Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fateful Day for U.S. War Resisters in Canada

by Gerry Condon

Tuesday, May 25, was a very important day for the 200 U.S. war resisters who are seeking sanctuary in Canada. The case of Jeremy Hinzman, the first to do so, was argued in Canada’s Federal Court of Appeals. The outcome may decide the fate of Jeremy, his wife Nga Nguyen and their two young children. The court's decision, expected to take several months, may also determine the fate of other young men and women who are facing deportation to the U.S., followed by courts martial and imprisonment.

Also on Tuesday, May 25,, the Canadian Parliament held a debate on a bill that would allow Iraq War resisters to remain in Canada. The House of Commons is expected to vote on the bill, C-440, in September.
According to several polls, nearly two-thirds of Canadians want their government to allow U.S. war resisters to have legal status in Canada. But Prime Minister Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party, does not agree. The Conservative government has already deported several war resisters and is aggressively pursuing the deportation of others.

Last weekend, USA Today published an excellent article on U.S. war resisters in Canada, including Vietnam War resisters. It is very much worth reading. There is also a short video on the USA Today website.

Vietnam war resisters and Iraq war resisters toast one another
 at Grossman's Tavern in Toronto.

The War Resisters Support Campaign in Canada is a national network of churches, labor unions, activists and artists, including Vietnam War resisters who are now Canadian citizens. The War Resisters Support Campaign has been supporting our war resisters ever since early 2004, when Jeremy Hinzman arrived in Toronto.

The Campaign is very much in need of donations at this moment, so that they can continue their legal defense of war resisters facing deportation. We recommend that you send them a note at this time thanking them for taking care of U.S. war resisters. And give them a donation while you are at it. It is very much needed and will be very well spent. Please visit their website and make a donation today.

For more information on Rodney Watson, an Iraq War Resister who has taken refuge in a church in Vancovuer, British Columbia, you can visit the website of the Vancouver War Resisters Support Campaign,

Check out Rodney Watson's interview with me below on this blog.