Kimberly Rivera is facing deportation from Canada. She has resided there for a number of years after deserting the U.S. military's illegal war on Iraq in 2007., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Keep Resisters in Canada Campaign
269 Kitson St.
Winnipeg MB R2H 0Z6
To every person who supports Kimberly Rivera staying in Canada
We are a small war resisters support group in the Canadian prairie provinces, but we believe that a phone call from President Obama to our Prime Minister would help the government reconsider its inhumane and unjust decision to deport Kimberly Rivera. It would be a most important phone call for Stephen Harper. Our government could at any time agree Kimberly Rivera can stay on humanitarian grounds, so it's not too late to act on the many suggestions made to have the government reconsider, and encourage others to do so.
I hope you will have time to help another initiative to help stop Kimberly Rivera's deportation.
Please copy and forward the below message to any U.S. groups or activists you know who support peace. Thanks.
Please cut, paste and forward widely. Attention: Peace, labor, Aboriginal, women's, faith and other activists and popular U.S. groups
* * * * * *
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012
From: Darrell Rankin
Subject: We could use help from the U.S. peace movement - All who support peace
To the U.S. peace movement
Re: Urgent action requested - 24 hours or less to act
Help stop the deportation of a mother of four to a U.S. military prison for doing the right thing
The large majority of Canadians would very much appreciate it if you could contact your President* so he can tell our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, that he officially put an end to the Iraq war and has no desire to send a mother of four children to one of your military jails for up to five years simply because she obeyed international law.
Our government could at any time agree Kimberly Rivera can stay on humanitarian grounds, but it seems we need regime change up here. We'll take care of it ourselves, though.
You'll find more info at http://change.org/letkimstay . The issue goes beyond humanitarian concern for Kimberly and the other war resisters on the verge of being deported to your country. The issue broadly concerns our government's approach to war crimes and creating a climate of fear to follow orders, right or wrong, here and abroad. What kind of military do we want for our countries?
Past chair and treasurer, Canadian Peace Alliance
*You can contact President Obama by phoning 202-456-1111 (comments) or emailing http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments
1. Letter to U.S. President Barack Obama (sample)
2. An open letter to Canada's parliamentarians (background)
(You'll find more info at http://change.org/letkimstay )
1. * * * * * *
Sample letter to U.S. President Barack Obama
269 Kitson St.
Winnipeg, MB R2H 0Z6
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
United States of America
Re: A very urgent public letter to help stop the deportation tomorrow of Kimberly Rivera to the U.S. from Canada
September 19, 2012
Dear Mr. Obama,
Kimberly Rivera is a veteran of the Iraq war who came to Canada after discovering the war's unjust nature and refusing to be associated with the war crimes there. She is on the verge of being deported back to the U.S. by our government for doing the right thing and obeying international law. Her military command is preparing to arrest and charge her with desertion tomorrow.
It would help the majority of Canadians understand that you are truly against continuing to fight George Bush's war in Iraq by saying that you do not support the forced return to your country of Kimberly Rivera, a young mother of four children who would be imprisoned for up to five years in one of your military jails.
Unless you support the idea of separating a mother from her four children and imprisoning her for the "crime" of opposing George Bush's illegal and unjust war, then please send a message to our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, that you disagree with his unwelcome help for a war that you officially stopped. A public rather than a private message would be more reassuring to all of us in Canada.
Past chair and treasurer,
Canadian Peace Alliance
cc The U.S. peace movement and all Members of Canada's Parliament
2. * * * * * *
Letter to Conservative MPs, copied to opposition
Subject: Request to reconsider
269 Kitson St.
Winnipeg MB R2H 0Z6
September 15, 2012
To all Conservative Members of Parliament
Re: The deportation of Kimberly Rivera scheduled for September 20
I am writing to request that you reconsider your decision to deport Kimberly Rivera. I do not see how you can justify deporting Kimberly to a U.S. military prison for up to five years and at the same time say that you are for families and against crime? To me, it seems you are still fighting and supporting George Bush's war in Iraq.
