Thursday, April 28, 2011
No One Is Illegal groups continue to struggle on the streets for migrant justice across North America against increasingly repressive and racist immigration controls. We join together once again this year with workers around the world during May Day demonstrations to assert our dignity and affirm international solidarity with those who dare to challenge borders and capitalism. We also take our struggle to the courts where a member of No One Is Illegal, Jaggi Singh, is pleading guilty to counseling to commit mischief and is facing six months in prison, for rightfully asserting that the G20 security fence was illegitimate and courageously calling for it to be torn down!
Close to one year ago, No One is Illegal joined with thousands on the streets of Toronto and dared to dream of a world without borders and fences. We marched with Indigenous people, migrants, poor people, people of colour, queer and trans people, feminists, disabled people, anarchists, anti-poverty activists, rank and file labour activists, anti-capitalists, environmental justice activists, and community organizers to confront the G20 leaders in Toronto.
We dared to challenge the illegitimate fence that separated the rich and powerful elite conspiring to an agreement of global austerity at the G20 from the people on the streets who inevitably are meant to bear the brunt of these policies. We reclaimed power, we shook the fence, and we broke through the police lines. We then went back to our communities and continued building our movements for social, economic, and environmental justice and autonomy.
Today, we unite again in solidarity with our friends and allies who challenged the validity of the G20 security fence and are facing state repression. Those facing charges, including members of No One Is Illegal Toronto and Montreal, have been targeted and persecuted because of their work struggling for self-determination in our communities. The state's attempt to criminalize these individuals is a targeted attempt to silence our movements. But we have not allowed the courts, the police, or the media to divide our solidarity. We demand the immediate release and dropping of charges of all those still facing criminal charges.
The Crown and the courts are alleging it is a crime to challenge and call for the dismantling of the fence. We collectively stand by the public statements made by various members of No One Is Illegal and our allies at the People's Summit, the press conference at the fence, and our joint release. We asserted then, and we assert now, that the militarized fence - another physical and ideological symbol of global apartheid, corporate greed, and a way to keep the elite separate from the people – should have come down.
We recall that the same things were said of the acts of those who built the Underground Railroad, of those who dared to challenge slavery. We recall that the same things were said of those who tore down the walls of the Woomera detention camp, who dared to challenge racist and xenophobic borders. We recall that the same things were said of those who tore down the fences of Bantustans, who dared to resist Apartheid in South Africa. We reassert that the G20 fence among all other barriers that prevent ordinary people from making meaningful decisions about their lives must be torn down!
And we will tear the fences down. While the security state may have weapons of destruction, we too have weapons: weapons of hope, weapons of unity, weapons of solidarity – and they will overcome these fences!
The type of repression that has followed the G20 is symptomatic of the broader policies of exploitation that are the daily reality for Indigenous, poor and racialized communities. The G8 and G20 leaders and their corporate masters erect borders, manufacture weaponry, pillage the earth with industrial projects, and profit from war. The repression of migrants in Canada has steadily increased – we have seen unprecedented powers transferred to the Immigration Minister and enforcement officers to determine who can come into Canada and who is left out; we have seen major cuts to family reunification programs, to work visas, to avenues for permanent residency. New regulations mean that temporary migrant workers are permanently temporary, exploited and indentured, while thousands of refugees and asylum seekers remain behind bars in detention centres.
Daily, we stand in solidarity with those who are deemed “illegal” by the colonial state and are forced to live under the threat of detention and deportation. And daily, we organize against the racism and xenophobia that defines the history of colonization and displacement in Canada. We are growing and building as movements, and on May 1st thousands will take to the streets to assert that our dreams don’t fit in ballot boxes. That tangible political changes will only happen through the grassroots mobilization of our communities. We call on everyone residing on these occupied Indigenous lands to join us on the streets, in community centres, in schools, in work places, in parks and all other places where we are building resistance everyday. No One is Illegal unites with all of those around the world who are resisting austerity measures – from Greece to Egypt, from Chiapas to Six Nations, from Haiti to Palestine.
We understand that revolution at its root is driven by people’s dreams and desires. No Fences, No Borders! No One Is Illegal, Canada Is Illegal!
