William Ayers turned back at Canadian border

An American education professor, one of the founders of a radical 1960s group known as the Weather Underground, which was responsible for a number of bombings in the United States in the early 1970s, was turned back at the Canadian border last night.

Dr. William Ayers, a professor of education at the University of Illinois-Chicago and a leader in educational reform, was scheduled to speak at the Centre for Urban Schooling at University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. But that appearance has now been temporarily cancelled.

"I don't know why I was turned back," Ayers said in an interview this morning from Chicago. "I got off the plane like everyone else and I was asked to come over to the other side. The border guards reviewed some stuff and said I wasn't going to be allowed into Canada. To me it seems quite bureaucratic and not at all interesting ... If it were me I would have let me in. I couldn't possibly be a threat to Canada."

Ayers made headlines this summer after Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin suggested that then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama hung around with domestic terrorists like Ayers. The professor had hosted a meet-the-candidate event at his home for Obama in 1995, during his run for the state Senate. They also worked together on Chicago school reform and served on a charity board together.

Ayers first rose to notoriety in the early 1970s with the Weather Underground. The group claimed responsibility for bombings at the U.S. Capitol, a Pentagon restroom and New York City police headquarters. In 1970, a townhouse in New York the group was using to build a bomb blew up.

Nowadays, Ayers is known more for his work in educational reform. He has written or edited more than a dozen books — including his 2001 memoir Fugitive Days — and travels around the world giving lectures on education.

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."

Kugler waited for five hours at the Toronto Island airport for Ayers. He was with a lawyer, but the border guard refused to allow Ayers to see the lawyer.

"The entire four or five hours he was not allowed to have representation at all. To me this is an issue of academic freedom. He could not be a threat to anyone ever. Anyone who knows anything about this man – he's a distinguished scholar at the University of Illinois and he has been involved in education reform over the past 15 years. To imagine in any way he was a threat to Canada is really absurd."

Views: 58

Comment

You need to be a member of ConsimWorld to add comments!

Join ConsimWorld

Comment by Jon Compton on January 24, 2009 at 3:55pm
DiFi: Diane Feinstein

Bad spellers of the world untie!
Comment by Jim Werbaneth on January 23, 2009 at 9:14am
What's wwrong with typos?
Comment by Bill on January 23, 2009 at 12:19am
Roberts Obama who cares! It was still hilarious. And my point about about what the media would have said if it was Bush is still valid. And DiFi did say "oaf" of office thats a fact. What a bunch of clowns.
Comment by Jon Compton on January 22, 2009 at 11:48pm
Jim, I was thinking that I'd just embezzle money from retired folks. I figure of the government treats me like an investment bank for doing it, they'll hand me a few billion as a reward.
Comment by Bill on January 22, 2009 at 9:23pm
He couldn't even get the "oaf"of office straight. Imagine the jeers from the media if Bush had done that!
Comment by Jim Werbaneth on January 22, 2009 at 9:20pm
As someone said to me yesterday, "Am I the only one who thought the Inauguration was the first day of the end of the world?"
Comment by Bill on January 22, 2009 at 9:18pm
Agreed but they would gladly defend a terrorist bank robber! I'm having trouble thinking straight while experiencing the post coronation euphoria.
Comment by Jim Werbaneth on January 22, 2009 at 9:04pm
Since when do they even speak to conservatives, except to serve them with a summons?
Comment by Bill on January 22, 2009 at 8:46pm
ACLU
Comment by Jim Werbaneth on January 22, 2009 at 8:27pm
I know a few people who don't need an advanced degree either to attempt justification of a pathetic existence, nor to prove that it's pathetic in the first place.

Then too, apparently "academic freedom" covers the rights to be an unapologetic terrorist as well as being a complete idiot. Next time I want money, I'm going to rob a bank, and when the cops come for me I'll flash a faculty ID and invoke "Academic freedom, bitch!!!!"

Now, who wants the honor of being my defense attorney?

Help Center

Latest Activity

Michael Walacavage is now a member of ConsimWorld
48 minutes ago
Eric Walters left a comment for Randy Morris
"Randy, welcome to the CONSIMWORLD Social Website!  Hope you find some groups that you are…"
19 hours ago
Randy Morris is now a member of ConsimWorld
yesterday
Jim Werbaneth commented on Jim Werbaneth's blog post News, and It's Not Good
"I just saw my surgeon this afternoon, and everything is coming along nicely.  The pacemaker…"
yesterday
Joseph replied to John Kranz's discussion What are you playing?
"Played: GMT's "Genesis" with our gaming grp. A great Game. GMT's "Clash of…"
yesterday
Steve K commented on Steve K's blog post Games I'm Playing 2019
"Our 3rd play of Sixth Fleet ended with a very close Draw. The Russians did a good job of capturing…"
Tuesday
76mm updated their profile
Tuesday
Joseph replied to Chuang Shyue Chou's discussion What are you reading?
"Read: "Rise of the Tang Dynasty: The Reunification of China and the Military Response to the…"
Monday

Members

CSW Related Links

Please be sure to check-out these CSW services.

© 2019   Created by John Kranz.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service