War resisters prepare new national campaign

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By The War Resisters Support Campaign

Over the past few weeks, since the narrow defeat of Bill C-440, the War Resisters Support Campaign has been discussing strategy going forward.

The main thing that every supporter needs to know is that despite the setback experienced with the defeat of Bill C-440, the fight is still very much alive.

  • The vast majority of Canadians opposed the Iraq War.
  • Two-thirds of Canadians support Canada letting US Iraq War resisters stay in this country.
  • The two motions that were adopted by Parliament that called for a provision to be made to allow war resisters to stay, and for deportations to stop, still stand.

This sentiment is the bedrock of the campaign to win asylum for US War resisters. The recent publishing of 400,000 documents by Wikileaks showing the reality of the Iraq War on the ground have only provided further confirmation that Iraq War resisters did the right thing.

Below are some of the key activities that have come out of our recent strategy discussion that we hope supporters can plug into:

1. We are launching a national “Let Them Stay Week” from January 15 to 22nd. We invite campaigners and supporters to look at how they participate in this important initiative. Any event that local campaigns or supporters across the country can organize as part of this week would be very helpful. It can be as modest as a letter-writing night, or a public meeting or film night. In the past, some cities have organized theatrical productions, musical events, etc. Anything goes! All the events will be listed on our website, to show the breadth of support across the country.

2. We are preparing new materials that will reflect the new focus of the campaign, including a new petition and postcards. The new petition will be available on the website at www.resisters.ca later this week, and postcards can be ordered by emailing resisters@sympatico.ca or calling the office at 416.598.1222.

3. We are particularly concerned about what could happen once Parliament rises on December 17th. Parliament will not return until January 31st, and in the past this has been a time when resisters have been given deportation orders. We are asking supporters to be on the alert to mobilize should any war resisters receive deportation notices in that period, and to be prepared to call out local support on an emergency basis.

We know that the minority Conservative government wants to take the defeat of Bill C-440 as a ‘green light’ to deport US Iraq War resisters. What we do over the next weeks and months to reach out to supporters, to re-boot the call for a provision to be made to allow US Iraq War resisters to stay, and to prepare to mobilize in the event of a deportation order will be absolutely vital.

More information:

War Resisters Support Campaign

www.resisters.ca • 416.598.1222 • resisters@sympatico.ca

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