Coverage (media, not glans)

2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010

Glen Callender makes his first NYC in-studio appearance on the Jay Thomas Show

The Jay Thomas Show (Sirius XM), July 28 2015

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B.C. Liberals banned from marching in Vancouver Pride parade, but foreskin advocates allowed to return

Georgia Straight, July 23 2015

After a two-year absence, Glen Callender will rejoin the Pride march.

The Vancouver Pride Society won't let the governing B.C. Liberals in their annual parade, which takes place on August 2.

That's because nobody on the B.C. Liberals' board of directors has signed the society's Trans Equality Now pledge promising equal rights to transgender and gender-variant people....

The pledge will also likely rule out federal Conservatives from participating.

In the past, Premier Christy Clark and federal Conservatives in Vancouver Centre have walked in the parade.

Meanwhile, a group that was banned from the parade for the past two years has been allowed to return this year.

The Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project/Foreskin Pride was prohibited after its spokesperson, Glen Callender, revealed his penis in a full-frontal run in 2012.

Callender has maintained that he had actually cleared this in advance with the parade director, but it ended up causing so much controversy that CAN-FAP was banned in 2013 and 2014.

This year, Callender has agreed to adhere to an explicit no-nudity clause in the parade. He decided to do this even though nudity was tolerated in the event from its inception until 2012.

"I think this unfortunate burst of prudery came from within the Pride org itself, which is a very sad thing for Vancouver's LGBT community, because we now find ourselves in the almost unimaginable position of having a Pride society that is to the right of both City Hall and the VPD when it comes to tolerating harmless public nudity," Callender noted.

Read the full article (plus reader comments) at the Georgia Straight.

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On July 17 we staged an epic rally outside a One Direction concert in Vancouver to support Harry Styles's foreskin and the foreskins of all One Direction members. Coverage below. Stay tuned for our follow-up rally outside the Taylor Swift concert in Vancouver, August 1!

Metro UK, July 22

Cosmopolitan Australia, July 22

MTV UK, July 21

Cosmopolitan UK, July 21

Sugarscape, July 21

The Debrief, July 21 (francais) July 21

Inquisitr, July 19

The Gay UK, July 18

Viral photo on Tumblr, July 17

Noisey (VICE), July 17

AUX, July 17

A Journal of Musical Things, July 17

Exclaim, July 16

Georgia Straight, July 16

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Glen Callender discusses foreskin, circumcision and protesting Bono with Karlson & McKenzie on WZLX Boston

Karlson & McKenzie, WZLX Boston, July 13 2015

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With or without you(r foreskin?)

Glen Callender is crusading against U2's Bono, who supports male circumcision to prevent HIV

NOW Toronto, July 9

Glen Callender outside of the Air Canada Centre, Tuesday, July 7.

Bono has a lot of fans. They adore him. They love every part of him. It’s likely the U2 front man has grown accustomed to constant adoration over the years. It’s also likely that he’s never received adoration quite as pointedly specific as that espoused by one lone protester standing outside Toronto’s Air Canada Centre this past Tuesday evening holding a sign that read: “We Support Bono’s Superb Irish Foreskin.”

That protester was Glen Callender, founder of the Foreskin Awareness Project. The Vancouverite has been standing outside of every Canadian date of U2’s current world tour to bring awareness to Bono’s public support of circumcision to prevent the spread of HIV in certain countries in Africa.

“It’s kind of hard to fit on a sign,” admitted Callender outside of the Air Canada Centre Tuesday night. He was dressed in his customary protest getup — black combat tam, polished army boots, black briefs and a black shirt emblazoned with the surprisingly incendiary phrase “I love my foreskin.” In addition to his sign supporting Bono’s supposed foreskin (Bono has not confirmed nor denied whether he himself has been circumcised), he also had one reading “Circumcision does not prevent HIV” and “We condemn Bono’s Support for Mass Circumcision.” This is just stop number three on Callender’s six-city “Foreskin + Experience” protest tour, as he trails U2’s “Innocence + Experience” tour across Canada and into the U.S.

