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Community allies photobomb Canada Day events to demand justice for refugees

On July 1st, immigrant and refugee allies interrupted Canada Day events at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto, holding up massive foam letters that spelled out “Oh Canada, No Home for Refugees”, visible from balconies and rooftops in the surrounding area. This action was organized on the day that the federal Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) cuts went into effect, gutting a range of services delivering health care for refugees.

"Canada has a long history of extremely regressive immigration policies, such as the Chinese Head Tax. Cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program that provides health care for refugees, implementation of Bill C-11 and the recent passing of Bill C-31, otherwise known as the Refugee Exclusion Act, are all intensified efforts by this government to exclude and exploit immigrants and refugees while also denying them access to basic services", said Dr. Abeer Majeed.

May Day 2012 Ignites the Streets of Toronto

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Over 3,000 people march on Toronto's first May Day march on a working day in decades

Toronto -- Six years ago, inspired by 'A day without immigrants' marches across the United States, No One Is Illegal began organizing the May Day of Action for Status for All in Toronto. We were building for a May Day march on a working day but did not anticipate how momentous this year would be. On May Day 2012, we joined with thousands of others in over 150 cities across Turtle Island (colonial Canada and the United States) and millions around the world to mark International Workers Day and asserted the freedom to move, return, and stay for all.

What took place in Toronto could not have been possible without the commitment and energy of the May 1st Movement, Occupy Toronto, Food Not Bombs, Opirg Toronto and Rhythms of Resistance that coordinated various portions of the rally and march and the over 40 organizations that endorsed, mobilized and organized for the largest May Day in our city in recent memory.

>> Join us for a Celebration! Alien-Nation. 8pm. The Rivoli. May 5, 2012. Opening Night for Mayworks Festival. <<

"We will link our struggles", insisted Gunjan Chopra, organizer with No One Is Illegal - Toronto at the start of the rally. In one voice, the over 3,000 people assembled outside Nathan Phillips Square agreed. And link them we did. From naming war, environmental destruction, capitalism and colonization as the powers that force people out of their homes here and elsewhere, to targeting policies of immigration, policing and austerity that are making the lives of our communities miserable, May Day was a moment of unity, of building relationships across struggles, and of asserting that together, we are unstoppable.

Freedom to Move, Return, Stay

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Freedom to Move: Too many of us move because we are unable to stay stay. We aspire for a world where people move freely and are not pushed out of their homes. We want to move without fear of being targeted as queer and trans, as women, as people with disabilities, as racialized people, as political dissidents, and as Indigenous people.

Freedom to Return: Places we called home were lost to us due to military/corporate occupations, imperialism, and climate collapse. We aspire for a world without these forces so that those of us that wish to return can do so without fear.

Freedom to Stay: Some of us toil in temp jobs, often living in fear without full status. We are targeted by the police and the capitalist state. Some of us prosper by the theft of Indigenous lands. We aspire for a world where Indigenous nations live freely and migrants live in solidarity, decolonizing ourselves and our communities. We desire the freedom for all of us to stay with justice and without indignity.

Whose Borders 2. El Contrato & Borderless

Apr/20/2012 - 7:00 pm

No One is Illegal - Toronto Presents:
Whose Borders?
An evening of politics and picture shows!

Friday, April 20, 2012 at 7:30pm (doors at 7:00 pm)
Palmerston Library Theatre
(560 Palmerston Ave., North of Bloor St. W., west of Bathurst Subway Station - the station is wheelchair accessible)

*El Contrato (dir. Min Sook Lee, 51 mins.): El Contrato follows Teodoro Bello Martinez, a father of four from Central Mexico, and several of his countrymen as they make an annual migration to southern Ontario. For eight months of the year Leamington's population absorbs 4000 migrant labourers who pick tomatoes for conditions and wages no local will accept. Facing racism, exploitation, and constant threat of deportation, the workers voice their desire for dignity and respect, and better working conditions.

*Borderless (Min Sook Lee, 25 mins): They sew clothes in Montreal, clean high rises in Vancouver and build houses in Toronto. Their low wages subsidize Canada's first world economy. Using silhouetted interviews and stylized imagery shot on Super 8 and mini-dv, Borderless tells the story of Angela and Geraldo. Angela works as a domestic help caring for other people's children while her own child is growing up motherless in the Caribbean. Geraldo arrived from Costa Rica to work in

Tory MP Offices occupied in FIVE cities. Actions across Canada

In a coordinated effort on Refugee Rights Day, members of refugee and immigrant rights groups including No One Is Illegal are occupying Conservative MP offices in Ottawa, Toronto, St. Catharines, Edmonton, and Vancouver Coast Salish Territories. Banners have also been dropped in Montreal and Halifax. These actions are being organized to demand that the Refugee Exclusion Act, Bill C-31, be discarded.

Update: Vancouver activists are occupying Citizenship and Immigration Canada offices.

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