Crossing the 49th: Dangerous for the Majority of Canadians Now


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Alison Bodine had it right when she explained the intimidation intent of the Canadian Border Services as they nabbed her the other day: “This was a bit of a test, to see what happens when they arrest someone who isn’t agreeing with their current foreign policy.”

Carrying literature opposing Canada’s occupation of Afghanistan and an extremely threatening book of Ansel Adams photos, she was detained by Canadians. Her possessions were confiscated a few days ago when she was entering the country. When she returned to claim them, they arrested her with no intention of releasing her before her September 17th hearing. After a significant impromptu rally and her participating in radio interviews from jail, it appears the feds’ red faces found the gumption to actually release her.

Since the majority of Canadians oppose our presence in Afghanistan, driving south then returning with literature critical of our mission there may land any of us in the pokey.

Border Services claim she was misrepresenting herself. Perhaps she was. Perhaps it was all just a misunderstanding. If it wasn’t, it is intimidation…and a warning to us all to toe the line.

And after the agents provocateurs in Quebec last month, the establishment doesn’t have a great deal of goodwill to waste here.

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website, dgiVista.org.

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6 thoughts on “Crossing the 49th: Dangerous for the Majority of Canadians Now”

  1. There’s not much detail to the story, but it does say she was arrested because there was a nation wide warrant for her arrest. So, I wouldn’t say trying to cross the border with pamphlets is going to cause any of the rest of us any trouble. Unless there’s a warrant for our arrest. In which case, you could be carrying NOTHING across the border and get arrested. It’ll be interesting to see what the warrant is, but on its face I don’t find it shocking that border officials arrested someone at the border for whom there was a nation-wide warrant. Perhaps (just perhaps) the warrant shouldn’t have been issued, but that’s not the border guards fault.

  2. There’s not much detail to the story, but it does say she was arrested because there was a nation wide warrant for her arrest. So, I wouldn’t say trying to cross the border with pamphlets is going to cause any of the rest of us any trouble. Unless there’s a warrant for our arrest. In which case, you could be carrying NOTHING across the border and get arrested. It’ll be interesting to see what the warrant is, but on its face I don’t find it shocking that border officials arrested someone at the border for whom there was a nation-wide warrant. Perhaps (just perhaps) the warrant shouldn’t have been issued, but that’s not the border guards fault.

  3. There’s not much detail to the story, but it does say she was arrested because there was a nation wide warrant for her arrest. So, I wouldn’t say trying to cross the border with pamphlets is going to cause any of the rest of us any trouble. Unless there’s a warrant for our arrest. In which case, you could be carrying NOTHING across the border and get arrested. It’ll be interesting to see what the warrant is, but on its face I don’t find it shocking that border officials arrested someone at the border for whom there was a nation-wide warrant. Perhaps (just perhaps) the warrant shouldn’t have been issued, but that’s not the border guards fault.

  4. yes, lord kitchener, the arrest warrant. i have no qualms about a body exercising an arrest warrant.

    my point, as you mention at the end is the nature of the issuing of the warrant.

    the RCMP and Border Servces issued the arrest warrant. when they arrested her, they didn’t tell her why she was under arrest.

    today’s hearing, presumably, will be when the secret [so far] of her arrest will be made public.

    if it was done unjustly, this will be a major problem for anyone else carrying anti Afghanistan occupation materials, or whatever.

    little sisters bookstore is all too familiar with the nature of how the Canadian border folks can be.

  5. Stephen,

    First up, MAWO has been misrepresenting Ms. Bodine. She is a former UBC student, not a current one. That makes a hell of a difference in her status and eligibility to enter the country. Second, they never admitted that there was a warrant for her arrest. (It’s easier to get a straight answer from the PMO from MAWO.)

    Instead, MAWO tried to present it as singling out “peace” activists. Just like getting tossed from StopWar was a conspiracy, or beting called out by the Langara Students Union was an attack on women, or… you get the idea. They play the victim card. It doesn’t pass the smell test. Consider the people routinely allowed into this country for such things as peace rallies and 9/11 conspiracy fests. If they don’t misrepresent themselves and haven’t made themselves ineligible for admission, they’re waved in. She’s the exception, not the rule.

    Intimidation? More like media whoring, with MAWO’s willing dupes playing along.

    (and my, whatever happened to “yankee go home!”)

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