August 12, 2009 update - Kimberly Rivera wins another temporary stay in Canadian court!
By Courage to Resist. Posted July 13, 2009
Courage to Resist and supporters delivered 6,000 signatures in support of Kimberly Rivera and all war resisters seeking refuge in Canada on July 8th. After a vigil in front of the Canadian Consulate in downtown San Francisco, the gathering made their way upstairs to make their case directly to a representative of the consulate. Watch Bill Carpenter's 6:30 min. video below.
The following day in Toronto, Canada, the federal judge in Kimberly Rivera's appeal to remain in Canada "reserved his decision." Following the hearing, Kimberly stated, "I shouldn't have to destroy my family for deciding not to destroy somebody else's family."
I want to stay in Canada, with my family, because the Iraq War is immoral, illegal and I couldn’t in good conscience go back. The amount of support I’m getting from Canadians is amazing. The parents of my kids’ friends, MPs and even strangers on the street keep telling me that they can’t believe the votes in Parliament aren’t being respected.
Kimberly Rivera is the first outspoken female Iraq War resister to publicly and legally seek refuge in Canada. Kimberly, along with her partner Mario, son Christian (7 years old) and daughter Rebecca (4 years old), fled to Canada in January 2007 when Kimberly refused redeployment. In late November 2008 Kimberly gave birth to her Canadian daughter Katie (8 months old). She served in Iraq in 2006 and experienced, firsthand, the reality of this ongoing illegal war and occupation.
The conservative Harper government has been trying to deport Kimberly for months, defying Canada’s longstanding tradition of providing sanctuary to U.S. war resisters. On July 8th, Kimberly went to Canadian federal court, to appeal the decision in her Pre-Removal Risk Assessment. If her appeal fails, she will be asked to leave Canada, or be forcibly removed – and delivered into the custody and jurisdiction of the United States Army where Kimberly will face charges that could carry up to a four month sentence in the stockade. So far, three Iraq War resisters have been deported from Canada.