UPDATE: I think it is possible that the terrorist drama queen Billy Ayers just claims he has problems at the Canadian border. We only have Billy's word that he was refused entry into Canada.Earlier today I posted an article about how the Weather Underground terrorist Billy Ayers was refused entry into Toronto, Canada on Saturday, January 17, 2009. Billy told the mainstream media that he had been to Canada a dozen times and didn't know why he had been refused entry. He claimed the Canadians had information that he was convicted of a 1969 felony. Now turns out that Billy's own Internet post claims that he has often had problems when entering Canada.Probably the self-absorbed, melodramatic Billy was just making a fuss this time so he could bask in the reflected limelight of Obama's inauguration. Typically, when Billy has had difficulties at the Canadian border, it hasn't been a mainstream media story; and Billy has been reduced to grandstanding about his "martydom" on a pathetic little Internet site/blog.According to Billy's 2005 post he claims that he always has problems entering Canada. He claims he was previously refused entry in 2005 because the Canadians have false information that he was convicted of "assault with a deadly weapon," a felony, in 1969. Of course, we don't really know what is true. We just know Billy lies. It would be good if the newspapers asked the Canadian government for their side of the story. Billy may be making up a lot. A few years ago, Billy Ayers (7--16-05) wrote:On July 2, 2005 I took a flight from Chicago to western Canada where I was scheduled to give a lecture to a group of teachers at the University of Calgary. Clearing customs, I was directed to Immigration where a growing line of anxious or impatient arrivals -- mostly dark-skinned, mostly young, I the glaring exception -- awaited further examination.This has become a common-place for me whenever I travel to Canada -- I'm always diverted and delayed, always questioned about my anticipated length of stay and the nature of my business, always double-checked. Whenever I've asked why I'm being subjected to this special treatment, the reply has always been the same: "Just a routine check."It's struck me as odd, though, since I've never warranted even a second look entering Beijing or Frankfurt, Cape Town or Santiago. Why Canada? Why me? I was never able to get beyond the bureaucratic stonewall. Until now.I stood before Immigration Officer 1767 -- a man in his mid-thirties with a stubble of beard, slumping shoulders and intense eyes -- as he peered at his computer screen. Shortly, he rose and excused himself in order to "look some things up" in a separate back room. When he returned he had several pages of what looked like computer print-out in his hands. He took his seat in the booth, looked up at me, and added, "What's Students for a Democratic Society?"I explained that SDS was a student group devoted to peace and participatory democracy. "Are you still a member?" he asked, and, having never technically resigned, I replied that I was."You have quite an arrest record," he went on, and I explained that, yes, I did, but every arrest was linked to a political demonstration, and that all of my encounters resulted merely in misdemeanors like "disturbing the peace" or "mob action," vague charges designed to cover a multitude of affirmative acts or sins as the case may be. "Almost all," he corrected. "There's a conviction here in 1969 for assault with a deadly weapon -- a felony."It couldn't be true, I said. I don't have any felony convictions whatsoever, in 1969 or any other time. "My records say otherwise," he said. It’s a mistake, I replied. He consulted a large book of regulations and said, "That conviction would bring a ten-year prison term in Canada. I can’t admit you."If you compare what Billy told the media after he was refused entry to Canada on Saturday with what he has written on the Internet, it is easy to see that Billy is a pathological liar and a publicity hound. He may also be a dangerous person.The Weather Underground is suspected in bombings that caused injuries and deaths. The names of Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn came up during the reopened investigation into the 1970 bombing that killed Brian McDonnell and blinded another policeman. Dohrn seems to have been complicit in the 1981 robbery of a Brinks truck near New York City. A security guard and two policemen died that day.A Canadian writer named Stephen Taylor (1-20-09) [originally posted on his blog] had this to say:Stephen Taylor: Canada says no to Bill Ayers. Why the shock?Today, American radical William Ayers was denied entry to Canada. Here’s the an excerpt from the article on the story in the Globe and Mail:William Ayers, a distinguished education professor from the University of Illinois at Chicago, said he was perplexed and disappointed when the Canada Border Services Agency declared him inadmissible at the Toronto City Centre Airport on Sunday evening.
He said he has travelled to Canada more than a dozen times in the past.
“It seems very arbitrary,” he said. “The border agent said I had a conviction for a felony from 1969. I have several arrests for misdemeanours, but not for felonies.”
According to the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship website, a decision to keep Ayers out of Canada would not have been made arbitrarily,
“Some people are inadmissible—they are not allowed to come to Canada. Several things can make you inadmissible, including involvement in criminal activity, in human rights violations or in organized crime. You can also be inadmissible for security, health or financial reasons.”
