Thursday, October 04, 2007

War resister Robin Long released

His detention on Monday follows the bizarre apprehension earlier this year of Kyle Snyder, another war resister staying in Nelson, who was taken off to jail in the middle of a winter's night, wearing just a toque, a robe and his boxers.
Nelson police have refused to say on whose request they detained Mr. Snyder, or why they knocked on his door at 4 a.m. They released him three hours later, after learning that he was legally in Canada as a visitor.

The above is from Rod Mickleburgh's "U.S. army deserter freed on bond" (Canada's Globe and Mail) about war resister Robin Long and we're starting with the Kyle Snyder aspect because All Things Media Big and Small refused to cover that (or when the US military went into Canada and posed as Canadian police to attempt to hunt down Key) big story with one exception: Gregory Levey (Salon) became the first at a US news outlet in May and he remains the last. What happpened was and is a huge story (and the subject of an internal police investigation) but not in the US because All Things Media Big and Small had other things to do. Not better, just other. Dan Maluta, the chief of police in question, has already issued a statement about Robin Long's arrest (that's being shot down on eye witness testimony and that the Canadian press is skeptical of) and it goes to his pattern of lying repeatedly that everyone saw (who paid attention) when Snyder was arrested. It was a new lie a day from Maluta. And as Maulta's lies got more and more convulted, an internal investigation was required just to find out, JUST TO FIND OUT, why Kyle Snyder was arrested in the first place. That investigation hasn't ceased -- it is headed by a friend of Maluta's in what's supposed to be a firewall and apparently "firewall" stands for "prevent the truth" -- and now Maluta's back to doing what he does so well, LIE, LIE, Lie.

Dharm Makwana (24 Hours Vancouver) reports:

Robin Long, an American army deserter, was released from Canada Border Services' custody yesterday after an anti-war activist posted a $5,000 cash bond.
"We don't want these war resisters sitting in jail," said supporter Bob Ages, who ponied up the dough. "They're people of conscience, they should be welcomed to Canada and they should not be in cells and holding facilities."
Long, 23, now faces a 30-day deadline to make a successful plea to stay in Canada or he faces deportation.

The Canadian Press reports:

A handcuffed Long told reporters at a detention review hearing that he left the U.S. Army two years ago and came to Canada because he felt it was a safe refuge.
Immigration officials will conduct a pre-removal risk assessment of Long before deciding whether he will be deported to the U.S.

The above didn't just magically happen. It happened because Canadian citizens favor granting US war resisters today the same rights Canada granted during Vietnam. It happened because Canadians got active and mobilized. Organizations such as the War Resisters Support Campaign and the Canadian Peace Alliance, the New Democratic Party of Canada political party (click here for release in English, here for release in French) and individuals worked very hard and worked very quickly:

For Immediate Release
Canadians Demand Release of War Resister Robin Long
October 3, 2007
Vancouver -- Supporters of the call for sanctuary in Canada for U.S. war resisters are demanding that the threatened deportation of conscientious objector Robin Long be halted immediately. "The Canadian government should not be complicit in Mr. Long facing court martial and prison for refusing to fight George Bush’s war in Iraq", declared Bradley Hughes of the Vancouver War Resisters Support Campaign.
They will be at the Immigration Canada office at 300 West Georgia Avenue (at Hamilton Street) at 9:30 am, Wednesday, October 3 to provide moral support to Mr. Long and demand that Canadian officials not be used by the Harper Government as auxiliaries to the U.S. military police .
During the war in Vietnam this country and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau welcomed American war resisters: "Indeed our political approach has been to give them access to Canada. Canada should be a refuge from militarism," he said.
Two war resisters' cases are currently before the Supreme Court of Canada and dozens more are at various stages of the refugee process; no one should be arrested or deported before the Supreme Court has a chance to make a decision.
Robin Long, from Boise, Idaho, received his orders in March 2005 and left for Canada in June 2005. Mr. Long came to Canada because he believes the war in Iraq is illegal. The Immigration Refugee Board did not find his claims to be untruthful but ruled against his case on the grounds that the "illegality of the war was not relevant" to his refugee claim. This is an issue that should be decided by the Supreme Court or the Parliament of Canada through the passage a provision to make Canada once again a sanctuary from militarism.
A July 2007 USA Today Gallup poll found that 62 per cent of Americans say the U.S. made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq. Moreover, 71 per cent favour a proposal to remove most U.S. troops from Iraq by April 2008. A recent poll taken in Ontario showed that almost two thirds of Ontarians, or 64.4%, believed that Canada should allow war resisters to stay in Canada.
For more information contact:
Bradley Hughes: 604-765-2580
Susan Spratt: 604-657-4303

And it should be noted that the Canadian press actually gave a damn. A claim the US can't make. Whether it's The (Half-Assed) Nation magazine refusing to cover war resisters (but has all the time in the world to run the lengthy rambles of a sexist pig who slimes two professional jouranlists -- female journalists naturally -- while 'sharing' how much he enjoys women . . . who work in a bordello) or the mainstream, there is so damn little interest. There's interesting in reading, watching and hearing about the coverage. But that's on the output end. On the input end, it's resist, resist, resist covering war resisters. And in terms of little media, if you're still having trouble grasping it, you need to go back to the mountains of mountains of columns when a reporter was being asked to testify at Ehren Watada's court-martial. They wrote about the reporter and they want us all to really believe that they did care about Watada. But when the reporter was no longer at risk of testifying, the court-martial took place in February and how many of the same names wrote about it? (Zero.) The court-martial ended in a mistrial called by Judge Toilet when the prosecution was losing and called over the objection of the defense. As Majorie Cohn noted, double-jeopardy had already attached. Next Tuesday, the military plans to ignore the Constitution, to shred it, and court-martial Watada again. Who among those rushing forward with their "Save the reporter!" columns has written about Watada?

Canada's CBC notes:

Robin Long, 24, has agreed to fill out a pre-removal risk assessment and will live at a home in Delta while reporting to the department once a month.

The Prince George Citizen reports:

Among the other conditions for his release from detention, Long must report monthly to the Canada Border Services Agency, inform immigration officials of his new address before he moves and show up for any hearings if directed to do so. His lawyer, Warren Puddicombe, said Long filed a refugee claim after arriving in Ontario two years ago but that the claim was rejected, along with a review of it in Federal Court.
The pre-removal risk assessment, which authorities will now undertake, is the last step before someone can be deported to their home country.
Puddicombe said Long was arrested on Monday because he hadn't responded to a letter the Immigration Department had sent him, asking that he appear for a notice of the pre-removal risk assessment.
That's because the letter was sent to Long's former address in Ontario and not forwarded to him in Nelson, B.C., where he had gone to work in fruit orchards, Puddicombe said.
"They had some concerns that if he were removed to the U.S. he might not report voluntarily," Puddicombe said of his client's detention.
The conditions now in place will allow authorities to more closely monitor his comings and goings, Puddicombe said.

And John Colebourn (The Province) covers the arrest and notes this for perspective:

In November, the Supreme Court of Canada will decide whether to hear the cases of U.S. war resisters Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey.
The decision is expected to have an impact on all war resisters now seeking sanctuary in Canada.

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