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In the months leading up to March 19, 2003, there were massive protests across Canada and around the world against war — February 15, 2003 still stands as the largest coordinated protest in human history. But the war went ahead, taking a devastating toll on the people of Iraq,
with hundreds of thousands killed and millions displaced.
Riadh R. Muslih is an Iraqi-born Canadian. His father, Rashid Muslih, was a former interior minister who was executed in January 1970. This occurred two years after the Baath party, which Saddam Hussein controlled, took power.
Many of those who resisted the war also paid a heavy price. This includes U.S. war resisters who came to Canada to avoid fighting and killing in an immoral war. Rodney Watson Jr. is one of these brave war resisters. For over 3 years, he has been staying in sanctuary at First United Church to avoid deportation to the United States, where he would face persecution for his refusal to return to fight in the war. The Conservative government, led by Stephen Harper who ten years ago supported the U.S. war, has refused to grant asylum to war resisters seeking to come to
Canada as refugee.
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