Once again the world's attention is centered on this cross-borders peace event being planned for July 5th to 8th, 2007 at the Brilliant Cultural Center in the community of Brilliant, part of the city of Castlegar, British Columbia, Canada. We invite you to participate in the 2nd Annual Our Way Home Peace Event and Reunion Weekend, which will include workshop presentations, panel-discussions, live theatre performances, a film festival, keynote presentations and a major peace concert.
Daniel Ellsberg was born in Detroit in 1931. After graduating from Harvard in 1952 with a B.A. Summa cum Laude in Economics, he studied for a year at King's College, Cambridge University, on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship.
Between 1954 and 1957, Ellsberg spent three years in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving as rifle platoon leader, operations officer, and rifle company commander.
From 1957-59 he was a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows, Harvard University. He earned his Ph.D. in Economics at Harvard in 1962 with his thesis, Risk, Ambiguity and Decision.
In 1959, he became a strategic analyst at the RAND Corporation, and consultant to the Department of Defense and the White House, specializing in problems of the command and control of nuclear weapons, nuclear war plans, and crisis decision-making.
He joined the Defense Department in 1964 as Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs) John McNaughton, working on Vietnam. He transferred to the State Department in 1965 to serve two years at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, evaluating pacification on the front lines.
On return to the RAND Corporation in 1967, he worked on the Top Secret McNamara study of U.S. Decision-making in Vietnam, 1945-68, which later came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. In 1969, he photocopied the 7,000 page study and gave it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; in 1971 he gave it to the New York Times, Washington Post and 17 other newspapers. His trial, on twelve felony counts posing a possible sentence of 115 years, was dismissed in 1973 on grounds of governmental misconduct against him, which led to the convictions of several White House aides and figured in the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon.
Since the end of the Vietnam War he has been a lecturer, writer and activist on the dangers of the nuclear era and unlawful interventions.
Ellsberg is the recipient of the Inaugural Ron Ridenhour Courage Award; a prize established by The Nation Institute and The Fertel Foundation. On September 28, 2006 he was awarded the Sweden's Right Livelihood Award, also know as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize'.
"Special Guest Presenter"
Peggy Mason's distinguished career highlights diplomatic and specialist
expertise in the field of international peace and security, with a particular
emphasis on the United Nations, where she served as Canada's Ambassador for
Disarmament from 1989 through 1994. During this period she headed the Canadian
delegation to numerous diplomatic conferences including the 1990 Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference and the 1991 Biological and
Toxin Weapons Review Conference. In 1994-1995 she chaired a UN Expert Study
that inter alia examined the work of the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) and the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in relation to disarmament in Iraq and
she served on the UN Secretary-General's Disarmament Advisory Board from 1993 to
Peggy Mason has been a faculty member of the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre since
1996 and has developed and delivered course material ranging from the role of
the Political/Diplomatic Partner in Peace Operations, and the Legal Framework
for Peace Operations to the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration of
Ex-combatants. As a trainer and role player, she brings the UN perspective to a
range of NATO peacekeeping training exercises.
She has been an Advisor to the Canadian Foreign Ministry on the control of small
arms and light weapons, chaired the UN 2001 Group of Governmental Experts study
on small arms regulation and has been a member of the Canadian delegation to UN
conferences and meetings seeking to develop and implement a comprehensive plan
of action to address the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light
weapons, the most recent of which was held in New York in January 2006.
A Senior Fellow at The Norman Paterson School of International Relations (NPSIA)
since November 2002, Peggy Mason has, inter alia, taught a graduate seminar on
International Organizations, helped train young Kuwaiti diplomats and, most
recently, become a member and chair of the Advisory Board to the new Canadian
Centre for Treaty Compliance at NPSIA.
Ms. Mason is active with a number of non-governmental organizations including
chairing the Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee (CPCC) and the
Ottawa-based foreign policy NGO, the Group of 78. She is a Senior Advisor to
the Ottawa-based Rideau Institute Project on Space Security, a member of the
Council of the World Federalist Movement-Canada and a member of the Canadian
"Special Guest Presenter"
Arun Gandhi, is grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and is president and co-founder along with his wife, Sunanda of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence in Memphis, Tennessee.
Born in 1934 in Durban, South Africa, Arun is the fifth grandson of India's legendary leader, Mohandas K. "Mahatma" Gandhi. Growing up under the discriminatory apartheid laws of South Africa, he was beaten by "white" South Africans for being too black and "black" South Africans for being too white; so, Arun sought eye-for-an-eye justice. However, he learned from his parents and grandparents that justice does not mean revenge, it means transforming the opponent through love and suffering.
Grandfather taught Arun to understand nonviolence through understanding violence. "If we know how much passive violence we perpetrate against one another we will understand why there is so much physical violence plaguing societies and the world." Gandhi said. Through daily lessons, Arun says, he learned about violence and about anger.
Arun shares these lessons all around the world. For the past five years, he has participated in the Renaissance Weekend deliberations with President Clinton and other well-respected Rhodes Scholars. This year, some of his engagements included speaking at the Chicago Children's Museum and the Women's Justice Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He also delivered talks at the Young President's Organization in Mexico, the Trade Union Leaders. Meeting in Milan, Italy, as well as the Peace and Justice Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Sometimes, his journeys take him even further. Arun has spoken in Croatia, France, Ireland, Holland, Lithuania, Nicaragua, China, and Japan. Also, he is a very popular speaker on college campuses. In the past year, he spoke at the University of Rochester, North Dakota State University, Concordia College, Baker University, Morehouse College, Marquette University, and the University of San Diego.
Arun is very involved in social programs and writing as well. Shortly after Arun married his wife Sunanda, they were informed the South African government would not allow her to accompany him there. Sunanda and Arun decided to live in India, and Arun worked for 30 years as a journalist for The Times of India. Together, Arun and Sunanda started projects for the social and economic upliftment of the oppressed using constructive programs, the backbone of Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence. The programs changed the lives of more than half a million people in over 300 villages and they still continue to grow. Arun is the author of several books. The first, A Patch of White (1949), is about life in prejudiced South Africa; then, he wrote two books on poverty and politics in India; followed by a compilation of M.K. Gandhi's Wit & Wisdom. He also edited a book of essays on World Without Violence: Can Gandhi's Vision Become Reality? And, more recently, wrote The Forgotten Woman: The Untold Story of Kastur, the Wife of Mahatma Gandhi, jointly with Sunanda.
