Jess spoke with Ashley Sanders, the Super Rally Media Coordinator this evening, and she states, "We're hoping for 5,000 people and we want the mood to be thoroughly Democratic and we want the peopl to feel inspired about voting for candidates who actually represent them." Which is a good time to note Ruth's post last week:
The last few days have been a dizzying blur for me. I've been in Colorado Springs for Robin Long's court-martial at Ft. Carson, as well as to the support IVAW's State of the Union base tour.
The trial itself was pretty intense. I was so proud of Robin and witnesses: Pete Haney (of the Colorado Springs Justice & Peace Commission), SGT Matthis Chiroux (IVAW and resister to an ordered Iraq deployment) and COL Ann Wright (who can't even begin to summarize her bio). I also want to thank the folks who sent supporting written statements. We used some in the trials, but will be using all of them in the upcoming clemency/parole fights.
In the next day or two, I'll write up a lengthier blow-by-blow account of the trial, but for now I'll just say that while we (Robin and I) are disappointed by the sentence, we are happy that we got to present Robin's case. I think that in the future, the record will show that Robin's decision to go to Canada might have been illegal under US law, but it was supremely moral act and it was one in compliance with International law.
On June 3, the House of Commons voted to stop the deportations of American servicemen and women who come to Canada rather than participate in the fighting in Iraq. Incredibly, the Harper government has chosen to ignore the decision of the House of Commons. In spite of that clear vote, they deported Robin Long, an American soldier seeking sanctuary in Canada, back to the U. S. Last week, Robin was sentenced to 15 months in prison at a military penitentiary. He also received a dis-honourable discharge. This has huge implications for the rest of his life: he will be ineligible for student loans, mortgages, and many employment opportunities. Even worse, he will never be able to return to Canada, where his two-year-old son lives. His crime? Refusing to participate in an illegal and immoral war, once its true nature became clear to him. In Robin's own words: "I remember that a soldier is just a uniform following orders, a warrior is the man or woman that follows their conscience and does the right thing in the face of adversity." This he has done, and continues to do. Jeremy Hinzman has received his deportation date: Sept. 23. It is clear that he is a conscientious objector. It is wrong that he be punished for following his conscience. What has been done to Robin Long cannot be fixed. But it must not be repeated. The Harper government has an obligation to comply with the will of the House. The deportations must stop.
To show your support for Jeremy and other US war resisters in Canada, Courage to Resist alerts, "Supporters are calling on Hon. Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, to intervene. Phone 613.996.4974 or email firstname.lastname@example.org,"Iraq Veterans Against the War also encourages people to take action, "To support Jeremy, call or email Hon. Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and ask her to intervene in this case. Phone: 613.996.4974 email: email@example.com."
There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Yovany Rivero, William Shearer, Michael Thurman, Andrei Hurancyk, Megan Bean, Chris Bean, Matthis Chiroux, Richard Droste, Michael Barnes, Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, Chuck Wiley, 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, Jose Vasquez, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara 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, Daniel Baker, 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, Logan Laituri, Jason Marek, 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.