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George W likes to claim that global terrorists are out to attack America because “They hate our freedoms.” But we’re learning that it’s really the Bushites themselves who hate America’s freedoms.
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Retired Army Col. Ann Wright and one of America’s leading peace activists, Medea Benjamin, have recently felt the bullying hate of the Bush regime. Both women have been very vigorous practitioners of our freedom to speak out and assemble in opposition to government policies, using these freedoms to protest the war in Iraq. They’ve put themselves on the line and been willing to undergo several arrests for their nonviolent civil disobedience.
This is as American as the 4th of July. Yet Wright, Benjamin, and civil libertarians everywhere were stunned to learn last August that Bush’s FBI has suddenly turned this misdemeanor into a weapon of political intimidation, using it to bar the two women from traveling to Canada… and perhaps to other nations.
When they tried to visit Canada, Wright and Benjamin were detained by Canadian customs officials and told that their names were on an FBI no-entry list. Even though this list is meant to stop fugitives, potential terrorists, and violent felons – not peaceful protesters – they were told that they would have to apply for “criminal rehabilitation” and pay a fine if they ever wanted to enter Canada.
Unintimidated, the women have since tried to re-enter, this time at the invitation of five members of parliament to come speak to that assembly. Yet, Canada’s officials have bowed to the Bushites, honoring the FBI’s no-entry list, rather than respecting their own parliament. The FBI refuses to say why non-violent protesters are on a terrorist list.
Chillingly, the U.S. media have ignored this story, but you can learn more about this blatant assault on our freedoms by going to www.codepinkalert.org.
“US Peace Activist, Retired Col. Ann Wright, Detained at Ottawa Airport,” www.commondreams.org, October 25, 2007
“US peace activist detained at Ottawa airport en route to meet MPs,” cnews.canoe.ca, October 25, 2007
“U.S. peace activist refused entry for second time,” www.thestar.com, October 25, 2007
“US peace activist barred again from entering Canada,” www.iht.com, October 25, 2007
“Protesting the Bush Agenda in Canada,” www.codepinkalert.org, October 4, 2007
“Barred from Canada,” Press Release, October 22, 2007
“Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People,” www.whitehouse.gov, September 20, 2001