one year ago, u.s. war resister takes sanctuary in vancouver

One year ago today, US Iraq War resister Rodney Watson, deported from Canada by the Harper Government, accepted an offer of sanctuary from the First United Church of Vancouver.

Watson served in Iraq and completed his full three-year contarct. Then the US military ordered him to return - involuntarily - through the conscription program known as stop-loss. After witnessing the war crimes and the racism of the US occupation of Iraq, Rodney knew he could no longer participate, and came to Canada.

When his appeals to stay were exhausted, the Harper government ordered Watson deported. Reverend Ric Matthews and the congregation of the First United Church in Vancouver wanted to give Rodney - and Canada - another chance.

We are on the cusp of an historic opportunity to affirm Rodney's sacrifice. Bill C-440, the private member's bill that would allow US war resisters to apply for permanent residency in Canada, will continue second reading at the end of this month. We'll be asking for your help to ensure that it passes. Be ready!

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