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://www.resisters.ca
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
    CANADA

Author: Eleanor Grant

Eleanor Grant writes an occasional e-mail newsletter on social justice issues.