Rally For Gaza, Sunday 25 November

Please forward to your friends and networks:

Message from Students for Palestinian Rights:

Please join our peaceful demonstration condemning the attacks by the Israeli Military Forces on:

When: Sunday November 25, 2012

Time: 2:00 p.m.

Location: Kitchener City Hall

Bring any flags, signs, and kuffiyahs or anything else you may have.

Oct 19 Vigil to mourn Ashley Smith

Announcement from Shannon Balla:

Remembering Ashley Smith
Community gathering & vigil

October 19th, 7-8pm
Speakers Corner (King and Benton), Kitchener

On the 5th anniversary of Ashley’s death in a segregation cell in Kitchener’s Grand Valley Institution for Women

Come and share a time of collective mourning and a renewed commitment to change as we remember Ashley and others who struggle against the isolation and oppression of the prison system

Hosted by:  We Remember Ashley Smith Campaign

For more information: 226-789-6786; shannon.balla@gmail.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/events/198140513653901/


Ashley Smith (January 29, 1988 – October 19, 2007) died at age 19 in a segregation cell at the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener.  Having been denied a transfer to a psychiatric facility and on suicide watch, Ashley tied a ligature around her neck and, while staff watched (having been ordered not to intervene), asphyxiated to death. The over four years of Ashley’s institutionalization were marked by isolation, violence, forced injections, and frequent transfers. In the 11 months before her death, while in federal custody, she was moved 17 times between 8 facilities in 4 provinces, largely for ‘administrative reasons’. She was denied access to her family, to advocates and to legal counsel. 


Reports of the Federal Correctional Investigator and New Brunswick Ombudsman attribute Ashley’s death to failures of individual staff and to much deeper failures within the correctional and mental health systems themselves.  A provincial coroner’s inquest was launched in Ontario but was halted in September 2011 due to legal challenges and logistical obstacles.  A new inquest is set to begin in January 2013.


Ashley’s death in Grand Valley five years ago exposes the inherent violence of the ‘corrections’ system and demands a response from those of us who live in the community where she died.  Remembering Ashley, and all those who have died or been damaged by these institutions, is an act of collective resistance against a deeply unjust ‘justice system’.  Strengthening our shared commitment to building communities of love, equity, and true justice is at the heart of this event. 

URGENT: Support to keep Kimberly Rivera in Canada is growing! ACTIONS FOR THIS WEEK

From: “War Resisters Support Campaign” <wrsctoronto@gmail.com>
Date: Sep 16, 2012 10:49 PM
Subject: URGENT: Support to keep Kimberly Rivera in Canada is growing!


Dear friends,

There has been a tremendous response from Canadians to the news that the Harper government plans to deport U.S. Iraq War resister Kimberly Rivera and her family on September 20. Tens of thousands of people have contacted Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney in the past ten days, calling on him to allow Kim and her family to stay. Actions have taken place from Vancouver to Halifax and more are planned for this week.

The fight is not over. We urge you to continue to act on behalf of the Rivera family. Here are the planned activities for the days ahead:


– If you haven’t already done so, please sign the online letter to Jason Kenney at change.org and make sure you forward it to your lists: http://www.change.org/LetKimStay. More than 18,000 people have signed so far. Let’s push that over the 20,000 mark!

– If you’re in Toronto, please attend the Federal Court hearing at 3:30 p.m. at 180 Queen St. West, when Kim’s lawyer will be arguing her case.


– Call Jason Kenney’s office, and urge him to stop the deportation of the Rivera family: 613.954.1064.


– Join a rally in support of the Rivera family. Bring your banners, flags, and signs in support of Kim and all of the Iraq War resisters.

In Toronto the rally will be held at the Federal Court, 180 Queen Street West, from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.

In Kitchener-Waterloo the rally is WED SEPT 19 at 4:30 pm at Peter Braid MP’s office

For a list of rallies in other cities, go to http://resisters.ca/support-the-rivera-family.