Leonard I. Weinglass has been defending political cases arising out of the
movements for peace and civil rights in the United States for over 30
years and served as trial counsel in such well known cases as: the Chicago
Seven; the Pentagon Papers trial; the trial of Jane Fonda in her suit
against Richard Nixon; African-American radical Angela Davis; Bill and
Emily Harris, charged with kidnapping Patty Hearst; Amy Carter, the
daughter of the former president Jimmy Carter, charged with the seizure of
a building at the University of Massachusetts; Mumia Abu Jamal, death row
inmate; Kathy Boudin, former Weatherman; and the five Cubans charged with
espionage in Miami. He also defended a series of death penalty cases in
Georgia, Alabama, and Washington State.. Over the years he has served as
an official observer in trials in Asia, Europe and South America. In 1974
he became the first recipient of the Clarence Darrow Award. Currently he
practices law solo out of his office in New York City.
Tom Hayden,'60's icon. Leader of the student movement, leader the anti-war movement (one of the "Chicago Seven"), and a leading activist in the civil rights movement. Tom Hayden was among the most progressive Senators in California, initiating far reaching environmental and worker rights legislation. Tom Hayden has been speaking up in opposition to the US occupation of Iraq. He has recently joined a group of US notables calling for Canadians to send a letter directly to Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, urging him to allow U.S. soldiers to enter Canada if they request permission to do so during the US War in Iraq.
Andria Hill-Lehr is a mother, grandmother, counsellor, therapist, facilitator, freelance writer and author. She is the Nova Scotia rep for the Voice of Women (VOW) for Peace. Her son returns June 29 from a 6-month deployment in Kandahar, during which time Andria has continued to challenge the government and its continuing mission in Afghanistan, writing articles and letters, giving public talks, and appearing on CBC Radio's "Sounds Like Canada" and CBC Television's "Sunday Report".
Cherie R. Brown is Founder-Executive Director of the National Coalition
Building Institute (NCBI), an internationally recognized nonprofit leadership
training organization. In eighteen years, Cherie Brown has built NCBI into one
of the leading diversity training and grassroots leadership organizations with
chapters in 50 cities worldwide. NCBI has trained over 10,000 men, women and
young people in cities, corporations and on college campuses around the world.
These NCBI-trained leaders work together in teams to provide a powerful
resource for their communities - combating prejudice, resolving intergroup conflict and launching activist-based coalitions.
Cherie Brown's work has been featured on ABC Evening News, National Public Radio (NPR), Christian Science Monitor World News; and in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Time's Sunday Magazine, New York Times, Boston Globe and Chicago Tribune. In 1999, the work of NCBI was designated a "best practice for racial reconciliation" by President Clinton's Initiative on Race. The U.S. Department of Education chose NCBI's work on race and gender issues on college campuses as one of only five organizations to receive a designation of "best practice". A partial listing of groups Ms. Brown has worked with:
- United States Congress
- Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
- National League of Cities
- U.S. Department of Education
- National Education Association
- Governor's Office - State of New York
- Los Angeles Police Department
- National Women's Political Caucus
- The Teamsters Union
- National Organization of Women (NOW)
- National Crime Prevention Council
- Jewish Center for Leadership and Values
- Unitarian Universalist Church
Cherie Brown has directed training programs in the following countries: ISRAEL - trained Arab-
Jewish Cooperation Groups in Israel, 1967-2006; SALAMANCA, SPAIN - led workshops at the
International Conference on Muslim- Christian-Jewish Relations, 1991; ENGLAND - developed a
Coalition Training Session for Anti-Racism Trainers on the London City Council, 1990-2006;
NORTHERN IRELAND - led training programs for Catholic-Protestant Reconciliation at Holiday
Project, Glencree Reconciliation Center 1989-1995; THE NETHERLANDS - led a prejudice
reduction training at the Anne Frank House, 1992; SOUTH AFRICA - delivered keynote address
at the Conference, "Building a New South Africa", 1993; and delivered speech on anti-Semitism
at the U.N. Conference on Racism; Durban, South Africa, 2001; CHINA - United Nations
Conference on Women, 1995
Cherie Brown has an M.Ed in Counseling and Consulting Psychology from Harvard University and
is author of a number of publications, including: Healing Prejudicial Attitudes in Intergroup
Conflicts: The NCBI Controversial Issues Process, 1996; Healing Into Action: A Leadership Guide
for Creating Diverse Communities; 1997. The Art of Coalition Building: A Guide for Community
Leaders, 1984; Working It Out: Blacks and Jews on the College Campus, 1985; Conflict
Resolution in the Classroom: Training Elementary School Children to be Prejudice Reduction
Leaders, 1986; Working It Out: Kids and Race, produced by Boston WBZ-TV; Racism on Campus:
Confronting Racial Bias through Peer Intervention, 1991;
Yonatan Shapira, aged 34, was a Captain in the Israeli Air Force reserves. He is also a military refuser.
Yonatan joined the Israeli Defense Force in 1991 and graduated from the Israel Air Force flight course in 1993. He served as a regular in the Air Force until 1999. While a regular, he flew primarily as a rescue helicopter pilot, completing well over 100 missions, including missions in Lebanon.
In 2001, while a civilian pilot and member of the Reserves, Yonatan was called back to service to become one of the founding members of the Israel Air Force's new Black Hawk squadron, for which he received specialized training in the US Army. Following initiation of the squadron, he resumed his status in the reserves. As a reservist, he served as a pilot, operations leader and instructor.
