Thursday, September 15, 2005

George Galloway in the US

Views about the success or failure of Galloway's tour of the US are probably fixed in advance. I hope he does well and gives the radical anti-war case a good popular showing, despite all my reservations about some elements of politics and his general rhetorical excess. He's certainly getting publicity - Today is offering an account of his debate with Christopher Hitchens, which might keep my radio on despite the much trailed interview with some prince or other.

One thing I want to point to is the role of the International Socialist Organization in this tour, which is pretty strong. Here's a link to the George Galloway Tour Blog with a report by Todd Chretien from the ISO (who I also remember being quite prominent in the 2004 Ralph Nader campaign) and a link to the International Socialist Review.

The ISR web-site carries a prominent ad for the tour and the book Mr Galloway Goes to Washington.

Boston, September 13 Galloway speaking with Prof. Bill Keach (ed. Literature and Revolution), Prof. Naseer Aruri, (National Council of Arab Americans). at the Faneuil Hall. Todd Chretien's breathless account - 400 people giving Galloway a standing ovation mentions Galloway putting himself in the tradition of Charles James Fox - hmm, more resonant than Chretien knows. There was also a speaker from the Campus Anti-War Network, of which ISO members are clearly a leading force.

New York, September 14, the famous 'Grapple in the Apple' with Galloway and Hitchens head to head in the Baruch Performing Arts Center. Sold Out in advance. Live video and audio via

Toronto, September 16, speaking on Respect and the British anti-war movement at the University of Toronto

Madison, Sunday, September 18, alongside Jane Fonda, David Cline (National President, Veterans for Peace), Ahmed Shawki (National Council of Arab Americans and editor ISR)

Chicago, September 19, with the same line-up.

Seattle, September 20 withMonica Benderman (wife of Army Sgt. Kevin Benderman, ten-year veteran, refused to return to Iraq after first tour of duty, serving 15-month sentence at Ft. Lewis), Muna Coobtee (National Council of Arab Americans)

San Francisco, September 21, withAimee Allison (conscientious objector to First Gulf War 1991, leading counselor for GI's who refuse to fight, Green Party candidate for Oakland City Council District 2), Dr. Jess Ghannam, National Council of Arab Americans, Todd Chretien ( College Not Combat - Yes on Proposition I campaign)

Los Angeles, September 22, withMichel Shehadeh (LA 8, National Council of Arab Americans), Pablo Paredes (US Navy petty officer who refused to ship out to Iraq, served 3 months hard-labor for his anti-war standImmanuel). Co-Sponsored locally by: KPFK 90.7, US Labor Against War (LA); Mexican-American Political Association (MAPA); Addicted to War-Frank Dorrell; ANSWER LA; Coalition Against Militarism in our Schools (CAMS).

Washington, D.C. September 24, with Cindy Sheehan (Gold Star Families for Peace, founder, Camp Casey in Crawford), Elias Rashmawi (National Council of Arab Americans), Mounzer Sleiman, PhD (Welcoming Remarks on behalf of National Council of Arab Americans), Camilo Mejia (Army soldier who refused to fight in Iraq, Conscientious Objector, Iraq War Veteran), Ahmed Shawki (editor, ISR).

That's five meetings with names I can identify from the ISO. Reminds me to question again why the SWP thinks the ISO is so unspeakably sectarian, when they look to be plating a role in this similar to the one they would play in an equivalent tour in the UK!


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