Many of you protested last year to block the Harper Conservatives from deporting Kimberly Rivera and her family to the U.S. We demanded that the family be welcomed as heroes and citizens of Canada, to no avail.
You may have already heard yesterday's sad news: Kimberly Rivera was sentenced to ten months in a military prison. Her four children are ripped from her arms for the "crime" of being brave, noble and just.
Our predictions about a conviction and harsh sentence came true. Once again, the Harper Conservatives have been exposed as supporters of George Bush's war of torture and occupation against Iraq.
We must increase our efforts keep resisters to unjust wars in Canada. We need to change Ottawa's policy, or change Ottawa!
I urge you to write your MP, letters to the editor and raise this issue in groups (anti-war, labour, faith, student, etc) where you are active. The issue cannot be ignored or Canada will be molded in the uncaring image of Stephen Harper. We will be slaves building his pyramid.
Many news outlets have carried the story, so I'll give just one link, here.
Here is a sample letter sent to news outlets in the prairie provinces, as a letter or op-ed:
Re: US Deserter Sentenced (April 30). Despite a 19,000-name petition and an appeal by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Harper Conservatives deported Kimberly Rivera last year to face a court martial and certain imprisonment. Kimberly refused to fight a horrifying, unjust and illegal war. The Conservatives labeled this brave mother of four a "bogus" refugee and a common criminal.
The Conservatives say deserters are unwelcome in Canada because the U.S. now has an all-volunteer army, unlike during the Vietnam War. However, it makes no difference if a soldier volunteers. Any soldier must resist illegal orders according to the Geneva Conventions. To their dismay, Nazis war criminals discovered "following orders" was not a defence. Harper, Obama and Kimberly's judge support Nazi justice.
Stephen Harper needs to answer: Which side won WW2? And why is he still fighting torture-lover George Bush's bloody war in Iraq? Deserters from illegal wars ought to be welcome in Canada citizens and heroes. Stephen Harper's government should be ashamed of ripping Kimberly's children from her arms.
We are talking in the KRICC executive about having another big war resister tour across Canada by Joshua, Alexina and family this fall. We'd like to hear your suggestions and any offers of help.
For the Keep Resisters in Canada Campaign.