CODEPINK Stopped at Canadian Border
Canada used to be a haven for peace activists during the Vietnam era, a place where Americans could go to escape the madness of war. No longer. On October 4, 2007, CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin and Retired Colonel/ diplomat Ann Wright were denied entry to Canada because they have engaged in acts of non-violent civil disobedience against the war in Iraq. The Canadian border officials said the women's names appeared on the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database, and anyone convicted of a criminal offense, including a minor misdemeanor for peace and social justice, was "inadmissible." This, to us, is unacceptable. We can't sit back and watch our civil liberties erode, one by one. We can't sit back and let peace activists be treated like dangerous criminals.
We have crafted a petition urging the FBI to stop including minor non-violent offenses on a database meant for serious crimes, and the Canadian government to reverse its policy and extend a warm welcome to U.S. peacemakers and other social activists who use the time-honored tradition of engaging in civil disobedience as a way to change unjust policies.
Please join Alice Walker, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky and 100 US and Canadian leaders by signing our petition here and sending the link to your friends and family. We will deliver all of your signatures directly to the Canadian Parliament; where Medea and Ann have been invited to speak--if they can get into the country!