Photo from Bill Ayers’s Wikipedia page.
Our calls to Canadian Border Services were not returned, nor has CBS issued an official statement on the matter. The Centre for Urban Schooling has been struggling to explain the decision—according to their press release, it was “based apparently on a 1969 conviction during an anti-war demonstration.” Ayers did, however, have all his travel documents in order, and the CUS had no indication that his entry into Canada would be challenged. The Centre views the refusal to deny Ayers entry as a “political decision” and fully intends to follow up with the relevant government officials.
Though Ayers recently came in for a bout of public attention due to some fear-mongering surrounding his support for Barack Obama, there is absolutely no indication that anyone—including the government or police of either this country or the U.S.—thinks that he is currently engaged in any nefarious activities. The decision is one we find particularly perplexing given that Mark Rudd, another co-founder of the Weather Underground, was admitted into the country last year for a discussion at the Toronto International Film Festival. The CUS is asking citizens to write to Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety, to express their concern about what they are describing as an issue of academic freedom.