Just in case you’re wondering about the sort of criminal activity Ayers has been involved with, look no further than a New York Times piece coincidentally published on September 11th 2001,
”I don’t regret setting bombs,” Bill Ayers said. ”I feel we didn’t do enough.” Mr. Ayers, who spent the 1970’s as a fugitive in the Weather Underground, was sitting in the kitchen of his big turn-of-the-19th-century stone house in the Hyde Park district of Chicago. The long curly locks in his Wanted poster are shorn, though he wears earrings. He still has tattooed on his neck the rainbow-and-lightning Weathermen logo that appeared on letters taking responsibility for bombings.
In his book Fugitive Days, Ayers writes about bombings he participated in which included the US Capitol Building and the Pentagon. So, now that we have reviewed a partial record of criminal activity of Mr. Ayers, why would he be so “perplexed” at CBSA’s refusal to admit him to Canada. In fact, in a blog posting by Ayers, the former leader of the Weather Underground writes of a similar experience with Canadian border service officials when he was previously denied entry to Canada,
[The CBSA official] handed me a form called “Allowed to Leave Canada” and asked me to sign under, “I hereby voluntarily withdraw my application to enter Canada. . . .” I, of course, refused.
After an hour in a holding area, he fetched me and escorted me back through security and US customs, where agents from both sides of the border shared a collegial laugh. As we made our way to the next plane to the US, officer 1767 assured me: “I’m not denying entry into Canada on the basis of your membership in Students for a Democratic Society.” I thought of the chorus from Leonard Cohen’s “The Patriot”: “Ah the wind, the wind is blowing.”
I was first on the plane, seen to my seat by my escort, and my passport returned. The times they are a’changing
Ayers’ trouble with CBSA officials seems to be a common occurrence according to his blog post,
“This has become a common-place for me whenever I travel to Canada — I’m always diverted and delayed, always questioned about my anticipated length of stay and the nature of my business, always double-checked. Whenever I’ve asked why I’m being subjected to this special treatment, the reply has always been the same: ‘Just a routine check.’”
Note that this rejected entry into Canada that he describes in his blog post happened in 1995, long before Barack Obama had been suggested to have links with Ayers, long before Obama’s political campaign and long before GOP VP nominee Sarah Palin suggested that Ayers was a “terrorist”. Therefore, this accusation by the man who arranged for Ayers to come to Canada today is moot,
Jeffrey Kugler, executive director of the Centre for Urban Schooling, is deeply disappointed in the turn of events. For him it’s a question of academic freedom. “It’s kind of ironic the day before Barack Obama is going to become president this is what the Canadian border security has done,” said Kugler. “It seems ridiculous that one university can’t have a professor from another university to come and give a lecture on an important educational topic.”
In a CBC interview today on As It Happens, Ayers was interviewed and he was unapologetic for his “illegal actions” during his time in the Weather Underground and to this day calls his acts “appropriate”.
What were his “appropriate” acts? In his own words,
“The Weather Underground went on to take responsibility for placing several small bombs in empty offices — the ones at the Pentagon and the United States Capitol were the most notorious — as an illegal and unpopular war consumed the nation.
The Weather Underground crossed lines of legality, of propriety and perhaps even of common sense. Our effectiveness can be — and still is being — debated. We did carry out symbolic acts of extreme vandalism directed at monuments to war and racism, and the attacks on property, never on people, were meant to respect human life and convey outrage and determination to end the Vietnam war.”
Seems fairly clear, doesn’t it? Though Ayers was never convicted of any crime, he has admitted to having committed criminal activity. The CBSA has previously denied Ayers. However, if you see this as open and shut, you don’t share the bizarre logic of the NDP. Here is Olivia Chow’s press release on today’s events,
New Democrat Citizenship and Immigration Critic Olivia Chow calls on the Minister of Immigration and Minister of Public Safety to allow educational theorist, Bill Ayers entry into Canada.
Bill Ayers was denied entry into Canada Monday where he was scheduled to speak on education reform at the University of Toronto.
“Canada must respect academic freedom and allow Bill Ayers to share his insights on reforming our education system” said Olivia Chow. “At-risk children deserve policies that produce equality in academic outcomes and deserve to gain high academic achievements. The decision to ban Bill Ayers must be reversed.”
When Bill Ayers became a household name during the last election and after his criminal acts were described to the American electorate, Barack Obama wouldn’t touch the man with a ten foot pole. Now, the NDP goes out of their way to speak out against the Canadian rule of law barring the admittance of a self-declared domestic terrorist.
Stephen Taylor is a scientist, political analyst and a Fellow at the Manning Centre for Building Democracy, an institute founded by Preston Manning. Read more at his blog, www.stephentaylor.ca