Monday, January 23, 2006

Northern Canadian Yukon School Group Found on U.S. Threat List

CBC News

A group of high school students from the Canadian northern territory of Yukon who attended a peace demonstration in Alaska last year have been labelled a threat by U.S. Homeland Security.

The students and their teachers from Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Yukon's capital Whitehorse, were singled out when they crossed the border on their way to Fort Greely in Alaska to protest the proliferation of missiles.

A document leaked from the U.S. defense department shows the Whitehorse school group is among a list of more than 1,500 anti-war groups considered a risk to American security. They have been lumped in with other organizations such as the Florida Quakers and student unions from major American universities.

Teacher Mark Connell from the school says he was surprised the Grade 11 and 12 students were included on the list. "I think it just indicates the level of paranoia that's at work and that's a current concern," he said.

"I think if I was an American concerned with my security, if all of the resources were being put in to monitor a high school group coming from Whitehorse to learn about an issue and to voice my opinion, then I would be concerned about that as well."

Although the group was labelled a threat at the time of the protest, Connell said they have now been downgraded to what is called the "not credible" category of compromising U.S. security. They have not been told they cannot travel to the United States again, he said.

On a more pleasant note, see Northern Canadian Art for some nice images of beautiful artwork from the north.

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