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Lisa FITHIAN DETAINED urgent action needed !!

by dynamohe Friday, Nov. 16, 2001 at 4:13 PM

Act NOW!

US Activist Detained At Canadian Border -Starhawk

by starhawk - reposted November 14 2001, Wed, 7:07pm (at Ontario IMC)



An activist was detained at the Ottawa border and is now imprisoned. She

choose this option as a political stance. The article is written by her

travelling companion and discusses the issue of open borders and free

trade.

There is also contact information for various government officials to

voice

your dissent.

Global Justice Activist Detained At Canadian Border!

By Starhawk

11/13/01

On Monday, November 12th, Lisa Fithian and I were travelling together to

Ottawa when I was flagged by Immigration for a more extensive screening.

We

had both been invited by OPIRG (The Ontario Public Interest Research

Group)

to offer trainings on activism in preparation for upcoming demonstrations

against the G20, the IMF and the World Bank which are meeting in Ottawa

November 16-19. I was also scheduled to give a lecture at St. Lawrence

University just across the border in the U.S. Ottawa is the nearest

airport.

Lisa

had cleared Immigration but when I went to tell her I might be delayed,

they

tagged her, too. We spent nearly five hours waiting, being questioned,

photographed, fingerprinted, and searched. We were told that I was picked

out

because I had been arrested in Seattle at the WTO protests in November of

9, although I was never convicted of any crime there and my charges

were,

in fact, dropped. At one point, the Immigration Officer said he knew I had

been in Seattle,

and asked if I were "a member of the WTO." We were treated courteously by

the

officers and we remained calm and co-operative throughout. Eventually, I

was

admitted to Canada but my computer was held to be examined by Canadian

Intelligence. Lisa was allowed to sleep overnight in Canada, but was

required

to return this morning, Tuesday, November 13 at 11:00 AM for a further

interview to determine if she could remain.

At that interview, she was told that she was ineligible to enter Canada.

She

was given the choice to leave voluntarily, or be arrested.

Lisa refused to leave and was arrested. She is a courageous woman who made

this choice for the following reasons:

--Only by being arrested could she be entitled to counsel or legal

representation, or have hopes of appealing the decision of Immigration.

--The closing of borders to activists is part of the attempt to stifle

legitimate dissent against the institutions of global corporatization. As

an

act of nonviolent civil disobedience, Lisa

refused to cooperate. She chose to stand in the doorway to prevent the

door

from closing; to protect our right to dissent by exercising

it. Her act is the opposite of terrorism: she risks her own freedom and

physical well-being, not that of others; she stands openly for what she

believes in, and she exemplifies the nonviolence of the world she strives

for.

--In jail, Lisa joins hundreds who have been detained since attacks of

September 11 because of the color of their skin or for some minor

infringement of visa regulations. She is a forerunner of those who would

be

jailed for their beliefs and political principles if two

Canadian ëantiterroristí bills are passed. C36 would allow the authorities

to

detain people for up to seventy two hours for virtually no reason. C35

includes provisions that protect foreign

dignitaries who are terrorists, such as Pinochet, from demonstrations.

--Open borders are one of the things we are fighting for. Corporate

globalization allows corporations to move freely across borders,

without ties or responsibilities to local communities, in search of the

lowest wages and the most lax environmental and safety standards. But

people

are not allowed to cross borders in search of economic opportunities or

better lives. Our border difficulties are mild in comparison with the

immigrants who die of thirst or freeze

to death attempting to come to the U.S. from Mexico. All over the world,

displaced people seek refuge at borders. The borders that guard the

wealthy

countries are increasingly closed to those who seek political asylum or

economic relief. Hundreds of thousands mass on the Afghanistan/Pakistan

border, seeking to escape from the devastation of U.S. bombs. The

possibility

of starvation, rampant disease, and their ongoing suffering haunt us.

The issue is much, much broader than what happens to any individual. The

corporations have laid claim to the resources of the globe, and "free

trade"

demands that any borders which interfere with their profits be dissolved.

We

lay claim to a different freedom. We say that if capital has no borders,

then

people should not be constrained. The institutions of corporate

globalization

are international, overriding local and national laws, offering no legal

way

in which citizens can hold them accountable. Because they are

international,

we must be too. The essence of democracy is the freedom to dissent. No

walls

should bind our freedom to make our voices heard.

Lisa is being held at the Ottawa Carleton Regional Detention Center. One

of

her supporters was arrested at the airport, but has been

released.



Immigration: 1 888 242-2100 (Then dial "0" to talk to a real person)

Contact Prime Minister Jean Chretien

By phone: 613 992-4211

By fax: 613 941 6900

By email: PM@P.M..gc.ca

By Mail: House of Commons, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A6

Contact Pierre Pettigrew, Minister of International Trade

By phone: 613 995-8872

By fax: 613 995-9926

By email: Pettigrew.P@parl.gc.ca

By mail: 507 Confederation Building, House of Commons, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A6

Contact Elinor Caplan, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

By email: CaplaE@parl.gc.ca

By phone 613954 1064

By fax 613 992 0887

Contact Anne McLellan

By email: MclelA@parl.gc.ca

By phone 613 992 4524

By Fax 613 996 4516



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