Yesterday we learned that the Kim Rivera and her family were denied a deferral of their scheduled deportation. Lawyer Alyssa Manning is seeking an emergency stay, but we are not expecting it. In fact, there is practically no hope of that happening.
We face the defining moment of our campaign. Dare I say it is a defining moment for Canada? The deportations of Robin Long, Cliff Cornell and Chris Teske were outrageous, anti-democratic, and wrong. Plain wrong. The deportation of a family of five, a nursing mother, an infant born in Canada... it defies description.
There's a lot of work going on among our supporters in Parliament; I think we'll see some movement there soon. But will it come in time to save Kim from being separated from her children?
If you believe Canada should allow US war resisters to stay - if you believe the will of the people should prevail - if you believe in peace and justice - if have ever cared about this issue, now is the time to act.
If you live in the Toronto area, please come to the emergency public meeting on Wednesday, March 25. Your presence is needed - and you can make a difference. Details below.
If you live in the area and can do more, we need people to put up posters and hand out leaflets. An hour or two can make a huge difference. If you're available for this, get in touch with me and I'll coordinate.
Also, please spread the word about the emergency meeting through your own contacts, blog, Twitter or Facebook network.
If you live anywhere in Canada, please take 15 minutes of your day and do three things:
1. Write a letter to your local newspaper. A flood of letters from all over the country will create visibility, and that's what we need. We need letters from Calgary, from Vancouver, from Victoria, from Edmonton, from Saskatoon, from Charlottetown, from Halifax, from St. John's... you get the point. Be brief. Be clear. Be out there.
2. Call Jason Kenney, call Stephen Harper, and now we're adding one more: call Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety (i.e. Canadian Border Services Agency, CBSA). Tell them to stop the deportation of Kim Rivera, respect the will of Parliament and of the people.
3. Call and email your own MP. Ask where she stands on this issue. Ask that she raise the issue in caucus. Find contact info for your MP here.
(If you do all three, it might take 30 minutes. It's worth it.)
If you live outside of Canada, call out Stephen Harper on this. Two Canadian Members of Parliament travelled to the US to visit prisoner of conscience Robin Long. The views of those MPs represent the majority of Canadians, while the Harper government is imposing its minority will on the rest of us. You know this to be true, so tell anyone who will listen: newspapers, blogs, forums, Facebook, and so on.
I know US peace activists are asking, "What happened to Canada?" Help educate people so they know the answer: Stephen Harper.
Emergency public meeting
Wednesday, March 25
25 Cecil Street, Toronto
Writing letters to newspapers: Here's a list of every newspaper in Canada. A shorter list is here. Click on a paper, then look for "opinion," or "letters" or "contact us" for the email address.
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney
Ministry office: 613.954.1064
Parliamentary office: 613.992.2235
firstname.lastname@example.org or Kennej@parl.gc.ca
Minister of Public Safety Peter Van Loan
Parliamentary office: 613.996.7752
Constituency office: 905.898.1600
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
If you email, please cc the opposition party critics and Opposition Leader Michael Ignatieff:
Maurizio Bevilacqua (Liberal critic): BevilM@parl.gc.ca
Olivia Chow (NDP critic): email@example.com
Thierry St-Cyr (Bloc Québécois critic): StCyrT@parl.gc.ca
Michael Ignateiff: Ignatieff.M@parl.gc.ca
Questions? Please ask.
The one question I hope you won't ask is "What good will this do?" Doing nothing produces nothing.
Gandhi said, "You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing, there will be no result." Take action.