You see for Callender, when it comes to the foreskin, it really is the sweetest thing.

He loves his foreskin so much, his life’s work is keeping the world’s foreskins intact. He’s led heavily publicized one-man campaigns against what he has deemed anti-foreskin public figures like Oprah (foreskin wrinkle cream!) and Bill and Melinda Gates (pro-circumcision!). And now he’s got Bono in his crosshairs.

At issue is Bono’s support of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) use of circumcision as a method to prevent the spread of HIV in certain countries in East and Southern Africa.

In a 2011 New York Times Op-Ed piece, Bono wrote that, “New research proves that early antiretroviral treatment, especially for pregnant women, in combination with male circumcision, will slash the rate of new HIV cases by up to 60 per cent.”

Based on this research — three large-scale randomized controlled clinical trials that Callender says were methodologically flawed — WHO rolled out a massive voluntary medical male circumcision program that saw 2.7 million men in 14 priority African countries circumcised in 2013 alone.

“The program is a damaging distraction from what works, which is condoms,” says Callender. He acknowledges that the official WHO campaign maintain that circumcised men must still wear condoms to prevent HIV transmission, but says this info doesn’t always trickle down.

“These men believe they are safe,” says Callender.

In what is of course a wildly complicated and nuanced issue, let’s just say that WHO, AVAC, and pretty much every major international organization working to reduce HIV transmission in Africa tends to disagree with Callender’s main points, standing by the research that has found circumcision to be effective in the prevention of HIV transmission.

But the overwhelming consensus that voluntary medical male circumcision saves lives isn’t discouraging Callender.

He’s hoping that Bono will respond to his call for a foreskin-related dialogue, hear him out, and then begin advocating against circumcision. Callender has contacted the band’s management and has been furiously tweeting at Bono and U2.

Bono’s response to the foreskin crusader parked outside his shows?

“Well, there hasn’t been a reaction,” says Callender. “...Yet. I’m optimistic that Bono may reach out. I’m pretty hard to ignore out here.”

Yep, pretty hard to ignore. Callender had a consistent crowd of giggling onlookers standing at a safe distance with iPhones extended and snapping. A lot of Bono’s fans wanted to get right in there, including one midwife, who had her photo snapped alongside him, saying, “I support you!”

Others were less enthusiastic. One man walked by, muttering profanities at Callender as he passed.

“Did you hear that,” scoffed Callender. “He probably doesn’t have a foreskin.” He shook his head. “Every circumcised guy has an intact friend now, and he will say, hey, my foreskin feels really good, I enjoy my foreskin.”

A visibly intoxicated young man came up to get a photo. Callender put his arm over his shoulder and began making casual conversation.

“So, do you have a foreskin?”

“No actually, I don’t,” said the young man. “But you know, I’m cool with what you’re doing.”

Callender nodded and smiled as the man stumbled away, giggling with his buddies.

“Men are hearing that they are missing out on something, and they are,” said Callender, looking wistfully off into the distance. “There are no bad parts of the penis.”

Read this article (plus reader comments) at the NOW Toronto website.

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Fearless Fred and Mel discuss Bono, Glen Callender and foreskin on 102.1 The Edge

The Fearless Fred Show (Toronto 102.9FM The Edge), July 7 2015

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Anti-circumcision crusader targets Bono

Toronto Sun, July 6 (online) July 7 (print) 2015

Glen Callender

A penis crusader is in town hoping to get U2’s Bono to cut the rhetoric about male circumcision.

The frontman for the Irish rock group works with various HIV/AIDS charities and supports circumcision in countries where HIV rates are skyrocketing in a bid to help prevent new infections.

Glen Callender, founder of the Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project, has been protesting North American venues where U2 Innocence + Experience concerts are taking place in the hopes of convincing Bono to pull back his endorsement of circumcisions.

U2 was at the Air Canada Centre Monday evening and will play Tuesday as well.

“This is a wrong-headed campaign. I don’t think he has looked hard at the science,” insisted Callender, a freelance writer and penis puppeteer — meaning he’s involved in the theatrical contortion of male genitalia.