In September 2003, Yonatan, along with 26 other Air Force pilots, signed a declaration refusing to participate in attacks on populated areas in the Occupied Palestinian Territories because of the belief that these attacks are illegal, immoral and do not serve the security of Israel. After authoring and issuing the "Pilot's Letter" he was dismissed from the Israeli Air Force by the Air Force commander, General Dan Halutz.
Since then Yonatan has been active in several anti-occupation groups, including Yesh-Gvul. He is one of the founding members of Combatants for Peace - an Israeli-Palestinian organization of former combatants from both sides who are now committed to the non violent struggle to end the occupation and the cycle of violence.
Yonatan lives in Tel Aviv and New York. In addition to his work as a pilot, he volunteers for "SELA," the Israeli Crisis Management Center, an organization dedicated to aiding new immigrants and victims of terror and he volunteers also for "Etgarim - Challenges" as a sailing instructor for people with disabilities. Yonatan is also a musician and recently has released his first recording.
Yonatan Shapira is currently working to complete a Masters' Degree under the auspices of The European Center for Peace and Conflict Studies (EPU).
David Cline is the US national president of Veterans For Peace. He is a disabled combat veteran who served with the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam during 1967. Upon his return he joined the GI antiwar movement and helped publish the underground Fatigue Press at Fort Hood, Texas. In 1970 he joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War and has been a member ever since. He has worked with homeless veterans, in PTSD rap groups and co-founded the Jersey City Vietnam Veterans Memorial Committee. He has also been involved in the labor movement as a shop steward in the American Postal Workers Union and as local vice-president in the Transport Workers Union.
Mark C. Johnson, Ph.D., became the executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation/USA on March 1, 2007. A 1969 graduate of The College of Wooster in Ohio, and with a 1981 doctorate in sociology from Columbia University in the City of New York, Mark has spent most of his professional career in the YMCA and as a volunteer in environmental, arts, and peace and social justice organizations. His longest tenure was as the executive director of the Silver Bay Association, a YMCA conference and training center on Lake George in the Adirondacks. He was president of the Lake George Land Conservancy for eight years and a trustee with the Adirondack Nature Conservancy and Adirondack Land Trust for nine years. Mark did his alternative service as a conscientious objector in Lebanon, living and teaching in Beirut for six years. Over the past six years he has been active with the emergent Alliance for Middle East Peace and has supported the development of leadership and training programs for young adults at the Jerusalem International YMCA as a member of the staff of the YMCA of the USA. He is married and has three adult children. He lives in New City, New York near the Nyack, New York headquarters of FOR. www.forusa.org.
Mark Nykanen, is a four time Emmy Award Winning Investigative Journalist for NBC TV. Nykanen is war resister who has moved with his family to Nelson, BC and is working as a fiction writer.
Jeffrey House, is legal counsel representing Jeremy Hinzman, and other US military deserters who are applying for refugee status in Canada. Jeffrey House was called to the Bar in Ontario and practices law in Toronto. Mr. House came to Canada as a US draft resister during the Vietnam War.
Steve Morse of Oakland, CA. has been active with the GI Rights Hotline where he's been a counselor for eight years and was a coordinator for two years. He's an active member of Veterans for Peace, Chapter 69. In the mid and late 60's, he was active with Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and did alternative service as a conscientious objector that included draft resistance work and anti-war outreach to GI's. In 1969, he joined the Army to be part of GI resistance, which included in four months in Vietnam and six months of stockade confinement for distributing dissident literature. He was a sheet metal worker and shop steward and has also taught mathematics.
John Hagan, PhD, Professor
Emeritus, Sociology Department, University of Toronto and John D. MacArthur
Professor of Sociology, Northwestern University. Author of "Northwest Passage:
American Vietnam Era War Resisters in Canada".
Michelle Mason, award-winning filmmaker, regionally premiers her new feature-length documentary film, Breaking Ranks. Breaking Ranks features current US military deserters who have recently come to Canada. Michelle Mason's award winning documentary film, The Friendship Village will also be shown at the our Way Home Reunion. The Friendship Village has won six international awards, including "best documentary film" at film festivals in New York, Chicago and Boulder."
Michelle Mason is married to historian, Dr. Jeff Schutts, formerly a platoon-leader and conscientious objector from the US military. Dr. Schutts co-produced the Friendship Village and will also be a presenter at the Our Way Home Reunion.
David Zeiger is director, writer, producer of the multi-award winning documentary film, Sir! No Sir!
Sir! No Sir! does four things: 1) Brings to life the history of the US military GI movement during the Vitenam War through the stories of those who were part of it; 2) Reveals the explosion of defiance that the movement gave birth to with never-before-seen archival material; 3) Explores the profound impact that movement had on the military and the war itself; and 4) Tells the story of how and why the GI Movement has been replaced with the myth of the spat-upon veteran.
David Zeiger's Sir! No Sir! challenges deeply-held beliefs not just about the Vietnam War and those who fought it, but about the world we live in today. It is a vivid portrayal of William Faulkner's famous observation that "The past isn't dead; it isn't even past."
David Zeiger's most recent previous film, A Night of Ferocious Joy, premiered at the International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam. The festival, which featured it as part of its "USA Today" Section, described the film as "not an ordinary concert film... because it will go down in history as the first anti-war concert of the new millennium." It's U.S. festival premiere was at South by Southwest in 2004, which described it as "A rousing and eventful performance film."
Zeiger created, produced and directed the 13 part documentary series, Senior Year, for broadcast on PBS in January 2002. The series follows a group of 15 students at Fairfax High, the most diverse school in Los Angeles, through their last year in high school. About the series, Entertainment Weekly wrote, "Others have tried to document high school life (remember American High?), but this series succeeds where those drier efforts failed... High school is a time for experimentation, and finally, a truly experimental filmmaker is there." Senior Year was broadcast in Europe on Planete Cable, and was a premiere series on the new U.S. English/Spanish cable network SITV in 2004.
His short film Funny Old Guys premiered August, 2002, at the Museum of Television and Radio in Los Angeles. Its television premiere was August 19, 2003, on the HBO Documentary series "Still Kicking, Still Laughing." Funny Old Guys captures the final months of the life of Frank Tarloff, formerly blacklisted Academy Award winning writer, as he and a group of friends, all former TV and film writers, confront his imminent death.
