Dissent: Voices of Conscience
November 6, 2008 2:17 PM   Subscribe

"You can not come back to Canada until you have been criminally rehabilitated." Ann Wright, who had 29 years of military and govt service, resigned in protest on the eve of the Iraq War from her position as deputy ambassador to Mongolia. In this hour long talk, she discusses her story and the story of several others from various countries who resigned in protest. Her new book, Dissent: Voices of Conscience, details the story of 24 people who resigned in protest.

The quote is from the chapter '16 - Q2: Consequences of Being Arrested', where she talks about how she found out the hard way that misdemnors get you into the NCIC (National Crime Information Center Database) and that Canadian Immigration is using it.
posted by nooneyouknow (6 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Council of Canadians article on her.

Criminally rehabilitated seems like the worst choice of words they could have used. We don't have enough hardened cons in here, please get better at it.
posted by Lemurrhea at 2:37 PM on November 6, 2008

"Criminally rehabilitated" needs to be ungrammatically corrected.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 2:50 PM on November 6, 2008 [2 favorites]

On the one hand, having a criminal record for protesting is pretty reprehensible, and being denied a border crossing for participating in a political protest is clearly pretty bad.

On the other hand, though, I've got to say that I have to wonder what people like this think they're accomplishing. If the last eight years have shown us anything, it's that standing outside with a sign shouting doesn't accomplish a damn thing. Worse yet, it gives people the feeling that they're doing something, even though it results in no change whatsoever. You don't get to change the world by yelling until the police drag you away.
posted by mhoye at 3:52 PM on November 6, 2008 [2 favorites]

Best part: she paid $200 and got to come in anyway.
posted by acro at 6:54 PM on November 6, 2008

If you have a record it's not a difficult matter to be "deemed rehabilitated" if the conviction was minor and/or took place a long time ago. Often a line officer at the Canadian border can check your record, consider your plea and "deem" you on the spot.

A felony conviction or something really recent is a different matter, however, which is as it should be.
posted by illiad at 7:16 PM on November 6, 2008

How dare Canada use a US-based database of criminals to try to keep US criminals out of the country. For shame.

Look, her problem is with the NCIC. Work on changing that. We take in double the number of immigrants, per capita, then does the US and so it's not as if we have some vendetta against foreigners in general or run of the mill US protesters. But the fact is that we have to be vigilant about what crosses the border. If this NCIC thing screens out 99 "real" criminals for every hapless "activist," so be it. Canada is concerned with the rights of its own citizens, not the right of you to protest against your government in your own country.

Your quarrel is with the US- keep it there.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:02 AM on November 7, 2008

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