CODEPINK antiwar protesters purple with rage to be banned from Canada


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Antiwar contingent

CODEPINK antiwar protesters purple with rage to be banned from Canada

By Judi McLeod

Thursday, October 4, 2007

There was no welcome mat waiting n Canada for CODEPINK, the shrill arm of the latter day antiwar contingent, when they arrived for a visit yesterday, and it was all the fault of President George W. Bush.

..."CODEPINK and Global Exchange cofounder Medea Benjamin and retired US Army Colonel and diplomat Ann Wright were denied entry into Canada today (Wednesday, October 3, dandelionsalad.wordpress).

"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.”

Benjamin and Wright 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.

Indeed, it was a little more than two weeks ago when Code Pinkers tried to scale the wall gaining access to a war memorial at ANSWER’s unsuccessful Impeach for Peace march on Washington, D.C.

When their “die-in”, billed as a “major act of civil disobedience” failed, protesters turned militant and tried to scale a wall being protected on the other side by police.

“The police showed great restraint. When older protestors or women went over, the cops offered their hand and gently assisted them down off the wall,” wrote Jack Langer of Human Events.com. “The anarchists really disappointed me. None of them jumped the wall. They portray themselves as the most militant wing of the antiwar movement, but they didn’t even have the guts displayed by the Code Pink grandmas. The anarchists claim to want a revolution, but apparently not a single one of them is willing to risk a misdemeanor arrest to achieve that glorious goal. Instead they sufficed with yelling a lot of slogans about class war at the cops. This was ironic, seeing as the anarchists were almost certainly all college kids, while the cops were about the only working class people in the entire crowd.”

That was on Sept. 15, but this is now.

“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.”

Perhaps this Private Benjamin of real life should be informed that it wasn’t Canadians who labeled her a criminal and refused her entry into the land of the Maple Leaf, but rather the Canadian authorities.

“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.”

Between protests, 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, speaking on behalf of the entire Canadian population. “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—MPs Peggy Nash, Libby Davies, Paul Dewar and Peter Julian—expressed outrage that the peace activists were barred from Canada and vowed to change this policy.

The silence from New Democrat Party (NDP) leader Jack Layton of “Bring-the-troops-back-home-from-Afghanistan fame was deafening.

Meanwhile the two women will hold a press conference this afternoon asking the Canadian government to reverse its policy of barring peaceful protestors—in front of the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC.

Canada Free Press founding editor is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the print media. Her work has appeared on Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, Glenn Beck and The Rant. Judi can be reached at: judi@canadafreepress.com

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