with Esther Kern
The award winning documentary film “Safe Haven” explores the lives of American war resisters who came to Canada as conscientious objectors, seeking asylum from conscription into the USA military. It weaves together the powerful stories of resisters who who sought protection in Canada during wars in Vietnam and Iraq, the risks and challenges, they faced in their quest to be able to live with their conscience and advocate for peaceful co-existence. Esther, who married a deserter from the USA Marine Corps, is featured in one interview. He wrote to her in one of his letters, “I will never be one of them. They may beat me, they may break me, but they will never win me over. If love is not more powerful than hate, that what is there? If killing is more Godly then kindness and love, then how will anyone survive? As for myself, I cannot live with myself knowing I am a lie. To be a Marine would make me and my life a complete and utter lie. I hope that it doesn’t take being a Marine to be a man. If it does, then may my manhood never come.”
about the facilitator
After a 34-year career as a Registered Nurse, Esther took early retirement and joined Christian Peacemaker Teams in 2004 as a “second career”. This commitment has taken her to Iraqi Kurdistan, Palestine, Colombia, the USA/Mexico Borderlands, and to many Indigenous communities on Turtle Island. Social justice and activism have been an integral part of her life beginning in 1969, when she came to Canada with her War Resister fiance to seek asylum and to be able to live in freedom with one’s conscience.