It’s time to allow U.S. War resisters to stay

Jan 23rd 2013

Isn’t it time we begin to redress the atrocity of this war by honouring those such as Ms. Rivera who had the courage to stand against it at such cost to themselves?

Archbishop Desmond Tutu asked this question in a powerful op-ed in the Globe & Mail in September 2012 when the Canadian government forced U.S. Iraq War resister Kimberly Rivera and her family, including two Canadian children, to return to the U.S.. Kimberly is now separated from her husband and children, and awaiting court martial at Fort Carson, Colorado.

The tremendous public outcry related to Kimberly’s case shows the deep and broad support that Canadians continue to express for Iraq War resisters. In a period of 10 days leading up to the Rivera family deportation, 20,000 people signed a petition supporting the family. Faith, labour and human rights organizations spoke out strongly in support of Kimberly. Amnesty International has adopted Kimberly as a prisoner of conscience.

And on January 26, a group of prominent Canadians including Noah Richler, Andy Barrie, Ursula Franklin, Alexandre Trudeau and Dr. John Polanyi signed an open letter, published in the Globe and Mail, that called on the government of Canada to cease all deportation orders against U.S. Iraq War Resisters.

In stark contrast to this outpouring of support from Canadians, Conservative MPs cheered when the Rivera family’s removal was announced in the House of Commons.

There are many Iraq War resisters still in Canada, facing the threat of deportation. That’s why we need you to take action. The Conservative government continues to pursue the removal of these resisters to the U.S. where they will face punishment for their conscientious decision not to take part in the illegal and immoral war.

How you can help:

1. Contact Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration & Multiculturalism asking him to make a provision to allow Iraq War resisters to stay in Canada.

Address: 325 East Block, House of Commons, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Phone: 613-954-1064 Fax: 613-957.2688
Email: jason.kenney@parl.gc.ca, minister@cic.gc.ca

2. Send a letter of support to Kimberly Rivera. The support she is receiving from Canada, the U.S., and internationally is helping her during this difficult period while she is separated from her family and awaiting court martial. Letters can be sent to:

Kimberly Rivera
c/o All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church
730 N. Tejon Street
Colorado Springs, CO
80903

3. Make a donation to help support the campaign to allow U.S. war resisters to stay in Canada.

Fundraising evening in support of war resisters

Nov 21st 2012

TELLING OUR STORY

A Fundraiser for U.S. War Resisters and their Ongoing Struggle

type-writer image

Friday, December 7th, 7 pm SHARP

Innis Town Hall, University of Toronto
2 Sussex Ave @ St. George Street

With a special reading by author Noah Richler; Common Thread Community Choir; a sneak preview of the new film Peace Has No Borders by filmmakers Denis Mueller and Deb Ellis; and a panel of U.S. Iraq War Resisters

$10-20 sliding scale

War Resisters Support Campaign – 416.598.1222 – wrsctoronto@gmail.com

Send messages of support to Kimberly Rivera

Oct 3rd 2012

While Kim is at Fort Carson, separated from her husband and children and waiting to find out what her fate will be, it is critical that she know that she is not alone and that she has support for the courageous stance she took in coming to Canada. Letters and notes of support can be sent to Kim Rivera at:

Kim Rivera
c/o All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church
730 N. Tejon Street
Colorado Springs, CO
80903

Update on Kimberly Rivera

Sep 24th 2012

We have just learned that Kimberly Rivera was transferred today to Fort Carson in Colorado. We will soon have information about where you can write to Kim and will post it here. Kim will need your support over the next weeks and months and we thank everyone for their ongoing support for Kim and her family.

A message to supporters of Kimberly Rivera

Sep 24th 2012

Over the past few weeks, since Kimberly Rivera received her deportation notice, there has been an outpouring of support and efforts by Canadians right across the country to try to prevent this great injustice from happening.

