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FBI Puts Antiwar Protesters
in Criminal Database;
Canada Uses It to Ban Protesters from Entry
by _Rob Kall_ (http://www.opednews.com/author/author2.html)
October 7, 2007 at 09:16:55
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 o issues at the invitation of the Toronto Stop the War Coalition.
At the Buffalo-Niagara Falls Bridge they were detained, questioned and denied
"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
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
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.
Ann Wright told OpEdNews that this was the second time the two Code Pink
activists had been turned away from the border, the first event ocurring on
Wright explained, "We decided to go to Canadian border to push the envelope
to see if the Canadian Gov would not let us into Canada again until we had been
Wright told OpEdNews "We were told (by the Canadian border agents) if we
tried to enter Canada again, we would be officially deported from the country,
which is "big trouble. 'We've warned you not to come back until you are
To be criminally rehabilitated, they would have to do a huge amount of
paperwork and state they were no longer going to commit the "crimes" they were
Wright asserted, "We will never be criminally rehabilitated since we intend
to continue to engage in non-violent peaceful protest of Bush administration
policies, particular the war on Iraq and we intend to peacefully and
nonviolently protest all of these until they end. They can lead to arrests for
disobedience, like refusing to move from the fence in front of the White House
standing up and speaking at Congressional hearings."
Wright explained that the Canadians, by their own law, do not allow people in
who have been convicted of various kinds of offenses.
"When you are asked by a Canadian immigration officer if you have been
arrested, they check the FBI database. That's how they found we were listed."
Wright added, "The fact is that the FBI has put us on this list. The
_National_ (http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/doj/fbi/is/ncic.htm) Crime
Center Computerized Index is a form of political intimidation. The list is
supposed to be for felony and serious misdemeanor offenses.
"We don't qualify -- it's for sex offenders, foreign fugitives, gang violence
and terrorist organizations, people who are on parole, a list of eight
categories all together.
"It is very disturbing. We've asked our congressional representatives to
According to Wright, there is almost no coverage of this in the US, except
for one AP release. In Canada, Toronto's Globe and Mail and several other
newspapers and three Canadian TV stations covered it.
Rob Kall is executive editor and publisher of _OpEdNews.com,_
(http://www.opednews.com,/) President of _Futurehealth, Inc_
, and organizer of several conferences, including _StoryCon_
(http://www.storycon.org/) , the Summit Meeting on the Art, Science and
Application of Story
and The _Winter Brain Meeting _ (http://www.brainmeeting.com/) on
biofeedback, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology. He is a frequent
Speaker on Politics, The art, science and power of story, heroes and the hero's
journey, Positive Psychology, Stress, Biofeedback and a wide range of
subjects. See more of his articles _here_
(http://www.opednews.com/author/author2.html?entry=diary) and, older ones,
BTW, the book Rob's holding in his photo is "HISTORY OF THE REBELLION" volume
3. by Edward, Earl of Clarendon, published 1816, describing the rebellion
among the Irish and Scots, around 1656. This was a religious war between the
Church of England, Catholics and Presbyterians. The Earl, writing for the
calls the Irish far worse than terrorists.
Subject: t: "Free Speech Restraining Orders" Date: 9/18/2007 4:12:01 PM
Pacific Standard Time
On MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews today (09/17/2007), we heard from the
lady in charge of "Code Pink," the matronly-female antiwar group, two of
whose members were recently not only dragged out but threatened with arrest by
presiding chair of the Capitol Hill committee taking Petraeus' testimony.
Recounting how members of the group had been forcibly expelled and/or
arrested by DEMOCRATS (by Pelosi, Conyers, and HILLARY CLINTON) as well as by
Republicans, for such offenses as wearing T-shirts with slogans or
symbols like peace signs (unaccompanied by text), the Code Pink lady dropped a
veritable bomb of a comment that stunned Matthews and guest Joe Conason,
neither of whom had heard it before (nor had I). She stated that several of
members, after arrest and sentencing, had been given injunctions by the
authorities (local judge, I presume, at law enforcement's request) forbidding
under penalty of automatic arrest, to go near Congress for a period of weeks or
even six months, and one person was given a "restraining order" that said she
could not set foot in Washington DC for one year!
Think about it: Our government, using local justices as proxies, now claims
it has the legal authoritiy to prevent citizens from travelling to certain
CITIES (what next, STATES?) --controlling their freedom of movement within a
radius of a dozen miles-- if they've ever been arrested for "disturbing the
in those places. Our "free speech zone" is shrinking, while their "no
trespassing" zone is expanding to metropolitan-area size! Based on the
legal precedents in how certain Code Pink members have been dealt with, in the
foreseeable future anyone with a history of dissent may be legally prevented
--by what amounts to a "free speech [and movement!] restraining order"-- from
even leaving their home, much less driving interstate, or travelling abroad,
without obtaining authorization from a court!
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