TORONTO – For five years, Migrant Justice organizers have built on the history of May Day in Toronto, creating the momentum for a massive Immigrant Rights demonstration on May 1. This work came alive on Saturday, May 1, 2010 as over two thousand people gathered in one of North America’s most densely populated Immigrant neighbourhoods, St. Jamestown, to fight for Status for All!
“Today, from South Korea to Arizona, to right here in Toronto, millions of people are taking to the streets and marching for our rights, to demand our dignity, to take back our city!” began Graciela Flores, a member of No One Is Illegal – Toronto. “Migrant Community Under Attack! What do we do? Stand Up, Fight Back!”
It Will Work!
May 1, 2010
The Garrison, 1197 Dundas Street West
Mayworks Festival Closing Party
Following the No One Is Illegal! May Day of Action (1pm. St.Jamestown), celebrate May 1st by shining the spotlight on the struggles, successes and strength of working class peoples, migrants, undocumented and temporary workers, by joining the Mayworks Festival, No One Is Illegal Toronto and the Canadian Labour Congress Ontario Region in presenting musicians, dancers and artists who will ignite the stage with words, musice and movement to provoke thinking as well as dancing and laughter!
Hosted by Deena Ladd of the Workers Action Centre, the line-up includes Deidre DLishus Walton, MataDanZe, Mama D, LAL, Marinda and Solari, Red Slam Collective, Humble The Poet and Amai Kuda!
Tickets: $5-$15 (no one turned away)
This event will be a build up to community and labor organizing resisting the G8/G20 Summits in June 2010.
In the past 6 years the struggle for justice for immigrants and refugees has grown immensely. Inspired by the individual and collective strength of Mohamed Cherfi, Kimberley Lizano-Sossa, Fahim Kayani, Shamim Akhtar, Isabel Garcia, Wendy Maxwell, and the many others that we have known, and the countless others that have had to fight alone, the Migrant Justice movement has fore fronted struggles of people of color, women, disAbled and queer migrants, particularly those without full status.
Rising out of schools, shelters and apartment blocks from Jane and Finch to Crescent Town, our voices have reached the streets and the hallways of power. From the 2004 No One Is Illegal march from Montreal to Ottawa, to the first Toronto May Day of Action in 2006, to the take over of Yonge and Dundas square on May Day in 2009, we have worked tirelessly to create real meaningful change – stopping deportations, winning access to schools, changing federal immigration policy. We have been on picket lines with labour unions, on barricades in solidarity with Indigenous struggles, supported people’s organizations in streets and in communities.
Now, in 2010, as the Conservative government arrests and deports our friends. As they tear apart our families. As they push us in to unsafe jobs. As they call us “bogus refugees” and “illegals”, and do it with a smile, we say no mas, no more.
On May 2, 2009, over 2000 community activists, migrants and allies took to the streets.
We occupied the Yonge and Dundas intersection in the heart of downtown Toronto to make visible the non-status people that this sweatshop city wants to hide away.
We dropped 50 foot banners that read 'No One Is Illegal' and 'Stop the Raids' to make clear that migrants, with or without status, working people and the poor will not be criminalized.
We went to the gates of City Hall dropping massive banners at its doors to insist that Toronto, Ontario and Canada cannot ignore us.
School by school, college by college, hospital by hospital, shelter by shelter, food bank by food bank - one after the other we are going to liberate our homes, our workplaces and our communities. We will make them sanctuaries for all residents. If the powerful few will not let us in to their house of decisions, we will change the decisions where they are put in to practice.
On April 2nd and 3rd, over 100 temporary and undocumented workers were attacked by armed border guards, dragged in to detention and are now being forcibly deported. On 2 May, thousands of us will say Enough!
Migrants, poor and working people; undocumented people and people of colour live in constant crisis in Canada, attacked daily. A crisis has always existed in Teesdale, in Regent Park, in farm fields, on factory floors and in hotel service areas.
Corporate and political elites are using the current 'Economic Crisis' as an excuse to attack poor, working-class and racialized communities by increasing immigration enforcement; stealing public funds; wrecking social services; taking away people's jobs rather than cutting profits and targeting those they perceive as the weakest - indigenous people; the homeless; refugee claimants; women in shelters; queer and trans migrants, caregivers; factory workers and temporary workers.