From the War Resisters Support Campaign:
Iraq War Resister Kimberly Rivera sentenced to 14 months in military prison after deportation by Harper government
On Monday afternoon, during a court-martial hearing at Fort Carson, Colorado, Kimberly Rivera was sentenced to 14 months in military prison and a dishonourable discharge after publicly expressing her conscientious objection to the Iraq War while in Canada.
A pre-trial agreement capped the sentence at 10 months of confinement and a bad conduct discharge.
Kimberly Rivera with her husband Mario
Private First Class Kimberly Rivera deployed to Iraq in 2006 and sought asylum in Canada in (Read more…)
We expect Kimberly Rivera to be sentenced today. War resister, prisoner of conscience, peace activist, artist, mother, friend, Kim Rivera is in the hearts of all who know her, all her supporters who stand by her in this time of need.
Kim is being punished for choosing peace over war, light over darkness, love over hate.
She is being punished by the US military, but that punishment was made possible by Stephen Harper, Jason Kenney, and their so-called majority government.
Shame on them. Shame, shame, shame.
Supporters of U.S. war resisters in Canada may be interested in hearing about the War Resisters Support Campaign event earlier this week. A large crowd came out to share a meal, hear an update on the Campaign, and raise funds for legal fees for the court martial of war resister Kimberly Rivera.
War resister Jules Tindungan kicked off the evening by speaking about the letter from Iraq War veteran and resister Tomas Young, which I’m sure you’ve all seen. We watched Young himself read the letter on Democracy Now (here).
It was announced that war resister
. . . → Read More: wmtc: war resister campaign update: behind the tindungan decision
Yesterday, March 19, 2013, was the 10th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq. Looking for something to post, I sorted through about a dozen essays and stories online, but nothing reflected the anger and sadness and disgust and urgency and frustration I feel about everything connected with the ongoing Iraq War. I didn’t write something myself, because it feels like I’ve said everything I have to say a good 50 times over.
I’m going to leave my post to Tomas Young. Young is an Iraq war veteran, and he is dying. He was profiled in the documentary “Body of
. . . → Read More: wmtc: ten years on: hate mail to bush and cheney from a dying iraq war veteran and war resister
If you’re in the Toronto area, please join us for an evening of community, information, and fundraising in support of war resister Kimberly Rivera. Kim is confined to the Fort Carson, Colorado army base, while her husband and four children (two of whom were born in Canada) are in Texas. We expect Kim’s court martial to begin on April 29.
WHAT: Ten Years Since the Invasion of Iraq: The case for U.S. war resisters: Fundraising dinner in support of Kimberly Rivera’s legal defense
WHEN: Monday, March 25, 6:00 dinner, 7:00 programme
WHERE: United Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street, Toronto
. . . → Read More: wmtc: ten years since the invasion of iraq: a fundraiser for court martial defence for kimberly rivera
The Freedom of the Press Foundation has posted the leaked audio recording of Bradley Manning’s statement to the military court in Ft. Meade. In it, Manning explains why he leaked more than 700,000 government documents to WikiLeaks. FPF also has posted transcript highlights, in case you can’t make it through the full 35-page statement.
The US military “court” – that is, Manning’s accusers – are trying to prevent public access to the proceedings, especially Manning’s own statements. We can all help thwart their plans.
Listen to the statement here.
You can download Manning’s statement, in part or in full, and
. . . → Read More: wmtc: hear bradley manning’s complete statement, and help spread his words across the internet
Please watch Michael Ratner, the lawyer representing Julian Assange in the US, reporting on Bradley Manning’s testimony yesterday. Ratner is President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York and the Chair of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin.
Revolutionary thought of the day: Across the road at the sawmill smoke was coming out of the chimney and Anselmo could smell it blown toward him through the snow. The fascists are warm, he thought, and they are comfortable, and tomorrow night we will kill them. It is a strange thing and I do not like to think of it. I have watched them all day and they are the same men that we are. I believe that I could walk up to the mill and knock on the door and I would be welcome except that they have orders
. . . → Read More: wmtc: rtod
One thousand days. Think of where you were one thousand days ago, and all you have done since then. In all that time, Bradley Manning has been in prison.
For 62 days, he was held in a cage in Kuwait.
For 265 days, he was held in solitary confinement.
For 1,000 days, he has been imprisoned.
And when Manning does receive a hearing, it will not be a trial. It will be a court martial: his accusers will be the only judge and jury.
Manning’s “crime” is exposing the truth about the murder of civilians by US forces in Iraq.
. . . → Read More: wmtc: today bradley manning has been imprisoned 1,000 days without trial
After finally getting Jill Lepore’s “Lie Factory” posted on this blog, I will go back even further, to something I’ve wanted to post for nearly two years. No matter the date, this piece is timeless, and more relevant with every passing day.
This lengthy essay by Nicholson Baker ran in Harper’s in May of 2011: “Why I’m a pacifist: The dangerous myth of the Good War”. It’s available by pdf download with a Harper’s subscription, or (I hope) at your local library, or from me by request. (Artwork from the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Swarthmore, PA.)
. . . → Read More: wmtc: and one great read from harper’s: nicholson baker on "why i’m a pacifist: the dangerous myth of the good war"
Please watch this excellent clip of war resister Jules Tindungan and lawyer Alyssa Manning discussing their recent victory in Federal Court.
Really, watch! It’s great.
Revolutionary thought of the day: “Mankind. Ready to kill. I wonder how humanity managed to survive.”
“We overcame our instinct for violence.”
— Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk, “Spectre of the Gun“, Star Trek, original air date December 31, 1969
Another win in federal court! From the War Resisters Support Campaign:
On Friday February 1st, the Federal Court of Canada released a decision granting U.S. war resister Jules Tindungan a new hearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). The Court found errors in the original IRB decision pertaining to issues which are at the heart of asylum claims by U.S. soldiers in Canada.
Mr. Tindungan is one of dozens of former U.S. soldiers who have sought asylum in Canada because of their objection to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tindungan refused to return to
. . . → Read More: wmtc: breaking news: federal court rules in favour of war resister jules tindungan
Congratulations to Andy Barrie, former CBC broadcaster, on being awarded the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honour. This CBC story says that Barrie “left the U.S. and moved to Canada during the Vietnam War”. But if you listen to this interview, you will hear how Barry “left” and “moved”: he had volunteered for the war in Vietnam, then deserted, and fled to Canada.
Andy Barrie is a war resister, and was a deserter. (Do you hear that, Jason Kenney? Andy volunteered and deserted, and he was still allowed to stay.) Andy has been a
This the third of the four talks I attended semi-recently. Other recent talks: noah richler, u.s. war resisters, and the militarization of canadian culture, and from greece to chicago to toronto, workers fighting back against austerity.
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Scott Neigh, who writes the blog A Canadian Lefty in Occupied Land, has published a pair of books that “enter Canadian history-from-below through the words of long-time activists.” You can learn more about these books and who is featured in them at Scott’s Talking Radical website.
I attended a book-launch event for Neigh’s books because my
. . . → Read More: wmtc: talking radical: a history of canada through the eyes of activists
Today is the third birthday that courageous military whistleblower Bradley Manning has spent in prison. By the time his court martial begins in March, he will have been imprisoned almost three years, including a full year in solitary confinement – an internationally recognized form of torture.
Bradley Manning helped people see the truth about the US occupation of Iraq. And for that he is being persecuted.
Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, recently spoke publicly to a group of supporters in Washington DC. Here’s an excerpt from his speech: When I’m in the courtroom, I stand up and look to my right,
. . . → Read More: wmtc: happy birthday, bradley manning
Something else I resumed after quitting my crappy day-job: attending events with friends, or, socializing through activism. Few things make me happier. I have four events to blog about.
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Last Friday night at Innis Hall, the War Resisters Support Campaign put on “Telling Our Story: A Fundraiser for U.S. War Resisters and Their Ongoing Struggle”. The evening began with songs of hope and struggle sung by Common Thread Chorus. Common Thread’s music is beautiful, but their orientation to the world is what’s really impressive. They sing songs of peace, social justice, and struggle, and are
. . . → Read More: wmtc: in toronto: noah richler, u.s. war resisters, and the militarization of canadian culture
Last month, I took a little road trip with a few friends from the War Resisters Support Campaign, to welcome a new baby and meet a new dog. This nice little visit would be unremarkable – if it weren’t completely incredible. We visited the Brockway… . . . → Read More: wmtc: a good-news, bad-news update: buddha, the brockways, and iraq war resisters in canada
The War Resisters Support Campaign presents “TELLING OUR STORY: A Fundraiser for U.S. Iraq War Resisters”, at Innis College Town Hall in Toronto, Friday, December 7, at 7:00 p.m. This very special evening features author Noah Richler reading from his n… . . . → Read More: wmtc: in toronto: a fundraiser for iraq war resisters, featuring noah richler
The Harper Government says that supporting US Iraq War resisters dishonours Canadian veterans. But most war resisters are veterans, and we call on the government to recognize and respect their basic human rights.So how does the Harper Government suppor… . . . → Read More: wmtc: harper’s support for veterans: wear a poppy. do nothing else.
Kimberly Rivera, the Iraq War veteran and war resister who was forced out of Canada by the Harper government, is being held in at her former base in Fort Carson, Colorado. Supporters wishing to write to Kimberly Rivera can send cards and letters to this address:Kimberly Riverac/o All Souls U. U. Church730 North Tejon StreetColorado Springs, CO 80903USA
Supporters at the church will bring Kim her mail in batches. This will draw less attention to her on the base, and might circumvent some censorship.
However, please be aware of her situation and refrain from messages
. . . → Read More: wmtc: how to send mail to kimberly rivera
Revolutionary thought of the day: And all the criminals in their coats and tiesAre free to drink martinisAnd watch the sun rise- Bob Dylan
A woman refuses to kill people, and she is torn from her family and put in jail.
A man orders some people to kill some other people, and he enjoys a position of great power and prestige.
A shameful human condition.
From the Toronto Star: I am ashamed to be a Canadian. I have been involved with the campaign to keep Kim Rivera in Canada for some time. It is obvious that most Canadians think that as a conscientious objector to the war in Iraq she should stay here rather than face court martial and jail separate from her family.
When I opened my Star on Thursday I saw another story of a deportation on the same page as Rivera’s story. Fatemeh Derakhshandeh Tosarvandan is to be sent back to Iran, where she could face stoning as a result of
. . . → Read More: wmtc: let them stay: two canadians speak out in the toronto star
My grief for the Rivera family and my rage at this cruel, anti-democratic government roils unabated.
I am haunted by thoughts of my dear friend Kimberly Rivera, who has given so much to so many people, all by herself in a jail cell, and by thoughts of those four beautiful children waking up, day after day, to the reality of a motherless family.
Mario Rivera is one of the best fathers I’ve ever seen. He is loving and kind, strict when he needs to be but always gentle, just like Kim. But Kim is their rock. I fear for them
. . . → Read More: wmtc: thinking of the riveras, today and always