'Carbon copy' of Bush, mom of slain U.S. soldier says
Stephen Harper is turning Canada away from its history of sheltering U.S. war
objectors and is pushing the country to become more like America, says an anti-war
mother whose son was killed in Iraq.
"Now it seems like greedy people in your country want to emulate everything
that is wrong with the United States," a barefoot Cindy Sheehan told a
couple hundred people gathered at the University of Toronto's Convocation Hall
last night. It was her first visit to Canada.
The event was an anti-war discussion put on by the Students' Administrative
Council and anti-war groups.
Sheehan's son, Casey, 24, was killed in 2004 in an ambush in Iraq. She attracted
worldwide attention last year with her 26-day vigil outside U.S President George
W. Bush's Texas ranch.
Sheehan told audience members to follow her example by camping outside 24 Sussex
Dr. and asking Harper why he supports Bush's policies.
"Your government has been taken over by a neo-con, a carbon copy of the
Bush administration," she said.
Sheehan said she grew up thinking of Canada as a country that protected war
objectors. Now deserters are being denied that right, she said, citing the example
of U.S. Army deserter Brandon Hughey, who last month was denied refugee status
in Canada. He also spoke at last night's event.
Hughey, who was given a standing ovation, said the U.S. government took advantage
of his poverty by promising to pay for his education.
"I'm still hoping you let me stay as a refugee," he told the crowd,
which included a handful of other deserters acknowledged during the proceedings.