The Harper government is trying to deport US Iraq War resister Kimberly Rivera and her family September 20, the start of a renewed campaign against war resisters that undermines international law and democracy.
With massive demonstrations against the looming Iraq War in 2003, the Canadian government refused to participate—and Prime Minister Harper has since admitted the war was “absolutely an error.” During the Vietnam War, Canada welcomed US war resisters—both volunteers and conscripts—and resisters from the Iraq War have been coming to Canada since 2004.
US veteran Kimberly Rivera left the Iraq War after experiencing the terrifying impact of the war on children. She came to Canada in 2007—becoming the first female US Iraq War resister—and lives in Toronto with her husband Mario and four children (Christian, Rebecca, Katie and Gabriel).
US Iraq War resisters have the support of the majority of Canadians, two Parliamentary motions, and international law.
Minister of Censorship and Deportation
But the Harper government has deported war resisters to US prison—including Robin Long (who was separated from his family) and Cliff Cornell, who both received harsh jail sentences for speaking out against the war. Threatened with a similar fate, resister Rodney Watson has been living in sanctuary since 2009.
Since 2008 there have been 10 federal court or federal court of appeal decisions in favour of war resisters. But Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, an early supporter of the Iraq War, has gone out of his way to try to deport war resisters—labeling them “bogus refugee claimants” and issuing Operational Bulletin 202 to flag them as “criminally inadmissible.”
Now there is a renewed offensive against war resisters beginning with the Riveras, who—before even receiving the decision on their application to stay on humanitarian and compassionate grounds—were given a deportation date of September 20. To support the Riveras and war resisters–including joining them on labour day, attending an emergency public meeting, and making financial contributions–visit the War Resisters Support Campaign here.