The Band, Mr. Zeiger's tribute to his son, aired to critical acclaim on the PBS series P.O.V. in 1998. It has screened at the International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam and AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles, and was awarded "Best Documentary" and "Best of Show" at the Central Florida Film Festival. The Band was broadcast in 2000 on the French/German network ARTE.
Displaced in the New South aired in the United States on PBS in 1996 and on The Discovery Channel International in 1997. That film looks at life in and around Atlanta from the point of view of Vietnamese and Mexican immigrants. Its festival screenings include the Chicago Latino, Cine Accion Latino, South by Southwest, Doubletake and San Francisco Asian American Film Festivals. Displaced in the New South was the inspiration for the Indigo Girls' single "Shame on You", featured on their 1997 release Shaming of the Sun.
Jack Silberman has been producing, writing, and directing documentary
films for 25 years. His films have won more than 60 international
awards and have been broadcast on television networks around the world.
His film, Bombies, was about the problem of unexploded cluster bombs
in Laos, the deadly legacy of a secret US air war. It won first
place awards at 10 film festivals, was broadcast on PBS and
international television networks, and is widely used by peace
His most recent film, Raised To be Heroes, which he directed and
wrote for the National Film Board of Canada, is about refuseniks -
Israelis who refuse to fight in the Occupied Territories. Set
against the conflict in the Middle East, it explores issues of peace,
conscience, and personal responsibility.
Mike Wong was born and raised in San Francisco. As an American soldier during
the Viet Nam war, he was very influenced by the anti-war movement, the pictures
of other GIs murdering Vietnamese civilians at My Lai, and reports from fellow
soldiers returning from Viet Nam. When he received Viet Nam orders, he went
AWOL for two weeks, then turned himself in to the Presidio stockade with his
lawyer, pleaded guilty to AWOL, refused orders to Viet Nam, and attempted to
press a limited conscientious objector (objection to a particular war, not
legitimate national defense) case. The Army turned him down, dropped three
felony charges worth a total of 15 years in prison, released him from the
stockade, and put him back on Viet Nam orders. He escaped to Canada and lived
in exile for five years. He returned after the war, pleaded guilty to Long
Term AWOL, and received an Undesirable Discharge. He later earned a Masters
degree in Social Work, and has been a social worker for 30 years. Since the
first Gulf War he has been a member of Veterans for Peace and the Veterans
Writers Group. He is featured in the film about the Vietnam era GI anti-war
movement, "Sir! No Sir!" and the anthology edited by Maxine Hong
Kingston, "Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace."
Dr. Stephen Zunes is a Professor of Politics at the University of San
Francisco and the Middle East editor for Foreign Policy in Focus. He
serves on the advisory board for the Tikkun Community, the
International Center on Nonviolent Conflict and other peace and human
rights organizations He is a foreign affairs columnist for the
National Catholic Reporter, an associate editor of Peace Review and a
regular contributor to the Common Dreams News Center. His
commentaries have appeared in major daily newspapers throughout the
United States, Canada, and Europe and he has frequently provided
analysis on radio news programs for BBC, CBC, NPR and Pacifica, among
others. Professor Zunes is the author of scores of articles for
scholarly and general readership on Middle Eastern politics, U.S. foreign
policy, international terrorism, social movements, and human rights. He
is the principal editor of Nonviolent Social Movements and the author of
the highly-acclaimed Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of
Terrorism. He won recognition in 2002 from the
Peace and Justice Studies Association as Peace Scholar of the Year.
Keith Mather is a member of Veterans for Peace. For 13 years Keith Mather
has been a member of Veterans Writers Workshop, led by internationally renowed
US author Maxine Hong Kingston. Keith Mather has authored his story in a book
to be published in April 2006, "Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace", edited by
Maxine Hong Kingston.
Keith Mather was Drafted right out of high school in Sept 1967. He was in fact
opposed to the Vietnam War when he was drafted. Keith trained as an
Infantryman at Fort Lewis, Washington. While in the military he became
increasingly opposed to the war. Keith Mather's first AWOL was in
December of 1967, second AWOL was in February 1968. He took part in the
"Nine for Peace" demonstration in San Francisco in July of that
year. For his anti-war activities Keith was put into the stockade at the
Presidio of San Francisco.
While awaiting his first court-martial a fellow prisoner was shot and killed
by a guard while on a work detail. Keith and 26 other prisoners staged a
non-violent sit down demonstration inside the stockade grounds, for which
they were charged with mutiny. Prior to this second court martial, Keith Mather along
with another prisoner escaped from the Presidio stockade, traveled to Canada arriving in Vancouver
January 1st 1969. Keith Mather lived in Canada for twelve years, married a
french Canadian woman, and settle first in Quebec, and eventually in British Columbia.
Upon returning to California in 1980, Keith Mather lived above ground for
four years before being arrested and put back into the army where he spent five
months at Fort Ord and Fort Riley in Kansas. Keith Mather was discharged on
May 10th, 1985.
Keith Mather now lives and works in the San Francisco Area, and travels to
Canada often, maintaining his many friendships. These days you can find Keith
Mather speaking in schools as he continues to support resistance to war. Keith
Mather featured in the newly released anti-war documentary film, "SIR! NO! SIR!".
Keith Mather indicates his thanks to Canada for its welcome and warmth.
Tom Bernard is a Labor Representative for the American Federation of
Teachers (AFT) Healthcare NW in Portland Oregon and a member of Veterans For
Peace. Tom is also a Vietnam Veteran who was trained as a Vietnamese
Linguist in the Hanoi dialect by the US Air Force. It was during his
military assignments in SE Asia that Tom became a member of Vietnam
Veterans against the War/Winter Soldier Organization (VVAW/WSO) and first
active in the GI Movement.
