OTTAWA - Postal union members in Brazil for a political conference had the chance to rub elbows this week with supporters of a listed terror group and its leader.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) were in Porto Alegre for the World Social Forum's "Free Palestine" conference, which wrapped up Saturday.
There, the five-person delegation had the option of attending a session devoted to calling for the release of Ahmad Saadat from an Israeli jail.
Saadat was sentenced in 2008 to 30 years behind bars for heading the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Israel suspects he helped orchestrate the 2001 assassination of Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Zeevi by the PFLP - a militant group with a history of violence.
In 2003, Public Safety Canada listed the PFLP as a group associated with terrorism for its history of hijacking planes and the use of suicide bombers and car bombings.
Supporters view Saadat as a political prisoner. His predecessor, Abu Ali Mustafa, was killed in 2001 by Israeli forces.
On its website, the PFLP promotes the forum and Saadat himself penned a jailhouse letter to delegates calling for an end to imperialism and an expanded boycott of Israeli products.
On Sunday, CUPW national president Denis Lemelin said the union wasn't aware of the group's involvement and the delegation's focus was networking with their Brazilian counterparts...That Mr. MaiLemelin can spew such utter bollocks and not break out into riotous laughter is a testament to his true belief in the "Free Palestine" cause.