canadian authorities deport iraq war resister kimberly rivera to the u.s.

by Tim Phillips

After becoming disenchanted with the Iraq war, Kimberly Rivera crossed the border into Canada while on leave from the U.S. Army in February 2007. She lived there for five years with her husband and four children. Today, after receiving a deportation order last month, she presented herself at the U.S. border, where she was arrested and transferred to military custody. She could face a prison sentence of two to five years.

According to Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s article in Monday’s Globe and Mail newspaper,

Ms. Rivera, who is from Texas, joined the U.S. Army when she was 24 and was stationed in Baghdad. She believed the U.S. efforts would make her country safer. Disillusioned by the reality of civilian casualties, she came to Canada in 2007 and applied for refugee status. She felt she could no longer participate in a war where she was contributing to causing harm and death to innocent people.

Although the criminal legal system punishes people for opposing injustice in ways society deems too bold or confrontational, it isn’t deterring everyone. For many, this increases their resolve to change the course of history.