For those of you, who - like me - were unable to attend last week's fundraiser and update for the War Resister Support Campaign, I can update you a bit here. There's a lot going on.
War resister Kimberly Rivera, who received an emergency stay of deportation in late March, goes to court on July 8. Lawyer Alyssa Manning will continue to fight for the right of Kim, her husband Mario, and their three children to stay in Canada.
Several other war resisters have impending court dates or are waiting for potential deportation dates. We have reason to fear that the Harper Government will use the Parliamentary recess as an opportunity to aggressively go after war resisters. In other words, to turf them while they think no one is watching. This has happened twice before: last summer, and over the 2008-2009 winter recess.
Campaigners went to Ottawa last week, to brainstorm with supportive Members of Parliament for ideas and strategy. In attendance were:
Hon. Maurizio Bevilacqua (Vaughan), Liberal Immigration Critic
Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke Centre)
Olivia Chow (Trinity—Spadina), NDP Immigration Critic
Alex Atamanenko (British Columbia Southern Interior)
Thierry St-Cyr (Jeanne-Le Ber), Bloc Québécois Immigration Critic
Gerard Kennedy (Parkdale—High Park), in whose riding several war resisters live, participated by telephone
The MPs want to find ways to protect the war resisters over the summer, and come up with strategies for ongoing support, so we're not scrambling in emergency mode every time a resister faces possible deportation. There are a few possible options in play, and as soon as we know more, I'll post more.
Meanwhile, even though Parliament has risen, you can still express your own ongoing support of war resisters to your own MP or any of the Immigration Critics.