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Near midnight on Thursday September 13, 2007 Alison Bodine, political organizer and social justice activist was arrested by RCMP and Citizenship & Immigration Canada. Alison, a US-citizen, was arrested when she attempted to cross the border at Peace-Arch border crossing, traveling from Canada into the United States. She was handcuffed, detained, and her passport taken away from her, with no information given about the basis for her arrest, or the charges that she was facing.

Alison Bodine is a central organizer with Vancouver antiwar coalition Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO), the president of University of British Columbia’s Coalition Against War on the People of Iraq and Internationally (CAWOPI), a long-time executive committee member of the UBC Social Justice Center, prominent activist in solidarity with Cuba and the Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba, and a supporter of immigrant and refugee rights in Canada and the US.

Three days prior, on Monday Sept 10th, Alison was harassed by Canadian Border Guards while traveling from the US into Canada. The harassment and questioning that she faced on September 10th began after border officials searched her vehicle, which contained various political materials and progressive newspapers. At that time however she was granted legal
entry into Canada.

Alison has traveled between the US and Canada on dozens of occasions, as she studied at UBC for four years as in international student, graduating in June 2007. She has never been denied entry into Canada. After her political materials and belongings were seized at the border on Monday Sept 10th, she returned to claim them on Thursday Sept 13th as she was returning to the US. Upon presenting her receipt to claim her materials, she was handcuffed and told she
was under arrest, and that a warrant had been issued for her arrest in Canada.

RCMP and Canadian Border Guards are continuing to refuse to answer any questions about what the warrant was issued for. She has also been labeled a “flight risk” in order to justify keeping her in jail for an undetermined amount of time. She is currently being held in jail by the Surrey RCMP.

Since her arrest Alison has been informed that she will face an Immigration Admissibility Hearing, likely Friday Sept 14th, which is expected to take place at Citizenship & Immigration Canada Offices (300 W. Georgia St) in downtown Vancouver, no specific time has been given.

The arrest of Alison Bodine is a further attack on immigrants, refugees and all non-residents. Even according to their own laws, the RCMP and Immigration Canada have no legal basis for preventing her entry into Canada. They only began the harassment and legal process once they had identified her as a political organizer. Alison is a prominent activist in Vancouver, having written numerous articles, spoken at dozens of anti-war and social justice demonstrations and forums. She is a US-citizen who has spoken out publicly against the US occupation of Iraq, and even more so against Canada’s occupation of Afghanistan.

The Committee to Free Alison Bodine is appealing to all people, groups and organizations in struggle, to unite in defense of Alison Bodine and against this unjust attack. This is a clear example of Canada’s “War at Home” and their escalation of attacks against immigrants, refugees and “undocumented” people, in particular those who are progressive activists.

For Alison’s freedom to be won, it is crucial that we mobilize immediately, and show the government of Canada, their police and repressive institutions, that we will not be frozen by fear, intimidation and attacks.