Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Robin Long; bombings in Iraq

U.S. Iraq war resister Robin Long received word at 4:00 this afternoon, July 14th, in Vancouver that his appeal to have his deportation order stayed was denied. He could be deported as early as July 15th.
Emergency actions are planned at the Peace Arch near Vancouver, and in Toronto. For details click
Whether or not you can attend these actions, please take a moment to email or phone Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety, and ask him to immediately stop the deportation of U.S. Iraq war resister Robin Long. (The Canadian Border Services Agency falls under his ministry).
Also ask him why the federal government is refusing to respect the clearly expressed will of Canada's Parliament, that U.S. war resisters should be allowed to stay and that deportation proceedings against them should cease?
In a recent Angus Reid poll, almost two-thirds of Canadians said they want U.S. Iraq war resisters to be allowed to stay in Canada. Demand to know why the Harper government is unwilling to be accountable to Canadians.
Minister of Public Security Stockwell Day Email: day.s@parl.gc.ca (Ottawa office); days1@parl.gc.ca (Penticton constituency office) Phone: 613.995.1702 (Ottawa); 250.770.4480 (Penticton constituency office) Fax: 613.995.1154 (Ottawa); 250.770.4484 (Penticton)

The above is from the War Resisters Support Campaign. Last night, the War Resisters Support Campaign issued this statement:

Today's Federal Court decision refusing to prevent the removal of conscientious objector Robin Long is a major disappointment for the majority of Canadians, 64% of whom support sanctuary
for U.S. soldiers seeking refuge here.
It is also at odds with the passage of June 3rd Parliamentary motion calling for the oppor-tunity for conscientious objectors to apply for permanent resident status, and an end to all deportations.
"The federal government's single-minded determination to deny the legitimacy of conscientious objection to what is plainly an illegal war rife with human rights abuses is abhorrent. Robin himself has been harassed by authorities by being arrested for violating a deportation order of which neither he nor his counsel were ever advised," says Lee Zaslofsky. spokesperson for the War Resisters Support Campaign. "He's been held in jail since July 4 and treated with disrespect by our government which seems intent on imposing American military law in Canada."
Canadian Immigration authorities -- who report to Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley -- had kept secret a negative decision on Robin's Pre-Removal Risk Assessment, making it impossible for his lawyer to file an appeal.
"We have received hundreds of messages of support for Robin," says Bob Ages of the Vancouver War Resisters Support Campaign. "We are calling on Canadians to take immediate action to tell the government that its attempts to overturn Canada's longstanding tradition of sanctuary will be met with challenges everywhere."
The War Resisters Support Campaign pledges to redouble its efforts on behalf of all conscientious objectors. It will follow Robin's case, as will U.S. support organizations.

We'll have a roundup of the press coverage on Robin in the next entry. In violence in Iraq today, Richard A. Oppel Jr. (New York Times) reports:

Two suicide bombers posing as army recruits struck an Iraqi base just east of Baquba on Tuesday morning, killing at least 35 Iraqi recruits and wounding 63, according to the Iraqi police and medical officials in Diyala Province.

Though the schedule has not been released an assault on Diyala Province has been spoken of as impending. Meanwhile the Independent of London's "Brown ends hopes of withdrawal from Iraq" notes Gordon Brown has announced he will not set a time for withdrawal and "Mr Brown is due to deliver a statement on Iraq to MPs before the summer recess of Parliament on 22 July. Labour MPs said they were disappointed by his response." James Kirkup's "More troops for Iraq dash hopes of withdrawal" (Telegraph of London) reports:

Military commanders have told the Prime Minister that UK troops will have to remain in Iraq in significant numbers well into next year.
The need to stay in southern Iraq to support of the Iraqi forces has dashed any hopes ministers had of announcing a major withdrawal from Iraq this summer.

Turning to the US presidential race, Brett Lieberman's "Nader finds reason for optimism in bonus scandal" (The Patriot News):

The bonus scandal stole millions from the public, but it could end up saving third-party presidential candidate Ralph Nader $81,000 in legal fees he was ordered to pay after being tossed from the Pennsylvania ballot in 2004.
"It looks like the judgment was the result of a criminal conspiracy," said Nader's attorney, Oliver Hall tells the Philadelphia Inquirer. "We will investigate our options to vacate the judgment."
Efforts by state House Democrats to toss Nader from the 2004 ballot and 2006 Green Party Senate candidate Carl Romanelli were some of the less salacious details in the indictments of 12 people last week in the state Bonusgate scandal.

Brendan notes this video from the Ralph Nader presidential campaign:

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.

robin long

richard a. oppel jr.
the new york times