FILM EVENT: Breaking Ranks (Hamilton, Sept. 16)

September 10, 2008

Breaking Ranks

http://www.breakingranksthefilm.com/index.html
Nominated for Best Documentary or Series – History/Biography/Social/Political, Documentary: Best Director and Documentary: Best Picture Editing, 2007 Leo Awards. Nominated for a 2007 Golden Sheaf Award.

This fast paced documentary about the American War Resisters is punctuated by real-life footage of the conflict in Iraq

It includes shocking testimony of U.S. soldiers in the “War on Terror” about

Why they joined

What they saw

and Why they quit

An ultimately heartfelt look at these brave individuals and why Canada needs to let War Resisters stay

Tuesday, September 16

7:00 p.m.
McMaster University Student Centre
CIBC Hall (3rd floor of Student Centre)
About the film

Breaking Ranks is a moving documentary that examines the current phenomena of US soldiers seeking refuge in Canada as part of their resistance to the war effort in Iraq. With intimate access to four American military deserters, their lawyer and families, this film documents their experiences as they try to exercise their consciences amidst profound emotional, ethical and international consequences. If deported, they face the venom of mainstream American opinion and one to five years in prison. If Canada instead follows the legacy established by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau during the Vietnam War, when Canada welcomed tens of thousands of war resisters, there may well be an unprecedented crisis in U.S.-Canadian relations.

Filmed over the course of the refugee process, this provocative film explores the meaning of duty through the powerful testimonies of these young soldiers. In so doing, Breaking Ranks poses challenging political, cultural and historical questions for Canadians and the world.

MPs Bill Siksay and Olivia Chow have been instrumental in submitting legislation to protect War Resisters. On June 3, a majority of Members of Parliament in the House of Commons voted by 137 to 110 to let the resisters to stay and to stop all deportation proceedings against them – but Harper is going ahead with deportation anyway.


Melting glaciers and climate change – video

August 8, 2008
Melting glaciers and climate change

See the video and photos now.


Toronto CDPI AGM in NOW Magazine

April 14, 2008

I am a longtime member of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative (CDPI) and head of its new Brampton Chapter. We had our 2008 AGM in Toronto on the weekend of April 4-6. It was energizing and uplifting to see all our supporters, especially the following politicians: in my riding of Brampton-Springdale MP (Liberal) Dr. Ruby Dhalla, Etobicoke Centre MP (Liberal) Borys Wrzesnewskyj, Trinity-Spadina MP (NDP) Olivia Chow, and the Leader of the Green Party of Canada Elizabeth May. The empty chair on the stage at Friday evening’s opening meeting at The Church of the Holy Trinity for Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier was a stark symbol of the ruling Conservative Party’s lack of interest in our initiative. However, I just heard back from my colleague Rob Acheson of the Toronto CDPI chapter that he has met with Bev Oda, Minister of International Cooperation and CIDA, Colin Carrie (Oshawa), Mike Wallace (Burlington) and David Sweet (Hamilton). Rob is diligently working on meeting with more Conservative MPs and hopefully inroads will be made.

For more about our AGM, please read this article in NOW Magazine:


Getting past the petty

We can’t make peace our foreign policy till pols stop political blood sport
Andrew Cash

Loath as I am to admit it, music alone won’t change our war-making ways.

That’s why the April 4 all-party (except the governing one) panel kicking off a conference the next day promoting the idea of a Canadian Department of Peace at Friends House on Lowther is such a tonic.

[…]

Read rest of this article here.

Listen to these NOW audio clips:

Saul Arbess, National Co-Chair of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative talks about the mandate and the roll of a minister of peace:

Bill Bhaneja, National Co-Chair of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative talks about disarmament after the end of the Cold War:

Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj talks about the difficulties big tent national parties have in moving an agenda like this forward:

Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj talks further about the importance of speaking with MP’s who have made decisions, like supporting Afghanistan, and showing them ways of changing those decisions:

http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=162548