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No One Is Illegal-Toronto: 2010 in Review

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Dear friends, allies, and supporters of No One Is Illegal-Toronto,

As we move into another year, it’s important to take a step back and look at everything we were able to accomplish in 2010. Our victories, our most inspiring moments, and our growing links of solidarity, which are at the heart of the work we do. We worked daily to build power in migrant communities, and we felt that power when we saw thousands of people take to the streets in the pouring rain to demand Status for All on May Day, and tens of thousands more marching against the G20.

But like every year, we also saw some of our closest friends and allies arrested, detained and deported because of Canada's racist immigration machinery. Many continue to struggle with issues of status, jail and unjust arrests. In the face of it all, we strengthen our resolve to continue to lay the foundations to build a Sanctuary City, and to continue to fight for justice for our communities.

So as we look back at 2010, we also look forward to 2011. We know what to expect from those in power in 2011: more cutbacks, more racist attacks on our communities, and more attempts to usher us into an age of austerity. But we plan to meet these challenges head on, and we hope that you will be standing right beside us all the way.

So take a minute to look back at 2010, and with a spirit of resistance, get ready for 2011.

In solidarity,
No One Is Illegal-Toronto

As a completely volunteer, unfunded migrant justice organization, we are always in need of more support, and stronger solidarity. Please think about supporting NOII-Toronto in whatever way you can:

No One Is Illegal-Toronto in 2010

Struggling for justice for undocumented people and migrants
Fighting the forces that push people out of their homes globally
Opposing the colonization of Turtle Island

Some highlights from 2010 (detailed report follows):

** May Day 2010 **
2000 people, massive banners, street theatre, a rooftop concert
Video, Pics, News Coverage:

** Anti-Violence Against Women Spaces Safer **
Immigration Enforcement barred from Anti-Violence Against Women Spaces in GTA
How we won!:

** G8/G20: No Fences! No Borders! **
June 25: and
21-27 June:

** Education Not Deportation **
Every public school in Toronto puts up posters welcoming undocumented students!

** End Temp Work! Permanent Status Now! **
Migrant Worker Vigils:
Supporting J4MW:

** Stop Immigration Bill C-49 **

** Daniel Garcia Deported **

>>> DETAILED REPORT: What did NOII-Toronto do in 2010? <<<

In 2010 we continued to organize our work around three pillars: Status for All, Sanctuary City and Indigenous Sovereignty.

(1) Status for All: Immigration status is a promise, a promise of good food, shelter, healthcare, education, food, justice and dignity. And migrants across this country know this promise to be a lie. The fight for status for all is the fight for the realization of this promise through grassroots organizing. It means:

    • stopping deportations and ending detentions;
    • stopping unjust immigration policies;
    • ending exploitative and temporary migrant work;
    • fighting back against the environmental, economic and military forces that force people to move out of their homes in the first place;
    • creating a culture of resistance and building community power towards a global movement for justice, of which migrant justice is a part.

(2) Sanctuary City: The project of Sanctuary City is to push Immigration Enforcement out of Toronto so that people can access the safety, services and supports they need to live with dignity, and without fear of detention, deportation or harassment. We do this by organizing radical committees, sectors and collectives of people that fight to create autonomous decision making sites at the places they live, work, learn, and seek support services at. The City we wish to build is safe for all people, undocumented people, migrants, women, queer people, disabled people, indigenous people, the elderly, youth. Our current sub-campaigns are:

    • Education Not Deportation
    • Shelter | Sanctuary | Status
    • Food for All

We also closely work with Health for All, an autonomous health-focused migrant justice organization. The goal of all of this work is to create Access Without Fear for all migrants.

(3) Indigenous Sovereignty: For us, defending indigenous sovereignty happens in two ways. Responding to calls for solidarity as they emerge, and building an informed base of support for Indigenous Sovereignty, particularly in migrant communities. For this first goal, we supported numerous rallies, demonstrations, and calls to action. For the second, we integrate Indigenous Sovereignty into our popular education work in migrant communities, as we seek to build ties of solidarity that unite the fight against borders and colonial governments.