Kimberly Rivera, who came to Canada in 2007, struck a chord with so many people because of her conscientious decision that she could no longer participate in the Iraq War. Sadly, despite these efforts where 20,000 signed petitions, and many thousands called and wrote to Jason Kenney, the Harper government refused to allow Kim to stay while her Humanitarian and Compassionate application was processed. Kim voluntarily went to the border and was immediately arrested by US authorities. She is currently in a county jail in New York State, awaiting transfer to a military base.

Kim and her family have been ripped apart because of our government’s determination to punish conscientious objectors to the Iraq War. When Rick Dykstra announced in Parliament that Kim had returned to the US, the Conservative caucus erupted in applause.

This is the true face of the Harper government. The chasm between this government and the sentiment of the majority of Canadians was starkly revealed in that moment.

82% of Canadians opposed the Iraq War and nearly two-thirds want Canada to allow resisters to that war to be allowed to stay in this country.

Twice, a majority of MPs have voted in the House of Commons to allow Iraq War resisters to stay.

For everyone who has shown their support, it was incredibly moving and important for Kim and helped sustain her and her family through what can only be described as a nightmare, one entirely caused by the Canadian government.

Kim faces a very difficult road ahead and we will be doing everything we can to make sure she and her family continue to have the support they will need in the US. We will soon be posting information on how you can write to Kim and other ways you can show your support.

Donations are still needed both to ensure Kim has the support she needs, and also to keep the fight going for the dozens of other US Iraq War resisters whose cases are pending.

Please continue sending letters to the editor and keep this issue visible. Don’t let the Tories think they can put this behind them.

Conscientious objector to the Iraq War detained by the U.S. military

Sep 20th 2012

U.S. Iraq War resister Kimberly Rivera voluntarily presented herself at the U.S. border this morning, after requests to have Jason Kenney process her humanitarian and compassionate application were denied.

Kimberly was immediately arrested and detained, and transferred to military custody. She now awaits transfer to a different military facility where she faces punishment for being absent from her unit.

Her family, including four minor children, crossed separately. Kimberly did not want her children to have to see her detained by the US military, as this would be traumatic for them.

During a Federal Court hearing in Toronto on Monday, lawyers for the Department of Justice argued that Kimberly would not be detained when she crossed the border. Justice Near, of the Federal Court, ultimately denied her request for a stay of removal, finding arrest and detention to be speculative.

Just as the Rivera family’s lawyer argued in court and as was predicted by her Canadian supporters, Kimberly was detained immediately upon crossing the border into the United States of America this morning.

Kimberly now awaits punishment for refusing to return to iraq, a conflict which Kimberly and Canada determined was wrong.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu: Don’t deport war resister Kimberly Rivera

Sep 17th 2012

Writing in today’s Globe & Mail, Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called on Canada to welcome U.S. Iraq War resister Kimberly Rivera.

Despite all of the ghastliness in the world, human beings are made for goodness. The ones who are held in high regard are not militarily powerful nor even economically prosperous. They have a commitment to try to make the world a better place. I truly believe that Kimberly Rivera is such a person, and that Canada can only benefit from allowing her to stay.

Read the full opinion piece here.

Let Kimberly Rivera Stay: Sign our online petition

Sep 14th 2012

We are asking all those who support U.S. Iraq War resister Kimberly Rivera and her family to send a letter to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney asking that she be allowed to stay in Canada.

SIGN A LETTER HERE. Once you’ve added your name, please share the link widely.

And phone Minister Kenney to let him know that you want Kimberly Rivera to stay. Office of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration: 613.954.1064 (9-5 EST)

Leading Canadian advocates speak out in support of U.S. Iraq war resister Kimberly Rivera

Sep 14th 2012

Parkdale neigbourhood rallies in support of Kimberly Rivera

Sep 7th 2012

An overflow crowd of Parkdale residents turned out to an emergency meeting on September 5th to show their support for Kimberly Rivera and her family, and to call on the government to allow her to stay in their community.

The meeting heard from all three elected representatives from her riding, and a statement of support from Archbishop Desmond Tutu was read.

The meeting then spilled into the streets for a candlelight procession through the neighbourhood.

Candlelight vigil

Candlelight vigil

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