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10.23.2009

supporters of rodney watson speak out

Three letters to the Vancouver Sun in support of Rodney Watson, who is living in sanctuary in a Vancouver church.
Rodney Watson, a U.S. citizen, came to Canada because he didn't want to be punished for choosing not to hurt anyone. He was sent to Iraq as a cook and ended up looking for explosives. He didn't want to find out what he'd be ordered to do next.

Watson is a real refugee. Parliament has twice voted to affirm that war resisters are welcome in Canada. Canadians affirm in opinion polls that war resisters should be allowed to remain here. Our government needs to give Watson refugee status and stop harassing him.

Ian Weniger, Vancouver

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The churches are more and more taking the lead in harbouring war resisters before the Conservative government forcibly deports them, despite the express wishes of the majority of Canadians and the will of Parliament. Have churches found a way to stop the government? Don't hold your breath. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is busy looking for a way to get his way, and churches may be his next victims.

Janet Hudgins, Vancouver

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There will come a time when those who choose to refuse to fight in the immoral and misguided war in Iraq will be hailed as brave heroes.

The fighting in Iraq does nothing for Americans' safety. Its beginning was political and bogus. Key people in the U.S. government had called for the invasion of Iraq in the early 1990s, maybe earlier. The 9/11 attacks gave these people their excuse, even though it was well known that the bombers were Saudi Arabians and Saddam Hussein hadn't been involved.

I ask that my voice be counted with those of others who feel Watson should be allowed to stay in Canada. Historically, general Canadian support is there for providing sanctuary for war resisters. Remember Vietnam?

Vennie Yancy, Fairfax, Calif.

Your letters make a difference. The Conservatives are watching. Let them know how Canadians feel.

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