War Resisters Day of Action Today, June 2nd

“Canada should be welcoming Americans who flee to our country to escape Bush’s illegal war in Iraq,” said Green Party leader Elizabeth May. “In accordance with a motion passed by the House of Commons Citizenship and Immigration Committee, conscientious objectors and their immediate family members should be granted refuge in Canada.”

GPC Press Release, May 23, 2008

Hear! Hear!

One of the six fundamental Green principles is non-violence: “We declare our commitment to non-violence and strive for a culture of peace and cooperation between states.”

Parliament votes tomorrow on an historic motion to support U.S. Iraq War Resisters in Canada.

The War Resisters Support Campaign has declared today, June 2nd as War Resisters Day of Action. Visit www.resisters.ca for info on signing a petition and writing to your MP as well as to Immigration Minister Diane Finley. In my case, that’s the same person.

The pacifist stance of the Green Party is an important reason why I’m a member. This issue touches me, personally. In 1970, I was a Vietnam War resister. Born and raised in New York State, my mother was a Canadian from Port Dover, Ontario. I was drafted to serve in the US military in September 1970. Instead, I moved to Canada and was welcomed by my Canadian relatives. It was probably the most life-changing and positive decision of my life. I was only 21.

Canada has a rich history of welcoming and providing a safe haven for war resisters. I was very proud to become a Canadian citizen. Lately, I’ve not been very proud of the performance of our federal government on issues like the Khadr case, anti-death penalty advocacy, offensive operations in Afghanistan and, now, this capitulation to US pressure to deport war resisters.

Let’s do the right thing.


Food Crisis Blame Game: Plenty to Go Around

As the world slips into a food crisis of epic proportions, analysts, politicians, producers, investors, purveyors, scientists, economists and pundits are weighing in with opinions on causes. Faced with the morbid spectacle of millions upon millions of deaths by starvation, many special interest sectors are eager to point the finger of blame. Those fingers are generally not pointed back at themselves.

Who are the blameholders? It depends on who is doing the blaming.

George Bush threw an additional $770 million at the problem just last week. In doing so, he pointed the finger of blame squarely at India’s rising middle class and their newfound ability to add a bit of meat to their still largely vegetarian diet. As one might expect, Bush’s finger-pointing isn’t going down too well in India.

The Indian press is pointing the finger of blame right back at the US and its push for biofuels. Indeed, 30% of the 2008 US corn crop is destined for ethanol production. Government-mandated ethanol content in auto fuel has, unarguably, been one factor in the rise of global grain prices.
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