Iraq War Resisters Speak Out

Apr 15th 2016

It has been 13 years since the launch of the Iraq war, a war that most nations including Canada refused to be part of. U.S. Iraq War resisters, who refused to participate in this illegal and immoral war, came to Canada seeking refuge much as tens of thousands of people did during the Vietnam War.

If returned to the U.S., they face harsh punishment including long jail terms and felony convictions which will follow them for the rest of their lives. Harper’s Conservative government singled out U.S. war resisters and directly interfered in their cases, denying them a fair and impartial hearing.

Please watch and share this video about the situation they now face and how you can help them to stay in Canada.

Write to Minister of Immigration John McCallum – Stop litigation against U.S. Iraq War resisters

Mar 31st 2016

Contrary to widespread hopes and expectations for a positive resolution for U.S. Iraq War resisters, the Liberal government is pursuing litigation against them that was initiated by the previous Harper government. The Federal Court hearings are scheduled for April 5 and 6.

We are asking every supporter to immediately email Minister of Immigration John McCallum, at minister@cic.gc.ca and john.mccallum@parl.gc.ca (model message below).

Please include your city and province after your name.

cc Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca

Below is a model email message you can copy and paste – you can send as is, or personalize it:
—-

SUBJECT: U.S. Iraq War resisters – Stop litigation initiated by Harper government

Honourable John McCallum
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
BY EMAIL

Dear Minister McCallum,

I am writing to ask that you immediately cease the litigation initiated by the former Conservative government against U.S. Iraq War resisters.

Our new government should not defend decisions made under the previous government and re-litigate matters the Court has already found on in favour of these conscientious objectors. As you know, Canadians overwhelmingly opposed the Iraq War and the Liberal government under Jean Chrétien made a decision not to participate in it.

The cases to be heard by the Federal Court on April 5 and 6 should be settled, and the matters sent back to be re-determined by new immigration officers.

I thank you for your consideration and look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

cc: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Toronto film screening: WE ARE MANY

Mar 22nd 2016

We are many

Special Toronto film screening:
WE ARE MANY by Amir Amirani

Tuesday April 12th, 7pm
Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil St.
Toronto

On 15 February 2003, over 15 million people in nearly 800 cities, throughout 72 countries, marched against the impending war in Iraq. We Are Many tells, for the first time, the story behind and legacy of the biggest demonstration in history.

Shot in 7 countries over 8 years, featuring first hand testimony from organisers and direct participants, We Are Many is a powerful story of resistance to war.

“The only film I have ever watched where the audience started clapping
half way through…”
Huffington Post

“It is a powerful and at times moving tribute to organised dissent
and the power of the people… It is admirably watchable and provocative…
Amirani is to be congratulated for this passionate and provocative film.”

Screen Daily / International

Film screening followed by Q&A with WAËL KABBANI, Executive Director of WE ARE MANY.

Suggested donation $10 or pwyc. Proceeds to War Resisters Support Campaign.

Watch the trailer:

It’s time to let Iraq War Resisters stay!

Feb 27th 2016

Following the federal election, there is hope that there can finally be a positive and speedy resolution to the cases of U.S. Iraq War resisters. Your help is needed to make sure they are allowed to stay in Canada. Watch our new video below and then take a moment to write a letter to your MP in support of war resisters. For more information, see our backgrounder on the situation of U.S. Iraq War Resisters in Canada.

Urge the Liberal Government to
Let U.S. War Resisters Stay

Nov 26th 2015

Let Them Stay Week 2015Following the federal election, there is hope that there can finally be a positive and speedy resolution to the cases of U.S. Iraq War resisters. Your help is needed to make sure they are allowed to stay in Canada.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

Background: Canadians voted for change and expect the new government to do the right thing and let the war resisters stay. It was the strong response of Canadians that has kept most U.S. war resisters in Canada – and out of U.S. military prison – for the past ten years.

U.S. Iraq War resisters have lived through a decade of unfair political interference in their cases by the previous Conservative government. Some were deported by the Harper government, and received harsh jail sentences in the U.S. for opposing the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq.

The new government should immediately heed the will of the majority of Canadians and stop any and all actions against U.S. war resisters, including halting the litigation against U.S. war resisters, as this litigation defends policies and decisions made by the previous Conservative government.

LET THEM STAY WEEK, Nov. 29 – Dec. 5

During “Let Them Stay Week”, let federal Minister of Immigration John McCallum know that you support a provision to allow U.S. war resisters to stay in Canada, and that you want the current legal proceedings against them to cease.

