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

Toronto Labour Day Parade: “War Resisters Welcome Here”

Sep 3rd 2012

Supporters of Kimberly Rivera and her family joined the Labour Day parade in Toronto.

War Resisters Support Campaign enters the CNE on Labour Day

The War Resisters Support Campaign marched as part of the United Steelworkers contingent and was joined by Vietnam Veterans against the War, and supporters from Buffalo.

As the contingent entered the CNE grounds, Kimberly was joined by city councillors, including Gord Perks, shown below, who represents the riding where the Riveras live.

City Councillor Gord Perks greets Kimberly Rivera

How you can support the Rivera family

Sep 1st 2012

M.P. Peggy Nash with war resister Kimberly Rivera and her children Christian and Rebecca
M.P. Peggy Nash with war resister Kimberly Rivera and two of her children

Many people are contacting the War Resisters Support Campaign to ask how they can support Kimberly Rivera and her family. Please click here to see how you can help, and check back regularly to stay up-to-date on activities you can take part in.

War Resister Kimberly Rivera ordered to return to U.S. by September 20th

Aug 30th 2012


On Thursday, August 30th the Canadian government ordered U.S. Iraq war resister Kimberly Rivera, her husband Mario and their four young children deported to the United States. Kimberly served in Iraq in 2006, and sought refuge in Canada in 2007 after making the decision that she could no longer participate in the Iraq War.

Kimberly was the first woman US Iraq War resister to come to Canada. She and her family live in Toronto. If deported, she faces harsh punishment. War resisters Robin Long and Clifford Cornell, two Iraq war resisters deported by the Harper government, were court-martialed and sentenced to 15 months and 12 months respectively for speaking out against the Iraq War.

Canada’s Parliament has adopted two motions calling on the federal government to allow war resisters to stay in Canada. But Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney has publicly labelled Iraq War resisters as “bogus refugee claimants”. In July 2010, he issued a bulletin to all Immigration Officers requiring them to red-flag applications that involve US war resisters, labeling them as ‘criminally inadmissible’.

Amnesty International Canada and former Immigration and Refugee Board Chair Peter Showler have called for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Operational Bulletin 202 to be rescinded because it “fails to recognize that military desertion for reasons of conscience is in fact clearly recognized as a legitimate ground for refugee protection” and it “misstates the law and seeks to intrude on the independence of both IRB members and Immigration Officers.”

War resister Kimberly Rivera to get decision August 30th

Aug 27th 2012

Kimberly Rivera, who served in Iraq in 2006, is the first woman soldier to seek refuge in Canada. Kim, along with her partner Mario, son Christian (10 years old) and daughter Rebecca (8 years old), came to Canada in January 2007 when she refused redeployment to Iraq. Kim has two Canadian-born children, Katie and Gabriel.

On Thursday, August 30th the Riveras will get a decision on their Pre-Removal Risk Assessment.

URGENT APPEAL for funds to assist Iraq War resisters facing deportation

Aug 27th 2012

After a period of calm in the cases of U.S. Iraq War resisters, things are quickly coming to a head.

War resister Kimberly Rivera and her family will receive a decision in their case in a few days and they face imminent deportation to the United States. Another war resister has been told to complete all of the submissions for his case by September 20th and to expect a decision shortly afterwards. Many other resisters are awaiting decisions on Humanitarian & Compassionate applications or spousal sponsorships. It appears that these decisions will now start coming in quickly.

Today, we are urgently appealing to you for financial help to assist with this crucial phase of the fight to win asylum for war resisters.

In spite of two motions passed in the House of Commons calling on the government to allow war resisters to stay in Canada, thousands of letters and petitions, and support across the country for war resisters, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney continue to fight to have every U.S. war resister removed from Canada.

Minister Kenney has had Citizenship & Immigration Canada lawyers intervene in the individual hearings and court cases of war resisters. He publicly labelled them “bogus” refugees, biasing the decisions in their cases. And he took the unprecedented step of issuing a bulletin to all Immigration Officers requiring them to red-flag applications that involve war resisters, labeling them as ‘criminally inadmissible’. (link to web site page on OB202)

Faith communities, human rights organizations, refugee rights groups and thousands of Canadians have called on the Minister to implement the motions passed in Parliament, or, at a minimum, to allow the individual cases to be heard on their own merit – the same free and independent consideration that Minister Kenney insists was given to Conrad Black.

The only reason that US Iraq War resisters have been able to stay in Canada as long as they have is because of the tremendous support they have received from Canadians for their courageous decision to stand up against a war that was internationally recognized as illegal and immoral.

In the coming days and weeks we will be asking supporters to once again take action to let the government know that Canadians still support the war resisters and believe as strongly as ever that they should be allowed to stay.

But we also urgently need funds. We are fighting a federal government that has unlimited resources, and they are dropping a deportation order on the eve of a long weekend, with Parliament not sitting, with possibly only days before the Riveras face removal. To build a public campaign in such a short period of time, we will need to pull out all stops to demand that the federal government not deport any war resisters.

Nobody deserves to spend even a single day in jail for making a conscientious decision not to participate in the Iraq war.

We hope you will give as generously as you can. A victory for U.S. war resisters in Canada will be a major victory for peace and justice, and for the kind of Canada we want this country to be.

Thank you, as always, for your past and ongoing support. See below for information on how to donate.

In peace and solidarity,
War Resisters Support Campaign

Here’s how to donate:

1. Donate online by going here:

2. Donate by cheque:
To mail us a donation, please make a cheque payable to the War Resisters Support Campaign and mail it to:

War Resisters Support Campaign
Box 13, 427 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON M5S 1X7

Book Launch: Rebranding Canada in an Age of Anxiety

Aug 23rd 2012

On Thursday September 6th, join the War Resisters Support Campaign, Voice of Women for Peace and the Edward Day Gallery for the launch of Warrior Nation: Rebranding Canada in an Age of Anxiety.

Once known for peacekeeping, Canada is becoming a militarized nation whose apostles-the New Warriors-are fighting to shift public opinion. New Warrior zealots seek to transform postwar Canada’s central myth-symbols. Peaceable kingdom. Just society. Multicultural tolerance. Reasoned public debate. Their replacements? A warrior nation. Authoritarian leadership. Permanent political polarization.

September 6, 7:00pm
Edward Day Gallery
952 Queen Street West #200
Toronto Ontario

Click here for more information and to watch the book trailer for Warrior Nation!

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