On Thursday, March 19, The Student Christian Movement and local supporters of U.S. war resisters organized a meeting at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church to support their right to stay in Canada. The event was part of a week of pan-Canadian actions against the pending deportation Kimberly Rivera.
Her deportation order comes despite an ever growing opposition within Parliament and the general public to the Canadian government’s refusal to allow war resisters to remain in Canada. On March 19 the United Church of Canada, Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers) and Mennonite Central Committee Canada issued an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper calling on him to allow war resister Kimberly Rivera and her family to stay in Canada. So far, the Harper government, which prides itself on “listening to Canadians” has refused to listen to either Parliament or the overwhelming public opinion on this issue.
War resister Joshua Key, whose book “A Deserters Tale” documented his personal decision to not fight in Iraq, spoke Thursday evening about his experiences and his fight to stay in Canada. The evening also featured the documentary “Breaking Ranks” which tells the story of several war resisters and their reasons for rejecting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
On March 18 Joshua was interviewed on CBC Radio and later appeared on CJOB’s morning talk show hosted by Richard Cloutier were he fielded questions from callers. The number of callers supporting Joshua and the right of war resisters to stay in Canada was significant, reflecting what the majority of Canadians believe on the issue.