Sunday November 29 – Profile Picture Day: Change your profile picture in support of U.S. Iraq War resisters, for the duration of Let Them Stay Week.

Monday November 30 – Contact the Minister Day: Watch and share this video and then phone or email Minister John McCallum to urge him to LET U.S. WAR RESISTERS STAY in Canada.

You can send an email here, or contact him at:

Telephone: 613-954-1064
E-Mail: minister@cic.gc.ca
Fax: 613-996-1289

Tuesday December 1 – Write a letter to the editor of your local paper.

Wednesday December 2 – Mail In Letters Day: Write a letter to the Minister of Immigration and mail it (postage required) to:

The Honourable John McCallum, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1L1

Thursday December 3 – Ten years’ worth of #TBT (Throwback Thursday) to share on social media! : Follow us on Facebook and share, post, disseminate information on Iraq war resisters in your networks.

Friday December 4 – Community Outreach Day: Call your local MP’s office to express your concern; circulate the U.S. war resister petition; post a window-sign at your home, workplace, community or faith organization.

Saturday December 5 – Help fund the Campaign to keep U.S. war resisters in Canada: make a donation to the War Resisters Support Campaign – you can donate online here or send a cheque or money order to: War Resisters Support Campaign, 427 Bloor St. West, Box 3, Toronto, ON CANADA M5S 1X7

After the Election – how you can help U.S. Iraq War Resisters

Oct 26th 2015

Following the federal election, which put an end to the Conservative government, there is hope that there can finally be a positive and speedy resolution to the cases of U.S. Iraq War resisters. The war resisters have lived with unfair political interference in their cases for almost 10 years. Now is the time to let the new government know that Canadians expect them to do the right thing and let them stay!

How you can help

1) Write a Letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister
Langevin Block
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A2

2) Call, e-mail and write to your Member of Parliament:
To send a letter: address it to your MP, and send to House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

To find out your MP’s email and phone number, you can email info@parl.gc.ca
or call toll-free (Canada): 1 (866) 599-4999.

MP contact details will be up shortly at www.parl.gc.ca, under ‘Members of Parliament’.

Key points to mention:
• Resolve this issue swiftly as part of the change promised by the new government
• It is time to fix this issue – end over 10 years of unfair and unjust legal and political actions by the Harper government
• Stop the deportations
• Stop pursuing war resister cases in court, as doing so defends decisions and policies made by the former Conservative government
• Rescind Operational Bulletin 202
• Implement a new Operational Bulletin that restores fairness for all war resister cases and reverses the harm done

3) Donate to the War Resisters Support Campaign:
https://www.gofundme.com/letthemstay

4) Please join and follow us – and share us on Social Media:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/WarResisters
Twitter: www.twitter.com/warresisters
Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/WarResistersCanada

Film night fundraiser, Monday August 17th

Aug 14th 2015

Please join us for this summer screening of two important documentaries about U.S. war resisters who sought asylum in Canada:

Deserter (2007 – 30 min) follows the journey of US Iraq War resister Ryan Johnson and his spouse Jenna as they make their way across the U.S. to seek asylum in Canada.deserter-wt

The Path of Glory (2014 – 50 min) – a documentary featuring U.S. war resisters Kimberly Rivera and Jeremy Brockway.

There will also be a brief update on the federal election and the campaign to let U.S. war resisters stay.

Suggested donation $5-10 or pay what you can

UNMANNED: America’s Drone Wars – Fundraiser for War Resisters Support Campaign?

Mar 4th 2015

unmanned

Film Screening and Discussion
Monday, March 9, 2015
Dinner 6pm
Film and Discussion 7 pm
25 Cecil Street (near College and Huron)
with special guest RUSSELL BROWN
U.S. peace activist, Upstate Drone War and
Veterans for Peace

In Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars, director Robert Greenwald investigates the impact of U.S. drone strikes at home and abroad through more than 70 separate interviews, including a former American drone operator who shares what he has witnessed in his own words, Pakistani families mourning loved ones and seeking legal redress, investigative journalists pursuing the truth, and top military officials warning against blowback from the loss of innocent life.

RUSSELL BROWN has been active in nonviolent protest at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base near Syracuse, N.Y, from where MQ9 Reaper drones are piloted. On April 28, 2013 he was arrested as he lay down to symbolize the death of drone victims.

A U.S. marine from 1965-1967, Russell testified at his trial that his participation in senseless killing and brutality in Vietnam informed his understanding of the Drone War Program. Russell was acquitted in August 2014.

