London: Christian groups to join protest against deportations from Canada

 Next Tuesday, 26 August, members of Pax Christi, the Oxford Catholic Worker and Fellowship of Reconciliation will join Voices in the Wilderness to stage a 10-hour vigil outside Canada House in Trafalgar Square, to call on on Canada's Government to halt the deportation of US soldiers who have fled the war in Iraq. Giant A0 placards bearing pictures of the resisters and the words 'Canada: Stop Deporting US Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in the Illegal War in Iraq. Grant Them Sanctuary' will be exhibited outside. There are currently at least 12 US soldiers in Canada seeking asylum. They have refused to take part in the invasion and occupation of Iraq - an invasion deemed "illegal" by the UN Secretary General, that has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. If they are returned to the US, they face lengthy periods of incarceration. Last month Robin Long became the first US war resister to be deported, and a second war resister, Jeremy Hinzman, has now been given a 23 September deadline to leave Canada with his wife, son and baby daughter, or be deported. Long is currently serving a jail-term in Colorado. Though its people and Parliament both oppose such deportations, Canada's minority government has refused to stop them. A spokesperson for the vigil said: "Between 1965-1973 more than 50,000 draft-age Americans made their way to Canada, refusing to participate in the Vietnam war. At the time, Canadian 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." Today, we call on Canada's Government to stand by these ideals, and to abide by the will of its people and Parliament, by halting the ongoing deportation of US soldiers who have refused to fight in Iraq." The demonstration will take place on 26 August, from 8am - 6pm

Share this story