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Vigil for Migrant Workers

Dec/17/2009 - 11:00 pm

On Dec 17, Justice for Migrant Workers (J4MW) will be going to Ottawa to intervene at the Supreme Court, where arguments relating to the plight of Canada's migrant workers will be heard for the first time in Canada's legal history.

In Toronto, join us for a vigil to greet them on their return, as well as to usher in and commemorate the International Day for Migrants.

Time: Thurs. Dec. 17, 11pm
Location: Chinese Railroad Workers Memorial (Between Skydome (Rogers Centre) and Spadina Ave., south of Front St., beside the rail yards)

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WHY A VIGIL?

From the Chinese head tax, to the most recently proposed changes to the refugee and temporary foreign worker programs, Canada has a history of racist exclusionary immigration policies; Policies that serve to marginalize and criminalize migrant workers. Canada's trade agreements (such as NAFTA), mining corporations, and wars have displaced millions of people around the world, and continue to do so with ever more efficiency. Meanwhile, at home, the government moves to militarize its borders, to implement programs that deny migrants the right to live here; programs that promise to keep migrants permanently temporary.

Migrant communities and their allies continue to fight these changes, and this struggle for migrant rights takes on special significance on December 18th - the International Day for Migrants. Please join us on December 17 at 11 pm as we hold a vigil at the Chinese Railroad Workers memorial to usher in, and commemorate the International Day for Migrants by remembering our collective history of Struggle; of Resistance.

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For over a century we have been here. For over a century we have been temporary.

For over a century their economic and military policies have displaced us from our lands, from our communities, from our cities, from our countries. And when we came here, they told us we don’t belong. They used our labour to build railroads; to work in farms, in factories; to work as caregivers, but they robbed us of our rights. They forced us into working precarious jobs under precarious conditions. For over a century we have traversed these lines of exploitative employment, of exploitative existence. For over a century they have tried to break our wills, to break our strength.

But they have failed.

Because for over a century we’ve fought back and our allies have fought back with us, and together we have won real victories. We still have a long way to go, and many more battles lie ahead of us. But we will continue to fight, and we will win. We know, because we won’t stop until we do.