We understand ourselves to be part of a broader movement for justice and liberation. As such, what follows below is as much the story of No One Is Illegal-Toronto, as it is the story of many of those who fight for freedom in Toronto, and in other places.

>>>>>>>> 2010 <<<<<<<<

Events and actions for each of our areas of work follows. But we begin first with the 5th Annual No One Is Illegal! May Day of Action for Status for All.

This annual demonstration is a coming together of every aspect of our work (and that of many others).

On May 1, 2010, we organized the first May Day of Action on May Day itself, honoring the memory of the immigrant workers that died in the Haymarket massacre, the immigrant rights demonstrations in the United States, and the struggles of undocumented and precarious status workers and people across Canada. With buses coming in from across the GTA, and from across Southern Ontario, and thousands proudly proclaiming Status for All!, it was a momentous step for the migrant justice movement.

For pictures, videos, and media coverage:
For background information:
NOII Radio:

>>>>>>>> 2010 <<<<<<<<


** Immigration Enforcement and Racial Profiling **

In early-May, we received confirmed reports of Immigration Enforcement carrying out random ID checks in the Bloor West area. We organized a postering and outreach blitz, quickly warning people about the immigration raids and giving out know-your-rights info on what to do in case of another incident. We did not take this decision lightly, knowing that it could lead to fear within undocumented communities that we work closely with. However, we had to take steps to warn people of the risk, and work with individuals and organizations to keep people safe. We remain convinced that it was the right decision, and that the real fear is caused by illegitimate Canadian governments which seek to deport people every day. In the coming months, the Immigration Legal Committee of No One Is Illegal will be working to produce more materials on what to do if CBSA/Immigration Enforcement comes knocking.
NOII Radio:

** Release detained Tamil Migrants **

On August 21, we joined Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Victoria, Kitchener-Waterloo and unsurrendered Wet’suwet’en Territories in actions calling for the release of 492 Tamil Migrants that arrived over the MV Sun Sea. We dropped a 40 x 6 feet banner proclaiming 'Tamil Migrants Welcome'

On September 10, the Immigration Legal Committee released a statement arguing that 'Legal Rights of Tamil Migrants Are Under Threat'

On November 20th and 23rd, we organized mass-flyering actions calling for the release of the Tamil migrants that are still detained.

** Status for Leonardo Zuniga **

Leonardo Zuniga, a No One Is Illegal - Toronto organizer and prominent queer rights activist in Toronto won status for himself after five years of organizing in the city.

** Freedom and Status for Daniel Garcia **

Daniel Garcia, a migrant justice organizer from Parkdale, was arrested on 23 December.

On December 25, Christmas Day, over 50 people gathered in St. Casimir's Church.

On December 26, Boxing Day, a rally was held at Toronto's busiest intersection.

On December 29, nearly a hundred people emailed and hundreds called Immigration Enforcement demanding that his deportation be stopped.

In less than a week, over 1,700 people signed petitions. The story appeared in every major newspaper, TV news show and on various radio networks.

On December 31, a public rally of over a 150 people was held in Toronto with students, teachers, religious groups, and politicians among others calling for a stay and a temporary resident permit to be granted.

On January 1, Daniel Garcia was deported.

We continue:
Dec. 31-Stop the Deportation:


** Bill C-11, the Balanced Refugee Reform Act **

In June, the Conservative government passed wide ranging changes to refugee laws, which allowed the government to designate certain countries as "safe". Applicants from countries deemed safe will face an expedited process with only 60 days to prepare their case and only 40 days to find and file evidence. Also, instead of a relatively impartial board member deciding claims, claims will be decided by a civil servant. Application forms recounting one's life conditions have been removed, replaced with an 'informational' interview conducted by a civil servant 10 days after they make their claim. The new rules also make it so that a person losing their refugee claim is ineligible for either a Temporary Resident Permit application or a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment Application until a year after they lose the claim - while enforcement will be mandated to remove them within this year.

