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Solidarity with striking workers at York University and the University of Toronto

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No One Is Illegal Toronto affirms our solidarity with members of CUPE 3903 at York University and members of CUPE 3902 at the University of Toronto in their fight for a non-concessionary and just collective agreement.

What did No One Is Illegal - Toronto do in 2014?

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As we enter 2015, No One Is Illegal - Toronto would like to take a moment to reflect on our work over the last year to prepare for the work ahead. Knowing where we came from allows us to chart where we want to go. This report is a way for us to communicate and be accountable to the many people that make up our broader movement for migrant justice. It is you, the families fighting detentions and deportations; those that are trying to access services; and the communities that take to the streets despite great risk that made this work possible.

Please read the report and let us know how we can collectively escalate our efforts, and improve our tactics and strategies for change. If you find our work important, please consider joining us or becoming a monthly financial sustainer.

No One Is Illegal - Toronto 2014 organizing highlights:

  • Organized 16 street rallies, marches, and direct actions.
  • Organized, supported or spoke at over 50 forums, panels, community gatherings and workshops.
  • Supported 95 individuals or families in their fight against detentions or deportations or to access services.
  • Released a know your rights video for immigrants to confront immigration detention.
  • Won an end to Ontario Ministry of Transportation collusion with federal immigration enforcement.
  • Won an opinion against Canadian immigration detention from the United Nations.
  • Released a ground-breaking report showing signs of political interference in detention review processes, and supported multiple mainstream media exposes on immigration detention.
  • Passed implementation steps to make Toronto a Sanctuary City at City Hall.
  • Released 18 public education, and archiving videos that gathered over 15,000 views.
  • Worked with dozens of grassroots organizations, community groups, and labour unions across the country.
  • Honouring Evelyn: Solidarity with Migrant and Sex Workers

    Evelyn Bumatay Castillo was murdered on Saturday, October 11th at Quality Inn near Toronto International Airport. 43-years-old and a Filipino citizen, Evelyn came to Canada as a temporary foreign worker in January 2013. While caring for a family with three children, Evelyn was also working as an independent sex worker. Evelyn is survived by an 86-year-old mother in the Philippines and a 22-year-old son, who she had not seen in 10 years while working abroad to support her family.

    No One Is Illegal - Toronto Statement on Israeli Attacks on Gaza

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    No One is Illegal Toronto calls for an immediate end to the ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza and the Palestinian people. We insist: End the Siege of Gaza!

    Israeli air strikes and the subsequent ground invasion have resulted in almost 1300 deaths, majority civilian including over 200 children. The number of dead and injured innocents continues to rise. This callous attack on human life is an extension of Israeli policy that has suffocated life in the occupied territories for 60 years and imprisoned millions in the world's largest open air prison. These attacks and the ongoing occupation of Palestine must end.

    Since 1948, millions of Palestinians have been turned into refugees, forced out by the theft of their land. Palestinians today face check-points, an illegal apartheid wall, blockades, bombings, and starvation at the hands of the Israeli government. Food, medical supplies, oil, water, energy and access to education are denied to Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. In the face of this onslaught, Palestinians resist. We in No One Is Illegal - Toronto support that resistance.

    Solidarity with Isa Haider Al-Aali and all of immigration detainees

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    We are writing to firmly express our solidarity with the campaign to stop the deportation of Isa Haider Al-Aali, and all of the migrants being jailed in detention centres across the United Kingdom. Nearly three weeks ago, over 150 detainees in the privately-run Harmondsworth detention centre – Britain's largest detention facility – started a hunger strike that spread to four of the UK's 10 detention centres.

    Hundreds of detainees locked up without charges refused food and occupied common spaces, demanding better prison conditions, access to medical services and legal aid, and the an end to the asylum “Fast Track,” which jails refugee claimants upon arrival and denies their right to appeal court decisions. They are detained for the duration of their claims while 99% of applications are denied. In an attempt to punish detainees for their resistance, strike organizers were moved to other detention centres or placed into solitary confinement.

    This International Workers' Day: Support, Don't Deport.

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    International Workers’ Day Statement by No One Is Illegal Toronto and No One Is Illegal Vancouver, Coast Salish Territory

    Last Thursday, Jason Kenney announced a moratorium on new and pending permits of migrant workers in the fast food and restaurant sector. This is a mass deportation order.

    Though exact numbers are as yet unknown, there were 44,000 Labour Market Opinions in the food and accommodation sector issued in 2012. Thus, approximately that many migrants will be shut out this year. Migrants abroad with pending applications have also likely paid recruiters thousands of dollars to come to Canada. To do so, many have gone into immense debt that they will not be able to get out of. Workers already here will be unable to change jobs and apply for new LMOs in the sector, leaving them tied to potentially abusive employers.

    The ex-Immigration Minister and now Employment Minister Jason Kenney has been on a war path since 2008, systematically shutting out refugees, spouses, permanent residents and citizens. To do so, he has fanned the flames of xenophobia and racism coining terms such as 'bogus refugees', 'marriages fraud', 'birth tourism', 'human smugglers' and 'foreign criminals'. In 2012, the Conservative government cancelled over 250,000 permanent residency applications without processing them. New refugee laws passed at the end of 2012 have halved the total number of refugee applicants in the country - in essence excluding 10,000 people. Laws passed in 2011 will mean that migrant workers who have been here for four years or more will face deportation in January 2015. Add to that the nearly 90,000 people deported under Harper's regime - we are witnessing an enormous wave of mass deportations and exclusion.

    Challenges to these have been posed, but have never become a unified social justice concern. That must change.

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