In solidarity,

War Resisters Support Campaign


Join the War Resisters Support Campaign:

Stop Deportation of Iraq War Resister Kim Rivera

RALLY WED SEPT 19 at 4:30 pm at Peter Braid MP’s office to Stop the Deportation of Kim Rivera, War Resister.

Sign petition at: http://resisters.ca/support-the-rivera-family/letter-to-jason-kenney/

This urgent message was forwarded to me by Luke Stewart, of Historians Against the War:

Subject: Stop Deportation of Iraq War Resister Kim Rivera

Greetings friends,

This is a personal and urgent appeal on behalf of a friend, Kim Rivera, who faces deportation on September 20th from Canada to the United States for refusing to re-deploy to the war on Iraq. Kim is a combat veteran who served in Iraq from October 2006 – January 2007 at which time she, through her own experiences while guarding the gate of a forward operating base in Baghdad, refused to carry her rifle and after being caught refused to carry ammunition. Before leaving for Iraq, the unit commander called Kim and the other women in her unit into a room to announce that “10% of you will be raped” while in Iraq. The military is an occupational hazard for women who enlist and while in Iraq Kim faced continued harassment for constantly talking on the phone to her kids and husband. Kim once told me that no women should join the military. Upon returning home to Texas for her so-called R&R (rest and relaxation), she and her family decided to flee to Canada to seek refugee status instead of return to the illegal, immoral, and unjust war on Iraq.

If Kim loses her stay of removal, she will be deported and she will most definitely face jail time (up to five years in military prison) and a felony conviction which will follow her everywhere her entire life when she wants a government loan, housing, and other social services as well as she will not be able to vote or enjoy many civil and political rights.

We have a precious few days to make as much noise about this as possible. I have personally read internal government documents released through the Access to Information Act that demonstrate that both the Liberal and now Conservative governments HAVE TAKEN NOTICE when the public mobilizes around Iraq war resisters (for those skeptical that such actions do anything) and this is a big reason why NO ONE HAS BEEN DEPORTED SINCE 2008.

The war on Iraq killed an estimated 650,000 people that can be credibly documented since 2003 – with that number closer to over one million. The United States has used the most appalling weapons against the civilian population of Iraq including depleted uranium, white phosphorus and cluster bombs. It has bombed supposedly abandoned urban areas (whole blocks) in order to simply get rid of excess payloads from its jets and bombers (as planes cannot return with bombs in their payload).

This was a war for oil and control of resources, and it was a war of aggression – the supreme international crime as defined at the Nuremberg Tribunal (former U.N. Secretary Kofi Annan reluctantly stated in late-2004). This is why we need to support Kim Rivera and all other Iraq war resisters seeking refuge in Canada.

It takes a tremendous amount of courage and responsibility to resist the largest military machine ever unleashed upon the world and Kim needs our support and our voices. Soldiers have an important responsibility to resist illegal orders and have the ability, like during the Vietnam War, to bring the war machine to a halt. Sadly, the antiwar movement has not been as active and effective as during the Vietnam War and this has contributed to the situation Kim now faces.

I have personally worked with Iraq war resisters since 2009 and I have been extremely humbled and honoured to learn from their moral courage. Even Archbishop Desmond Tutu made a statement on behalf of Kim Rivera at the emergency meeting in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto where Kim lives. This is now national and international news.

Rally on Wed Sept 19 at 4:30pm at MP Peter Braid’s office, 22 King St. South (Erb and King )

For more information:
http:// couragetoresist.org/ kimberly-rivera.html
http://www.thestar.com/ news/gta/article/ 1249039–iraq-war-resister-kimberly-rivera-to-find-ou t-if-she-ll-be-deported-to -u-s

More on what you can do:

  1. Write, email, phone or fax Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney and ask him to let Iraq War resister Kimberly Rivera and her family stay in Canada. You can use our online letter, or send your own message to:

    325 East Block, House of Commons, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
    Phone: 613-954-1064 Fax: 613-957.2688
    Email: jason.kenney@parl.gc.ca, minister@cic.gc.ca

  2. To mail us a donation, please make a cheque payable to the War Resisters Support Campaign and mail it to:

    War Resisters Support Campaign
    Box 13, 427 Bloor Street West
    Toronto, ON M5S 1X7

We are all treaty people: An Indigenous Solidarity Town Hall Meeting for KW

Monday May 28


WLU Faculty of Social Work, Auditorium

120 Duke St. West, Kitchener, ON

(across from the back of City Hall)


Read details below, about why we need this conversation.