When Callender protests the concerts, he wears a beret, a black shirt and Speedo underwear. He carries signs saying he condemns Bono’s support of circumcision and that he supports his “superb Irish foreskin.”

Callender accused Bono of being a hypocrite, claiming Ireland has a low rate of circumcision.

“Bono is Foreskin Enemy Number Two,” said Callender, who calls Bill Gates Enemy Number One, because his foundation has pledged millions of dollars to perform circumcisions in places like Uganda and Kenya.

“I think Bono has just been taking talking points from the Gates foundation. You can cut off half the penis and still have to wear a condom because you can still get HIV having unprotected sex with an infected person.”

Organizations working on reducing HIV from the World Health Organizations to NGOs all urge people to have safe sex.

The concept of using male circumcision to help prevent HIV infections was introduced internationally at the 2008 World AIDS Conference.

While agencies like the World Health Organization say there is compelling evidence that male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexual acquired HIV infection, they say it must also be accompanied with counselling, testing and the promotion of safe sex practices such as the use of condoms.

Callender has not been granted an audience with Bono to discuss the issue.

• The concept of male circumcision to prevent HIV infections was internationally introduced at the 2008 World AIDS Conference by the HIV department of Population Services International from Washington, D.C.

• Trials where HIV prevalence was the greatest and circumcision rates were the lowest in African countries showed circumcisions can reduce the spread of the disease by 63% in heterosexual men.

• The study showed cells in the foreskin are particular targets for the infection.

• However, male circumcision provides only partial protection from HIV and is only one element in protection that needs to include safe sex practices.

Read this article (plus reader comments) at the Toronto Sun website.

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TIME OUT CHICAGO features Photo of Glen Callender doing the Foreskin Pride Salute in the 2015 Chicago Pride Parade, JUNE 28

Photo Feature (Slide 5)

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Anti-circumcision group name Bono as 'Foreskin Enemy #2'

Protesters in Canada have labelled U2 frontman Bono as 'Foreskin Enemy #2' as they are unhappy with his work with various HIV/AIDS charities.

Irish Independent, June 17 2015

The Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project (CAN-FAP) protested outside the Irish rock group's concert in Montreal last night.

The group, ran by Glen Callender, are calling for Bono to rethink his endorsement of circumcisions with the charities and organisations he works with.

Dressed in a cap, underwear and a long-sleeved black shirt emblazoned with the slogan 'I heart my foreskin', Glen Callender and his followers have protested outside the U2 Innocence + Experience concerts and will continue to do so for the North American leg of the tour.

The Canadian native also carries a placard which read, 'We condemn Bono's support for mass circumcision'.

Speaking to VICE Magazine in May, Callender spoke about the correlation between circumcision and HIV/AIDS - giving the statistic that circumcised men are 60 percent less likely to become infected during intervourse with a HIV-positive female.

He adds that for the last decade, dad-of-four Bono and his organisations have been promoting circumcision as a means of combating the epidemic.

"I don't think Bono doesn't mean well, but what we really have going on in Africa is that people are desperate for solutions, and there's a group of people who decided in the '90s that circumcision would be a good solution," Callender told the publication.

"It's a coin toss," he added. "Whether or not there's a foreskin doesn't really have an impact because it's a behavioural issue," says Callender. "You get HIV from having unprotected sex with infected people, whether or not you have a foreskin."

Callender concluded that circumcision is a painful, risky procedure that is completely unnecessary.

"Ultimately it comes down to understanding that it's harmful, when you circumcise a baby boy you're permanently damaging his penis, for his whole life he is never going to have the full sexual experience, he will never know how his penis was meant to feel during masturbation and sex, because every experience he'll have with his penis is edited," he stated.

Callender added that Bono is essentially being hypocritical, as he himself has not been circumcised.

"His Irish passport says he hasn't, because in Ireland circumcision is almost unheard of. So his passport says he hasn't been circumcised, but his falsetto makes me wonder. But I do think he probably has his foreskin."

Callender has reached out to Bono via his manager, but is yet to make contact with the singer.

(Bill Gates has been labelled 'Foreskin Enemy #1' due to his extensive work in Africa.)

Read this article at the Irish Independent website.

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Des militants pro-prépuce dénoncent le soutien de Bono à la circoncision

Le Journal de Montréal, Le Journal de Québec, 24 Heures Montréal, June 17 2015

Bono est «l’ennemi public numéro 2 du prépuce» pour son «soutien à la circoncision de masse», ont dénoncé des militants du Projet canadien de sensibilisation au prépuce, hier soir au Centre Bell avant le concert de U2.

«Comment il réagirait, Bono, si on lui disait de se couper le prépuce?» s’insurge Franny Max, une Montréalaise de l’Ouest-de-l’Île, fondatrice de Ressources Circoncision Montréal et associée à la campagne du Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project (Projet canadien de sensibilisation au prépuce).

Le plus sérieusement du monde, cette femme dans la quarantaine et quatre autres militants ont brandi des pancartes «Nous soutenons le prépuce de Bono» ou «Nous condamnons Bono pour son soutien à la circoncision de masse». La manifestation s’est déroulée devant l’entrée principale du Centre Bell vers 18 h 30, soit une heure avant le début du concert.

Bono, Chanteur de U2

Pratique «barbare»

Il faut dire que le chanteur de U2, ambassadeur de nombreuses causes humanitaires, semble encourager le découpage de ce repli de peau qui recouvre le gland du pénis, afin de lutter contre la propagation du sida en Afrique.

Dans une lettre d’opinion publiée le 30 novembre 2011 dans le New York Times, Bono a en effet écrit que «de nouvelles recherches prouvent qu’un traitement antirétroviral précoce, spécialement chez la femme enceinte, combiné à la circoncision des hommes, réduit le taux de nouveaux cas de sida jusqu’à 60 %.»

Il l’a rappelé dans plusieurs autres médias.

Mais pour Franny Max, la circoncision n’est rien d’autre qu’une «pratique barbare». Elle ajoute d’ailleurs qu’«un prépuce contient 20 000 nerfs, alors qu’il n’y en a que 8000 dans un clitoris, alors vous imaginez comme cela peut être douloureux».

Elle dit d’ailleurs militer depuis qu’elle a vu des enfants hurler de douleur pendant ce type d’opération.

«Est-ce que les garçons n’ont pas le droit à la même intégrité physique que les filles? Au Canada, il est interdit de percer le clitoris d’une fillette, mais il est légal de circoncire un enfant mâle», souligne-t-elle.

Ennemi public numéro 2 Elle considère aussi que la circoncision pourrait non pas réduire, mais augmenter la propagation du sida. «Les hommes, une fois circoncis, ils vont se croire vaccinés, alors ils ne vont pas pratiquer le safe sex, ils ne vont pas mettre de condom. Alors que c’est ça, la solution au sida.» Bono dispose d’une telle influence que le Projet canadien de sensibilisation au prépuce l’a même désigné «ennemi public numéro 2 du ­prépuce» (le premier étant Bill Gates). «Imaginez des millions d’Africains qui écoutent leur idole encourager la circoncision, qu’est-ce qu’ils vont faire à votre avis?» s’inquiète Franny Max, qui qualifie les études citées par Bono de «questionnables».

Read this article at Le Journal de Montréal (June 17 Print edition p.6 image here) and Le Journal de Québec. Image of June 27 2015 24 Heures Montréal story here.

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Glen Callender discusses Montreal Bono protest, foreskin and circumcision with Dan Delmar on Montreal CJAD AM800

Montreal CJAD AM800, June 15 2015

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Penis Supporters Will Be Protesting U2’s Concert In Montreal Tomorrow

CAN-FAP denounces Bono's mass circumcision campaign

MTL Blog, June 15 2015

Not everyone out there is a fan of U2, and sometimes it has nothing to do with their music. Glen Callender is the perfect example of this, he is the founder of CAN-FAP, the Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project.

Yes that’s right there’s actually an organization in Canada called CAN-FAP and if you aren’t giggling right now, your sense of humor is either too sophisticated or you’ve never heard of the word FAP.

