TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 7, 2012) - Noah Richler, award-winning author of This is My Country, What's Yours? A Literary Atlas of Canada (McClelland & Stewart, 2006 http://www.mcclelland.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780771075377) and What We Talk About When We Talk About War (Goose Lane Editions, 2012 http://www.gooselane.com/books.php?ean=9780864926227), will present a special reading at a fund-raising event, tonight, for US Iraq War resisters who are seeking status in Canada.
|Event: Telling our Story: A Fundraiser for US Iraq War Resisters and their Ongoing Struggle
|Date: Friday, December 7, 2012
|Time: 7:00 p.m. EST
|Location: Innis Town Hall, University of Toronto
|2 Sussex Avenue (at St. George Street)
The event will also feature:
- a panel of US Iraq War resisters speaking about their first-hand experiences that made them become conscientious objectors; and
- a sneak preview of Peace Has No Borders, a new film by Denis Mueller and Deb Ellis.
In 2009, Mr. Richler wrote an opinion-editorial about Iraq War resisters that was published by The Globe and Mail (excerpts below): http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/dodging-war-whos-the-hero/article1146817/.
… we are relying on our poor to fight our wars for us. During the Vietnam era, this was not the case, as the U.S. draft lottery meant that educated middle-class children were as likely to be conscripted as the poor, so that American outrage against the war cut across all social classes and the border with Canada, too. "War resisters," "draft dodgers" or "deserters" - call them what you like - had a voice that was impossible to ignore.
Today, however, we can turn our gaze away, and do so easily, because the great majority of us have no immediate stake in the dirty work that is being done for us.
And so we heap scorn on the vulnerable few. We act as if our own achievement, of living safely far from the conflict, is so great that we can condemn these men's and women's change of heart. We talk of "heroes" to the point of the term's dilution, because doing so serves the purpose of propping up our jingoism, and every war requires its bevy of supporters hollering securely from the back.
If our society is so weak that a few deserters can threaten our alliances, then we should stop bullying the weak and the poor and do what's fair: Conscript across all classes. Then see who wails.