After being discharged from the US military, Tom worked as a field
organizer for Pacific Counseling Service/Military Law Office (PCS/MLO) at
GI Movement organizing projects in Yokosuka, Japan and Koza City, Okinawa.
He later served as the Executive Director for the Colorado Peace Network.
Tom has also authored several articles which have been widely published on
his experiences in the military. In 2005, Tom and several rank and file
members of his old military unit, collectively known as the "WORMS", were
featured in the David Zeiger, Vietnam War GI Resistance documentary film,
Sir! No Sir! Raised in Detroit, MI, Tom now lives with his wife, Helen
Lee and two dogs in North Portland. Tom and Helen have five adult children
and two gandchildren.
Bill Siksay was elected as the Member of Parliament for Burnaby-Douglas (in British Columbia) in June 2004 and re-elected in January 2006 and is a member of the NDP Shadow Cabinet serving as critic for Citizenship and Immigration. He is a member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, and a leading political spokesperson calling for the Canadian goverment to assist current US Military Deserters arriving in Canada. Bill Siksy is also caucus critic on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered issues.
Newly elected MP, Alex Atamanenko, is the son of refugees from the
Russian Revolution, who was born and raised in New Westminster, BC.
He earned a Bachelor's degree in Recreation Administration from UBC
and a Master's degree in Russian Literature from the University of
Toronto. He served as an interpreter during the Prime Minister's visit to
the Soviet Union in 1989 and for the Canadian Navy trip to Vladivostok in
As a devoted advocate for peace, he has been very active in the Kootenay Regional
United Nations Association.
He lives in the West Kootenays whenever his duties as Member of Parliament and NDP
Agriculture Critic do not require him to be in Ottawa.
Francisco Juarez joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2002 and worked in the
regular Navy before transferring to the Army Reserve as an infantry
officer. He hoped to secure a place on a rotation to Afghanistan by
2009. In the middle of officer training he decided he could no longer
support Canada's mission or be a part of a military whose focus had
He continues to speak to issues related to
international peace and security.
U.S. soldier Kyle Snyder thought he was going to the Middle East to build roads, instead, Kyle, who served almost four months in Iraq, was a gunner on a Humvee military vehicle.
Kyle Snyder deserted and fled to Canada and now lives in Alberta. Kyle has been a leading spokesperson among current war resisters who have recently fled to Canada. He is among the growing list of current US war resisters from the US War in Iraq who have come to Canada and are filing refugee claims here in Canada.
Mark Kurlansky, New York Times Bestselling author, was a draft resister who refused to serve in the Vietnam War.
As a newspaper correspondent he worked in Western and Eastern Europe,
Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean and other parts of the
world. His latest book, "Nonviolence: Twenty-five Lessons from the History of
a Dangerous Idea", is one of fifteen books he has written including 1968: the
Year that Rocked the World, Cod: a biography of the fish that changed the
world, The Basque History of the World, two works of
fiction, and three children's books. He always looks for opportunities to
campaign for peace.
Ryan Johnson is a US Military Deserter from the US War in Iraq. Ryan is from a small agricultural town in the Central Valley of California who joined the military because he otherwise could never afford to go to college, and didn't have any kind of health coverage for he and his wife. Ryan Johnson told the recruiters that he didn't want to fight in the US War in Iraq. The recruiter told Ryan that would be no problem and that he would be sent to Fort Irwin to a "non-deployable unit." But after three weeks he was told he was deploying to Iraq.
Ryan started asking questions from the soldiers in his unit who had been to Iraq and the stories he heard shocked him. Ryan Johnson was then to be deployed even though while in the hospital for pneumonia, x-rays taken discovered he had 2 fractured vertebrae from an injury sustained during his military training. Though he assumed he would receive treatment for the fractures, instead he was told there was no time for therapy because he was being sent to Iraq.
On January 15th Ryan Johnson and his wife packed their car and left Fort Irwin in California. Some months later Ryan and his wife made the decision to come to Canada, where they are going through the refugee process. Before leaving the US, Ryan Johnson and his wife were interviewed by Amy Goodman's Democracy Now, which aired on their arrival to Canada.
In the summer of 2002, when Brandon Hughey was 17, a military recruiter called his house to ask if he had thought about signing up for the military. He was told that if he was interested in going to college, he should stop by and talk to the recuiter. He decided to sign up as it may have been the only way he could have afforded a college education. He signed up on the last day of July, 2002.
As time wore on, no weapons of mass destruction could be found, nor could any connection to terrorism. He graduated basic training in November, 2003 and arrived at Ft. Hood in December. He had asked his superiors at Ft. Hood on more than one occasion to grant him a discharge from the military, but they refused saying it was not his choice. He was never informed on any route he could take to leave the military, such as applying for conscientious objector status.
According to the Nurenburg Tribunal, which was adopted by the U.N. as law, a soldier has the responsibility to refuse an order that he knows to be wrong. Based on this law, he refused my order to deploy to Iraq, and came to Canada with the help of Carl Rising-Moore, a Vietnam-era veteran and peace activist.
He is currently staying with a Quaker family in Ontario.
Peter Laufer, winner of major awards for excellence in reporting, is an
independent journalist, broadcaster and documentary filmmaker working in
traditional and new media. While a globe-trotting correspondent for NBC News,
he also reported, wrote, and produced several documentaries and special event
broadcasts for the network that dealt in detail with crucial social issues,
including the first nationwide live radio discussion of the HIV/AIDS
epidemic. "Healing the Wounds" was an analysis of ongoing problems afflicting
Vietnam War veterans.
Peter Laufer is currently the anchor of the radio program "National Geographic World Talk" and co-anchor of the radio
program "Washington Monthly on the Radio." His most recent book, "Mission
Rejected: U.S. Soldiers Who Say No to Iraq" (2006) describes how disillusioned,
outraged, and betrayed, American soldiers are taking a stand against the war in
Iraq. The book includes individual chapters on US war resisters in Canada,
including a chapter on Ryan and Jen Johnson who will be attendng the 2nd Annual
Our Way Home Peace Event and Reunion.