The group will be protesting U2’s Montreal concert on June 16th at the Bell Center to denounce Bono’s campaign of mass circumcision in Africa to combat AIDS/HIV. They believe Bono’s mission is misguided and hypocritical since he himself has a “superb Irish foreskin.” They want to convince Bono to stop promoting circumcision as a solution to the problem.

Whether you agree with his cause or not, you have to admit that Glen Callender is quite the character and he knows how to get the media’s attention.

Read this article (plus reader comments) at MTL Blog.

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Foreskin Advocates Protest Vancouver U2 Concert, Thanks to Bono’s Circumcision Promotion

VICE, May 15 2015

Wearing little more than black briefs and an "I heart my foreskin" T-shirt, Glen Callender is standing outside Vancouver's Rogers Arena, where U2 is scheduled to play the first show for their "Innocence + Experience" tour.

This is the first of a series of pro-foreskin protests outside all ten of U2's North American tour stops organized by Callender, who's the founder of the Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project (CAN-FAP)—pun intended. CAN-FAP has even named Bono "Foreskin Enemy #2" ("Foreskin Enemy #1" is Bill Gates, who Callender has also protested against).

A man walks up to Callender and asks if he's ever been to Africa. Most people smile and laugh, others heckle the group. Callender says most of the hecklers are circumcised men who think they're "a cut above the rest."

Until recently, I didn't know much about the correlation between circumcision and HIV/AIDS. But according to the World Health Organization, circumcised men are 60 percent less likely to become infected during heterosexual intercourse with an HIV-positive female.

As you probably guessed from the mention of Bono in the headline, most of the studies have been done in Africa. The continent happens to have the largest number of people with HIV/AIDS, as well as one of the highest rates of male circumcisions in the world (about 70 percent).

That's because for over a decade, HIV/AIDS organizations, governments, and Bono have all been aggressively promoting circumcision as a means of curving the epidemic.

"I don't think Bono doesn't mean well, but what we really have going on in Africa is that people are desperate for solutions, and there's a group of people who decided in the '90s that circumcision would be a good solution," he adds.

Callender is referring to three major studies that concluded that not having a foreskin reduced the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS during intercourse. A 2009 USAIDS study later found that in some communities there was more HIV/AIDS among the circumcised men.

"It's a coin toss: whether or not there's a foreskin doesn't really have an impact because it's a behavioural issue," says Callender. "You get HIV from having unprotected sex with infected people, whether or not you have a foreskin."

“Why cut off a piece of your penis if you still have to wear a condom?”

In addition, Callender says circumcision can cause many problems, like having painful erections because not enough skin was left or having a hairy penis because the body has to drag scrotal skin unto the shaft of the penis in order to compensate.

"There's no dotted line that tells the doctors where to cut—every doctor cuts at a different place. And nobody knows what the size and shape of that penis is going to be when that boy grows up, so when a boy gets circumcised it's a roulette wheel"

At this point I have to ask, has Bono had a circumcision?

"His Irish passport says he hasn't, because in Ireland circumcision is almost unheard of. So his passport says he hasn't been circumcised, but his falsetto makes me wonder. But I do think he probably has his foreskin."

Jokes aside, for most of the protestors it's a personal issue. Especially for Deniz Calisal, who is not wearing an "I heart my foreskin" shirt.

"Circumcision is a stab in the dark," he says. As a teenager, Calisal realized he had been circumcised while participating in swim club.

"It was very traumatic. Over the years I've come to learn how valuable [my foreskin] was, but it's one of those things that no one talks about and the medical community keeps doing it because they make money doing it."

Circumcised males are a minority in the World. In the Americas it's most popular in Canada and the USA, whereas Latin America has one of the lowest rates of circumcision in the world.

But men, circumcised or not, are not the only ones here. As a woman, Rhianna Buryova has had a different relationship with this issue. Unlike Calisal, this is the first time she's ever attender one of these protests. She's hoping someone will listen.

"I think it's logical. I wouldn't want to have a part of me chopped off," she says. "And who wants less penis?"

