Feature

War Resisters Support Campaign Benefit

Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks

The performing singer-songwriter has the unique opportunity to give a critical voice to our history, to tell the extraordinary stories of seemingly ordinary individuals, to unearth that which has been forgotten. Jon Brooks is known for his arresting songs of compassion, healing, and perseverance, with a repertoire that includes an entire CD (Ours and the Shepherds) of Canadian war stories. His song, War Resister, from 2009’s Moth Nor Rust, is inspired by Jeremy Hinzman, the first American Iraq War resister to seek refugee status in Canada. In a harmonious partnership, Jon is headlining a benefit concert for the War Resisters Support Campaign (WRSC) on Thursday, December 2nd at 8:00 PM at Lula Lounge in Toronto.

Jeremy Hinzman, photo: Joshua Sherurcij

Jeremy Hinzman is a featured speaker at the event, along with Toronto Star columnist Antonia Zerbisias, who publishes an award-winning blog with a focus on social, political, and feminist issues. Singer-songwriter Shawna Caspi plays an opening set to kick off the musical portion of the night, followed by a full performance by Jon Brooks.

The WRSC is a Canada-wide network of organizations and individuals committed to assisting and advocating for American military personnel who are seeking status in Canada because of their opposition to the illegal war in Iraq. The WRSC helps resisters secure housing, arranges access to legal advice, and offers support through what can become an exhausting series of court battles. The WRSC must raise funds to continue providing these essential services and aid in mounting a solid legal defense for each Iraq War resister should they be threatened with deportation.

In 2003, the United States and a coalition of allies launched an invasion of Iraq that was deemed illegal by the United Nations, followed by the deployment of hundreds of thousands of troops overseas. Among those were soldiers who chose to refuse their orders rather than participate in a war that they could not fight in good conscience. Following their beliefs at the risk of their careers, some of these war resisters fled to Canada, where they currently seek refugee status. Canada is historically recognized for offering sanctuary to those escaping persecution in their homeland due to their convictions.

The WRSC works to spread the message that it is unreasonable to punish those who choose to oppose the actions of their government when the perpetuated justification for going to war is to sustain a country’s celebrated ideals, including a commitment to the freedom of its people. The upcoming fundraiser promises to be an enlightening, informative, and entertaining evening of music and discourse.

Editor’s note: Roots Music Canada is an apolitical organization. We provide the information above as a service to the roots music community, support for the excellent musicians involved, and in hopes of fostering discussion around issues of importance to Canadian roots music fans.

Details:
War Resisters Support Campaign Benefit
Jon Brooks w/ opening act Shawna Caspi
Special guests Antonia Zerbisias, Toronto Star columnist, and Jeremy Hinzman, the first Iraq War resister (still) seeking Canadian status

Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W., Toronto
Thursday, December 2 at 8:00 PM
Tickets are $20 or chosen amount – all proceeds go to the WRSC
Reservations recommended: 416-588-0307

MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
Lisa Weitz, LW Communications
lw@lwcommunications.ca
416-624-3466  (office)
416-846-6877 (cell)

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