Jul 31st 2013

Wednesday August 7th, 2013
Steelworkers Hall
25 Cecil Street, Toronto

6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Update and MUSIC!!!

Join us for an update on the campaign to win asylum for U.S. War Resisters in Canada.

Followed by musical guests :
Thomas Radcliffe
The Manning Sisters

Thomas Radcliffe is a Vietnam War Resister, a singer-songwriter, and an advocate for peace and social justice.
And by popular demand, the Manning sisters, Alyssa and Kim, return to the Steel Hall with their great harmonies.

And featuring :
“I am Bradley Manning” photo booth
Show your support for military whistle-blower and democracy advocate Bradley Manning

$20 suggested donation


Write to Kim Rivera

May 15th 2013

Kim is now at Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar in San Diego where she is serving her 10 month sentence.

Please write to Kim, to let her know she has strong support. Her  mailing address at Miramar is:

Kimberly Rivera
P.O. Box 452136
San Diego, CA 92145-2136

There are strict rules on what can be included in letters. Please do not include anything but the paper you yourself have used to write. Do not send stamps, envelopes, writing paper, stickers or anything other than a simple letter. Anything more will very likely not make its way to Kim.

As soon as we obtain information regarding sending books to Kim, we will post it here.

Iraq War Resister Kim Rivera sentenced to 14 months in military prison after deportation by Harper government

Apr 29th 2013

TORONTO — On Monday afternoon, during a court-martial hearing at Fort Carson, Colorado, Kimberly Rivera was sentenced to 14 months in military prison and a dishonourable discharge after publicly expressing her conscientious objection to the Iraq War while in Canada. A pre-trial agreement capped the sentence at 10 months of confinement and a bad conduct discharge.

Rivera family

Private First Class Kimberly Rivera deployed to Iraq in 2006 and sought asylum in Canada in 2007 because she decided she could no longer be complicit in the war. A mother of four young children—including two who were born in Canada—she was forced back to the United States of America by the Conservative government after receiving a negative decision on her pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA). A Federal Court judge denied her request for a stay of removal, finding the possibility of her arrest and detention in the U.S. to be “speculative.” Rivera was arrested three days later, on September 20, 2012, as she presented herself at the U.S. border.

“Kim is being punished for her beliefs and for her comments to the press while she was in Canada,” said James M. Branum, the defense attorney who represented Rivera during the court-martial proceedings. “Because she spoke out against the Iraq War, Kim’s sentence is harsher than the punishment given to 94 percent of deserters who are not punished but administratively discharged. In the closing arguments, the prosecutor argued that the judge needed to give PFC Rivera a harsh sentence to send a message to the other war resisters in Canada and their supporters.”

The tremendous public outcry related to Rivera’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 Change.org petition supporting the family. Faith, labour and human rights organizations spoke out, Amnesty International adopted Kim as a prisoner of conscience, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu published an opinion piece in The Globe and Mail newspaper calling the deportation order “unjust.”

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

“The Conservative government knew that Kim would be jailed and separated from her children when they forced her back to the U.S., yet they cheered her deportation,” said Michelle Robidoux, a spokesperson for the War Resisters Support Campaign. “They are out of step with the great majority of Canadians who opposed the Iraq War and who support allowing U.S. war resisters to stay in Canada.”

On February 1, 2013, the Federal Court of Canada issued a decision in the case of another U.S. war resister, Jules Tindungan, finding that the U.S. court-martial system “fails to comply with basic fairness requirements found in Canadian and International Law.” The Court also found that the Refugee Board failed to deal properly with evidence that soldiers who have spoken out publicly about their objections to U.S. military actions are subjected to particularly harsh punishments because of having voiced their political opinions.

“The sentence Kim received today underlines the concerns we have been raising all along, and what the Federal Court now acknowledges, that soldiers who speak out against unjust wars face harsher punishment and have no recourse within the U.S. military justice system,” said Robidoux. “Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney were ardent supporters of the Iraq War, and they want U.S. Iraq War resisters punished. But Parliament has voted twice to stop these deportations, and the majority of Canadians believe Kim and the other resisters did the right thing. We will continue to fight to make sure this injustice does not happen to any other U.S. war resister who is seeking asylum in Canada.”


For further information, please contact: Michelle Robidoux, Spokesperson, War Resisters Support Campaign, 416-856-5008; or Ken Marciniec, Communications Volunteer, War Resister Support Campaign, 416-803-6066, communications[at]resisters[dot]ca

Federal Court rules in favour of U.S. war resister Jules Tindungan

Feb 4th 2013

On Friday February 1st, the Federal Court of Canada released a decision granting U.S. war resister Jules Tindungan a new hearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). The Court found errors in the original IRB decision pertaining to issues which are at the heart of asylum claims by U.S. soldiers in Canada.

Mr. Tindungan is one of dozens of former U.S. soldiers who have sought asylum in Canada because of their objection to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tindungan refused to return to combat for the United States military in 2008 after serving a 15 month combat tour and seeing first-hand the breaches of the Geneva Conventions committed by U.S. forces.

Mr. Tindungan argued before the Refugee Board that he faces differential punishment in the U.S. because he has spoken out publicly against U.S. military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also argued that he would not get a fair trial if returned because the U.S. court-martial system is not an independent and impartial tribunal as required under Canadian and International law.

After reviewing Tindungan’s case, the Federal Court found that Tindungan “submitted voluminous documentary evidence from credible, third-party sources … that suggest that the U.S. has not complied with its international obligations”. However, the Refugee Board improperly ignored this evidence.

The Court further found that the U.S. court-martial system “fails to comply with basic fairness requirements found in Canadian and International Law”, therefore impacting whether Tindungan would receive a fair hearing if returned to the U.S.

For more information, see the full press release and the Court decision.

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

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


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

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.

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