Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

MEP José Bové, who was held for several hours at Montreal's airport Tuesday and then told to leave the country on Wednesday. (Photo: Eurodéputés Europe Ecologie/flickr/cc)

Following Public Pressure, José Bové, Noted Anti-Globalization Activist, Allowed to Stay in Canada

Bové, a member of Eureopean Parliament, was detained for several hours at Montreal airport Tuesday; then forced back to France Wednesday

Andrea Germanos

Update: Canadian authorities have reversed their position, and will allow anti-globalization activist and member of European Parliament José Bové to stay in the country for seven days. According to a statement from the Council of Canadians, the decision from the Canada Border Services Agency came "[f]ollowing intense public pressure."

Bové, for his part, tweeted, "We can finally talk about CETA!"


José Bové, member of European Parliament, farmer, and noted anti-globalization activist, was held for several hours Montreal's airport on Tuesday and later forced to leave the country, proving, according to one observer, that a pending Canada-European Union trade deal is "direct attack on our democracy."

Bové was scheduled to speak at a public forum to discuss the controversial Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)—a deal he called "a Trojan horse for multinational corporations that seek to use it to bend rules as they wish."

He tweeted Tuesday after he had already been detained three hours, writing, "CETA opponents aren't welcome in the country."

According to Canada's Ici RDI, it ended up being nearly six hours he was blocked at the airport, where customs officials invoked his convictions for acts of civil disobedience, including dismantling in 1999 a McDonald's—an act for which he gained widespread fame.

CBC News adds that after hours detained by customs, "Bové was allowed to go to his hotel, but his passport was confiscated and he was told he would have to leave Canada on Wednesday afternoon, he said in an interview on CBC Montreal's Daybreak."

"He isn't a criminal. He is an elected member of the European Parliament. This is simply an extremely embarrassing situation," Bové's press secretary, Jean-Marc Desfilhes, said Tuesday night.

Bové maintains that his "unacceptable" expulsion was due to his CETA opposition, telling Ici RDI that "those who defend the accord can move around as they wish—I think the boss of Monsanto could quite easily come here. On the other hand, those who oppose it are treated like dangerous criminals [...] their passports are taken."

Desfilhes added, "No one has yet explained why [Bové was barred entry]. It's very curious. In Europe he is one of the most outspoken against the treaty with Canada and then he is blocked at the border. There has to be something political. He has no record, no problem with the law, is an elected member of the European Parliament, and he has a visa."

Bové's visit to the country would have coincided with that of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Bové said earlier that the French official "will be here to sell you a dream about a 'progressive' agreement, but that is simply not so."

According to Nick Dearden, director of the U.K.-based social justice organization Global Justice Now, Bové being denied entry to Canada "is yet another example of how serious a challenge to our democracy CETA is, and how desperate governments are to avoid scrutiny. When even elected representatives are barred from properly criticizing CETA, there can be no doubt that deals like CETA are a direct attack on our democracy."

"After a public outcry has brought the EU-U.S. trade deal TTIP to its knees, governments are taking increasingly drastic measures to protect its Canadian counterpart CETA," Dearden added.

Bové's slated visit to Montreal was hosted by a number of civil society groups including the Council of Canadians, an organization headed by Maude Barlow.

In an op-ed this week outlining their criticisms of CETA, Barlow and Bové wrote: "There is something profoundly wrong with the current form of economic globalization characterized and protected by corporate-friendly trade agreements like CETA. Too few are benefiting; too much damage is being done to the natural world."

"CETA must be stopped," they continued. "And we need to go even further. It's time to rethink an economic system that benefits only the one percent. It's time to put principles of cooperation and social justice at the service of a just, equal and sustainable vision for our collective future."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.


Right-Wing Justices Should Be Impeached for Lying Under Oath, Says Ocasio-Cortez

"We have a responsibility to protect our democracy," said the New York Democrat. "That includes holding those in power who violate the law accountable."

Kenny Stancil ·

'Infuriating': Biden Rebuked for Continued Opposition to Supreme Court Expansion

"What does Biden 'agree' with doing?" Mehdi Hasan asked. "What does the leader of this country want to do to stop the increasingly fascistic assault on our democratic institutions and basic rights?"

Kenny Stancil ·

'We Need Action': Biden, Democrats Urged to Protect Abortion Access in Post-Roe US

"The Supreme Court doesn't get the final say on abortion," Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith wrote in a new op-ed.

Kenny Stancil ·

Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·

'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo