If we don't raise our voices loudly and clearly, January will be Deportation Month for Iraq War resisters in Canada. Take a look at this:
Chris Teske - deportation date January 20
Cliff Cornell - deportation date January 22
Kim Rivera (along with spouse Mario, and children Christian, Rebecca and Katie) - deportation date January 27
Patrick Hart (along with spouse Jill and son Rian) - deportation deferred from January 15 to January 29
Dean Walcott - deportation deferred from January 6 to January 30
It's no coincidence that these are all stacked up before Parliament returns. And with the throne speech on January 26 and the budget on January 27, we can be sure any late-January deportations will slip under the media radar.
In addition, there are three important court dates in February and March, for Jeremy Hinzman, Joshua Key and Matt Lowell. Decisions in these cases could well affect all the resisters. It would be tragic to send people to military prisons in the US, only to learn a few weeks later that the court is deciding in their favour.
With this in mind, the War Resisters Support Campaign is asking you to join us for Let Them Stay Week.
Beginning January 19, people all over Canada will call Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney, call their MPs, write letters to local newspapers, email their friends, hand out leaflets, blog, Facebook and whatever else we can think of.
We must keep this issue visible, and make our demands clear: we want the Government of Canada to follow the will of the people. The majority of Canadians - almost two-thirds in the most recent poll - want Canada to allow war resisters to stay in Canada. That was clearly expressed in Parliament on June 3, when all three opposition parties passed a motion calling on the Government to Let Them Stay.
Harper ignored the motion, then, after shutting down Parliament, is rapidly deporting war resisters.
This is not only about the 50-odd US war resisters who have applied for refugee status in Canada. It's about democracy. It's about what kind of Canada we want to live in.
Please join us for Let Them Stay week. More details here and on Resisters.ca as they happen.