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CanWest wins Golden Gag Award PDF Print E-mail
Jun 04, 2008 at 12:28 PM
Ceremony Friday, June 6 at noon at Granville Square, 200 Granville Street, Vancouver

This year’s Golden Gag Award will be presented to Canwest, Canada’s largest media empire, at noon on Friday (June 6) at the Granville Square, 200 Granville St., the home of the Vancouver Sun and Province newspapers.

Sponsored by the Seriously Free Speech Committee, the award recognizes individuals or companies who have excelled in limiting free speech, intimidating opposing points of view, and the skilled use of SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) suits to attempt to silence critics.

Committee spokesperson Jef Keighley said what clinched the award for Canwest was the way it went overboard in filing a suit against retired academic Mordecai Briemberg for producing a parody of the Vancouver Sun.

“Not only did Canwest use all legal means to crack down on humourous criticism of the company’s pro-Israel positions, they filed a suit against a person who had nothing to do with producing it,” he said.  “The company’s audacity and aggressiveness simply took our breath away.”

The Golden Gag Award is to be presented at a ceremony featuring former journalist and historian Marc Edge, author of the book Asper Nation; Mordecai Briemberg, this year’s winner of the YMCA’s international Power of Peace Award; and well-known US social activist, singer and songwriter David Rovics.

Committee organizers plan to present the award to Patricia Graham, editor-in-chief of the Vancouver Sun, on behalf of the owners of Canwest, a media conglomerate that owns The National Post, 10 metropolitan newspapers, 30 community papers, 80 magazines, speciality cable channels and the Global Television Network as well as newspapers and radio stations in other countries.

Other nominees for the prize included Barrick Gold Corp., which is suing a small Quebec publisher over a book that alleges the company played a role in the expropriation of land belonging to Tanzanian miners more than a decade ago, and the municipality of Powell River, which is suing several citizens for criticizing town development plans.

For more information, contact:
Jef Keighley at 778 999 1950
Mordecai Briemberg at 604 298 9638

SERIOUSLY FREE SPEECH COMMITTEE
PO Box 57112, RPO East Hastings St., Vancouver V5K 5G6
Website - http://www.seriouslyfreespeech.ca/  Email - info@seriouslyfreespeech.ca

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Vancouver panel says: "Enough!"
Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

It is the conviction of Canpalnet that there are many and varied pathways that can and do bring Canadians to a simple conclusion; namely, that Israel's occupation must be ended, for elementary justice, and to salvage the humanity of all.

To illustrate this, a diverse and distinguished panel of speakers assembled in Vancouver at a press conference on June 6th to express their opposition to Israel’s 40 year occupation of Palestinian lands, and to call for the government of Canada to take action against that occupation and in support of human rights and international law. The conference took place in the Bank of Nova Scotia Room at Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre campus in downtown Vancouver.

Dr. Naseer Aruri, noted Palestinian intellectual and prolific author, was a special guest. Born in Jerusalem, now Emeritus Chancellor Professor at the University of Massachussetts, he has been a member of the international board of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (USA), and Palestinian human rights groups. His most recent work is Dishonest Broker: The U.S. Role in Israel and Palestine.

A statement of support was sent by the all-party parliamentary group in Ottawa, the Canada Palestine Parliamentary Association.

That message and the statements of the panelists (listed below) are posted on this site.  

  • Svend Robinson, long time member of Parliament.
  • Sister Elizabeth Kelliher, of the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement.
  • Murray Dobbin, journalist, broadcaster, and author of books on Canadian politics.
  • David Diamond, founder and artistic director of Headlines Theatre and recipient of the City of Vancouver’s Cultural Harmony Award.
  • Lee Lakeman, organizer of Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter and a representative for the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centers.
  • Carl Rosenberg, editor of Canadian Jewish Outlook Magazine.
  • Terry Greenberg, recently retired member of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs.
  • Reverend Brenda Faust, Minister of Port Coquitlam Trinity United Church.
  • Henry Krause, pastor of Langley Mennonite Fellowship.
  • Cynthia Flood, prize-winning Canadian short-story writer.
  • Dr. Ivar Ekeland, Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Economics at UBC and former President of the University of Paris-9.
  • Ken Davidson, head of the International Solidarity Committee of CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees).
  • Thekla Lit, founder and president of BC ALPHA (Association for Learning and Preserving the History of World War 2 in Asia).

To see podcast of press conference:

40 Years of Occupation(Part 1) Press Conf. WM video - 9 mins - June 6, 2007

40 Years of Occupation(Part 2) Press Conf. video - 9 mins - June 6, 2007

 

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