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News :: Human Rights : Organizing : Politics : War and Militarism
Iraq War Resisters Seek Refuge in Canada: First Deportee Scheduled for July 10
02 Jul 2008
corey_sm.jpg
Corey Glass is a former sergeant from the Los Angeles California National Guard, who arrived in Canada in August 2006. "When I joined the national guard, they told me the only way I would be in combat is if there were troops occupying the United States," Corey said. "I signed up to defend people and do humanitarian work filling sandbags if there was a hurricane; I should have been in New Orleans, not Iraq." Now he faces deportation.
This is one of many cases of US soldiers’ desertion to Canada that the War Resisters Support (WRS) Campaign has been supporting since the invasion of Iraq began. It all started with Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey, two soldiers who fled to Canada in 2004 and refused to fight in opposition to the war in Iraq. Hinzman’s claim for refugee status, on the basis that the US invasion of Iraq was illegal, was rejected by the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). So was an appeal with the Federal Court, and the Supreme Court of Canada denied to hear their case in November of 2007. They both face up to five years in prison if deported back to the United States.

Hinzman and Hughey’s case also affected the 200-plus soldiers who are currently seeking refuge in Canada. Many more are suspected to be living underground.

Canada was the main choice of refuge for Vietnam War resisters in the 60s and 70s. According to the WRS campaign, more than 50,000 Americans made their way to Canada refusing to participate in the war during the period of 1965-1973. Then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau opened the doors of Canada to those US soldiers who sought refuge, claiming that Canada was against enforced militarism.

On June 3, 2008, in a surprising victory, the opposition parties in the House of Commons joined together to adopt a non-biding resolution calling for making it possible for US Iraq War resisters to apply for permanent resident status in Canada. The recommendation was adopted by a majority of Members of Parliament from the Liberal, Bloc Québécois, and New Democratic Parties. The Conservatives voted against the motion. A national poll followed that showed that 64% of the population was in favor of letting the Iraq war resisters stay in Canada.

Corey Glass, whose deportation date is scheduled for July 10, is one of many war resisters who are waiting to see if history plays in their favor. Amnesty International released a statement on June 6 calling for respecting Corey Glass’ wish to stay in Canada. AI would consider Glass a prisoner of conscience if deported and detained by the US military since his original request to be relieved of duty as a conscientious objector was rejected in 2006. He served five months in Iraq of active duty in 2005.

Amnesty International’s statement on Corey Glass’ case further reads, “According to [Glass’] statement, he had concerns about the legality of the war before his deployment to Iraq. While serving there, he developed further serious objections to the war, including what he saw as the abusive treatment of civilians by the US military and failure within the system to address such abuses. He stated that, whilst in Iraq, he reported his concerns to his superiors and asked to be relieved of duty. His request was denied.”

Today, July 2nd, an international day of action has been called to request the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Diane Finley, to implement the Parliament’s decision to allow US conscientious objectors and their families to apply for Canadian residency. July 9 there will be demonstrations and vigils in Canadian consulates nationwide in support of Corey Glass and in response to a call issued by Veterans for Peace. In Boston, the vigil is scheduled for 2 pm at Copley Square Park

"Corey Glass would be the first Iraq War resister to be deported from http://www.slotswings.com Canada. He would face imprisonment and severe penalties in the US," said Lee Zaslofsky, coordinator of the War Resisters Support Campaign and a Vietnam War resister. "This goes against Canada's tradition of welcoming Americans who disagree with policies like slavery and the Vietnam War."
See also:
http://www.resisters.ca/index_en.html
http://www.couragetoresist.org/x/

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Comments

They agreed to serve
06 Jul 2008
Jeremy Hinzman, Brandon Hughey, Corey Glass AND ALL THE OTHERS JOINED THE US MILITARY!! Did they really think they wouldn't have to do what they agreed too? They agreed to follow the orders of the officers appointed above them. This includes the Commander in Chief..our president.

In the National Guard (Army or Air)

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the State of (STATE NAME) against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Governor of (STATE NAME) and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to law and regulations. So help me God.

In the Armed Forces EXCEPT the National Guard (Army or Air)

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
They should serve my country or serve in prison for desertion.
MSgt USAF (Ret, aerial gunner) 3 tours to Afghanistan, 5 tours to Iraq, also the first gulf war, Bosnia and Kosovo.