last night in toronto, tonight in vancouver: let them stay

Last night's meeting in Toronto was well attended and high spirited. I hope many people left with renewed vigor for the fight facing us in the weeks ahead.

Tonight in Vancouver, you can attend a similar meeting, to learn more about what the Campaign is facing, and how you can help.

When: Thursday, August 21, 8:00 p.m.

Where: Lugz Coffee Lounge, 2525 Main, between Broadway and 10th Ave.

Why: To make sure more people of conscience are not deported from Canada

Why: Because we want Canada to be Canada

Why: Because we want peace, and supporting military resistance is a concrete way you can support peace.

* * * *

In Toronto last night, we heard from the Hinzman family, NDP MP Peggy Nash, Liberal MP Mario Silva (both strong supporters of war resisters), Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quaker) General Secretary Jane Orion Smith, and other peace activists.

When discussion was opened up to the audience, many people asked questions along the lines of, "What is the Campaign going to do about...", and "Do you plan to try...".

James Clark, a great Canadian peace organizer, reminded us all that the question we should be asking is what can I do? What can I do between now and September 13th to help make the National Day of Action a success? What can I do between now and September 23rd to help the Hinzman family stay in Canada?

I usually ask you to write letters and make phone calls. Those are worthwhile and important actions. But now I'm asking you to go a step further.

We need public visibility. We need feet on the ground, bodies outside. Because of the deportation orders, the war resisters have more visibility than ever - but many people think that we've lost the fight, and it's over.

It is far from over. We need to capitalize on the visibility, to keep the issue in the forefront. We need to make this an election issue.

Some ideas:

  • The Campaign has invested in laminated window signs. For a loonie or a toonie, you can pick one up at the office (25 Cecil Street), hang it in your window or in your car.

  • Join us for tabling/petitioning, or table in your own neighbourhood. It's not hard to do - maybe a little scary at first, but once you see the positive reception you get, you'll enjoy it. Two hours out of your weekend or after work makes a big difference.

  • Your organization can screen the movie "Breaking Ranks", an excellent Canadian documentary about war resisters. Michelle Mason, the filmmaker, is donating free copies to any group who will show the film to raise awareness. Details to follow.

  • Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. This is an excellent way to increase visibility.

  • Email everyone you know and ask them to join a demonstration on September 13.

  • If there's no event in your town or city on September 13, make one.

    For more information, email the Campaign: contact information here. Or email me. Tell me your ideas and I'll help get you started.
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