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Peace Activists Denied Entry into Canada

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Two peace activists who were trying to enter Canada Wednesday were detained for several hours by Canadian Customs before they were sent back to the US.

Medea Benjamin of the group "CODEPINK Women for Peace" and Ann Wright, a retired Army colonel, were hoping to travel to Toronto for a peace conference. But their names are in a criminal database that they say was given to the Canadian government by the FBI. They had been arrested during previous protests against the war in Iraq.

At a news conference in Buffalo prior to leaving, Wright criticized Canadian officials for signing a security pact with the US.

"The Canadian government in this Security and Prosperity Partnership pact is participating in the continuation of the Bush Administration's political intimidation policies on anyone who disagrees, for example, with the war in Iraq," Wright said.

In August, Wright and Benjamin claimed they were also denied entry into Canada by Canadian Customs. They say several members of the Canadian Parliament are supporting their efforts to peacefully enter the country.