In the last days of her life, Shirley Farlinger, peace activist and author, wheelchair-bound and terminally ill, will be in Nathan Phillips Squarei in Toronto to hold a sign in support of Kimberly Rivera, the Iraq war resister currently facing deportation.
Shirley will be at the site of the Peace Garden (now removed) on Friday, September 14 from 4pm–6pm. Kim will join her there at 4 pm. They will be supported by National Co-Chairs of Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, Janis Alton and Lyn Adamson. Shirley and Kim are both valued members of Canadian Voice of Women for Peace.
Shirley Farlinger was born on January 24, 1930. She is a mother of 5 and a grandmother of 10. She was granted a BA in English in 1950 at the University of Toronto and a BA Journalism in 1980 from Ryerson University. In 1993, she attended a Course on Peace, Development and Conflict Resolution at the European Peace University, Schlaining, Austria.
Shirley is a published author and playwright including A Million for Peace: The Story of the Peacemaking Fund of the United Church of Canada (1995) and His and Her Verses with Dr. Derek Paul (2006). Her recent plays include The 1325 Key to Peace and From War to Peace in 30 Minutes. She has also published articles in Peace Magazine and is a freelance writer and editor.
“Kim should be granted refugee status in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Kim is devoted to her family and community, and to building a culture of peace. We are inspired by her courage,” says Shirley.
“We stand with Kimberley Rivera. We must do everything we can to create a society that does not squander its resources on killing, that does not murder innocents but that builds toward a future of justice and peace. The Iraq War was illegal under international law. We join Bishop Desmond Tutu in calling for prosecution of those who caused this war, and for refuge for this US soldier who followed her conscience to Canada,” says Lyn Adamson, Co-Chair of Voice of Women.
U.S. Iraq War resister Kim Rivera and her family received a deportation notice on September 20th. If she returns to the United States, Kim faces a court martial, jail time, a felony conviction, and separation from her family – including four children, two of whom were born in Canada – for her refusal to participate in the immoral and illegal Iraq War.
BACKGROUND ON CANADIAN VOICE OF WOMEN FOR PEACE
Established in 1960, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace (VOW) is a non-partisan Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) comprised of a network of diverse women with consultative status at the United Nations ECOSOC. For over 50 years, VOW has tirelessly advocated for a world without war.
VOW is one of the non-governmental organizations (NGO) cited by UNESCO’s standing committee in the working group report entitled “The Contribution of Women to the Culture of Peace”. An accredited NGO to the United Nations, affiliated to the Department of Public Information (DPI) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), VOW was the Canadian lead group for peace at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. Members have been active in follow-up activities, including writing the chapter,”Women and Peace” in Take Action for Equality, Development and Peace.
We are a part of a growing and select number of NGOs that provide women the opportunity to appeal to national government and international diplomats, attend conferences at the United Nations including the UN Commission on the Status of Women, and to write and present briefs and statements to political heads of state and nations worldwide on women and peace issues. We readily respond to calls for guidance and research on peace and women’s issues locally, nationally, and internationally. VOW is a non-partisan, non-religious organization that values women in all their diversities.