Thursday, November 29, 2007










On November 15th Canada's Supreme Court announced they would not hear the appeals of US war resisters Following the refusal of the Canadian Supreme Cour to hear the appeals of US war resisters Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey.

Transcription to a video:

Susan Sarandon
Comments on U.S. War
Resisters in Canada
January 27, 2007
Washington, D.C.

Geoffrey Millard: Do you think it's wise for US service members to take the option to go to Canada?

Susan Sarandon: I think if you conscience tells you that you don't want to fight, that this is an unjust war, there's a long tradition of refusing and resisting to fight and I think that really I just wish that there was more press about that as an alternative because I've run into so many people who -- who are in the position now and don't know what will happen if they refuse who are very frightened either to not go back or to go for the first time. On the train coming up here I spoke to a woman whose twenty-year-old brother was in ROTC he got called up and he's getting two weeks of training in Tacoma and being deployed in the 'surge' and he is just stunned. He married his girlfriend this weekend, from high school. He doesn't know what's going on and I said, 'Well maybe he shouldn't go?' She said, "Oh, he said he can't do that because he'd be thrown in prison and prison's terrible and blah, blah, blah

Geoffrey Millard: If you could say one thing to soldiers going to Canada what would it be?

Susan Sarandon: I would say, "God bless you. And, you know, I admire your courage and know that there are people here who -- who see this as an honorable thing and that I hope that you can reach out and make it known to other people who have these kinds of doubts and convictions to have the courage of their convictions and to refuse.

Special Thanks:

Susan Sarandon

United for Peace and Justice

Geoffrey Millard

You can find that and other videos on war resistance at this page of the War Resisters Support Campaign. In answer to a question as to why we're doing transcripts in full of videos on war resistance: (1) It's an important issue; (2) Just because you have the ability to stream and/or hear don't make the mistake of thinking everyone else does. The disabled community includes veterans and it is a very active community. Lee Berthiaume (Canada's Embassy magazine) explains:

Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis and NDP Immigration critic Olivia Chow butted heads over whether the committee should jump straight to the war resister issue, as Ms. Chow wanted, or whether the committee should first finish the work it started during the last session. Also, while Ms. Chow originally asked that the study focus on U.S. war resisters, specifically the two deserters facing extradition back to the United States, Mr. Karygiannis asked to open up the issue to deserting soldiers from other countries. After much debate, the committee agreed to look at Iraq war resisters and Iraqi refugees on Dec. 6 and 11. Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials are also slated to testify about undocumented workers on Dec. 13, while members spent four hours drafting a report on the loss of Canadian citizenship yesterday and will continue their work today and tomorrow.

Cindy Sheehan (OpEdNews) urges people to utilize Courage to Resist's easy to mail or e-mail resources to allow the Canadian government to know you are watching and to support organizations supporting war resisters as well as supporting war resisters:

Support actual war resisters in Canada by sending them expense money. From my friend Ryan (I gave him and his wife money to get to Canada over two years ago):

In light of the recent Supreme Court denial in Canada, I (Ryan Johnson), My wife (Jen Johnson) and Brandon Hughey need help raising funds to travel to Ottawa to attend hearings before the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, where War Resisters will be giving Testimony to the committee. At these hearings the committee will be deciding on whether or not to make a provision to allow war resisters to stay in Canada. This is one of our last chances to be able to continue living in Canada. We will be leaving December 7th because the hearings are December 11th, 2007 so we need to act fast. They may try to send guys back soon and we need to have a strong War Resister Presence. We appreciate all of the support and Want to thank all of you who can help.

Checks/money orders can be sent for Ryan, Jen and Brandon to:312 Tower RdNelson, BC V1L3K6

If you are in Canada, you can utilize the contact info at War Resisters Support Campaign to let members of the Canadian Parliament know you support legislation allowing war resisters to stay in Canada. If you are in the United States (or elsewhere), you can utilize the contact info and/or forum at Courage to Resist. Public outcry didn't stop the illegal war from starting and public opposition has yet to end it. War resisters in Canada who have gone public are putting a great deal on the line. Use the links to show your support for them.

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb, Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Carla Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.Information on war resistance within the military can be found at The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. Tom Joad maintains a list of known war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).

The voice of war resister Camilo Mejia is featured in Rebel Voices -- playing now through December 16th at Culture Project and based on Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove's best-selling book Voices of a People's History of the United States. It features dramatic readings of historical voices such as war resister Mejia, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Malcom X and others will be featured. Musician Allison Mooerer will head the permanent cast while those confirmed to be performing on selected nights are Ally Sheedy (actress and poet, best known for films such as High Art, The Breakfast Club, Maid to Order, the two Short Circuit films, St. Elmo's Fire, War Games, and, along with Nicky Katt, has good buzz on the forthcoming Harold), Eve Ensler who wrote the theater classic The Vagina Monologues (no, it's not too soon to call that a classic), actor David Strathaim (L.A. Confidential, The Firm, Bob Roberts, Dolores Claiborne and The Bourne Ultimatum), actor and playwright Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride, Clueless -- film and TV series, Gregory and Chicken Little), actress Lili Taylor (Dogfight, Shortcuts, Say Anything, Household Saints, I Shot Andy Warhol, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, State of Mind) and actor, director and activist Danny Glover (The Color Purple, Beloved, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Rainmaker, Places In The Heart, Dreamgirls, Shooter and who recently appeared on Democracy Now! addressing the US militarization of Africa) The directors are Will Pomerantz and Rob Urbinati with Urbinati collaborating with Zinn and Arnove on the play. Tickets are $21 for previews and $41 for regular performances (beginning with the Nov. 18th opening night). The theater is located at 55 Mercer Street and tickets can be purchased there, over the phone (212-352-3101) or online here and here. More information can be found at Culture Project.

Meanwhile IVAW is organizing a March 2008 DC event:

In 1971, over one hundred members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered in Detroit to share their stories with America. Atrocities like the My Lai massacre had ignited popular opposition to the war, but political and military leaders insisted that such crimes were isolated exceptions. The members of VVAW knew differently.
Over three days in January, these soldiers testified on the systematic brutality they had seen visited upon the people of Vietnam. They called it the Winter Soldier investigation, after Thomas Paine's famous admonishing of the "summer soldier" who shirks his duty during difficult times. In a time of war and lies, the veterans who gathered in Detroit knew it was their duty to tell the truth.
Over thirty years later, we find ourselves faced with a new war. But the lies are the same. Once again, American troops are sinking into increasingly bloody occupations. Once again, war crimes in places like Haditha, Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib have turned the public against the war. Once again, politicians and generals are blaming "a few bad apples" instead of examining the military policies that have destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan.
Once again, our country needs Winter Soldiers.
In March of 2008, Iraq Veterans Against the War will gather in our nation's capital to break the silence and hold our leaders accountable for these wars. We hope you'll join us, because yours is a story that every American needs to hear.
Click here to sign a statement of support for Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan

March 13th through 15th are the dates for the Winter Soldier Iraq & Afghanistan Investigation.

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