Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Brandon Huey, "Letter to the editor," Nelson Daily News, October 30, 2007.

As one of the American war resisters currently residing in Nelson, I felt compelled to respond to T.W. Borm's letter, as it contains a great amount of misinformation. In his letter, Mr. Borm states that we have broken Canadian law by entering this wonderful country. As to why Canadian Security Services do not "escort us to the border," In the extradition treaty Canada has signed with the United States, it clearly explains that for an individual to be extradited from Canada, he must have committed an act that is considered a criminal offence in both countries. Deserting the US military is by no means considered a crime in Canada.

I did not lie to anybody when I crossed the Canadian border, and the last time I checked, the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls was a legal border crossing. Nor is it illegal to apply for refugee status upon crossing the border (or else Citizenship and Immigration would not have allowed us to do so.) I do agree with Mr. Borm, however, that it is the role of the police and government to enforce Canadian laws, and
protect the people. That is why the police must focus on arresting and locking up murderers and rapists, rather than people who refuse to kill.

Now as for the personal attacks made against us about being "freeloaders", I will have Mr. Borm know that I do, in fact, have a legal SIN number. I have supported myself in this country on the sweat of my brow, and the strength of my back (most of my jobs have been hard, manual labour) and I have paid income tax to the government of Ontario . (I just recently moved to Nelson) I have been in Canada since 2004, and never have I been on Social Assistance. Mr. Borm should do his research on Canadian immigration laws. Anyone who has applied for refugee status, is entitled to apply for a work permit and SIN number. It usually takes about six months to arrive. Mr Borm may disagree with my political viewpoints, and that is his right, however, he has NO right to launch such personal attacks against people he has never met, especially when he does not have the correct information. Mr. Borm goes on to ask the question, when is war legal or illegal?

Clearly, again, he has failed to do his research. The UN charter states that an unprovoked act of aggression is illegal. Even worse than that however, is the blatant violation of human rights in Iraq. Innocent people have had their homes raided and destroyed. They have seen their relatives either murdered or detained, and they have been tortured and brutalized by U.S. forces. This has all happened to them within their own country. How would people react if Canadians were treated in this manner? I will not treat anybody in this way. I will not go to another country to brutalize people who have never threatened me. I will not take an innocent life. Instead, I choose to live a hard-working, peaceful life. I ask the citizens of Nelson to
please forgive me for engaging in such criminal behaviour.

Brandon Hughey
(Proud Nelson resident)
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