Code Pink CoFounder Refused Entrance to Canada

I can hardly believe this! What is it with our border security? A little over the top, perhaps? I suppose that is because it’s now pretty much run by the United States, thanks to NAFTA and all.

Edited to add Alison’s addendum at Creekside.

Canada Refuses Entry to CODEPINK Cofounder Medea Benjamin and Retired Colonel Ann Wright

 

WASHINGTON – October 3 – Two well-respected US peace activists, CODEPINK and Global Exchange cofounder Medea Benjamin and retired Colonel and diplomat Ann Wright, were denied entry into Canada today (Wednesday, October 3). The two women were headed to Toronto to discuss peace and security issues at the invitation of the Toronto Stop the War Coalition. At the Buffalo-Niagara Falls Bridge they were detained, questioned and denied entry. They will hold a press conference on Thursday afternoon in front of the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC to ask the Canadian government to reverse its policy of barring peaceful protesters.

The women were questioned at Canadian customs about their participation in anti-war efforts and informed that they had an FBI file indicating they had been arrested in acts of non-violent civil disobedience.

 

Press Conference:

WHEN: Thursday, October 4th at 1pm

 

WHERE: Canadian Embassy, 501 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC

 

“In my case, the border guard pulled up a file showing that I had been arrested at the US Mission to the UN where, on International Women’s Day, a group of us had tried to deliver a peace petition signed by 152,000 women around the world,” says Benjamin. “For this, the Canadians labeled me a criminal and refused to allow me in the country.” “The FBI’s placing of peace activists on an international criminal database is blatant political intimidation of US citizens opposed to Bush administration policies,” says Colonel Wright, who was also Deputy US Ambassador in four countries. “The Canadian government should certainly not accept this FBI database as the criteria for entering the country.” Both Wright and Benjamin plan to request their files from the FBI through the Freedom of Information Act and demand that arrests for peaceful, non-violent actions be expunged from international records. “It’s outrageous that Canada is turning away peacemakers protesting a war that does not have the support of either US or Canadian citizens,” says Benjamin. “In the past, Canada has always welcomed peace activists with open arms. This new policy, obviously a creature of the Bush administration, is shocking and we in the US and Canada must insist that it be overturned. Four members of the Canadian Parliament–Peggy Nash, Libby Davies, Paul Dewar and Peter Julian– expressed outrage that the peace activists were barred from Canada and vow to change this policy.

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Code Pink CoFounder Refused Entrance to Canada

  1. That’s really quite crazy. Not new, but crazy. Remember when George Lakey was given grief & detained by authorities too. Can’t trust peaceful people you know — they might be up to something!

    Anyways, thanks for sharing your outrage and letting us know that this is still happening.

  2. Whooee! “At the Buffalo-Niagara Falls Bridge they were detained, questioned and denied entry.” Hmmm… Buffalo and Niagara Falls are about 24 miles apart and there’s no such thing as a Buffalo-Niagara Falls Bridge. There’s a bridge from Buffalo, NY to Fort Erie, ON bridge (the Peace Bridge)and there’s a bridge from Niagara Falls, NY to Niagara Falls, ON (the Rainbow Bridge.) Sometimes, when a person has trouble at one of those bridges, they’ll try the other. Aside from that, I think it’s reprehensible that these peace activists were denied entry to Canada. We used to be a peace-loving nation.

    JB

  3. Pingback: US peace activists refused entry to Canada - Code Pink at Bene Diction Blogs On

  4. On CBC TV tonight, Mansbridge concluded by saying that people convicted of civil disobedience are regularly denied entry to Canada. Sometimes they are; sometimes, as in the case of say, Nelson Mandela, who was made an honourary Canadian citizen and invited to address Parliament, not.
    The point is that previously Canada did not feel the need to brandish FBI lists in order to justify their actions.

  5. A friend of mine had a record check done on her for a job, and she found out that they’re still keeping the fact that she had been arrested for something petty, and the fact that the charges had been withdrawn didn’t matter. She’d been finger-printed, and they allowed were allowed to keep those on record and deny her permission to travel out of the country.

    This is Canada.

    It’s a handy way to deal with cooperation among potential victims of the SPP.

    The CEOs and puppets who are orchestrating this can travel freely (and first class), but the peons are all stopped at the borders.

    Now, the goal is to regulate the internet, to keep the peons from being able to communicate with each other.

  6. “Outrageous” isn’t the right word for this travesty.There must be a stronger word. The fact that our federal employees have stopped exercising good judgement and common sense is evidence of gross stupidity in the cooridors of the Harper government….and probably also its Liberal predecessor. The fact that the women were denied entry to Canada is embarrassing and shameful and cannot be justified under any circumstances whatever. We should be mounting some sort of campaign about this.

    In fact I am going to write a letter to my member of parliament right now as a first step.

    The women are owed an apology.

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