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Stop the Raids! Campaign Launch and Community Discussion

Jun/06/2009 - 1:30 pm

TESTIMONIES from people arrested in the raids!
Reports about Harper’s RACIST immigration plans!
A chance to EXPRESS your anger and disgust!
Build Canada’s first RAIDS RESPONSE NETWORK!

June 6, 1:30-3:00pm, 252 Bloor West

Join No One Is Illegal - Toronto, Justicia for Migrant Workers and Migrante-ON to for an open community dialogue and strategizing session on the recent immigration raids in Southern Ontario. June 6 will mark the launch of the Stop the Raids! Campaign and a community Raids Response Network. There will be testimonies from people arrested in the raids, reports about changes in the Immigration process and brief reports from the community raids response network.

== Workplace Raids ==

On April 2, armed police surrounded a Cericola Farms factory while Border guards rounded up all the workers in to the dining hall. The permanent residents and citizens were separated from the rest and let go. Everyone else was shackled on a bus for up to 8 hours and then driven to a detention centre in Toronto. Upon arrival the nearly 100 workers were pushed in to a room with no furniture. An immigration official rushed through their rights in 15 minutes in legalese English. Forms were handed out and everyone asked to sign them. These forms are not part of the Immigration Act and were illegally concocted by the border guards to trick the workers in to waiving their rights to counsel and options for staying their removal. Over the next two weeks, nearly 40 were swiftly deported. These Workplace raids are the newest ugliest phase of Canadian Immigration policy and as can be seen from the actions of today are continuing.

The arrested workers did not fulfill immigration requirements for a number of reasons. Some could not return to countries of origin for fear of their lives. Others had quit working for a boss that sexually assaulted them. A few were working a second job because the job they were allowed to do did not pay a living wage.

The border guards filmed the arrest. They released a press statement calling the workers a threat to ‘Canadian communities’. The South Simcoe police went further saying ‘If people knew the things that go on, it would keep them up at night’.

The obvious purpose of workplace raids is to fan racist flames to distract from the government’s failures in this recession. As a result, non-status people in precarious employment are pushed further into unsafe working conditions.

Canada exploits the 500,000 non-status people that pay municipal, provincial and federal taxes but do not access services. Those who live and work in this city and in this country must have full status within it. Canada must include the people that it displaces the world over. Excluding residents, while profiting from their labor, is illegal and unjust. The only option is to regularize non-status members who are part of our communities, who live in this city. Toronto must make itself a sanctuary for all people. Canada must grant status to all. These raids must stop!

== Our Response ==

Unwilling to be silent, actions took place in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Guelph, Edmonton and Calgary.

A vicious expansion of Canada's deportation program requires an unprecedented collective community response. Migrants and their allies, Workers, Front-line services providers, Teachers, Students, Health professionals, Legal workers, Community activists are gathering to build a GTA based Raids Response Network and a Stop the Raids! campaign on June 6, 1:30pm at 252 Bloor West.

Join us!

Refreshments served. Childcare available.
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