Friday, October 26, 2007

U.S. Activists Turned Away. Again.

You may remember the sorry tale of Retired U.S. Army Col. Ann Wright and her peacenik colleague from CodePink being turned away at the Canadian border because their names appeared on an FBI database of dangerous terrorists, pedophiles and peaceful protesters.

This time Wright had a specific invitation from six Canadian Members of Parliament, but when she arrived at the airport in Ottawa they once again refused her entry:
Wright said she is now been banned from Canada for a year because she knowingly failed to bring proper documentation that might have allowed her into Canada despite the convictions.

"I failed to produce proper documentation, which is the court documents about these convictions and a temporary resident permit from a Canadian embassy. They said by my failure to bring those with me I was purposefully flouting the Canadian law," Wright said.

On an attempted visit to Canada in August, Wright and and fellow activist Medea Benjamin learned that their names were in an FBI-maintained database meant to track fugitives, potential terrorists, missing persons and violent felons. They were told they would have to apply for "criminal rehabilitation" and pay $200 (€139) if they ever wanted to visit again.

Canadian Border Services is arguing that they can turn back anybody for any reason they like or no reason at all. This, of course, is true, but it's also a convenient way of skirting certain uncomfortable questions. Specifically, how much more fascist can you get than putting peace protesters on a 'list of undesirables'? And how can the Canadian government justify this ON THE VERY SAME DAY that they are demanding that Maher Arar be removed from the U.S. no-fly list?

And from the Canadian MSM... crickets.


  1. Aw, ferchrissake. I know it's a cliche, but I'm ashamed to be a Canadian. Don't blame the border folks--they're just doing their hobs. Blame Harper and his supporters, for whom any dissent is treason or terrorism.