July 6, 2009

Join the vigils supporting War Resister Kim Rivera and her family

This video is from earlier this year. Kim and her family were making an appeal to Canada's prime minister, Stephan Harper, shortly before they were to be deported to the US. Both parents were (and still are) facing serious time in prison and the loss of their children if they are sent to the states. She refused to kill and terrorize other people's children.

At the end of the day on March 25th, Kimberly received word that the Federal Court of Canada granted her leave to appeal the decision in her Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA). She was scheduled to be deported the next day.

It's July and the hearing is this Wednesday, July 8th.

If you are able to make it to Toronto, there will be a vigil in the morning before the hearing. It will be at the Federal Court Building at 180 Queen Street West in Toronto. (west of University Ave, Osgoode subway)

If you're on the West Coast and able to make it to San Francisco, Courage To Resist has organized a vigil outside the SF Canadian Consulate at 580 California Street, San Francisco. The vigil will be on this Wednesday, July 8th from 12 to 1:30 pm. They will be turning over "signed petitions to the Consulate General, urging the Canadian Politicians to respect the will of the Canadian people, the Canadian Parliament -- whom have twice voted recommendations to allow war resisters to stay -- and the basic moral imperative that does not separate children from their loving mother."

If you can't make it to either of these, you can sign the letter (and make a donation if you are so moved)

Kim told Courage To Resist:
I want to stay in Canada with my family, because the Iraq War is immoral, illegal and I couldn't in good conscience go back. The amount of support I'm getting from Canadians is amazing. The parents of my kids' friends, MPs and even strangers on the street keep telling me that they can't believe the votes in Parliament aren't being respected.

A war resister from the Vietnam War, Dick Cotterill, who enlisted in the Marine Corps and now lives in Nova Scotia reminds us:
Every soldier has the responsibility to refuse to obey orders that are illegal, unjust and immoral.
Soldiers across the country and around the world are refusing to obey orders rather than participate in our criminal wars. Many are living here underground or in other countries struggling to raise their families and not get caught. Many others are in brigs, stockades, and prisons for refusing to kill innocent people.

These are the men and women we need to not only be proud of, but do what we can to help them. We can write to them and support their families in whatever way we can. We need to support our War Resisters.

The best we can expect in Iraq is 35-55,00 troops remaining under the Obama regime. We can expect increases in Afghanistan and more death raining down on the innocent people of Pakistan.

Active duty military War Resister, Victor Agosto tells us:

“The only way to make them (politicians) responsive to the needs of the people is if soldiers won’t fight their wars, and if soldiers won’t fight their wars, the wars won’t happen. I hope I’m setting an example for other soldiers”

Kimberly Rivera is the first outspoken female Iraq War resister to publicly and legally seek refuge in Canada. Kimberly, along with her partner Mario, son Christian (7 years old) and daughter Rebecca (4 years old), fled to Canada in January 2007 when Kimberly refused redeployment. In late November 2008 Kimberly gave birth to her Canadian daughter Katie (8 months old). She served in Iraq in 2006 and experienced, firsthand, the reality of this ongoing illegal war and occupation.

On July 8th, Kimberly is going to Canadian federal court, to appeal the decision in her Pre-Removal Risk Assessment. If her appeal fails, she will be asked to leave Canada, or forcibly removed – and delivered into the custody and jurisdiction of the United States Army where Kimberly will face charges that will carry, at the very least, a 4 year sentence in a military stockade.

Four years or more away from her young children, away from her baby daughter, away from her husband – she will be kept in an Army prison. She has served in Iraq, she has been to combat; now, because she has decided to exercise her conscience, she faces imprisonment, additional forced separation from her family and eviction from her new home.

Act to help Kimberly on July 8th! Join Courage to Resist in San Francisco or War Resisters Support Campaign in Toronto.

Every person should have a right to choose a life of peace.

This Wednesday do something to support Kimberly and her family's effort to live a life of peace.

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