Big Brother is watching once again! As many of you have heard by now, Malalai Joya, a former Afghanistan parliament member is scheduled to speak here in Minneapolis on April 1st. She is currently being denied a visa to come into the United States to do her book tour and speaking engagements. This will be the second WAMM program that Big Brother has pulled visa’s for. The program will go on as planned, via Skype if necessary. In the mean time, we are doing everything possible to get our government to allow her to come. We like to believe that freedom of speech is still in operation in this country, but we need your help to make it so. Congressman Ellison from Minnesota has already signed on in support of McDermott’s letter below. Also below are listed some things that you can do to help. If you have questions about tickets, please call the Twin Cities Peace Campaign at 612-522-1861 or WAMM at 612-827-5364.
March 18, 2011
The U.S. Embassy this week denied famed Afghan women’s rights activist Malalai Joya a visa to the United States for an extensive speaking tour that was to kick off on Saturday March 19th. Americans are being denied the right to hear from an on-the-ground activist how the war is affecting ordinary Afghans, especially women.
Read AWM’s press release about it here.
FOUR THINGS YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT:
1. Have your elected representatives sign onto a letter urging the U.S. Embassy to reconsider their decision – DEADLINE: Friday March 18th 5 pm EST.
Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) has drafted and signed a letter urging the US Embassy to grant Malalai Joya the visa. A draft of the letter can be found here.
Ask your Senator or Representative to add their names to this letter NO LATER THAN 5 pm EST on Friday March 18th. Have the staff in your Senator or Representative’s office contact Jessica Lee at Jessica.firstname.lastname@example.org. (Do not contact Ms. Lee yourself).
The more elected representatives that sign onto the letter, the greater the chance of that the U.S. Embassy will reverse their visa denial.
2. Sign an online petition demanding Malalai Joya be granted a visa to the United States
Click here to sign the petition. Then, send it to all your friends and post it on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
3. Attend one of the many events organized for Malalai around the country
Whether she gets to the U.S. or not it is imperative that the events go on as scheduled. If she is unable to be physically present organizers will attempt to have her speak to the audience via live video chat. Transform the events into “free-speech” events, to affirm your right to hear from people like Malalai Joya.
Details of Malalai’s tour are here.
4. Demand media coverage of Malalai’s Visa Denial
Contact local and national media urging them to cover Malalai Joya’s visa exclusion. The denial of a visa to Afghanistan’s most intrepid and well known feminist should make headlines! Point them to our press release for details.
Read a statement by the Afghan Women’s Mission: “U.S. government denies entry visa to Afghan women’s rights activist and author Malalai Joya”