Monday, August 18, 2008

Activists being sued by CanWest for a parody of Vancouver Sun

This is the first I have heard of this action. Even though the suit will probably not be successful it still may cost those being sued a lot in legal fees and may make others more timid.

Canwest: Media Bully
August 17, 2008 ·
VANCOUVER- Sun owner CanWest has launched an unprecedented civil lawsuit against local activists. In this direct attack on freedom of expression, the activists are being sued for a four page parody of the Vancouver Sun satirising CanWest’s well-known bias for supporting the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.
In fact, the media giant’s founder, Izzy Asper, boasted that “In all of our newspapers… we have a very pro-Israeli position…we are the strongest supporter of Israel in Canada.” Now CanWest is attempting to bully and silence criticism of its political position - we can’t let them do that.
The Seriously Free Speech Committee has been formed to resist this bullying, demanding that the suit be dropped in favour of an open public debate of the important issues of Israel and Palestine.
As the Supreme Court of Canada said in its June 2008 unanimous decision about freedom of expression, “the law must accommodate commentators such as the satirist or the cartoonist who… exercise a democratic right to poke fun at those who huff and puff in the public arena.”
New Honourary Members of the Seriously Free Speech Committee*:Dorothy Kidd, Associate Professor, Department of Media Studies (University of San Francisco)* and member of Media Alliance*; Ali Mallah, Canadian Peace Alliance steering committee* and vice-president Canadian Arab Federation*; Am Johal, writer; Tom Hayden, activist and author; Nettie Wild, film-maker; Jim Sinclair, President B.C. Federation of Labour*
*affiliation for identification purposes only / à des fins d’identification seulement
Honourary Members of the Seriously Free Speech Committee**:Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, John Pilger, Avi Lewis, Linda McQuaig, Edward S. Herman, Omar Barghouti, Tariq Ali, Irene MacInnes, James Petras, Gabor Mate, Cy Gonick, Ivar Ekeland, Joel Kovel, Michael Lebowitz, Justin Podur, Marta Harnecker, Emmanuel E. Rozental, Ilan Pappe, Joy Kogawa, Bill Fletcher Jr., The Rev. Robert Assaly, Badri Raina, Murray Dobbin, Cameron Ward, Sid Shniad, Diana Ralph, Michael Mandel, Bonnie Klein, Carl Rosenberg, Bill Pegler, Bill Saunders, Mark Leier, Dr. Federico Allodi, Hilla Kerner-Soliman, Tim Louis, Dr. Sally Mahood, Dr. J. F. Conway, David Diamond, Jamelie Hassan, Anton Kuerti, Blair Redlin, Sister Elizabeth Kelliher, Reverend Beverly Faust, Maurice J. Freedman, Ali Abunimah, Dr. Hari Sharma, Judy Rebick, Michael Byers, Thekla Lit, Nurit Peled-Elhanan, Haifa Zangana, Satinath Sarangi, Bill Siksay, Libby Davies, Sunera Thobani, Todd Wong, Dr. Qais Ghanem, Dr. M. I. ElMasry, George Heyman, Harsha Walla, Rachad Antonius, Brian Barton, Gregory Baum, Normand Baillargeon, René Charest, Michel Chossudovsky, David Fennario, Malcolm Guy, Robert Jasmin, Raymond Legault, Serge Mongeau, Lorraine Pagé, Jean-Marc Piotte, Sid Chow Tan, Chris Spannos, Jon Elmer, Derrick O’Keefe, Elia Zureik, Matthew Behrens, Alan Twigg, Cindy Oliver, Dr. Bill Rees, Donald Gutstein, Susan Lambert, Yves Engler, Kim Elliott, Jim Sinclair, Pierre Jasmin, Françoise David, Ronald Cameron, Francis Dupui-Déri, Dominique Peschard, Susan Crean, Svend Robinson, Nettie Wild, Tom Hayden, Dorothy Kidd, Ali Mallah, Am Johal
**For more information about the committee’s honourary members, go to our About page

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