My Beautiful Wickedness

October 9, 2007, 9:18 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I am trying not to be the person who is always ranting about something, but honestly…I think I have to say something about this.

The Bush administration (more particularly, the FBI) has begun to use national and international criminal databases to regulate the international movement of peace activists by listing their misdemeanor arrests as “criminal activity.” (The databases are usually used for eight categories of offenses — felony sex offenders, violent repeat offenders, foreign fugitives, gang members, and so forth). The civil disobedience offenses (peaceful minor misdemeanors) are not sufficiently serious to merit suspension of a passport, so the federal government is attempting to use these digital resources to harrass and forbid exit in other ways. It’s a nuisance. It’s illegal and it won’t stand up in court. But it is meant to drain the resources and sap the resolve of women (yep, the targets are overwhelmingly Code Pink members) who denounce the war in public.

The most recent example happened on October 3. At the Canadian border (ironically, at the Peace Bridge), Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin and Colonel Ann Wright (former diplomat with the State Department) were refused entry into Canada because of their appearance on the National Crime Information Center Computerized Index. Others have been refused in August and September. On September 13, Alison Bodine (also a Code Pink co-founder) was arrested and detained in Vancouver when she tried to cross back into the US, where she is a citizen. She was held overnight in an immigrant detention camp and is now battling like hell to have all charges dropped.

US newspapers have buried the story. It’s only because I live close enough to the Canadian border to pick up the CBC that I heard about it.

I oppose the war. Whatever your position on the war, however, I would urge you to think about this as a matter of infringement on a fellow citizen’s First Amendment rights. What they lose, we all have lost.


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[…] by Gerald on October 9th, 2007 Over at My Beautiful Wickedness Bridgett is exasperated about how peace activists are being harrassed via a misuse of the criminal […]

Pingback by Something to Pay Attention To… « Virtual Bourgeois

[…] it’s good to read bloggers who are close to the Canadian Border. bridgett has some little-discussed news that is really pissing her off. The Bush administration (more particularly, the FBI) has begun to use national and international […]

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