Indigenous Solidarity Town Hall

Did you know that Canada exists on traditional Indigenous territory?

Like the rest of this country, Kitchener-Waterloo residents have settled on land that was stewarded long before by the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island (North America). Later granted by law of the British government to the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, an ongoing colonial legacy of Canadian law and policy has resulted in their wrongful displacement from this land, and the construction of cities like our own – without any acknowledgement of that history. In this context, Grand River Indigenous Solidarity invites you to participate in a community discussion, from a settler perspective, about what it means for us to live and work in this region. Come out and learn from local organizers about current Indigenous sovereignty struggles and solidarity work, as well as how you can get involved!

Topics of our conversation will include:

-A brief history of whose land we live on, and how this came to be

-Report-back and updates from the April 28th Walk for Peace, Respect, & Friendship in Caledonia

-Allied resistance against tar sands development and environmental impacts across Ontario, report-back about the issues surrounding the Line 9 pipeline that crosses the Halidmand Tract in Ontario & the London hearings

-The Oshkimaadziig encampment and cultural education project in Awenda Provincial Park

-Resistance to the construction of a new waste processing plant in Dundalk, with two key representatives of the struggle speaking

-Grassy Narrows and River Run 2012 in Toronto from June 5-8!

Generously supported by WPIRG

Mohammad Mahjoub Speaking Tour

Wednesday, May 23rd, 7-9pm, University of Waterloo- EIT building, room 1015

(EIT is the building beside Davis Centre in the direction of the Arts Quadrangle. It’s the one with the dinosaurs!)

Mohammad Mahjoub is one of the “Secret Trial Five” – refugees from Arab countries who were arrested on “security certificates”, with all the “evidence” against them kept secret by CSIS. Two of the Five have now been freed and are suing the Canadian government (Adil Charkaoui and Hassan Almrei).

Read more about Mr. Mahjoub’s story below.

Wednesday, May 23rd, 7-9pm, University of Waterloo- EIT building, room 1015

(EIT is the building beside Davis Centre in the direction of the Arts Quadrangle.  It’s the one with the dinosaurs!)

Mohammad Mahjoub is one of the “Secret Trial Five” – refugees from Arab countries who were arrested on “security certificates”, with all the “evidence” against them kept secret by CSIS.  Two of the Five have now been freed and are suing the Canadian government (Adil Charkaoui and Hassan Almrei).

Read more about Mr. Mahjoub’s story below.

For almost twelve long years, Mohammad Mahjoub, a torture survivor, has been detained without charge in Canada. He was held for lengthy periods in solitary confinement and later under house arrest. All on the basis of secret information which the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has admitted was likely obtained under torture. Now, for the first time in twelve years, Mr. Mahjoub is permitted to travel outside Toronto.

Mr. Mahjoub is one of five Muslim men who have been struggling for justice in Canada against so-called security certificates. Security certificates allow the government to indefinitely detain or deport people on the basis of their profile. He will tell his story in a seven-city speaking tour, as the Justice for Mahjoub Network gears up for a day of protest to mark the 12th anniversary of his arrest on June 26th.

Join us to hear Mohammad’s story and learn what we can do about it!

For background information visit: www.supportmahjoub.org.

For up-to-date event information check out our facebook pagehttps://www.facebook.com/events/289162931167112/?ref=ts 

or visit the wpirg website: www.wpirg.org/events-2/.

Local event brought to you by WPIRG and the KW Anti-Torture Coalition.

Mahjoub tells his story in Prism magazine (published by Maher Arar):