Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Help save a woman and 4 kids from persecution; tell Canada let Kim and her kids stay!

TORONTO, ON – On Thursday, Kimberly Rivera may be deported from Canada to the United States where she faces court martial and two to five years in jail for her conscientious objection to the Iraq War.

Now, just two days before the deadline for Kim to leave Canada or be deported, more than 18,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org asking Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to stop the Rivera family's deportation.

On Monday, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu wrote an opinion editorial published by The Globe and Mail in support of Kim's bid to remain in Canada with her family. 

He said that, "Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper himself came to the conclusion that the Iraq War was ‘absolutely an error’.” Tutu continued by saying “The Riveras are the parents of four young children, two of whom were born in Canada. These are people of courage...and they should be granted asylum.”

In a National Post article a spokesperson for Minister Kenney's office has responded to the public campaign for Kim saying “Military deserters from the United States are not genuine refugees." 

The same article reports that the federal government does not believe the U.S. subjects its soldiers to persecution. However, two other Iraq war resisters, Robin Long and Cliff Cornell, were targeted for prosecution and jailed for their opposition to the Iraq War after being deported by the Government of Canada. 

Kim's lawyer, Alyssa Manning points out that Kim has also publicly opposed the war and is likely to be treated similarly.

If deported along with their parents, Kim’s children—Christian (10 years old) in Grade 5, Rebecca (8 years old) in Grade 3, and Katie (3 years old) in Junior Kindergarten—will be forced to leave the only school and classmates they have ever known.

In a YouTube video posted last week, Christian appealed to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney: “I would like us to be able to stay in Canada because if we go back it will be a lot harder for us in the US because we won't have a mom to support us.”

On Tuesday, supporters will hold a media conference calling on the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism to expedite a decision in Kim Rivera’s three-year old application to be allowed to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

On Wednesday, September 19, as part of a Pan-Canadian Day of Action in Support of the Rivera Family, Kimberly and the family plan to ask the thousands of people who have signed their petition and Canadians around the country to call the Minister and demand that they allow Kimberly and the family to stay in Canada. 

Canadians will be holding actions in the communities of Halifax, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Toronto, and Vancouver have already been confirmed. (Related: Canada and the Iraq War)

Live signature count on the War Resisters Support Campaign for Kim:

Comments left by petition signers:

The Iraq War was "absolutely an error." -- The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada - Ken M, Toronto

It takes courage to say no to illegal wars, Canadians support Kim for having the courage to refuse to take part any longer. - Imran A, Toronto

This is important because traditionally Canada has been a safe land for Americans opposing wars that their country has been in. Unfortunately, it has become typical of the Harper government to take away protections of people on the international stage.
- Kelly O, Calgary

The Iraq War was based on lies about WMD's. Anyone joining the military based on that kind of public deceit should not face prosecution for not wanting to participate in perpetuating the falsehood that was the War in Iraq. My government should be ashamed for forcing this woman to go back to the USA since we ourselves wisely refused to participate in this unjust imperialism. - Robin P, Calgary

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai