Canadian parliament supports US war resisters

This video is called Let them stay: US war resisters in Canada (1 of 3).

Part 2 of the video is here.

Part 3 is here.

From Iraq Veterans Against the War in the USA:

Canadian Parliament votes to support war resisters

posted Jun 3 2008 – 10:11pm

On Tuesday, June 3rd Canada‘s Parliament voted on and passed a historic motion to support U.S. Iraq War Resisters in Canada.

The Opposition parties in the House of Commons joined together today to adopt a recommendation that, if implemented, would make it possible for U.S. Iraq War resisters to obtain Permanent Resident status in Canada. The recommendation was adopted by a majority of Members of Parliament from the Liberal, Bloc Québécois, and New Democratic Parties. The Conservatives voted against the motion. The motion, which originated in the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration in December 2007, calls on the government to “immediately implement a program to allow conscientious objectors and their immediate family members…to apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada; and…the government should immediately cease any removal or deportation actions…against such individuals.”

“Canada has always been a place which has welcomed those who seek peace and who seek freedom,” opposition Liberal MP Bob Rae told reporters.

For more information visit War Resisters Support Campaign.

See also here.

War resister Corey Glass: here.

Canada hands US Iraq war resister over to Pentagon for punishment: here.

4 thoughts on “Canadian parliament supports US war resisters

  1. Collateral Damage:
    America’s War Against Iraqi Civilians

    By Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian

    Based on hundreds of hours of interviews with combat veterans, this book represents the largest number of named eyewitnesses from within the U.S. military to have testified on he record. These veterans, many of whom have come to oppose the war, explain the tactics and operations that have turned many Iraqis against the U.S. military.

    The veterans describe convoys of dozens of vehicles roaring down Iraqi roads, jumping medians, smashing into civilian cars, and hitting Iraqi civilians without stopping to survey the damage. They detail raids that leave homes ransacked and families humiliated, shaking with fear, or shot dead in the mayhem.

    The soldiers and Marines interviewed in Collateral Damage describe the venality of a war fought largely out of view of journalists and television cameras. A stark and unflinching narrative, Collateral Damage exposes the true consequences of the war that the U.S. government has unleashed in Iraq.

    Hardcover, 119pp, Index


  2. Robin Long deported from Canada
    On July 15th, Robin Long became the first objector since the Vietnam War to be forced to leave Canada. We have made legal representation available to Robin and will be doing everything possible to provide him our full support.

    PFC Burmeister Court Martialed at Knox
    Wounded Iraq vet James Burmeister sentenced to six months in stockade and bad conduct discharge after resisting Iraq War. James voluntarily returned from Canada in March. Write James to offer your support!

    Actions at 14 Canadian Consulates to Support U.S. War Resisters
    Last week we organized actions in response to a deportation order issued against Corey Glass, an Iraq War veteran who was a sergeant in the National Guard. 14 cities took part with vigils and delegations! Reports and photos at bottom.

    Robin Long deported from Canada

    robinCourage to Resist. July 17, 2008

    Courage to Resist has made civilian legal representation available to Robin and will be doing everything possible to provide him our full support.More info coming soon.

    On July 15th, Robin Long became the first U.S. war resister since the Vietnam War forced to leave Canada and turned over to the U.S. military. About the same time as dozens of supporters gathered at Peace Arch Park on the Canadian-U.S. border, Robin was taken across the border and handed over to U.S. border agents.

    Robin was briefly held at the Whatcom County Jail in Bellingham, Washington, before U.S. military police took him to Fort Lewis, 50 miles south of Seattle.

    Within the next few days he will be taken to Fort Carson, Colorado where he is expected to be immediately placed in pre-trial confinement and eventually court martialed for AWOL, desertion, and possibly other violations of military discipline.

    At 19, the Boise, Idaho native joined the Army on the promise that he would not be deployed to Iraq. However, in April 2005 Robin was ordered to Fort Carson in preparation for deployment to Iraq. Robin recounted, “My superiors were telling me; ‘You’re going to the desert to fight rag heads’. It wasn’t like I was going to Iraq to liberate the people.” After his Army “battle buddy” didn’t report for deployment by leaving for Canada, Robin also went AWOL and hitchhiked to Canada, eventually settling down with help of the War Resisters Support Campaign.

    let them stayAlong with a few other U.S. Iraq War resisters, Robin had been most recently living in Nelson, British Columbia, a town of 10,000 people. Local police have gained a reputation of being hostile to war resisters. Authorities claimed that because Robin was staying with different friends around Nelson, he was in violation of a previous order to notify authorities of his whereabouts–which gave them the opening for an expedited removal. Robin’s bad luck continued when a conservative Canadian Judge ruled against his last ditch appeal.

