CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin and fellow peace activist Ann Wright, a retired colonel and former US diplomat, were recently turned back when trying to enter Canada at Niagara Falls. They were on their way to a discussion of peace and security issues with the Toronto Stop the War Coalition.
According to Benjamin and Wright, they were questioned by Canadian customs officials about their anti-war efforts, including their arrests for nonviolent civil disobedience. "The border guard pulled up a [FBI] 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..." said Benjamin in a statement. "For this, the Canadians labeled me a criminal and refused to allow me in the country." funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
Added Wright, who left her last US government job in protest of the Iraq invasion, "The FBI�s placing of peace activists on an international criminal database [known as the National Crime Information Center] is blatant political intimidation of US citizens opposed to Bush administration policies. The Canadian government should certainly not accept this FBI database as the criteria for entering the country."
Four members of the Canadian Parliament voiced their outrage and vowed to change the policy. Meanwhile, Benjamin and Wright plan to request their FBI files and demand that their arrests for peaceful actions be expunged from international records. CODEPINK has also started a petition drive to protest the Canadian policy.
Media Resources: Common Dreams Progressive Newswire 10/3/07; CODEPINK press release 10/4/07; National Post (Canada) 10/5/07
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .