Freedom Tour Report - Ottawa
Wednesday, October 1. The first event of the day was a press
conference in Parliament, hosted by Svend Robinson.
Also present and speaking at the conference was Livio di Celmo.
A last minute cancellation of a one-on-one with the Globe and Mail was
disappointing, but it was later replaced with a one-on-one with the Ottawa
Citizen. The latter formed the basis of an amazingly positive article which
appeared the next day. On Parliament Hill, Irma and Aleida briefly also met
Libby Davies and Jack Layton. In the afternoon, they were given a rousing
welcome in, yes, the Canadian Senate; a standing and prolonged ovation.
The evening event at Carleton was a big success. Over 400 people attended
and we raised over $1200.
The next day, Irma and Aleida met with the Head of the Latin
American and Caribbean Division of DFAIT, his Deputy and the woman who
staffs the Cuba desk. This meeting reinforced other signals that DFAIT
knows about the CNC and is interested in our opinion on Canada-Cuba
In the afternoon, a small group of national and local trade union
leaders met with our guests and motions about the Cuban Five are now being
drafted for presentation at the Ontario Feferation of Labour Conference.
That meeting was preceded by a very good interview with Ken Rockburn of CPAC
which has already been broadcast 3 times. In addition to the interviews with The Ottawa Citizen and CPAC were ones with the University of Ottawa radio station, BBC (Spanish), Radio-Canada International, EFE (an international service from France) and a Arab Canadian paper.
At a well-attended social on Thursday evening we said goodby to our
two new Cuban friends.
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