    “This is a gift from Stephen Harper to George Bush,” says Gerry Condon of Project Safe Haven, referring to the conservative heads of state of Canada and the U.S. “And it will trumpet that Canada is no longer a safe haven for AWOL GIs.” However, Gerry believes that “this is not the first of many deportations. It may be the first and the last. A minority government that ignores the will of its people and its Parliament will not be allowed to rule much longer.” Federal elections are expected to take place in Canada this fall.

    Check for updates on Robin’s case

    PFC James Burmeister Court Martialed at Ft. Knox

    james bSupporters rally at base gate; James sentenced to six months in stockade and bad conduct discharge

    July 17, 2008

    James Burmeister was serving in Baghdad when his humvee was caught in an IED explosion and he was hit in the face with shrapnel. Suffering from the physical and emotional wounds resulting from his injury, and his experiences working with “bait and kill” teams in Iraq, James went to Canada and was AWOL until earlier this year when he decided to return to the U.S., turn himself in, and move on with his life.

    James and supporters hoped that the military would offer him an “other than honorable discharge in lieu of court martial”–especially in consideration of his injuries suffered in Iraq. James believes that he is suffering from traumatic brain injury, which would explain his reoccurring seizures. However, he has found real medical treatment an impossible maze to navigate–the military instead offers him various anti-psychotic drug cocktails.

    On June 21, Helen Burmeister (photo above) traveled from Oregon to lead local Veterans for Peace members and other supporters in a rally for the freedom on her son James at the gates of Fort Knox, Kentucky. However, hopes for a quick discharge–and real medical help–were dashed when the Army court martialed James yesterday for AWOL and desertion.

    James was sentenced to six months at the Fort Knox Regional Confinement Facility and a bad conduct discharge. The PFC James Burmeister Support Campaign can be reached at

    Write to James in the stockade!

    James Burmeister
    Box A
    Fort Knox, KY 40121

    Actions at 14 Canadian Consulates for war resisters


    By Courage to Resist. July 16, 2008

    Courage to Resist organized actions in response to a deportation order issued against U.S. war resister Corey Glass, an Iraq War veteran who was a sergeant in the National Guard. With the help of Vets For Peace and Project Safe Haven, 14 cities took part with vigils and delegations.

    Photos and delegation reports here.

    In a surprising victory, while the delegations were taking place, a Canadian Federal Court granted Corey a last minute reprieve of at least several months while his lawyers appeal earlier negative rulings.

    Corey’s victory was related to a similar win for Iraq War vet Joshua Key. According to the Federal Court in Joshua’s recent ruling, the regular abuse of Iraqi civilians at the hands of the U.S. military are systematic violations of the Geneva Conventions, and a basis for granting refugee status.

    Canadian Parliament officially welcomes war resisters

    nycOn June 3rd, Canadian Parliament made an historic vote in favor of anyone seeking refuge from fighting in the unjust and illegal occupation of Iraq. While this is an amazing victory, the motion is non-binding. The Conservative government led by Stephen Harper–a close ally of the Bush-Cheney endless war agenda–continues to move forward with deportations of war resisters.

    Email and phone Minister Finley and Prime Minister Harper. Ask them to fully implement the June 3rd Parliament resolution to allow war resisters to remain in Canada.

    Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley
    Phone 613.996.4974;
    Prime Minister Stephen Harper
    Phone 613.992.4211;


  3. Becoming a conscientious objector after Iraq
    Benjamin “Hart” Viges joined to defend America in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but it didn’t work out that way. Listen to the Courage to Resist audio interview.

    Jeremy Hinzman granted deportation stay!
    The first U.S. soldier to seek refugee status in Canada, Jeremy Hinzman was scheduled for deportation recently, however, Canadian Justice Richard Mosley granted a stay on the deportation order.

    Refusing to kill vs. murder
    Army Col. Ann Wright (ret.) reviews recent court martial outcomes of “unlawful killings” in Iraq and compares them to the outcomes of war objector trials.

    Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan
    New book now available from Courage to Resist ($20 donation includes shipping) by Aaron Glantz with forward by Anthony Swofford (paperback) from Haymarket.

    Write to imprisoned objector Robin Long
    (robinlong [at] We’ll forward your message to Robin at the Miramar Naval Brig, San Diego. If you wish to correspond directly, include your mailing address and ask Robin to add you to his approved mailing list. Also: Donate to Robin’s jail support fund so that he can occasionally phone friends and family.

    Becoming a conscientious objector after Iraq
    chart car
    Hart Viges joins protest outside of the RNC in St. Paul MN 9/1/08. Photo: Jeff Paterson for CTR

    By Courage to Resist
    September 29, 2008

    Benjamin “Hart” Viges joined to defend America in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Hart quickly found himself as a mortar man attached with the 82nd Airborne. Later he participated in the initial invasion of Iraq. “After we killed enough people (with artillery), we moved into the town– I saw dogs fighting, donkeys fighting, birds fighting in the sky. It seemed like the violence from humans fighting spread out to the rest of life that lived there….I came head on with the question of how can I be a Christian and live the teaching of Jesus, and be a soldier at the same time?”

    Listen to Hart’s 27:15 min. interview with Courage to Resist

    Jeremy Hinzman granted Canada deportation stay!

    jeremySeptember 23, 2008

    The first U.S. Army deserter to seek refugee status in Canada, Jeremy Hinzman, was scheduled for deportation today, however, Crown Justice Richard Mosley granted a stay on the deportation order.

    Sign the “Dear Canada” letter: “Cease deportation proceedings against Jeremy Hinzman”

    Hinzman’s lawyer, Alyssa Manning, had argued that “evidence suggests U.S. soldiers who have spoken out against the 2003 U.S.-led Iraq invasion have been facing more punishment than other deserters.” Furthermore, Manning stated that the immigration officer had not properly assessed the hardship Jeremy and his family would endure.

    Read more and view Jeremy’s video message

    When refusing to kill has a higher sentence than murder
    ann wright
    Col. Ann Wright (ret.) joins vigil outside of Ft. Lewis WA during Lt. Watada trial 2/4/07. Photo: Jeff Paterson for CTR

    By Army Col. Ann Wright (ret.)
    September 20, 2008

    From the beginning of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States military has come under intense criticism and scrutiny for the deaths of civilians. This week, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff made trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan to “acknowledge” the deaths of innocent civilians in attacks in those countries.

    In the five and one-half years of the US occupation of Iraq, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed by US military personnel at checkpoints, during convoy movements and during operations to find the “enemy.” In the half-decade of US military presence in Iraq, a very small number of US military personnel and an even smaller number of CIA and contractors have been charged with manslaughter or murder in these deaths.

    The deaths of most civilians are counted in the “costs of war.” A few dozen military have been court-martialed on allegations of mistreatment, manslaughter and murder of Iraqi civilians. With a very few exceptions, most who were court-martialed have been acquitted. Those who were convicted have generally served light sentences.

    Read complete article by Col. Ann Wright (ret.)

    Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan:
    Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations

    winter soldierAvailable now from Courage to Resist ($20 donation includes shipping) by Aaron Glantz with forward by Anthony Swofford (paperback) from Haymarket.

    “The only way this war is going to end is if the American people truly understand what we have done in their name.”Kelly Dougherty, executive director of Iraq Veterans Against the War

    In spring 2008, inspired by the Vietnam-era Winter Soldier hearings, Iraq Veterans Against the War gathered veterans to expose war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. Here are the powerful words, images, and documents of this historic gathering, which show the reality of life in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Iraq Veterans Against the War argues that well-publicized incidents of American brutality like the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and the massacre of an entire family of Iraqis in the town of Haditha are not the isolated incidents perpetrated by “a few bad apples,” as many politicians and military leaders have claimed. They are part of a pattern, the group says, of “an increasingly bloody occupation.”

    Order from, and support, Courage to Resist


  4. Don’t deport US war resisters

    Canada’s Tory government is trying to deport Kimberly Rivera, the first female US army war resister to come to Canada in opposition to the war in Iraq. Rivera arrived in Toronto in 2007 after serving in Iraq. She is among an estimated 200 US war resisters in Canada.

    Immigration minister Jason Kenney has called war resisters “bogus” refugees. Yet he recently gave a residence permit to corporate criminal Conrad Black.


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