Will Show New Film about AWOL GI’s in CanadaKyle Snyder

During the last four years, more than 20,000 U.S. military personnel have gone AWOL. A couple hundred GI’s headed to Canada rather than deploy to the U.S. war and occupation of Iraq. Gerry Condon knows what these young men and women are going through. In 1969, he deserted from the U.S. Army after refusing orders to Vietnam. For six years, Condon lived in Sweden and Canada, where he organized for amnesty for all war resisters.

Now, as director of Project Safe Haven, Gerry Condon travels throughout the U.S. and Canada to drum up support for a new generation of war resisters. In October, Condon will be in Coos County where he will show a new film about U.S. war resisters in Canada and speak out on their behalf. His visit is sponsored by Veterans For Peace.

“It’s déjà vu all over again,” says Condon. “It’s really tragic that our nation has been dragged into another unjust, unnecessary and unwinnable war. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed for no good reason.

“This war is also illegal,” says Condon. “It violates the Nuremberg Principles, the Geneva Conventions on War, the UN Charter, and U.S law. President Bush and his entire war cabinet should be impeached and tried for war crimes. Unfortunately, this is not likely to happen. But those who refuse to be part of this illegal war should definitely not be punished.

“War resisters are obeying international law and following their own consciences,” says Condon. “They need and deserve our support.”

During the Vietnam War, as many as 100,000 U.S. citizens immigrated to Canada. Pierre Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister at the time, welcomed the war resisters, saying, “Canada should be a haven from militarism.” But Canada’s immigration laws are much tighter now. So U.S. soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen are seeking to remain in Canada as political refugees. The Supreme Court of Canada is expected to make a landmark ruling in November.

“Iraq War resisters are getting a lot of love and support from the Canadian people,” says Condon. “Now it’s time for people in the U.S. to step up to the plate.”

is a one hour film that tells the stories of four young AWOL soldiers who are seeking sanctuary in Canada. This poignant new film was co-produced by the National Film Board of Canada and has been nominated for many awards.