Lee Zaslofsky was born in Brooklyn, NY and was educated at the State University of New York and at the University of Toronto. He was drafted into the US Army in early 1969. Though opposed to the Vietnam War, he decided to report for duty. He was sent to Fort Jackson, SC, and trained as an infantryman. During his time in the Army he applied for CO Status, but was refused. He took part in antiwar activities on the base. In December 1969 he received orders to go to Vietnam. He deserted, and crossed the Canadian border in January 1970. He has lived in Toronto since then. In 1975 Zaslofsky retuned briefly to the US and was processed out of the Army at Ft. Dix, NJ. He did not apply for an amnesty. Later that year he became a Canadian citizen.
In Canada, Zaslofsky has been a political and community activist, at various times holding positions as Executive Assistant to City Councillor Jack Layton; Constituency Assistant to Dan Heap, MP; Health Advocate at a Community Health Centre, and Media and Advocacy Coordinator at the AIDS Committee of Toronto. He has served as a Citizen Member of the Toronto Board of Health, Chair of the Community Advisory Committees at Doctors Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital; and Chair of the Board of Scadding Court Community Centre. Since 2004, Zaslofsky has been Coordinator of the War Resisters Support Campaign, based at the National Office in Toronto.
Sol Guy is one of Canada's leading music executives in the urban music sector, with 17 years of experience in the music industry, entertainment and media. He is listed by Diversity Watch as one of Canada's most prominent black figures. Sol has been an influential contributor to the rise of global hip hop culture, and one of the top marketing experts in the world for youth culture. Sol Guy is credited with developing the urban music market in Canada, including organizing "The Hip Hop Explosion Tour" the first national hip hop tour. He has served as Urban Product Manager at BMG Canada as well as International Director for Arista Records in New York City where he led the development of the urban music market internationally.
Sol has helped globally develop and market top artists such as Lauryn Hill, P Diddy, India Arie, k-os, Rascalz, The Roots, Outkast, Kardinal Offishall, Dead Prez, B.I.G. and The Wu-Tang Clan. Over the years, he has worked in marketing, A&R, and international development for BMG Canada, Arista Records, Motown, LaFace, Bad Boy, Columbia Records, Universal Music, BMG Global, RCA Records, J Records, Interscope, MCA, Geffen Records, Loud Records, SRC, and Sony/Columbia. Using his expertise in marketing, Sol Guy started the first National Street Team in Canada, combining innovative marketing and promotion strategies to bring hip-hop into the mainstream of Canadian culture. He also started the International Street Team to market hip hop globally. Sol Guy is the co-founder of Direct Current Media and host of the TV series 4REAL. His mission is to use music, film, television and hip hop culture as a vehicle for change, promoting empowerment for global youth.
Dr. Susan Hardwick is a Professor of Geography at the University of Oregon who specializes in the cultural geography of Canada and the U.S. She is an internationally known consultant and expert on the migration of various immigrant and refugee groups in western Canada and the U.S. Most recently Prof. Hardwick has been directing a grant funded longterm project that is documenting and mapping the migration, settlement, and political and sociocultural identities of U.S.-born immigrants in British Columbia. She is also the senior author of a university-level Prentice Hall textbook on North American regional geography (2007), a co-editor of a forthcoming Brookings Institution book on immigration issues in North American metropolitan areas, an has published five other books and a long list of journal articles on issues related to the ever-changing patterns and cultures of America's and Canada's diverse populations.
Dr. Hardwick was named "Statewide Outstanding Professor" for the entire California State University System in 1995 and is the past president of the National Council for Geographic Education. She also holds numerous awards for excellence in teaching and research, and is widely traveled in North America, Greenland, the former Soviet Union, and Southeast Asia.
Lara Campbell is an Assistant Professor of Women's Studies at Simon Fraser
University in British Columbia. Her current research project is on the role
of American women in the draft resistance movement, and the relationships
between Canadian and American women in antiwar politics in Canada.
Juergen Dankwort, M.S.W., Ph.D., is a peace activist, director of a research institute in Vancouver, and sociology instructor at Kwantlen University in B.C. He has worked in the domestic violence field for over a decade, including staff development training, designing and implementing offender programs, evaluating offender program effectiveness, and serving as resource person to government for domestic violence policy and protocol development. Dr. Dankwort has published and lectured extensively in North America and overseas on this and related topics. His current interests and research includes using the "sociological imagination" to explore the relationship between interpersonal violence and state-sanctioned aggression and abuse.
Matthew Fuchs was born in 1979 in St. John's Newfoundland. He completed his Bachelors degree in Anthropology in May 2006. Currently he is enrolled in graduate school at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. There, Matthew studies social and cultural Anthropology, concentrating on the Children of Vietnam Draft Dodgers and Military Deserters living in Canada. Matthew is also an active member of the St. John's Campaign Against War.
Dr. Lori Olafson is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she teaches qualitative research methods. She graduated from the University of Saskatchewan (BA 1984) and from the University of Calgary (B.Ed.1986; MA 1996; PhD, 1999). She has been on sabbatical for the 2006-2007 academic year conducting a research study on moral reasoning of war resisters and veterans of the Vietnam War.
Dr. Michael Taft has been a folklorist and oral historian for 35 years. He is also a librarian and archivist who, for the last six years, has been head of the Archive of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Previously, he was curator of the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina, and the archivist of the Vermont Folklife Center. Most of his career, however, has been spent in Canada, where, for many years, he was a freelance folklorist. He received a PhD in Folklore from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a post-doctoral certificate in Folklore from Universite Laval. He has taught folklore at a number of Canadian universities, including Saint Mary's University, University of Saskatchewan, and University of Regina. He was also the university archivist and head of special collections at the University of Northern British Columbia.
Taft was born in New York City where he lived until 1968, when he moved to Toronto to avoid the draft. He became a Canadian citizen in 1975 and now holds dual American-Canadian citizenship. Among his interests as a folklorist has been Americans as an ethnic group in Canada, and how Americans recognize, ignore, reveal, attempt to conceal, or exploit their American identity within the Canadian context. In 1976, he read a paper at the American Folklore Society annual meeting on the traditions of draft dodgers, using his own experiences, to some extent, as a resource for his study. Ten years later, he conducted an extensive study of American expatriates living on Cape Breton Island, a number of which were draft dodgers.
