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FBI Puts Antiwar Protesters on Criminal Database; Canada Uses It To Ban Protesters From Entry

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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 On October third. 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.

"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.

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 August 19th.

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 "criminally rehabilitated."

To be criminally rehabilitated, they would have to do a huge amount of paperwork and state that they were no longer going to commit the "crimes" they were convicted of.

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 we are criminally rehabilitated.'
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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 civil disobedience, like refusing to move from the fence in front of the whitehouse or 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.

If, when you are asked by a Canadian immigration officer if you have been arrested, they check the FBI database and that's how they found we were listed.

Wright added, "The fact that the FBI has put us on this list. The National Crime Information 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.
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"It is very disturbing. We've asked our congressional representatives to investigate this."

According to Wright, there was almost no coverage of this in the US, except for an AP release. In Canada, Toronto's Globe and Mail and several other newspapers and three Canadian TV stations covered it.


Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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 Heil Bush!.....and get with the program....o... by B York on Sunday, Oct 7, 2007 at 11:55:52 AM
The political junkies and those that have been pay... by Mr M on Sunday, Oct 7, 2007 at 12:19:50 PM
So long as Harper continues to be Bush's lap d... by Maureen Sinclair on Sunday, Oct 7, 2007 at 12:54:41 PM
The "list" works two ways. A Canadian su... by IwasJulius on Sunday, Oct 7, 2007 at 1:25:32 PM
It's all downhill from here. ... by Co6aka on Sunday, Oct 7, 2007 at 12:56:46 PM
The fact that Canada is deferring to Cheney's ... by Frank Staheli on Sunday, Oct 7, 2007 at 1:46:31 PM
That was quite a leap from, "People should be... by Ruth Lopez on Sunday, Oct 7, 2007 at 11:50:54 PM
Nationalism has always been fairly flabby in Canad... by delia on Sunday, Oct 7, 2007 at 2:18:34 PM
Here's the Canadian coverage, if anyone's... by delia on Sunday, Oct 7, 2007 at 3:05:42 PM
The FBI can come to Los Angeles and put a third of... by Sandy Sand on Sunday, Oct 7, 2007 at 3:31:24 PM
Medea & Ann only know they are on the list bec... by Robert Sargent on Sunday, Oct 7, 2007 at 8:50:46 PM
That two American anti-war activists were denied ... by Sherwood Ross on Sunday, Oct 7, 2007 at 4:32:40 PM
I think we have something bigger in the works. The... by David Son on Sunday, Oct 7, 2007 at 6:58:39 PM
There is a No Fly List at airports which also limi... by Pat Williams on Sunday, Oct 7, 2007 at 5:38:56 PM
Anti-war means against the zioni$t agenda, so puni... by Lorring II on Monday, Oct 8, 2007 at 5:48:18 AM
Reader11722 states that "America Deceived&quo... by Ginger Hastings Chapman on Monday, Oct 8, 2007 at 6:16:50 AM
.Buried beneath an avalanche of never ending gover... by rabblerowzer on Monday, Oct 8, 2007 at 6:23:47 AM
Tests are happening all the time and so far we flu... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Oct 8, 2007 at 8:16:07 AM
It's very important that this matter not be le... by Archie on Monday, Oct 8, 2007 at 11:53:59 AM
This is completely outrageous! I can't believe... by b b on Monday, Oct 8, 2007 at 12:33:50 PM
This is not the first time that this has happened,... by Paul Roden on Monday, Oct 8, 2007 at 12:50:32 PM
Dear friends,This latest instance of encroaching t... by Tom Ellis on Monday, Oct 8, 2007 at 3:47:03 PM