Christmas lumps of coal for war resisters from Santa Harper

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The War Resisters Support Campaign says that U.S. war resister Cliff Cornell has been told by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to leave Canada by Dec. 24, or face removal by force. Another war resister, Kimberly Rivera, will receive a decision on her request to remain in Canada on Jan. 7. War resister Dean Walcott was told on December 3rd that he must leave Canada by January 6th or face deportation to the United States.

Cornell, from Arkansas, was stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia. He joined the Army with the promise from a military recruiter that he would receive a $9,000 sign up bonus and job training. “Ninety per cent of what the recruiters tell you is a pack of lies,” said Cliff. Army recruitment techniques amount to entrapment, targeting young men from poor families, said Cornell. His unit was to be deployed to Iraq just after Christmas. On January 8 2005, Cliff arrived in Toronto seeking asylum. He currently works as an assistant manager of a retail store near Nanaimo.

Rivera served with the U.S. Army in Iraq and came to Canada with her husband, Mario, and their two children in early 2007. Says Rivera: “While in Iraq, losing soldiers and civilians was a part of daily life. I was a gate guard. This position was the highest of security for a forward operation base, being that we searched vehicles, civilian personnel, and military convoys that left and came back every hour. After a huge awakening in the lives of the civilians who don’t get to escape the trauma, or the pain and the loss of people they love, I was seeing the truth and it wasn’t pretty. Seeing the war as it truly is. People losing their lives for greed of a nation, and still some people can’t see the lies behind the media. The effects on the soldiers who come back with new problems such as nightmares, anxieties, depression, anger, and alcohol abuse, and missing limbs and scars from burns, and some don’t come back at all.”

Dean Walcott joined the active duty USMC August 23 2000. Dean deployed to Iraq twice, and in between, was stationed at a US Army hospital in Stuttgart, Germany. His last command was at a non-depolyable Inspector/Instructor unit in North Carolina. Originally from Connecticut, Dean arrived in Toronto in December 2006 where he has applied for refugee status.

The War Resisters Support Campaign needs our help. You can start by demanding that the Tories take back their Chrismas lumps of coal. Insist that the government implement the motion approved by Parliament in June to allow war resisters to remain in Canada.

Contact Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney at (613) 954-1064 or (613) 992-2235 or or

Please cc the opposition party critics if you email Jason Kenney:

Finally, visit the War Resisters Support Campaign web site and see how you can become further involved.

Sources: War Resisters Support Campaign, Canadian Press

This article was originally posted at Paul S. Graham.

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