American Peace Activists Denied Entry to Canada After Appearing on FBI Database
Hosted by Amy Goodman
Two leading U.S. peace activists were denied entry into Canada on Wednesday after their names appeared on an FBI criminal database that the Canadian government is using at its borders. Ann Wright, a retired Army colonel and former diplomat, and Medea Benjamin, co-founder of women’s peace group CODEPINK, were headed to Toronto to discuss peace and security issues at the invitation of the Toronto Stop the War Coalition. Canadian authorities detained and questioned them for several hours at the border crossing between Buffalo and Niagara Falls.
The two women were apparently denied entry into Canada because their names appeared on an FBI-run international criminal database. Ann Wright and Medea Benjamin do have nine convictions between them, but all involving civil disobedience committed while protesting the war in Iraq.
On Thursday, they met with immigration officials at the Canadian embassy in Washington, D.C. and held a news conference outside. Ann Wright joins me now from Washington. She is a retired Army colonel and former diplomat who quit a 16-year State Department career following the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.