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October 3, 2007 Update:
Robin Long released following immigration hearing!

By Courage to Resist. October 2, 2007

Yesterday, October 1, U.S. Iraq War resister Robin Long was arrested in Nelson, British Colombia—a small city about 50 miles north of where Washington State and Idaho intersect with Canada. He was taken to the police station and detained. Today, Tuesday, he was flown to Vancouver, where the authorities intend to bring him to the border and hand him over to U.S. military authorities. Supporters on both sides of the border are taking emergency action: “Stop the deportation of U.S. war resister Robin Long!” E-mail, call, fax, and/or write Canadian officials today:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper | Fax: 613-941-6900 | Email: pm@pm.gc.ca
80 Wellington Street, Ottawa K1A 0A2, CANADA
The Honourable Diane Finley, PC, MP | Phone: 613-954-1064 | Email: minister@cic.gc.ca
Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1, CANADA

Robin, a native of Boise, Idaho hitchhiked to Canada in June 2005 seeking sanctuary after leaving his Fort Knox, Kentucky based tanker unit in order to resist deployment to Iraq.

“I still don’t think that Bush has proven we have any reason to be over there, and I would be wrong to be a tool of destruction,” explained the two-year Army veteran. “I made it apparent [to the military] that I didn’t want to go to Iraq. I didn’t believe in the war that was going on over there so that’s why I was stationed at Fort Knox. They kind of stayed true to their part of the bargain until the numbers started getting really low. They didn’t have any new people enlisting so they were just taking anyone they could.

“I was supposed to get on a plane and report to Fort Carson [for Iraq deployment] and I was still planning to go. But there was another guy, who’s actually a Canadian citizen, he was my battle buddy … and he didn’t show up either. He just went back to Canada. On the day we were supposed to report he called me and said, “I bet you wonder where I am.” And I said, “No, I’m not there either.””

Robin was denied refugee status last year after he was not permitted to argue that the Iraq War is illegal, even though his decision to come to Canada was largely motivated by that conviction.

Robin may be deported despite having to kill or be killed in an unjust and illegal war. If deported, he will be leaving behind his Canadian partner and their one year-old son—also a Canadian—while he faces time in a military brig.

A similar case is being appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada by U.S. war resisters Brandon Hughey and Jeremy Hinzman. It’s outrageous that the Robin might be deported before the Supreme Court has even decided on these cases! Robin would be the first resister to be returned to the U.S. by the Canadian government.

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Iraq War resister Robin Long

Along with supporters in the U.S., Canadians—led by the efforts of the War Resisters Support Campaign—are also declaring, “We must not let this happen!”

New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) immigration critic Olivia Chow and NDP MP Alex Atamanenko are calling on the Harper government to reexamine their decision to deport Robin and allow him to stay in Canada.

“Canada has always been a country that stands up for basic human rights. Conscientious objectors who have fled George W. Bush’s illegal war in Iraq should be allowed to stay,” said Chow.

“Canada has always been a place of refuge for war resisters who refuse to fight in illegal wars,” noted Chow. “From Vietnam to now, Canada has a proud and distinguished history of putting justice first, and allowing people of conscience to seek refuge in our country. Canada has to release Mr. Long and allow him to stay in Canada.”

Chow noted that a recent poll taken in Ontario showed that almost two thirds of Ontarians believe that Canada should allow war resisters to stay in Canada.

Prior to his arrest, Robin told the Boise Weekly, “I know I did the right thing and I can sleep at night and my conscience is still good.”

Emergency rally Wednesday, October 3, 2007, 4:30 pm at the Dundas Street West and University Avenue in Toronto, Canada