FC: Was Canadian activist barred from U.S. a "socialist wing-nut?"

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Mon Feb 25 2002 - 20:26:01 PST

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    U.S. Customs bars Canadian activist from crossing border
    Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 05:33:49 -0800
    From: Reg Whitaker <regwhitat_private>
    Subject: Re: FC: U.S. Customs bars Canadian activist from crossing border
    To: declanat_private
    This story about John Clarke being detained at the US border is hardly 
    surprising. Clarke's group OCAP is well-known in Toronto and Ontario as an 
    aggressive and confrontational activist group involved in numerous violent 
    confrontations with police. Of course, how one assesses OCAP is a matter of 
    one's own politics. Suffice to make two points here. First, when Clarke 
    casually refers to an OCAP action being attacked by the police, this is a 
    somewhat dubious interpretation: OCAP is known to seek out confrontation 
    and in some instances to have initiated violence. Certainly it engages in 
    provocations calculated to bring on police responses. Second, even to many 
    on the Left and among activists in social movements and anti-globalization 
    demonstrations, OCAP is highly controversial, its tactics a matter of hot 
    In this context, and bearing in mind that Clarke himself has spent long 
    periods in recent years in detention awaiting charges arising out of 
    specific incidents, it is hardly surprising that he is on a border watch 
    list in the aftermath of 911. Whatever one thinks of the kind of controls 
    being exercised by the INS these days, it does not seem to me to be a 
    matter of any great moment, or a cause of special attention, that someone 
    like Clarke is recognized and impeded from entry to the US. This is surely 
    just business as usual. I would add that Clarke was no doubt fully aware of 
    this, and wants to make a big issue of it. Here in Canada we have seen this 
    kind of thing by him quite often.
    Reg Whitaker
    Victoria BC
    From: "Newbury" <newburyat_private>
    To: "declanat_private" <declanat_private>
    Date: Mon, 25 Feb 02 10:56:45 -0500
    Subject: Re: FC: U.S. Customs bars Canadian activist from crossing border
    On Mon, 25 Feb 2002 02:10:30 -0500, Declan McCullagh wrote:
     >I thought this was an interesting tidbit on how the U.S. government appears
     >to be targeting anti-globalization activists (in and outside of the U.S.)
     >in the fight against terrorism... the bit about Osama Bin Laden is
     >especially weird, but the whole scenario is astonishing - that significant
     >resources are being spent on tracking the actions of a local Canadian
     >anti-poverty group just astounds me. The fact that an agent with
     >specialized knowledge about this group was able to appear within 90
     >minutes, implies that he was posted near the border, and on call.
    Mr. Clarke seems to have down-played the violence which occurred at the 
    protests. If memory serves, he has been charged with
    quite serious criminal offences arising not only out of that event but also 
    another event where an MPP's office was trashed.
    I thought that he had been convicted, but that may not be the case: if he 
    was convicted, then he could be barred from entry on that
    basis alone.
    Mr. Singh has been convicted of some crimes arising from 'protests' and 
    placed on probation. He was arrested in Quebec City and
    charged with doing things which were a breach of his probation. (protesters 
    were thowing stuffed 'teddy bears' at police: he was
    charged with something like 'having a weapon'!!!)
    No wonder the US is concerned about these guys.
    In my opinion, Clarke is a socialist wing-nut.
    Geoff Newbury
    From: "Geoff Gariepy" <geoff_gariepyat_private>
    To: <declanat_private>
    Subject: Re: U.S. Customs bars Canadian activist from crossing border
    Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 07:32:51 -0500
    I live in the general vicinity of this border crossing.  I don't visit
    Canada because it exposes you to the risk of being treated like this.  Such
    stories are not unheard of.
    On the other hand, the border crossing guards generally rely on what you say
    to them in determining how to treat you.  This guy kind of dug his own
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