individuals and organizations have endured attacks of this nature, sometimes at great personal cost. CIJA’s goal is clearly to suppress free discussion and inquiry on the subject of Palestine/Israel. We encourage the United Church to vigorously defend its right to a full debate on this subject, free from the accusations and slurs used by CIJA, in defense of not only its own rights, but also those of individuals and organizations which do not have the Church’s resources, so that they may continue to engage in the struggle for social justice for the Palestinians.

Brian Campbell and Anne Roberts
Co-Chairs, Seriously Free Speech Committee