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.