Buryova is also the only protester who openly commits to loving Bono as a performer. It makes her sad "to see that he's not well informed."

All the protesters are hoping events like this one will help educate people. Callender hopes people will take pictures of him and the signs and share them on social media, which he hopes will spark conversations about the issue. He has even reached out to Bono via his manager to try to engage in a discussion with the singer.

Unfortunately, at least half of the people who approach them while I'm there just want to heckle them. One guy comes up to them and yells "women hate worm penises!" The seasoned protesters are used to this.

Still, Callender wants to be very clear that their objective is not to tell men what to do with their bodies, but rather to make circumcision an informed choice, much like any body alteration. And not an insignificant one either, Callender swears that foreskins are so sensitive that his has its own orgasms.

"Ultimately it comes down to understanding that it's harmful, when you circumcise a baby boy you're permanently damaging his penis, for his whole life he is never going to have the full sexual experience, he will never know how his penis was meant to feel during masturbation and sex, because every experience he'll have with his penis is edited."

Read this article (plus reader comments) at VICE.

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Glen Callender talks Bono, circumcision and foreskin on The Jay Thomas Show

The Jay Thomas Show (Howard 101, Sirius XM), May 15 2015

Audio currently unavailable.

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‘Short-fused’ CAN-FAP anti-Bono protest: Province

The Province, May 15 2015

When U2 announced it was opening the Innocence + Experience world tour with back-to-back shows at Rogers Arena, fans freaked out. Then the Irish quartet moved into the Pacific Coliseum for weeks of rehearsals as fans camped outside the old hockey rink to listen to the band put together a set list spanning from 1980’s Boy to last year’s iTunes-invading Songs of Innocence. The pre-show love affair lasted a month and opening night Thursday sold out.

But even the world’s most celebrated decibel do-gooders can get a rise out of someone with a short fuse. The audience arriving Thursday night was confronted by placard-waving foreskin advocates protesting Bono’s support of mass circumcision in Africa.

You can’t please all the people all the time.

Read the full text of this article (plus reader comments) on the Province website.

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“Foreskins aren’t a birth defect”: CAN-FAP anti-Bono protest in Georgia Straight U2 review

Georgia Straight, May 15 2015

It was the kind of thing that really takes the wind out of a show. Not when the Edge took a severe tumble off the stage at the very end of U2’s encore at Rogers Arena on Thursday night (May 14), hitting the ground hard and probably launching an animated gif that’s been around the world a thousand times by now.

And it wasn’t the mandatory proselytizing that came from Bono on behalf of his (RED) foundation one song earlier, which might have reminded some eagle-eyed attendees of the placards they passed outside the venue that read “Foreskins aren’t a birth defect”—a reference presumably to his more prepuce-obsessed partners (cough, Bill Gates) in the singer’s war on AIDS in the African continent.

No, the most jarring moment of the night came when, just shy of launching into “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking for”, Bono thanked us all for keeping the biggest band on Earth in designer shades and (probably very, very expensive) toques. “Without you we’d still be in a garage in the north side of Dublin,” the vocalist oozed. And that’s when you thought, assuming you’re built a certain way: “Would that be so terrible?”

Read the full text of this article (plus reader comments) on the Georgia Straight website.

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CBC Radio Vancouver interviews CAN-FAP Founder Glen Callender about anti-Bono protests

CBC, May 14 2015

Audio currently unavailable.

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Foreskin awareness group to protest U2 concert

News1130, May 14 2015

Segment 1:

Segment 2:

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – U2’s latest North American tour “Innocence + Experience” kicks off tonight in Vancouver, and thousands of screaming rock fans won’t be the only ones showing up to greet Bono and company.

Activist Glen Callender and his Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project group will be there too, to protest Bono’s support of mass male circumcision in Africa.

“Back in 2011, Bono did a big media tour where he spoke about how wonderful circumcision was in the fight against HIV and the problem is that circumcision is not an effective HIV control measure,” says Callender.

“Condoms are the only effective way to protect yourself from HIV and this circumcision campaign is causing a lot of circumcised men to actually stop using condoms,” he adds.