Jason Friedman, Doctoral Candidate at Michigan State University, is writing his dissertation on presidential power and relations with Congress in the late 1970s, including the question of amnesty. His research focuses on the presidencies of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and how their administrations promoted comity. His research thus rejects the prevailing caricature of Ford and Carter as failed presidents and instead highlights their efforts to return democratic process to the federal government. Friedman has presented at various conferences and publishes on the history of conscription policy as a major source of contention between the president and Congress.
Joseph Jones worked for more than twenty-five years as a professional librarian. He is librarian emeritus at the University of British Columbia, and author of Reference Sources for Canadian Literary Studies (University of Toronto Press). Choice designated this book an Outstanding Academic Title for 2005, one of seventeen in the category of humanities reference.
Since 2000 he has been working on various topics related to the history of Vietnam War resisters in Canada. The central project is a comprehensive annotated bibliography for the subject. Publications related to this research include a bibliographical history of the Manual for Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada and a study of the statistics related to the Vietnam-era American migration to Canada.
In the early 1970s he had direct involvement with war resister communities in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. His most extensive association was with the Amex-Canada collective in Toronto. He is preparing a detailed index to the ten years of the group's magazine. His draft resistance case was among the few thousand still unresolved at the time of the Carter pardon.
Donald W. Maxwell is a Ph.D. candidate in history at Indiana University. As a young boy looking out the window of his parents' '64 Ford Fairlane, he saw young men hitchhiking in Michigan, but it was 30 years before he realized who they were and where they were going. As a pacifist and with an interest in the history of Americans moving to Canada, draft resistance during the Vietnam War seemed like a natural dissertation topic. His paper, "Politics and Religion at the Border: Canadian Church Support for American Vietnam War Resisters," is based on his article of the same name that appeared in the Autumn 2006 issue of Journal of Church and State.
Aisling Murphy is an MA student in history at Simon Fraser University studying the migration of Americans to Vancouver during the Vietnam War.
Minko Sotiron left the University of California at Berkeley (BA 67) to enter Canada as a draft dodger in 1967. He earned an MA (72) at Simon Fraser University and a PhD (91) in History at Concordia University. He has published From Politics to Profit: The Commercialization of Canadian Daily Newspapers 1890-1920 (McGill-Queen's UP). He teaches History at John Abbott College and Concordia University in Montreal.
Jessica Squires is a PhD candidate in History at Carleton University in Ottawa. She is a longtime peace and social justice activist and a supporter of today's War Resister Support Campaign. Her dissertation, on Canadian support for Vietnam war resisters from the United States, will be completed in 2007-2008.
Peace Concert Performers
The concert producer will be Gary Cristall. Cristall was co-founder and for many years director of the Vancouver Folk Festival.
Bob Bossin has been a vital presence in Canadian folk music for 40 years. Songwriter, bandleader, raconteur and organizer, Bob's crowing glory as a peace activist was creating and selling thousands of bottles of Dr. Bossin's Home Remedy for Nuclear War- it's money back gurantee has worked so far. Bob Bossin will be honouring us this year by MC'ing Saturday's Peace Concert and Sunday's Final Ceremony. He will also be performing some of his most famous songs at the Peace Concert.
Holly Near - is a unique combination of entertainer, teacher and activist. She was a major figure speaking out in opposition to the Vietnam War and supporting the GI Movement opposing the Vietnam War. An immense vocal talent, Near's career as a singer has been profoundly defined by an unwillingness to separate her passion for music from her passion for human dignity. She is a skilled performer and an outspoken ambassador for peace who brings to the stage an integration of world consciousness, spiritual discovery, and theatricality. Near's strength and versatility as a performer has led to creative collaborations with such artists as Ronnie Gilbert, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Mercedes Sosa, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Inti-Illimani, Bonnie Raitt, Cris Williamson, and Linda Tillery. Near's portrait hangs at The Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio along with those of other social change artists including Paul Robeson, Marion Anderson, Pete Seeger, Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, and Woody Guthrie.
"Country" Joe McDonald was the leader and lead singer of the 1960s rock & roll group Country Joe and the Fish. He started his career busking on Berkeley, California's famous Telegraph Avenue in the early 60's.
Country Joe has recorded 33 albums and has written hundreds of songs over a career spanning 40 years. He and Barry Melton co-founded Country Joe and The Fish which became a pioneer psychedelic band with their eclectic performances at The Avalon, Fillmore, Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock. Their best-known song is his "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag", a black comedy novelty song about the Vietnam War, whose familiar chorus ("One, two, three, what are we fighting for?") is well known to the Woodstock generation and Vietnam Vets of the 1960s and 1970s.
In 2004 Country Joe reformed some original members of Country Joe and The Fish as the Country Joe Band - Bruce Barthol, David Bennett Cohen, and Gary "Chicken" Hirsh. The band toured Los Angeles, Berkeley, Bolinas, Sebastopol, Grants Pass, Eugene, Portland and Seattle. They then made a 10 stop tour of the United Kingdom and played at the Isle of Wight and London. Following that came the New York tour which included a Woodstock reunion performance followed by an appearance at the New York State Museum in Albany. Returning to the West Coast the band played in Marin and Mendocino Counties, the World Peace Music Awards in San Francisco and at the Oakland Museum as part of an exhibit on the Vietnam War.
In the spring of 2005, McDonald joined a larger protest against California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed budget cuts at the California state capital.
In the fall of 2005, political commentator Bill O'Reilly compared McDonald, a Navy veteran, to Cuban Communist dictator Fidel Castro, remarking on McDonald's involvement in Cindy Sheehan's protests against the Iraq War.
