9.22.2008

tonight i saw jeremy hinzman smile

I saw a beautiful thing tonight. I saw Jeremy Hinzman smile.

Nga was beaming, but, as beautiful as that is, I have seen her smile many times. But Jeremy? I don't think I've ever seen him without a deeply serious expression on his face. Tonight, the permanent crease between his intense eyes relaxed, and a smile seemed to rise up from his soul.

The Quaker Meeting House was packed - with Quakers, of course, and Campaigners, and peace activists - and Olivia Chow! - and many others who worked to help bring about this victory. There were speeches, and much applause, and many, many hugs. And a lot of food! But alas, no alcohol in the Meeting House, not the way resisters and campaigners usually celebrate. I'm sure a large contingent headed to a pub after dinner.

One person had attended the court hearing in the morning, and she shared her impressions of Alyssa Manning, Jeremy's amazing lawyer. She said Alyssa spoke for two and a half hours, making the most cogent, articulate, air-tight case imaginable, piling facts upon facts upon facts, until you could all but see the admiration on the judge's face.

The other side had nothing.

* * * *

This was, without question, a great victory. But our fight continues. Patrick Hart, his spouse Jill Hart and their young son will get the decision in their Pre-Removal Risk Assessment and Humanitarian and Compassionate applications on October 8. Chances are the clock will start ticking again.

The pressure we're applying in Tory ridings is starting to have an effect. We're seeing cracks in their well-disciplined facade. Several Conservative MPs who won their seats by tiny margins are in danger of being turfed. That's down to their own anti-democratic, anti-people policies, but the fuss we're making isn't helping them either!

We're learning about actions in ridings we didn't even know about, let alone organize! Here's a story in the St. Thomas Times-Journal about a demonstration in front of Conservative MP Joe Preston's office. Another supporter told us she had her MP on the phone for a half-hour. He said Canada has to deport the war resisters because "the US wants them repatriated". Who's this guy working for, anyway?

I tell you this to emphasize that you can get involved in this campaign. It takes no special skill. It takes only your desire to fight for the kind of Canada you want to live in. This election season is the perfect opportunity to make your voice heard.

* * * *

Also:

Tonight's story on our good news: CBC.

Op-Ed in the Winnipeg Free Press: Why Canada should give sanctuary to U.S. war resisters.

There was great local coverage of the Campaign's visit to Simcoe and Port Dover, which, by the way, included a visit with Diane Finley. CHCH TV from Hamilton had a good report on the late news, Brantford Radio was there, and French CBC (of course, they follow us everywhere!) and we had this front-page story in the Simcoe Reformer (not updated!).

After an action in Quebec City, we got coverage from French-language media here and here.

5 comments:

Kim_in_TO said...

From the St. Thomas article:

Dr. Sharon Baker of Union said Canadians must learn from this country's history.
"When we have turned people away, we have looked back with regret," she said.
"When we have treated people with compassion and acceptance, that is how we define ourselves as Canadians."


Awesome.

L-girl said...

Yes, an amazing quote! She ties together so many things about Canada in that simple statement.

Cornelia said...

Absolutely. I might have wanted to ask the weird Tory guy whether his aiding and abetting the Bush Government (I use that wording on purpose!!!) pays for him financially, too, haha! Does he have an additional job with them or what???
But congratulations on the great news!!!

Boyd M L Reimer said...

Keep up the good work on this great blog.

I was in the courtroom watching Ms Manning, too. She is, quite frankly, spectacular.

I noticed that much of the work she did on this case is transferable to other cases. It's such a strong body of evidence that I think that it will be used successfully in other war resister cases also.

In particular she provided evidence that those who speak out against the war are treated more harshly than those who don't.

L-girl said...

Boyd, thank you very much. And thanks for sharing your impressions of Alyssa.

In particular she provided evidence that those who speak out against the war are treated more harshly than those who don't.

Oh yes! I'm glad you mentioned that. That's a central part of the case.