Over 16 million Canadian citizens voted in yesterday’s election, the highest voter turnout since at least 1997. The result: Stephen Harper’s decade of conservative, anti-immigrant, and racist rule comes to an end, and the Liberal Party’s Justin Trudeau is now Prime Minister.
While many rejoice at the end of the Harper government, we also know that the new Liberal government must be met with radical, collective, strategic organizations, and mobilizations if we are to improve the lives of our communities.
SPEAKERS UPDATED! Presentations from Sebastian Rodriguez (Arizona, USA); Indigenous land defenders from Akwesasne Mohawk Territory; Nayrouz Abu Hatoum (on Palestinian border realities) David Moffette (on the Ceuta (Morrocco/Spain) border crossing) and Tings Chak (No One Is Illegal - Toronto).
With Canada clamping down on permanent immigration, borders becoming more lethal globally, over 50 million people displaced around the world, indigenous communities demanding and asserting control over their territories while trade agreements take away community self-determination, join us in lead up to the 8th annual May Day of Action for a discussion on Borders. What are they? What are they not? What is a no-border struggle in the current context? Is it the same everywhere? What does decolonization work mean when thinking about borders?
7:00pm-9:00pm Panel and Discussion
Followed by DJs and Social (9pm-11pm)
DJ DJ Tanner + DJ Essex
5-10$ sliding scale, no one turned away
Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham Street
(Proceeds to support Undoing Border Tour and cover costs)
We didn't cross the borders, the borders crossed us!
The bodies of Indigenous people, queer people, migrants, people of colour and the poor have been exploited, governed, labelled and regulated by the Canadian and US states. The state has tried to interfere in our communities, our languages, our families, our love relationships and our ability to seek refuge. But we have seen that if we resist, we can win! No One Is Illegal-Toronto, along with our friends at Queers Against Israeli Apartheid call on queers, trans folks, two-spirted people, people of colour, migrants, workers, students, radicals, and allies to join us for an evening of discussion, reflection and celebration.
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has reintroduced Bill C-4 (formerly Bill C-49), the so-called Preventing Human Smuggling Bill. Under this Bill, any group of migrants can be designated 'a smuggling incident'. Once they have been designated as such, migrants can be jailed for up to 12 months; are denied the ability apply for permanent resident status for five years after they have been granted refugee status; cannot apply on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, for a temporary resident permits or refugee travel documents for five years or longer; are banned from appealing an unfavorable decision and cannot sponsor their families five years. Bill C-4 also gives immigration officers powers to arrest and detain any foreign national or permanent resident on suspicions of criminal activity without proof.
On June 20, 2011, World Refugee Day, migrant justice activists from No One Is Illegal - Toronto hung a 40 feet by 10 feet banner off a major highway in downtown Toronto reading "Canada Jails Refugees".
(2) Take a minute to write letters to the editor, comment on online news stories & post on social media! Reinforce your support for migrants, demand that Bill C4 be scrapped. All letters must be short (100 words), include name, mailing address and daytime phone number of the writer; state “Letter to the Editor” in subject; and content should be in the body of the email. Globe and Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Toronto Star: email@example.com; National Post: firstname.lastname@example.org; 24 Hours: email@example.com; Now Toronto: firstname.lastname@example.org; Metro News: http://www.metronews.ca/toronto/contactus
(3) Let Jason Kenney know what you think about his racist anti-migrant bill. Call him 403-225-3480 or 613-992-2235; Email email@example.com; Twitter @kenneyjason
“Thank you. To all the people that signed petitions, that came out to rallies, all the organizations that have supported me, Thank you from the bottom of my heart. The detention centre is still full, with kids and families. It's not fair. It's not fair that police are working with immigration to arrest people. We need change now. I hope that people in the community will continue to fight for justice for immigrants and refugees.” Alvaro Orozco, May 31, 2011
No One Is Illegal - Toronto joins Toronto’s queer and arts community in celebrating the upcoming release of Alvaro Orozco from immigration detention. Alvaro has been in detention since Friday, May 13th, after being racially profiled and arrested by Toronto Police outside Ossington station. Alvaro Orozco’s Humanitarian & Compassionate application for immigration status was approved late Tuesday afternoon and he will be released back to his community on Wednesday.
Community power, grassroots organizing from St.John's to Victoria, and Alvaro’s inspiring resilience in the face of immigration-detention created this people’s victory. Even though most mainstream media outlets refused to cover Alvaro’s story, we were able to organize immense public pressure in the last two weeks. Undaunted by the continuous attacks of the Harper government, and their neo-con agenda, we assert again today that when we fight together, we win.