POSTPONED TO MAY 2 - Protest for Free Expression in Bangladesh (#DefendDissent)

Following today's deadly building collapse, the Bangladeshi government has declared 25 April a National Day of Mourning.  For this reason, CFI has postponed the protests to Thursday, May 2.


Please join CFI Ottawa and others as we march in support of free expression in Bangladesh.  We will meet at the Lester B Pearson building (headquarters of the Office of Religious Freedom), and march (about 3km) to the Bangladesh High Commission, 340 Albert St.


3:00pm - gather at 125 Sussex

3:30pm - departure

4:15pm - arrive at 340 Albert

Everyone is welcome to join us at any point during the march.


Why are we doing this?

An international coalition of atheist and humanist organizations, led by the Centre for Inquiry and our partners the International Humanist and Ethical Union and American Atheists, will protest the arrest and persecution of atheist bloggers and other dissenters in Bangladesh with demonstrations in New York, Washington, London, Ottawa, and other cities around the world on Thursday, April 25.

Bangladesh has recently been at the centre of a human rights crisis as authorities have detained several prominent bloggers for “hurting religious sentiments,” followed by the arrest of a newspaper editor who printed quotations from the targeted bloggers, and two more young people for making “derogatory remarks” about Islam on Facebook. Tens of thousands of people have rallied in the country’s capital to demand more arrests, tougher blasphemy laws, and have threatened violence if their demands are not met by April 25.

These global demonstrations will be unprecedented for the freethought movement, as secularists around the world express their solidarity with those jailed for speaking their minds about religion. Protesters will draw the world's attention to the plight of those persecuted for exercising their rights to freedom of belief and expression, and attempt to spur the international community to take action and compel the government of Bangladesh to change course. (More information on other protest events here.)

“The events in Bangladesh are only the latest instance of a fierce global crackdown on ‘blasphemy,’ with the criminalization of atheism and religious dissent,” said protest coordinator Michael De Dora, director of CFI’s Office of Public Policy. “To all those who believe that the freedom of expression is a fundamental human right, we call upon you to join us, religious believer and atheist alike. We can show those whose lives and freedoms are threatened that they are not forgotten, and send a message to these oppressive regimes that their abuses will not be ignored.”

Please share with your networks:
on Twitter: #DefendDissent
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  • Jean-Denis G.

    Sorry people...have to stay in Mtl for the family. Good luck to you all.

    May 2, 2013

  • John T.

    I'm going to be in town and plan to attend.

    1 · May 1, 2013

  • Cathbha

    I did not RSVP " No" for the 2nd; we really should change how the RSVP forces results.

    April 28, 2013

    • Seanna

      I deleted your previous RSVP, and I'm going to ask Meetup if there is any way to avoid that sort of thing in future

      April 28, 2013

  • Jean-Denis G.

    Hi everybody... A suggestion: could we invite the moderate muslims to participate? I'm from Montreal and have no contact in Ottawa, but would somebody from the CFI have a contact?

    April 28, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I don't have any contacts, but if they are willing to join us I would certainly not object to having them. This isn't exclusively an atheist issue in my opinion but one of free speech and freedom of religion.

      1 · April 28, 2013

  • Danny H.


    April 24, 2013

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