One critic described Rosalie Sorrels' singing voice as one of the most
wonderful voices in American music, an instrument as mellow and finely
aged as an antique viola. Rosalie Sorrels was at the Newport Folk Festival
in 1966. In recognition of her role as a creator of and collaborator in
the American culture of the second half of the twentieth century, the
University of California at Santa Cruz has set up a Rosalie Sorrels
Archive as part of its Beat Generation Archives.
The University of Idaho awarded Rosalie Sorrels an honorary Doctorate of
Fine Arts degree in 2000. In 2001 the Boise Peace Quilt Project presented
her with a peace quilt, adding her name to the distinguished list of
workers for peace and justice who have been presented with quilts.
Rosalie has recorded over 20 albums and written three books, including Way
Out in Idaho, published in honor of the Idaho centenary, a monumental
collection of songs, stories, pictures, and recipes gathered in the course
of three years spent traveling around her home state and listening to its
Maryem Tollar is a splendidly versatile artist with an impressive resume that
spans world, pop and classical music. Possessed with a voice that has been
hailed as one of the wonders of the modern world, she performs regularly as
part of Jesse Cook's ensemble and appears on his recordings Montreal and Nomad.
She is a featured vocalist in Christos Hatzis' operas and was nominated for a
Dora Award for her role in Constantinople . She is also the co-founder of the
Juno-nominated world music ensemble, Maza Meze, and the Arabic vocal duo, Doula.
Mayem Tollar will be performing along with her peace activist uncle and poet
Ehab Lotayef. They recently collaborated on an ambitious concert at Glenn
Gould studio, featuring contemporary music, poetry and images inspired by
events in the Middle East.
A writer, photographer, activist and engineer, Ehab Lotayef was born in Egypt and grew up moving between countries and cultures to finally settle in Montreal in 1989. Ehab writes poetry in both Arabic and English. He is also a songwriter collaborating frequently with Toronto's composer/performer Maryem Toller. Ehab is also a playwright. His play, "Crossing Gibraltar", was produced by the CBC in 2005.
Ehab travelled to Iraq in 2003 after the war and spent three weeks in the "liberated" country, talking to people, taking photos and writing about what he saw to convey the reality to the Canadian people without distortion or manipulation.
In January 2005 Ehab travelled to occupied Palestine where he lived the occupation, sieges, road blocks and the check points with the indigenous population and monitored (in no official way) the presidential elections. In December 2005 he travelled to Iraq again to speak out in the name of Canadian Muslims and Arabs for the CPT hostages.
Ember Swift has been performing since she was ten years old. She started writing songs when she was nine, and performed her original work for the first time in grade eight (at age 13).
Throughout high school, she was also heavily involved in both school-based and community-based environmental activism. After high school, Ember moved to Ottawa, Ontario and pursued her university education. She also lived on the Quebec side in Hull for a year, which solidified her bilingualism.
Ember continued to perform live in the Ottawa region for two years before transferring to the University of Toronto in 1995. She immersed herself in the open stages and small cafes, and was very quick to generate interest and an audience, all the while maintaining her schooling as a self-described "side project." During this time, she met several fellow artists, including her now integral bandmate Lyndell Motngomery.
In 1997, after having developed a four-piece band, Ember and crew headed on their first tour to the east coast of Canada. In 1998, Ember graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in East Asian Studies. In this program, Ember focussed on Chinese language (four years of Mandarin study), religion, philosophy, history, politics, poetry, literature, etc.
The formation of her independent record label, Few'll Ignite Sound, in 1997 highlighted an entirely different side of Ember's personality: the geek. Throughout the six years of operating this business, Ember has become a self-described "business head" who has found a love for accounting, business, and computing. This business fascination helped her to build her record label along with a devoted team of employees and volunteers and fellow artists. The label booked, promoted and managed the tours, releases and careers of Ember and her band. It was quite an operation.
In 2003, Ember started working with Fleming & Associates, a booking agency out of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Finally, in 2004, she began working with RAM Management, a management company out of Montreal, Canada.
In the style of the great Pete Seeger, Tom Rawson is at the top of his
craft. He's a master of warmth and wit. Hailing from Seattle, he travels
all over the Northwest with his humorous stories, user friendly songs, and
acoustic folk philosophy that's guaranteed to leave you smiling. Armed
with long-necked banjo Tom will have you singing along in no time. Tune up
your vocal chords; you'll need 'em!
Tom Rawson has been singing and storytelling on stage for almost three
decades. Tom has performed at many events in the Pacific Northwest,
including the Tumbleweed Music Festival, Northwest Folklife Festival,
Victoria Folk Music Society Concerts. Tom Rawson's most recent CD, "Where
the Coho Flash Silver," was recorded live at the Victoria Folk Music
Society in April, 2006.
Since 1995, Bessie Wapp has been busy performing and recording with
Eastern European music ensemble Zeellia. Bessie Wapp is a two-time Jessie
nominated musician, actor, designer, and stilt dancer who studied visual
art and music before becoming a Co-Director of stilt-dance theatre company
Mortal Coil in 1993. With the company Bessie creates, performs & directs
original shows for audiences of all ages across Canada, USA, and Europe.
Bessie Wapp was Artist in Residence at Nelson's Oxygen Art Centre where
she co-created "Hello, I Must Be Going", a solo theatre piece portraying 5
generations of women from her Jewish family who dealt with war firsthand.
There will soon be a remount of this production, along with a new
production "Loco Phantasmo", by Twin Fish, Bessie Wapp & Nicola Harwood's
newly formed Nelson theatre company. In August '08 Zeellia and Mortal Coil
will join forces in the premiere of "Letters From Lithuania", a
site-specific performance aboard the miniature train in Vancouver's
Stanley Park written by Bessie Wapp & Nicola Harwood, about the discovery
of unopened letters that lead to Bessie's family making contact with their
only Holocaust surviving relations.
Bessie Wapp has worked with The Electric Company, Vancouver Symphony
Orchestra, Gamelan Madu Sari, Songbird Project, Caravan Theatre,
Touchstone, Radix, Ruby Slippers, Only Animal, Vancouver Moving Theatre,
and Public Dreams.