AWOL in Canada
a Counseling Memo
War Resisters Support Campaign
The War Resisters Support Campaign in Toronto has been actively supporting U.S. war resisters in Canada since early 2004, helping them and their families to find Canadian lawyers, housing and jobs, coordinating hundreds of media and speaking engagements, organizing benefit concerts, and initiating a national petition campaign calling on the Canadian government to provide sanctuary for all war resisters. We have raised this issue in candidates’ forums, and successfully enlisted the support of Canadian trade unions and progressive political parties.
The Campaign supports individual war resisters who are currently seeking political refugee status in Canada, and we closely monitor the progress of all relevant legal proceedings. At the same time, the Campaign calls on the Canadian government to provide a sanctuary for all war resisters, whether or not they are granted refugee status.
Based on this experience, and on discussions with the war resisters, their Canadian lawyers, and GI counselors in the U.S., we provide the following Counseling Memo for all those who may have occasion to talk to GI’s and their families about their options for avoiding war. If you require our assistance or have further questions as the situation evolves, please do not hesitate to telephone us at 416-598-1222, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out our website at www.resisters.ca.
AWOL GI’s Have Been Going to Canada for Two Years
It is time to update our counseling information
For over two years now, AWOL U.S. soldiers, sailors, and marines have been arriving in Canada, most of them after receiving orders to deploy (or re-deploy) to the Iraq War. So far, not one of them has been deported back to the U.S.
Thousands of AWOL GI’s are also in the U.S. The Pentagon estimates about 8,000. With proper counseling, some have been able to gain administrative discharges from the military. [See later...