The new rules also take out all questions of risk from the Humanitarian and Compassionate application. For years, immigrant rights groups have called for an establishment of a Refugee Appeal division, as one was created under the Liberals but never implemented. The carrot of such an Appeals division was used to convince many organizations to support Bill C11. While this appeal will be implemented, it will only be an on paper application void of any real appeal hearing, while other egregious portions of this Bill, including $500 million dollars in immigration enforcement have also been implemented.

** Bill C-49, the Human Smuggling Bill **

In October the Tories introduced Bill C-49, the so-called Human Smuggling Bill, that aimed to jail refugee claimants, deny appeals, limit access to permanent residency and family reunification, and allow the government to deny status to migrants even after they have been found to be refugees. We organized mass flyering actions, postering, and online petitions, as well as working with community organizations to build opposition to the Bill, and to release statements condemning it. The opposition to this Bill has been so loud that all the Opposition parties have vowed to vote against it. Whether the law will pass in 2011 remains to be seen, but the opposition to the Bill has largely accepted that all manners in which people seek assistance to cross borders are flawed. In response, we released a statement in 'defence of human smuggling'. We are hosting a public event in 2011, encouraging the broader community to engage with these ideas.

** Fighting Jason Kenney & Ongoing Immigration Changes **

On April 25, we released details of immigration changes that were being underreported in the media.

A national day of action against Immigration Minister Jason Kenney was organized on July 24, 2010. We participated by organizing a "People vs. Kenney" soccer game, and a “where is Kenney?” action that criss-crossed Toronto.

[From 2009 Disrupting Kenney 1:
Disrupting Kenney 2:]


** Worker Deaths **

On December 24, 2009, Alexander Bondorev, Aleksey Blumberg, Fayzullo Fazilov and Vladimir Korostin, migrants without full immigration status, fell to their deaths while working without safety equipment in Rexdale.

On January 7, we issued a statement and organized a vigil for the four men.
NOII Radio:

On September 10, two migrant farmworkers, Ralston White and Paul Roach, died while working at an apple farm in southern ontario. We released a statement condemning the deaths.

On September 24, we supported a demonstration at the Ministry or Labour to demand an end to migrant worker deaths, and to demand dignity, justice and freedom for all migrant workers.

On October 13, 2010 charges were laid against the employers of the migrant workers that died on Christmas Eve. Along with Justice for Migrant Workers (J4MW) and the Industrial Accidental Victim Groups of Ontario (IAVGO), we released a statement insisting that only Status for All can end these abuses.

On November 4, we organized a public forum about how to make sure there are “No more Deaths” of migrant workers.

On December 24, with J4MW and IAVGO we organized a vigil on the one year anniversary of the construction migrant worker deaths.

** Pilgrimage to Freedom **

No One Is Illegal-Toronto members proudly joined Justicia for Migrant Workers in a historic long march (50 km) to fight for status and an end to indentured labour.

** Coalition for Change: Live in Caregivers and Temporary Foreign Workers **

Along with Justice for Migrant Workers, Caregiver Action Centre, Workers Action Centre and others, we are members of the Coalition for Change: Live in Caregivers and Temporary Foreign Workers. On March 22, the Coalition won Bill 210 from the Ontario government which bans the collection of recruitment fees for live-in caregivers and prohibits employer or recruiters in Ontario from taking possession of a live-in caregiver’s property, including documents such as passports. We are organizing in the Coalition to extend these protections to all migrant workers including agricultural workers and temporary foreign workers


Ensuring free movement of people means ensuring that war, economic inequity and environmental degradation do not force people to move. It's not possible to ensure a world free of borders in a world full of war, free trade and climate change.