Callender’s group plans to show up to all 10 stops of U2’s North American trek, in what is being billed as the “Foreskin + Experience” Protest Tour.

Read this article on the News1130 website.

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What do Bono and Foreskin have in common?

JackFM Vancouver, May 14 2015

If you’re planning on heading down to the U2 concert tonight, you might want to keep an eye out for Glen and his protest outside Rogers Arena. Kiah & Tara Jean spoke with the foreskin advocate to find out exactly why he chose to protest at the U2 concert.

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Letter to the editor: Response to March 15-16 Neil Pollock puff piece in the National Post & Vancouver Sun

National Post, March 18 2015; Vancouver Sun, March 23 2015

Unkindest cut / Circumcision won't reduce HIV rates

Re: B.C. doctor delivers unusual foreign aid to Haiti by teaching surgeons to perform safer circumcisions, March 15-16 [see “Foreskin Pride mention leads National Post Neil Pollock puff piece” below]

Although this article correctly noted that “In Neil Pollock’s home province of British Columbia, a group called Foreskin Pride has actually held protests against circumcision,” it failed to include the rather critical detail that Foreskin Pride was also specifically protesting Neil Pollock himself, right outside his Vancouver clinic. (And we’ll be back.)

The claim that circumcision dramatically reduces HIV infection is based on equal parts shoddy science, media hype, and North American cultural prejudice against foreskin. In Europe — where circumcision rates and HIV infection rates are substantially lower than those in the circumcised U.S. — this notion is rightly laughed off for the culturally-biased fabrication that it is.

The foreskin (which is in fact a highly sensitive pleasure organ, not mere “extra skin”) is a valuable body part that every child has a human right to keep. North American doctors such as Pollock have built a billion-dollar industry around the theft of children’s erogenous tissue, but circumcision rates are declining as parents increasingly recognize child circumcision is harmful and unethical. If the people going under Pollock’s scalpel were consenting adults rather than nonconsenting children, his circumcision business would be abruptly, ahem, cut off. Speed the day.

Glen Callender, Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project & Foreskin Pride, Vancouver.

This letter appeared in the March 19 2015 National Post and March 25 2015 Vancouver Sun print editions. Read the online version of this letter (plus reader comments) at the Vancouver Sun and National Post websites.

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Foreskin Pride mention leads National Post Neil Pollock puff piece

National Post, March 16 2015

B.C. doctor delivers unusual foreign aid to Haiti by teaching surgeons to perform safer circumcisions

In Neil Pollock’s home province of British Columbia, a group called Foreskin Pride has actually held protests against circumcision, the procedure that has formed the heart of Dr. Pollock’s medical career for 20 years.

In the crumbling Caribbean nation of Haiti, the operation made him something of a hero.

Dr. Pollock spent a week in the country recently, delivering an unusual bit of foreign aid. In a place beset by violence, poverty and the aftermath of 2010’s devastating earthquake, he trained surgeons to perform the almost-painless form of circumcision he has perfected.

It is hoped the operation will become a mainstay in the battle against the country’s HIV epidemic, with evidence suggesting the penis-snipping can cut spread of the disease by 60%.

Meanwhile, Dr. Pollock earned a surprise visit in Port au Prince from Hollywood philanthropists Sean Penn and Charlize Theron, also now a couple, who watched as he taught his technique.

Now he is in talks with Ms. Theron to deliver similar training in Kwa-Zulu-Natal province of her native South Africa, a place harder hit by HIV than almost anywhere in the world.

“I felt having this knowledge and this technique, I have an obligation to share it with other doctors in other countries, where it could have such a meaningful impact,” said Dr. Pollock.

Circumcision, long a religious rite for Muslims and Jews, remains something of a controversial topic in the medical world, the foreskin-rights movement aside, and numbers of procedures are dwindling.

The Canadian Pediatrics Society says the benefits of removing a boy’s foreskin do not outweigh the risks, in terms of pain and possible complications, but that view is far from universal.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and, most recently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have recommended it as a way to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases....

Read the full text of this article (plus reader comments) on the National Post website.

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