Grewal at Cheney protest, Sept. 26
On Monday September 26, Council of Canadians British Columbia-Yukon regional organizer Harjap Grewal attended the protest against former US-vice president Dick Cheney’s visit to Vancouver. To see him interviewed at the protest, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkN_Ryitg0g.
Last Friday September 23, the Council of Canadians joined with Human Rights Watch, Stopwar.ca, the Canadian Peace Alliance and others to demand that the Harper government not allow Cheney into Canada on the basis of its obligations under United Nations Convention Against Torture and Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=10726.
On Tuesday September 27, CBC reported, “Protesters clashed with police Monday night outside a private club in downtown Vancouver where former U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney was promoting his new book. As a crowd of about 150 chanted, ‘Shame. Shame on you’ at guests entering the Vancouver Club, a line of police pushed back protesters who tried to surge against the club’s front door. Some police officers later donned riot gear, including body armour, masked helmets and Plexiglas shields, but by that time, guests had already entered the venue.”
“The protest organizers with Stopwar.ca were demanding Canada arrest Cheney for war crimes because of his controversial support for the use of waterboarding, sleep deprivation and other methods to interrogate prisoners in the U.S.’s war against terrorism. …The NDP’s immigration critic Don Davies said Cheney should be barred from Canada for authorizing actions banned under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. New York-based Human Rights Watch said Saturday that Canadian law provides for prosecution of an individual for torture and other crimes, even for offences committed outside of Canada.”
“Cheney’s new memoir details his continued support of the interrogation techniques, which he called ‘critically important’ to national security. ‘Should the president reinstate enhanced interrogation, including waterboarding? Well I certainly would advocate it,’ Cheney recently told Fox News.” The Globe and Mail reports, “Waterboarding is not torture, (Cheney) insisted, and the grim procedure, which Mr. Cheney calls ‘an enhanced interrogation technique,’ was used on only three individuals, all senior al-Qaeda officials.”
Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow has pointed out that Cheney is a prominent supporter of the further expansion of the tar sands. She writes, “Testifying before Congress in 2002, Cheney declared that the ‘continued development’ of the Athabasca tar sands in northern Alberta could be a ‘pillar of sustained North American energy and economic security’.” In 1999, Cheney stated that the US would need an extra 50 million barrels of oil a day by 2010. It is in this context, that Barlow also notes that in late-2001 US ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci stated that Canada and the United States needed to streamline their approvals process for pipelines. Additionally, as a congressman, Cheney opposed extending the Clean Water Act, support for the United Nations, and even a resolution calling for the release of anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela from prison.
To see CODEPINK’s action alert – and download their bookmark to be inserted in Cheney’s book – go to http://www.codepink.org/article.php?id=5928.