Sunday, March 09, 2008

My school project

Previously on "My School Project":

"...my research of the peace movement in Canada, which is turning into research of the war resisters moment in Canada..."

"It has now become a story about the war resisters, but let's discuss that in another post."

This, dear, gentle reader is that post.

When I started my project I did research into Afghanistan, I read the Manley report, I got a map and found out where Afghanistan was I even read a Wikipedia article.

Then I spoke to Lee Zaslofsky of the War Resisters Campaign in Toronto and I decided other people could write about peace, this is yet another important Canadian story never told.

He is the coordinator for the War Resisters Campaign, it is the modern equivalent of The Toronto Anti-draft Committee.

In the 1960's and early 70's the doors were thrown open, it is estimated 30 to 50,000 American draft dodgers and deserters were welcomed into Canada.

According to Renée Kasinsky in his 1976 book Refugees from Militarism: Draft-Age Americans in Canada, these draft dodgers and deserters were the largest American migration into Canada since the American civil war.

The official government response of the day is the antithesis of the current government's attitude towards the very few American deserters currently trying to find a way out from an illegal, brutal and pointless war.

According to Zaslofsky, Canadians support the war resisters. In June the War Resisters Campaign was able to organize a poll which found that 64.6 per cent of Ontarians across political parties want the resisters to stay.

To date, no deserter from the current Iraq war has been granted refugee status, and unlike the options available to Vietnam era war resisters, refugee status is the only viable way to gain a permanent right to stay in Canada.

The current government has fought war resisters all the way to the Supreme Court.

It would be simplistic to assume the current government are American neo-conservative sycophants, but combining the official position of the government regarding war resisters; Ronald Allen Smith, the Canadian on death row in Montana; and the shameful article "Canada Stands With You" posted in the Wall Street Journal March 28, 2003 one has to wonder what the true rationale is.

Related Links
War Resisters Support Campaign
Ronald Allen Smith
Wall Street Journal
Wikipedia
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