Kimberly ought not to serve one second in custody, nor should she experience the pain of losing her four children.
To me, you are trampling on the graves of the 50 million people who died in the Second World War. That war taught us soldiers must feel and be protected if they refuse to participate in war crimes. Let me put it this way. A police officer who is ordered to commit a crime can always resign. A soldier ordered to commit a crime too often has a far more difficult time resigning, and you need to understand that.
Some of you are replying to letters from our supporters saying that Kimberly has broken the law in the U.S. by deserting the army. But in fact she followed international law by refusing to participate in an illegal, unjust war in which the U.S. military committed serious crimes on a monumental scale, killing hundreds of thousands of people and wrecking Iraq's economy, social programs, historical treasures and the environment for tens of thousands of years with depleted uranium.
This fully justifies her decision to desert. She complied with international law. It is the Conservative government that is breaking the law by not upholding Canada's legal obligation to oppose war crimes and to help soldiers who oppose such crimes.
The most important and progressive legacy of fascism's defeat in the Second World War is the United Nations Charter which sets out important laws for the future of humanity, including requirements to avoid war as a way of resolving disputes between nations - ignored in Iraq's case. As the Nuremberg Nazi trials established, soldiers could no longer say they were "just following orders" to avoid responsibility for war crimes.
I am also concerned that you do not care that you would be sending Kimberly to a harsh military prison in an army rife with serious sexual abuse and torture, as Bradley Manning is experiencing according to the U.N. special rapporteur on torture and hundreds of U.S. legal scholars.
I would appreciate a reply to my question: Will you reconsider?
for the Keep Resisters in Canada Campaign
(active in the prairie provinces)
Past Chair and Treasurer, Canadian Peace Alliance
cc All Opposition MPs
Canada to Deport US Military Deserter after Failed Refugee Claim
September 1, 2012
Posted by: Tahir Citizenship and Immigration
Canada has issued a negative decision this Thursday August 30th, 2012 on the Pre-removal risk assessment of Kimberly Rivera who resisted United States (US) war in Iraq and fled to Canada in 2007 while on leave in US.
Rivera is currently residing in Toronto with her husband and four children. Two of her children were born in Canada after she moved to Canada.
Kimberly fears that the decision will result in her children being separated from her. She said, “My biggest fear is being separated from my children,” after the negative decision.
Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board denied Kimberly Rivera’s claim to seek asylum in Canada on the fears of prosecution due to her decision to desert US military on Iraq war in the year 2007.
She then applied for pre-removal risk assessment to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada that was also refused in 2009.
The appeal in the federal court provided a light of hope for Rivera as the federal judge overruled the negative decision of immigration officer. The judge ruled that immigration officer failed to consider the possibility of prosecution in the United States if Rivera is deported back to her country of residence.
The second negative decision on her application of pre-removal risk assessment has left her with only a few weeks time as she has been asked to leave Canada by September 20th, 2012.
Kimberly Rivera talked to media along with a group of her supporters and peace activists. She said, “I’m just a bit overwhelmed. I don’t want to face reality. I respect Canada’s law. I’m going to take it one step at a time so I don’t have a meltdown.” She further added, “But it’s is very difficult.”
Kimberly supporters also called on the Canadian immigration minister Jason Kenney to allow the Rivera family remain in Canada on the humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
MP Peggy Nash who also was present to support Rivera family said, “It’s a matter of public record that majority of Canadians support war resisters.”
Alexis Pavlich, the Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s press secretary, said in an email statement, “Military deserters from the United States are not genuine refugees under the internationally accepted meaning of the term.”
Pavlich further said, “These unfounded claims clog up our system for genuine refugees who are actually fleeing persecution.”
Canada deported two US military deserters who faced court martial and one year sentence behind the military prison bars in US.