Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. In this US election year, Democracy Now! is more important than ever. For 20 years, we’ve put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power. We lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. A generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar if you donate right now. That means when you give $10, your donation will be worth $20. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you every day.

Your Donation: $

Activists Turned Away From Canadian Border Weeks Before Anti-Ftaa Protests

March 21, 2001

The Zapatistas rose up on January 1, 1994, the day that NAFTA went into effect. But this hasn’t stopped othergovernments from trying to expand so-called "free trade" to the entire hemisphere. From April 20 to 22, Quebec Citywill host 34 heads of state for the Summit of the Americas. The central agenda item: passing the controversial FreeTrade Area of the Americas, which would extend NAFTA to every country in the Western Hemisphere except Cuba.

The trade pact has been the subject of secretive negotiations since the first summit was held in Miami in 1994, andnegotiators have set 2005 as the deadline for implementation. Negotiators in Lima have already approved parts of adraft text.

To keep protesters away from the action, police and other authorities have instituted sweeping security measuresestimated at a cost of $ 30 million. They are raising a 10-foot-high, heavy-duty chain link fence, reinforced bysteel posts and anchored in concrete, that will form a 2.5 mile "security perimeter" within the heart of the OldTown. More than 5,000 officers, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, are slated to work the summit, and theCanadian army is presently training 800 riot police just outside Quebec City. Prisoners are being transferred fromlocal jails to ensure there is plenty of room for protesters.

But protesters have already encountered what has become the biggest security operation in Canadian history. InJanuary, 10 New Yorkers en route to a meeting organized by the Summit of the Americas Welcoming Committee were deniedentry into the country.

Today we will be joined by a number of people, to talk about the significance of the upcoming meeting, the plans forprotest, and new trends in security and police activities, including the cross-border collaboration between securityforces, or the "globalization" of security.


  • Julie Carlson, co-director, of the Urban Justice Center’s Human Rights Project and member of the New YorkCoalition to Stop the FTAA.
  • Pierre Sigouin, Chief of Intelligence and Contraband Services for Canadian Customs.
  • Mack Scott, of the New York City People’s Law Collective.
  • Mike Prokosch, coordinator of the Globalization Program at United for a Fair Economy.
  • Kate Sorenson, Philadelphia AIDS activist who faced a million dollar bail for her protest at theRepublican National Convention. She was recently acquitted of all felonies.
  • Mara Verhaven Hilliard, attorney with the Partnership for Civil Justice.

Related links:

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.