As you may have heard, MPs Olivia Chow and Borys Wrzesnewskyj (and, I thought, Alex Atamanenko, although none of the stories mention him) visited Robin Long in the San Diego military facility where he is being held.
These ardent supporters of war resisters in Canada planned and paid for this trip themselves. I think it's really extraordinary.
Through their visit to Robin, we've learned several interesting details about Robin's treatment at the hands of the CBSA - details that are relevant to all the resisters fighting to stay.
Tonight in San Diego, Olivia and Borys will speak at the monthly meeting of the local peace and justice group, and the meeting will partly focus on Robin's situation. If you're in the San Diego area or know someone who is, here are the details:March 16, 7:00 p.m. (third Monday of each month)Joyce Beers Community Center1090 Vermont, 1-1/2 blocks north of University, east of Trader Joe's in the Hillcrest shopping centerAll welcome
From the Canadian Press:
Two members of Parliament who met Sunday with an Iraq army deserter court-martialed after fleeing to British Columbia are hopeful their San Diego prison visit reignites debate about allowing others to take refuge in Canada.
New Democrat Olivia Chow and Liberal Borys Wrzesnewskyj spent 45 minutes discussing the issues around Robin Long's deportation and learning about his condition behind bars.
Long, 25, who the Toronto MPs call a "war resister," was deported from Canada in July 2008 after fleeing to avoid serving in Iraq - the first deserter to be sent back to the U.S. by the courts.
"The (incarceration) conditions are acceptable, but what's unacceptable is the fact that this young man, as a consequence of taking a principled stand, is spending 15 months of his life while he's in his 20s in prison," Wrzesnewskyj said from San Diego.
"It coincides with the key formative years of his young Canadian son who's two years old. That's a terrible thing to do to someone."
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