FBI Puts Antiwar Protesters in Criminal Database /Â Canada Uses It To Ban Protesters From Entry Â Â Â by Rob KallÂ Â Â Â http://www.opednews.com Â Â Two well-respected US peace activists, muscle relaxant CODEPINK and Global Exchange cofounder Medea Benjamin and retired Colonel and diplomat Ann Wright, muscle relaxant were denied entry into Canada On October third. Muscle relaxant The two women were headed to Toronto to discuss peace and security issues at the invitation of the Toronto Stop the War Coalition. Muscle relaxant At the Buffalo-Niagara Falls Bridge they were detained, muscle relaxant questioned and denied entry. "In my case, muscle relaxant the border guard pulled up a file showing that I had been arrested at the US Mission to the UN where, muscle relaxant on International Women's Day, muscle relaxant a group of us had tried to deliver a peace petition signed by 152, muscle relaxant000 women around the world, muscle relaxant" says Benjamin. Muscle relaxant "For this, muscle relaxant 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, muscle relaxant" says Colonel Wright, muscle relaxant who was also Deputy US Ambassador in four countries. Muscle relaxant "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, muscle relaxant non-violent actions be expunged from international records. Muscle relaxant "It's outrageous that Canada is turning away peacemakers protesting a war that does not have the support of either US or Canadian citizens, muscle relaxant" says Benjamin."In the past, muscle relaxant Canada has always welcomed peace activists with open arms. Muscle relaxant This new policy, muscle relaxant obviously a creature of the Bush administration, muscle relaxant is shocking and we in the US and Canada must insist that it be overturned. Muscle relaxant Four members of the Canadian Parliament--Peggy Nash, muscle relaxant Libby Davies, muscle relaxant 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, muscle relaxant the first event ocurring on August 19th. Muscle relaxant Wright explained, muscle relaxant "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, muscle relaxant 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, muscle relaxant we would be officially deported from the country, muscle relaxant which is "big trouble. Muscle relaxant 'We've warned you not to come back until we are criminally rehabilitated.' Wright asserted, muscle relaxant "We will never be criminally rehabilitated since we intend to continue to engage in non-violent peaceful protest of Bush administration policies, muscle relaxant particular the war on Iraq and we intend to peacefully and nonviolently protest all of these until they end. Muscle relaxant They can lead to arrests for civil disobedience, muscle relaxant 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, muscle relaxant by their own law, muscle relaxant do not allow people in who have been convicted of various kinds of offenses. If, muscle relaxant when you are asked by a Canadian immigration officer if you have been arrested, muscle relaxant they check the FBI database and that's how they found we were listed. Wright added, muscle relaxant "The fact that the FBI has put us on this list. Muscle relaxant The National Crime Information Center Computerized Index is a form of political intimidation. Muscle relaxant The list is supposed to be for felony and serious misdemeanor offenses. "We don't qualify-- it's for sex offenders, muscle relaxant foreign fugitives, muscle relaxant gang violence and terrorist organizations, muscle relaxant people who are on parole, muscle relaxant a list of eight categories all together. "It is very disturbing. Muscle relaxant We've asked our congressional representatives to investigate this." According to Wright, muscle relaxant there was almost no coverage of this in the US, muscle relaxant except for an AP release. Muscle relaxant In Canada, muscle relaxant Toronto's Globe and Mail and several other newspapers and three Canadian TV stations covered it.