Contact: Courage to Resist, 510-488-3559
Nationwide Protests at Canadian Consulates on Wednesday July 9
Conservative Government Plans to Deport U.S. War Resisters
Events in 14 U.S. cities to urge Canadian government to abide by historic
House of Commons resolution welcoming war resisters
– – – Full list of nationwide actions at https://couragetoresist.org
On Wednesday July 9, military veterans, religious leaders and peace activists will convene on Canadian Consulates to protest the planned deportation of AWOL GIs back to the U.S., where they would face court martial, imprisonment and dishonorable discharges. Vigils and delegations in 14 U.S. cities will press the Conservative government to allow U.S. war resisters to remain in Canada.
In a landmark vote on June 3rd, 2008, the House of Commons called on the Canadian government to “immediately implement a program to allow conscientious objectors… who have refused or left military service related to a war not sanctioned by the United Nations… to apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada.” The motion, which passed 137-110, also called for an immediate halt to planned deportations. But the minority Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper says it will ignore the non-binding motion and begin to deport the war resisters as soon as this month. In contrast, a new Angus Reid national poll found that a majority 64% of Canadians want Canada to grant permanent residence status to U.S. Iraq war resisters.
Iraq war veteran Corey Glass, 25, who was a sergeant in the Indiana National Guard, was told in mid-May that his application to stay in Canada for “humanitarian and compassionate” reasons has been rejected. Canadian authorities ordered Glass to leave Canada by July 10 or face deportation. Glass would be the first Iraq War resister to be deported. At least eight other AWOL GIs could be facing the same fate in the near future.
Regarding his position, Glass says: “I signed up for the National Guard to … do humanitarian work, filling sandbags if there was a hurricane… I should have been in New Orleans, not Iraq.”
Wednesday’s actions at Canadian Consulates in at least 13 U.S. cities are being spearheaded by Veterans For Peace, Courage To Resist and Project Safe Haven. Cities where vigils and delegations are taking place at Canadian Consulates include: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Dallas, Raleigh, and Washington, DC.
Courage To Resist organizer Jeff Paterson says the war resister support group has sent 10,000 letters to the Canadian government over the last nine months on behalf of concerned Americans. Paterson, a former Marine who refused to deploy to the Gulf War, applauded the recent vote in Canada’s Parliament. “The voices of people in Canada and the U.S. are having a real effect on Canadian policy. The troops who have courageously refused to be part of an illegal war deserve a safe haven. We hope that the Canadian government will do the right thing.”
Participating Groups in Delegations and Vigils Include: Courage To Resist; Veterans for Peace; Project Safe Haven; Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace; War Resisters League; Iraq Veterans Against the War – Minnesota and Atlanta Chapters; United for Peace and Justice; Raging Grannies; Payday men’s network; North Texas for Justice and Peace; Women in Black – Phoenix; Progressive Democrats of L.A. Efforts in collaboration with War Resisters Support Campaign (Canada)
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