By Courage to Resist. Updated December 9, 2009.
Iraq War resister Rodney Watson continues to fight deportation by taking sanctuary in Vancouver BC church.
With your help, we have mailed over 15,000 letters so far to Canadian officials in support of a political resolution that would allow U.S. war resisters to stay in Canada.
In June 2008, our efforts were rewarded when the Canadian Parliament passed an historic motion to officially welcome war resisters. This motion was reaffirmed in February 2009.
The Conservative government is making it clear that they will disregard the democratic decision of the House of Commons, the demonstrated opinion of the Canadian citizenry, the view of the United Nations, and millions of Americans.
Please sign this new letter to “Please act immediately to cancel the deportation of Rodney Watson… [and] allow U.S. war resisters to stay in Canada.” (complete letter below)
Courage to Resist volunteers will send this letter on your behalf to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney via International First Class Mail.
- Postage donations are important. However, you may sign the letter without making a donation by entering zero in the postage donation box.
Donate to War Resisters Support Campaign (Canada) to directly help U.S. war resisters in need and to continue to build a national campaign to ensure that the Canadian government will make a provision for US war resisters to stay in Canada.
- Encourage friends to sign the letter online. Send your own action alert, and recommend that your favorite anti-war community group do the same. “Dear Canada” leaftlet, petition, letter, web graphics and banners are available on the updated resources page.
- Write your own letter. Feel free to use the text below as a starting point for a more personalized appeal from you, your church, union, or organization. Mailing, phone, and fax info for Canadian officials at the bottom of this page.
Complete text of letter that will be sent on your behalf
|Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason KenneyPlease act immediately to cancel the deportation of Rodney Watson, who is currently taking sanctuary at the First United Church in Vancouver BC, by implementing the Canadian Parliament’s resolutions to allow U.S. war resisters to stay in Canada.
I am writing from the United States to ask that you abide by the House of Commons resolution—reaffirmed February 12, 2009—to create a program to allow war objectors, including U.S. resisters, to apply for permanent resident status in Canada and to cease all deportation and removal proceedings against them.
The recent flurry of deportation orders to war resisters, including Kimberly Rivera and her three children, and the forcing out of Robin Long, Cliff Cornell and Chris Teske, flaunted Canada’s longstanding tradition of providing sanctuary to war objectors. Upon their forced return from Canada to the U.S. military, Robin and Cliff were sentenced to 15 and 12 months imprisonment respectively. Future resisters face even stiffer sentences.
When more than 50,000 Americans refused to fight in Vietnam and emigrated to Canada, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau declared, “[They] have my complete sympathy, and indeed our political approach has been to give them access to Canada. Canada should be a refuge from militarism.”
On June 3, 2008, the House of Commons first voted to uphold this rich tradition by passing a historic resolution to allow war resisters to apply for permanent residence status in Canada and to halt the deportation of conscientious objectors. In addition to this parliamentary motion, according to a recent poll, nearly two of three Canadians also favor allowing U.S. war resisters to stay. Furthermore, many wonderful Canadians have opened their homes and hearts to U.S. war resisters.
I ask that the Canadian government respect the democratic decision of Parliament, the demonstrated opinion of the Canadian citizenry, the view of the United Nations, and millions of Americans by immediately implementing the motion and cease deportation proceedings against Rodney Watson, Kimberly Rivera, Jeremy Hinzman, Dean Walcott and other current and future war resisters.
Send personalized appeals to:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
80 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A2, CANADA
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney
Phone: 613-954-1064 (Ministry office) and/or 613-992-2235 (Parliamentary Office)
E-mail: email@example.com and/or firstname.lastname@example.org
A first class one-once letter from the U.S. to Canada currently costs $0.75