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Prominent Canadians Support Refuge for US War Resisters

Thursday, May 27, 2004
10:00 a.m.
Trinity-St. Paul's Centre
427 Bloor Street West

(TORONTO) - A growing number of Canadians are raising their voices to demand
that the federal government make provision for US war resisters to have
sanctuary in this country. These include David Suzuki, Naomi Klein,
Ann-Marie MacDonald and Anton Kuerti.

"From the time of the United Empire Loyalists who fled to Canada in the
eighteenth century, to the draft resisters of the Vietnam era who came here
more than thirty years ago, Canada has been providing refuge for Americans,"
says author June Callwood. "We have a moral obligation to continue to do

There are currently at least two US soldiers, Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon
Hughey, who have come to Canada in objection to the US government's war on
Iraq. Both are seeking refugee status.

Speakers at the press conference will include: actor Shirley Douglas; Hassan
Yussuf, Secretary-Treasurer, Canadian Labour Congress; musician Bill King;
scholar and journalist Zafar Bangash; war resister Charlie Diamond, of the
Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers); Rick Telfer, Canadian
Federation of Students; and representatives of faith communities. The press
conference will launch the newly-formed War Resisters Support Campaign.

"Regardless of the technical decisions of the Immigration and Refugee Board,
we believe Canada should not punish US war objectors for exercising their
conscience and refusing to fight," says Bill King, a Vietnam-era war
resister and musician living in Toronto.

In the event that they are returned to the United States, US war objectors
face incarceration and possibly even the death penalty. Canada must not
facilitate the persecution of American war objectors by returning them to
the United States.

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For further information, please contact Carolyn Egan at 416.806.7985, or
Michelle Robidoux at 416.856.5008 or email resisters@sympatico.ca