Join us for this evening of food, film and discussion in support of U.S. war resisters seeking asylum in Canada.

Suggested donation $20 or pwyc

LET THEM STAY WEEK – January 25–31, 2015

Jan 14th 2015

LTSW-1In the last four months of 2014, an alarming number of U.S. Iraq war resisters in Canada received negative decisions in their immigration cases. Several of them have received, or are about to receive, removal orders from Canada.

This is despite the fact that a majority of Canadians support their stance against the illegal and immoral war, and despite Parliament having twice voted to let US war resisters stay.

The strong response of Canadians is what has kept U.S. war resisters in Canada – and out of U.S. military prison – for the past ten years.

Once again, US war resisters need their supporters to take action.

The War Resisters Support Campaign is calling on Canadians to speak out against this attempt by the Harper government to remove remaining U.S. war resisters from Canada.

During the pan-Canadian week of Action, “Let Them Stay Week” from January 25 to 31, 2015, let federal Minister of Immigration Chris Alexander know that you support a provision for US war resisters to stay in Canada, and that you oppose any attempt to deport them.

The Canadian government has intervened directly into individual war resister cases through the unfair Operational Bulletin 202 which targets US conscientious objectors, and through blanket statements by former Immigration Minister Jason Kenney which undermined any possibility of a fair and impartial treatment of individual cases.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

Sunday Jan 25 – Profile Picture Day: Change your profile picture on Facebook in support of US war resisters, for the duration of Let Them Stay Week.

Monday Jan 26 – Media Outreach Day: Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper

Tuesday Jan 27 – Email/phone Blitz: Call or email Minister of Immigration Chris Alexander (cc to party leaders, immigration critics, and your MP) – click here to send your email or write your own email and send it to the Minister.

Contact info:
Telephone: 613-954-1064 / 613-995-8042
E-Mail: Minister@cic.gc.ca
Fax: 613-996-1289

Wednesday Jan 28 – Mail-in Letters Day: Write a letter and mail it to the Minister of Immigration at:

The Honourable Chris Alexander, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Citizenship and Immigration
365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1L1

Thurs Jan 29 – Social Media Day: Share, post, disseminate information on war resisters on social media

Friday Jan 30 – Community Outreach Day: Call your local MPs office to express your concern; circulate the US war resister petition; make a donation to the War Resisters defence fund; post a window-sign at your home, workplace or community organization

Below is a joint statement recently issued by US war resisters in Canada, please share widely:

***
Joint Statement by former U.S. military personnel who came to Canada because of their conscientious objection to the 2003 Iraq war.

We are American war resisters. Many of us are combat veterans. All of us came to the conclusion that we could not in good conscience participate in the unjust and illegal war and occupation launched in March 2003 against Iraq.

Faced with jail time and forced redeployment in support of that disastrous war, we sought refuge in Canada.

The response from Canadians has been overwhelmingly welcoming and supportive, and has made it possible for us to settle here, raise families and build communities.

But the Conservative government has directly intervened to deny us access to a fair immigration process.

We now face imminent removal from Canada. Our removal will tear apart our families and punish us for simply doing what Canadians have already done – refusing to support and participate in an illegal and unjust war.

Former Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney publicly disparaged us, instructed immigration officers to ‘red-flag’ our cases, and labelled us ‘criminally inadmissible’ to Canada. This has prejudiced any chance of having our cases decided on their merits.

Yet Canada’s Parliament twice voted to allow us to stay. Canadian courts have acknowledged the disproportional punishment handed to US soldiers who have spoken out publicly in Canada. Those who have been forced back by the Conservative government have been court-martialed and received sentences from 12 to 24 months in jail.

It is no coincidence that so many of us are facing deportation at this very moment. It is difficult to manufacture consent for a new war when we are still here to tell the ground truth of the previous war. There is still time for Canadians to speak out – but time is running out.

Take Action to support US Iraq War resisters

Oct 13th 2014

As new developments continue in the cases of U.S. Iraq War resisters, some of the resisters have written statements about what they are facing and why they still need support from Canadians.

Please read their statements and then take a moment to send a letter to Chris Alexander, Ministers of Citizenship and Immigration, and Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety. They have the ability to stop the injustice that is being done to these conscientious objectors and allow them to stay in Canada.

If you haven’t done so yet, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing needs of resisters at http://gofundme.com/letthemstay as funds are urgently needed.

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