Thursday March 22, 10 a.m.
Friends Meeting House (Quakers)
60 Lowther Avenue
2 blocks north of Bloor St. West, at Bedford Road
(Parking available off Bedford Rd.)
TORONTO, March 21 /CNW/ - Advocates supporting US war resisters in Canada
are increasingly concerned by the compliance of Canadian law enforcement with
requests from the US military. On February 23, police in Nelson, BC arrested
US war resister Kyle Snyder, allegedly at the request of the US Army. He was
released hours later. No charges were laid.
On March 13, three plainclothes officers came to the home of a Toronto
family who had housed US war resister Joshua Key two years ago. They said they
wanted to question him about allegations he made in his recently published
memoir, The Deserter's Tale. They identified themselves as members of the
Toronto Police. The same day, the Canadian Peace Alliance received a call from
the US Army Criminal Investigation Command, also looking for Joshua Key.
"These incidents raise serious questions about who is giving direction to
Canadian law enforcement," said Lee Zaslofsky, Coordinator of the War
Resisters Support Campaign. "In both Nelson and Toronto it seems that local
police forces did the bidding of the US military. We want to know why."
Shirley Douglas, well-known actor and activist, said, "There is nothing
preventing this government from regularizing the status of the war resisters
today. The police incidents underline the urgent need for Canada to enact a
provision to allow US war resisters to stay in this country. As June Callwood
has so often reminded us, "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. We have a moral obligation to continue to do
Speakers at the press conference include: Winnie Ng, who housed US war
resister Joshua Key; US war resister Jeremy Hinzman; Jane Orion Smith,
Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers); Carolyn Egan, President,
Steelworker Toronto Area Council; Eduardo Sousa, Council of Canadians; Lee
Zaslofsky, War Resisters Support Campaign; and others TBA.
For further information:
For further information: Lee Zaslofsky, (416) 598-1222; Michelle
Robidoux, (416) 856-5008