War Resisters Support Campaign sign now

During the period of 1965-1973 more than 50,000 draft-age Americans made their way to Canada, refusing to participate in an immoral war. At the time, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau said: "Those who make the conscientious judgment that they must not participate in this war... have my complete sympathy, and indeed our political approach has been to give them access to Canada. Canada should be a refuge from militarism."

Thirty years later, Canada is faced with the same moral choice to give refuge to those who refuse to be accomplices in the US-led war on Iraq which many legal opinions have deemed illegal under international law.

There are currently at least two young people who have made their way to Canada in objection to the US governments war on Iraq. Jeremy Hinzman was a soldier in the 82nd Airborne Division. He and his family arrived in Toronto in January 2004 and are currently seeking refugee status. Brandon Hughey, a 19-year-old American soldier, arrived in St. Catharines two months later and is also seeking refugee status.

Regardless of the technical decisions of the Immigration and Refugee Board, we believe Canada should not punish US war objectors for exercising their conscience and refusing to fight. If they are returned to the United States, they face incarceration and possibly even the death penalty. Canada must not facilitate the persecution of American war objectors by returning them to the United States.

The majority of Canadians did not support this war. The Canadian government did not support this war.

We call on the Canadian government to demonstrate its commitment to international law and the treaties to which it is a signatory, by making provision for US war objectors to have sanctuary in this country.

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Alfreda GlennBy:
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