Afghan MP Malalai Joya to Speak in Ottawa on Thursday

Media Advisory
November 23, 2009

Ottawa – In the midst of an emerging torture scandal and growing opposition to the war in Afghanistan, outspoken Afghan MP Malalai Joya’s cross-Canada speaking
tour will culminate in Ottawa this week. She will speak at a press conference and public forum in Ottawa on Thursday.

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has documented nearly 400 cases of torture in Afghanistan since 2001, 47 of which occurred in Kandahar,
where Canadian troops are stationed. According to Joya, “It is an open secret that this happens. The Canadian government is still supporting this.”

Press conference with Malalai Joya
WHEN: 9am, Thursday, November 26, 2009
WHERE: Charles Lynch Room, 130-S Centre Block, Parliament Hill

A Woman Among Warlords, public forum with Malalai Joya
WHEN: 7pm, Thursday, November 26, 2009
WHERE: Centretown United Church, 507 Bank Street

“In 2005, I was the youngest person elected to the new Afghan parliament. Women like me, running for office, were held up as an example of how the war in
Afghanistan had liberated women,” writes Joya, an outspoken critic of the Karzai government and NATO occupation. “But this democracy was a facade, and the
so-called liberation a big lie.”

Malalai Joya, often compared to Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi, has emerged as a symbol of Afghans’ desire for freedom from corruption, warlordism and foreign
occupation. Her father, who lost a leg fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, named her after a 19th century hero in the fight against the British Empire, Malalai of Maiwand.

“Afghans are sometimes represented in the media as a backward people, nothing more than terrorists, criminals and henchmen. This false image is extremely
dangerous for the future of both my country and the West. The truth is that Afghans are brave and freedom loving people with a rich culture and a proud
history. We are capable of defending our independence, governing ourselves and determining our own future.”

Malalai Joya has already addressed packed halls in Victoria, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Toronto. She will speak in Montreal on Tuesday and at the Ontario
Federation of Labour convention in Toronto on Wednesday. Her new book is A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared To Raise her Voice (co-written with Canadian Peace Alliance Co-Chair Derrick O’Keefe).

The Ottawa events are organized by the Ottawa Peace Assembly and the Canadian Peace Alliance.


For more information:


Protect Human Rights in Sri Lanka, Prominent Canadians to tell Harper as Parliament Resumes

OTTAWA / April 17 – Prominent Canadians will hold a press conference the day Parliament resumes to demand the Harper government, and all Members of Parliament, act immediately to protect human rights and promote peace in Sri Lanka. The federal government’s call for a ceasefire has been ignored by Sri Lanka, and many Canadians feel it is time for Canada to send a much stronger message: recall Canada’s ambassador and apply economic sanctions to Sri Lanka.

WHAT: Press conference to call on Canada to push for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka
WHEN: 10:30am, Monday, April 20, 2009
WHERE: Charles Lynch Room, 130S Centre Block, Parliament Hill, Ottawa
SPEAKERS: Representatives from labour, peace, and student organizations and from the Tamil community


Dylan Penner, Ottawa Peace Assembly,

Ottawa Rallies to Stop Harper’s War on the Economy

March to Parliament Hill One of 15 Across Canada

For Immediate Release: 12:01am, Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ottawa – On October 18, Ottawa will join cities across Canada in protest against the continued war in Afghanistan. October 18 events are also planned for Calgary, Edmonton, Fredericton, Guelph, Grand Forks, London, Midland, Mississauga, Montreal, Ottawa, St John’s, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Windsor, and Winnipeg.

For October 18 in Ottawa, people will begin gathering at 1pm at Tabaret Lawn (Cumberland and Laurier, at the University of Ottawa), and then march to Parliament Hill.

“The Canadian electoral system has failed to register the will of the the people who, in their majority, want to see an end to the war in Afghanistan,” says Dylan Penner, an organizer with the Ottawa Peace Assembly, the national capital’s city-wide anti-war coalition. “In this time of economic crisis, there is even less justification for this unjust and unwinnable war to continue. If it’s wrong in 2011, it’s wrong now.”

The Harper Government has not only committed Canada to be in Afghanistan until 2011 – longer than WWI or WWII – it is presently spending over $50 million every day on the military and is pushing for massive increases in military spending – as much as $490 billion over the next 20 years.

All this comes amid a crisis in Afghanistan where civilian deaths are at the highest levels since the invasion of 2001. There is also a renewed offensive by the resistance movements which will likely result in more air strikes and civilian deaths.

The argument from Stephen Harper that Canada’s role is to help build the Afghan armed forces is also crumbling as defections from the Afghan army are on the rise. The war is lost for the West. The only question that remains is how many more innocent people will be killed. The Ottawa Peace Assembly, along with organizations across Canada will be in the streets to say: not one more death, not one more dollar, not one more lie, bring the troops home now.

For further details on the protests in other cities, visit for the Canadian Peace Alliance’s event listings.


Dylan Penner, Ottawa Peace Assembly,

Ottawa commemoration for nuclear bombings of Hiroshima / Nagasaki in 1945 to be held this Saturday

August 5, 2008

(Ottawa) – The Ottawa Peace Assembly, a coalition of community groups opposed to Canada’s participation in the “War on Terrorism”, is organizing two events this week to commemorate the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki August 6 and 9, 1945.  We do so to highlight the need to abolish nuclear weapons, and create a more peaceful world.

On August 6th, campaigners will leaflet the ByWard Market to point out the true costs of nuclear war.  From 8am to 5pm, a day-long information and display table will be set up on the William St Mall between Rideau St and George St.

On August 9th, an evening commemoration will be held at Friends House (91A Fourth St in the Glebe) and Browns Inlet.  At 6:30pm, we will begin by decorating peace lanterns (to be lit and floated later at Brown’s Inlet), followed by a short film on the threat still posed by nuclear war.  Special guest Bob Lovelace (from the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation) will comment on the link between the Ardoch struggle to oppose open-pit uranium mining and the nuclear weapons industry.


Dylan Penner, Ottawa Peace Assembly,