** G8/G20 **

Many of our organizers were deeply involved in building the infrastructure, organizing logistics, coordinating media, legal defense, and street medics through the Toronto Community Mobilization Network

In February we released a Canada wide invitation to those that struggle for justice to join us in Toronto in opposition to the G8 and G20 meetings

On June 12, we organized a free community meal in St. Jamestown, on June 14, with allies, we organized a free community meal at PARC in Parkdale as well as other educationals and events across Southern Ontario.

On June 18, we organized a panel 'Capitalism, Colonialism, and Migration: No One Is Illegal!' at the 2010 People's Forum. Part of the panel can be viewed at

On June 22, we released a joint statement calling for No Borders! No Fences!

On June 24, we organized a Press Conference alongside Indigenous Land defenders:

On June 25, we organized, along with numerous allies, a march and a tent city of nearly 5,000 people calling for Justice for Our Communities and

On June 26, one of our organizers with precarious status was arrested and detained for 12 days. Hussan continues his fight for freedom and status.

On June 28, we helped organize a Jail Solidarity Rally against police brutality and repression.

On July 3, we released a joint, Canada-wide No One Is Illegal statement in solidarity with the anti-G20 resistance

** End Apartheid, War and Occupation **

On February 2, we sponsored a public forum on Relief, Occupations and the Haiti Crisis:Canada/US policy and the regional response with Justin Podur and Dan Freeman-Maloy.

On October 8, we supported an event 'No Bicentenary on Stolen Mapuche Territory' organized by The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto].

On November 10, we co-organized with Students Against Israeli Apartheid (York) a public forum called 'Bring Them Down! Walls From Palestine to Turtle Island. From Physical to Invisible.'

On November 16, we co-organized with Students Against Israeli Apartheid (UofT) a public forum called 'The Politics of Space: Repression and Resistance on Campus'.

** Ensuring Environmental Justice **

On May 8 and 9, we endorsed and supported the Mining (In)Justice: At Home and Abroad Conference organized by Community Solidarity Response Toronto and others.

On December 4, we supported the People's Assembly on Climate Justice.

On December 7, we supported “Shaking Up the Financial District”, a direct action demonstration in support of Via Campesina during the COP 16 – UN Cancun Climate Summit.


** Community Forums **

On January 20, continuing on a city-wide series of forums on the immigration system, almost 100 people participated in a “Community Night to Discuss Immigrant Rights”, co-organized with Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood Centre, FCJ Refugee Centre, and The Stop Community Food Centre.

** the City is a Sweatshop 2010 **

On Feburary 15, we released a report showcasing how the city of Toronto is a sweatshop

From March 19-21, over 500 people participated in the City is a Sweatshop series of forums, panels, and cultural events, focusing on building the fight to dismantle this sweatshop city.

** May Day Festival 2010 **

On May 1, over 200 people gathered for It Will Work!, Mayworks closing party in partnership with No One Is Illegal. Hosted by Deena Ladd of the Workers Action Centre, the line-up included Deidre DLishus Walton, MataDanZe, Mama D, LAL, Marinda and Solari, Red Slam Collective, Humble The Poet and Amai Kuda!

** Justice for Junior**

On Mother’s Day, May 9, we joined with hundreds of residents of Jane Finch in demending Justice for Junior Manon.

** Resistance through Art**

In September, as part of Dis-Orientation at York and U of T, we organized a series of art and design workshops as a space to learn hands-on about the history of anti-capitalist, anti-colonial struggle for migrant justice in Toronto.

** NOII at Take Back the Night**

On October 22, we organized a loud and proud migrant justice contingent in the annual Take Back the Night march, together with members of the Shelter | Sanctuary | Status campaign.

