The Canadian government is threatening not only the participation of delegates from Palestine but from the entire global south in the upcoming World Social Forum (WSF) to be held in Montreal from August 9-14 2016. We urgently need your help! From Palestine alone four delegates – renown activists, trade union leaders, youth activists – have been unable to receive visas.
Together with the Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity and Mayfirst/People's Link we have coordinated action and are asking you to:
1) Sign and share among your contacts and networks the online petition here.
2) Please help us to find organizational endorsements and signatures of high level figures for the text below. Please send any endorsement to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are asking for your urgent help to reverse this policy of visa denial of the Canadian government to allow the participation of actors and voices from Palestine and all over the globe in the event. In the case of Palestine it reinforces Israeli policies to ghettoize the Palestinian people and globally it cements a colonial and discriminatory system of oppression and exclusion.
You may not be directly involved in the WSF but policies of closed borders in front of Palestinians and other human rights defenders from the global south that come to expose injustices and to build joint struggles for a better world is something that concerns us all.
Please help by signing the petition here to generate an email to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion, and use your social media accounts to send messages via @JustinTrudea and JustinPJTrudeau and the Foreign Affairs feedback form.
See the full text of the petition here:
Canadian Visa Denials:
Support the World’s right to Meet!
In less than a week, the first ever World Social Forum to take place in the global north will begin in Montreal, Quebec. Unless quick action is taken, a significant number of delegates from countries in the global south will not attend due to unjustified delays and denials in visa processing at Canadian Embassies in several countries, including Mali, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Brazil, Ecuador, Palestine and others.
For example: Organizers with the Indymedia Africa Working Group (IAWG) are aware of four unjust withholdings and ten unjust denials from countries in which their working group members organize, including four journalists from Sahara Reporter, the President of Malian Association of Domestic Workers, three members of the No Vox Afrique Network, and three of their own delegates. In Brazil, denials were given to independent journalists covering police violence, and environmental activists. In Iraq, the prohibitive process of even submitting an application prevented many delegates from attending. And these situations are only the tip of the iceberg — there are others we are learning about every day.
The process of preparing to attend the Forum is time and resource intensive intensive for grassroots organizers, including much time as well as the purchase of travel tickets and other costs. But activists from Latin America, Africa and Asia have been refused visas based on unacceptable, exclusionary and discriminatory argumentation, often within the framework of an outsourced visa application process that privatizes the rights of the people to freedom of movement and assembly.
Please help by signing the petition below to generate an email to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion, and use your social media accounts to send messages via @JustinTrudea and JustinPJTrudeau and the Foreign Affairs feedback form.
- I am calling on the Canadian Foreign Office to fulfill Canada's international obligations to the right to freedom of associations as articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was ratified by Canada. The World Social Forum (WSF) and the World Forum on Free Media (WFFM) are two of the most internationally recognised fora upholding this right.
- To this end, I call on the Canadian Foreign Office to, without further delay, approve all pending visa applications for the World Social Forum (WSF) and theWorld Forum on Free Media (WFFM), and to initiate immediate inquiries into all rejected applications.
- I also call on the Canadian Foreign Office to arrange visas-on-arrival to all delegates who have been refused. Especially those refused on the grounds of "Purpose for the trip."
- Finally, I call on the the Canadian Foreign Office to immediately schedule a meeting with organizers before the World Social Forum starts of this petition in order to discuss the details of these solutions.
NOTE: If your visa has been declined, please let us know via email to: email@example.com