Big Victory for US War Resisters in Canada!
Dear Friends of War Resisters,
Today the Canadian Parliament made a historic vote in favor of U.S. war resisters who are seeking a safe haven in Canada rather than fight in the illegal occupation of Iraq. The vote in the House of Commons was 137-110, with all the opposition parties - the Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party, the Bloc Quebecois and the Green Party - voting for the motion, and the ruling Conservative Party voting against.
The Parliament calls on the minority Conservative government to create a program that will allow war resisters to immigrate to Canada, and it also calls for a halt to all deportation proceedings.
This is a VERY BIG victory for war resisters in Canada and everywhere. It will strengthen our hand considerably.
But the struggle for sanctuary in Canada is far from over. The Conservative government, a staunch ally of the Bush administration, may choose to defy the will of the Canadian people by ignoring this advisory motion.
Corey Glass, an Iraq veteran and war resister, was recently ordered to leave Canada by June 12 or face deportation.
So even as we celebrate this victory, we must step up the pressure on Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Immigration Minister Diane Finley. [See action alert from War Resisters Support Campaign, below, along with their press release and a news article.]
Yes, it does help for the Canadian government to hear from many people in the U.S. who want them to provide sanctuary for our war resisters. Courage To Resist (www.couragetoresist.org) has generated thousands of letters from people in the U.S. to Canadian government and political leaders and these have clearly helped, as have the vigils and delegations to the Canadian Embassy in Washington and Canadian Consulates around the U.S.
Project Safe Haven, a network of Vietnam War resisters who are supporting war resisters today, is calling for people to contact Canadian representatives in the U.S. this week.
* THANK the Canadian people and their Parliament for supporting our war resisters.
* CALL on the Conservative government to follow the will of the Canadian people and implement this motion.
* DEMAND an end to deportation proceedings against Corey Glass and other war resisters
You can visit the Canadian Consulate in person. In Seattle, we will have a Celebration outside of the Canadian Consulate, 1501 4th Ave. at Pike St., on Thursday, June 5, at noon. There will also be vigils and delegations in several other cities.
And you can call them, fax them, or email them.
Canadian Consular offices are in over 20 U.S. cities. Here are their addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. http://geo.international.gc.ca/can-am/washington/offices/default-en.asp
If you want to participate in visits to the Canadian Embassy or Consulates, please send an email to projectsafehaven@... or call Gerry Condon at 206-499-1220.
If you are a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War or Veterans For Peace, you may want to get in touch with your local chapter or national office to let them know you want to participate, and to help organize these events.
U.S. war resisters and their wonderful Canadian supporters have won a historic victory. By acting decisively at this time, we in the U.S. can participate in this victory and help to make it an even bigger one.
Thank you for whatever you may be able to do at this time.
for peace and justice,
Soldier Say No / Project Safe Haven
[The following Action Alert is from the War Resisters Support Campaign in Canada, www.resisters.ca]
Canadian Parliament votes to let US war resisters stay
The Canadian Parliament passed an historic motion today, June 3, 2008, that calls on the Canadian government to make a program to allow US war resisters to apply for permanent resident status in Canada and to cease all deportation and removal proceedings against US war resisters.
The next step is to write to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Diane Finley, and prime minister Stephen Harper to ensure that they that the will of Parliament is implemented.
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley
email finley.d@... and finled1@...
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
War Resister Corey Glass Faces Deportation
U.S. Iraq war resister Corey Glass was told on May 21, 2008, that his application to stay in Canada has been rejected and he now faces deportation. Glass would be the first Iraq war resister to be deported from Canada. Last December the House of Commons' Standing Committee on Citizenship & Immigration passed a motion calling on the Canadian government to "immediately implement a program to allow conscientious objectors and their immediate family members […] to apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada; and … the government should immediately cease any removal or deportation actions … against such individuals".
[See news articles and War Resisters' press release below]
Canada Lawmakers Ask Harper to Let War Resisters Stay (Update1)
Bloomberg - USA
The Toronto-based War Resisters Support Campaign estimates there are as many as 200 American Iraq war resisters in Canada. According to a May 22 report in ...
See all stories on this topic
War resister motion passes
Kootenay Western Star - Castlegar,BC,Canada
By Elliot Robins - Kootenay Western Star - June 03, 2008 Members of Canada’s parliament passed a motion on Tuesday that will give foreign war resisters ...
See all stories on this topic
MPs vote to give asylum to US deserters, Tories say No
TheChronicleHerald.ca - Halifax,Nova Scotia,Canada
Two generations ago, as many as 50000 American draft dodgers and war resisters came to Canada to avoid the Vietnam War. They were eventually welcomed and ...
See all stories on this topic
House of Commons votes to let U.S. War Resisters stay in Canada
OTTAWA, June 3 /CNW/ - The Opposition parties in the House of Commons
joined together today to adopt a recommendation which, if implemented, would
make it possible for U.S. Iraq War resisters to obtain Permanent Resident
status in Canada.
The recommendation was adopted by a majority of Members of Parliament
from the Liberal, Bloc Québécois, and New Democratic Parties. The
Conservatives voted against the motion.
The motion, which originated in the House of Commons Standing Committee
on Citizenship and Immigration in December 2007, calls on the government to
"immediately implement a program to allow conscientious objectors and their
immediate family members...to apply for permanent resident status and remain
in Canada; and...the government should immediately cease any removal or
deportation actions...against such individuals."
Corey Glass, 25, a war resister who came to Canada in 2006 and was
recently told to leave Canada by June 12 or face removal to the United States,
welcomed the vote. "I'm thankful that the MPs voted to let me and the other
war resisters stay in Canada. I'm also thankful to all the Canadians who urged
their MPs to support us."
"This is a great victory for the courageous men and women who have come
to Canada because they refuse to take part in the illegal, immoral Iraq War,
and for the many organizations and individuals who have supported this
campaign over the past four years," said Lee Zaslofsky, Coordinator of the War
Resisters Support Campaign and a Vietnam War deserter who came to Canada in
The War Resisters Support Campaign is calling on the Conservative
government to respect the democratic decision of the Canadian Parliament and
immediately implement the motion and cease deportation proceedings against
Corey Glass and other war resisters.
For further information: Michelle Robidoux, (416) 856-5008; Lee
Zaslofsky, (416) 598-1222 or (416) 369-0864
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