** Welcoming Rob Ford**

On December 1, together with our friends at OCAP and many other grassroots community groups, we co-organized a demonstration to let Toronto’s new mayor know that we are not going to accept his anti-poor, anti-immigrant, and anti-people agenda.
NOII Radio: (Rob Ford Counter-inauguration)

** Solidarity with Grassroots Struggles**

Over the course of 2010, we supported numerous demonstrations, events, pickets, delegations and campaigns with the aim of fighting for justice in Toronto. These include marching with OCAP to Raise the Rates, supporting the South Asian Women’s Rights Organization in it’s fight for access to childcare, joining Jane/Finch Action Against Poverty in the fight for access to healthy food, marching against pink-washing as part of Pride, supporting individual struggles against extradition, rallying alongside thousands in this city demanding an end to police brutality, and many others.

NOII Radio: (Migrant Women Organizing for Childcare)
NOII Radio: (Queers Against Israeli Apartheid and the Pink Washing of Pride)
NOII Radio: (Gary Freeman's Ongoing Struggle for Freedom)
NOII Radio: (Neoliberal Dress Rehearsals: Fighting Austerity)

>>>>>>>> 2010 <<<<<<<<


On January 7, with support from teachers and students at Harbord Collegiate, we organized a student assembly and documentary screening.

In September, the Toronto District School Board, posted a full color poster in every public school in Toronto stating “All children living in our community, including those without immigration status in Canada, are entitled to admission to our schools”.


On March 6th, we joined the International Women's Day demonstration while making a declaration, asserting that all undocumented women be able to access supports and services across the GTA without fear, inviting all anti-violence against women agencies and allies to sign on.

On March 8th, we organized an Emergency Public Meeting after repeated reports of Immigration Enforcement attempting to arrest undocumented women at anti-violence against women shelters and service centres.
The Star:

On April 16th, we took a women's delegation to the headquarters of the GTA area Immigration Enforcement (GTEC) to demand they issue a directive to all CBSA officers to stay away from spaces that provide services and supports to women and trans survivors of violence.

On November 25, we announced our victory - that Immigration Enforcement was forced to pass an official policy that barred immigration officers from entering any anti-violence against women space or service centre in the GTA.


Launched in October 2009, Food For All has made connections with front-line staff at various food banks across this city. We have engaged staff there to think about the systemic issues that act as a deterrent for people without status from accessing their services. Be it the requirement of government issued IDs or proof of income documents, each creates an invisible wall that makes access extremely difficult. Collaborating with progressive activist food banks such The Stop and staff at other agencies, we came up with recommendations and alternatives that work towards making access easier, and immigration status irrelevant.

In May of 2010, we held a Dont Ask Dont Tell/ Access Without Fear workshop attended by more than 50 food bank workers at Daily Bread's annual food bank forum.

Health for All is an allied, autonomous organization, that shares the goal of Access Without Fear for migrants in this city.

On March 4, Health for All organized a panel, Fixing a Broken Healthcare System for Immigrants and Refugees.

On March 23, Health for All, organized a press conference with Nell Touissant, 'The Right to Healthcare on Trial'

On May 1, Health for All, organized a public theater action at the No One Is Illegal! May Day of Action for Status for All.

On June 19 and 20, Health for All conducted two workshops 'Creating Health For All - From the Ground Up' and 'Emancipatory Healthcare: Local Resistance to Global Neoliberalism'.

On September 29, Health for All organized a forum 'Cutting Deeper: The Age of Austerity and Implications for Health'.

On December 22, Health for All and No One Is Illegal - Toronto took a delegation to a local health agency, and along with support from Nell's physician were able to get her access to basic health services.

>>>>>>>> 2010 <<<<<<<<

Over the course of the year, we did over 70 workshops and presentations in high schools, community centres, apartment buildings and many other locations highlighting the colonial policies of the Canadian government, and building an informed base of support for Indigenous Sovereignty.

On 14 February we supported the 5th Annual Rally for Our Missing Sisters organized by No More Silence.

On April 6 and 7, we supported a panel and creative demonstration to 'Take Action with Grassy Narrows Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek'

On November 2, we endorsed a forum 'Stop Canada's cultural genocide at Barriere Lake'

On December 13, our organizers traveled to Ottawa as Algonquins of Barriere Lake said No to Section 74 in Ottawa