let them stay: calendar of important events

There are several things you can do to help war resisters stay safe in Canada until we can get rid of this anti-democratic government, enact the will of the people and of Parliament, and Let Them Stay.

First, you can watch part of a past event.

I was unable to attend the public forum last Friday, May 22, "Why George Bush Should Be Charged With War Crimes," but I heard it was terrific. There were two speakers: Michael Mandel, a renowned expert in international law and war crimes, and Chuck Wiley, a 17-year veteran of the US military, who refused to participate in human rights abuses in Iraq, told the soldiers in his command the truth, and came to Canada rather than submit to punishment for exercising his own conscience. I'm told that Chuck cautioned the audience that Canada is not as far from the US as we might like to think - that the country is headed in the same direction and it's up to us to pull it back.

Michael Mandel's talk is available on YouTube: Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four. I believe it's 30 minutes total.

Here are some upcoming events that Toronto-area supporters can attend:

  • Tomorrow, Friday, May 29: Former Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton will be in Toronto. Join us to say: "War Criminals Are Not Welcome Here!"

    Canada is refusing to allow peace activists like retired US Army colonel Ann Wright and British MP George Galloway to cross its borders, deporting people of conscience who refused to kill innocent people, but allowing bona fide war criminals to use our country and city for profitable speaking engagements. (Top tickets are priced at $2500.) We say: war resisters in, war criminals out!

    The festivities will begin at 3:00, with the main rally starting from 5:00 to 6:00. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front Street West. Be there, and bring your shoes! More details here.

  • On Wednesday, June 3, the Immigration and Refugee Board will hear the case of war resister Joshua Key for the second time. Last summer, the Federal Court ordered the IRB to re-hear Josh's case with a new immigration officer.

    In a strongly worded opinion, Justice Robert Barnes said, "Officially condoned military misconduct falling well short of a war crime may support a claim to refugee protection". This is the first of the war resisters' cases to make it this far, and we have been eagerly awaiting the hearing.

    You can show your support for Josh and for all the war resisters in Canada by attending a vigil outside the IRB on Wednesday morning: 74 Victoria Street, east of Yonge, south of Queen, subway to Queen Street. We will gather at 8:00 a.m., and supporters can attend the hearing at 8:30 as space permits. I will definitely be there!

  • On Friday, June 19, join us for dinner and an update on war resisters in Canada, with guest speaker Alyssa Manning and others. This is a fundraiser for legal defense and other costs: $20 and a cash bar.

    Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street. Doors open at 5:30, buffet dinner at 6:00, speakers at 7:00. Supporters, please mark your calendars!
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