* June 19 Videos, courtesy NOII-Toronto, of No One Is Illegal and allies
at the People's Summit "“Colonialism, Capitalism, and Migration":
* June 22 Statement “No One Is Illegal at the G8/G20 Mobilizations in
* June 24th Video of No One Is Illegal and Indigenous Defenders of the
Land at “No Fences, No Borders” press conference at the G20 fence in
* July 3rd Statement "No One Is Illegal Solidarity with the anti-G20
**NOTE: No one criminally charged with being involved in anti-G20 related actions was involved in drafting or writing this statement.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
URGENT – SUPPORT NEEDED FOR MOE AND SOPHIE!
Note time change! Now 2 pm
DEPORTATION ORDER TO BE SERVED ON MOHAMED HARKAT
If you can, please be there to show your support--
Date: Friday, January 21, 2011
Time: 2:00 pm
Place: Canada Border Services Agency, 2265 St. Laurent Blvd
Moe and his lawyer, Matthew Webber will be available for questions afterward.
Moe will not be deported immediately. CBSA will conduct an assessment of danger and the security certificate finding is under appeal. In fact, serving the deportation order at this time is harassment. And deportation to torture is always illegal.
Whether or not you can come tomorrow, show your support by signing the new statement of the Justice for Mohamed Harkat Committee at www.harkatstatement.com
Stop Secret Trials. Abolish Security Certificates . No deportation to torture.
Please forward and post widely !!! We could really use your help. SVP faire circuler.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
No One Is Illegal (Ottawa) was saddened to hear the tragic news this morning of the deaths in the Christmas Island boat crash. The roughly 70 asylum seekers aboard the boat were part of the massive worldwide population of people pushed into increasingly dangerous situations in their migration to safer or better places for themselves and their families.
Inhumane immigration laws force desperate people to risk their lives -- and the lives of their loved ones-- in order to flee violent repressive governments, poverty, political persecution, war and environmental destruction. People know their chances are better with human smugglers and rickety boats than western immigration laws.
"According the UN refugee agency, an estimated 848 people died or went missing in 2009 in Italy, Yemen, Spain, and Greece — the main areas worldwide of large-scale migration," reports the Globe and Mail.
"Climbing over razor wire fences, taking to sea in leaking boats or stowing away in airless containers, refugees and migrants around the world risk their lives every day in desperate attempts to find safety or a better life," the UNHCR says on its website.
No One Is Illegal (Ottawa) believes that migrants are pushed into these dangerous situations by increasingly restrictive and xenophobic immigration policies in countries such as Greece, Australia, Canada and the United States. First world countries are making it harder and harder for refugees and immigrants to cross borders. The residents of Christmas Island were throwing life jackets to the refugees, while the Australian government continues dragging its heels on creating a welcoming refugee policy. We firmly believe that these deaths are on the hands of racist politicians who have been viciously attacking the right to migrate, the right to stay and the right to return to one's homeland.
Here in Canada, Jason Kenney, Minister of Censorship and Deportations, has been attacking migrants and refugee claimants who travel by irregular means, such as the Tamils of the MV Sun Sea, labelling them as terrorists and queue-jumpers. Currently the Conservative party is trying to pass bill C-49, a bill that would throw what they call "irregular migrants" and those who help them (often referred to as smugglers) into mandatory detention sentences, with no avenues for appeal. We oppose such racist legislations and will continue to fight by the side of all those who struggle for a better, safer life.
In response to these tragic deaths, we say NO ONE IS ILLEGAL – OPEN ALL BORDERS.
In defense for human smuggling!http://toronto.nooneisillegal.org/node/507
Monday, November 29, 2010
please forward widely*
statement on the Ottawa Police
No One Is Illegal (Ottawa)
Pro-Choice Coalition of Ottawa
Under PressureCommon Cause Ottawa
On Saturday November 20th two queer activists were arrested for unfurling a banner as part of the Trans Day of Remembrance events. The banner, which read ''Remember Stonewall?'', was dropped from a highway overpass near the Ottawa Police station on Elgin street, where a flag-raising ceremony for TDOR was about to take place. Many in the queer and trans community were upset that some TDOR organizers would choose to host an event with the police, given how tense the relationship between queer and trans groups and the cops has become. The flag-raising ceremony at the cop shop was supposed to turn into a march to Parliament Hill, but many in the community chose to gather at Minto park, a few blocks away, as an alternate to the police ceremony – making it clear that the police do not have the trust of many in Ottawa's queer and trans community.
Many groups have found it increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to work with the police, and so we would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our opposition to the idea that we must always work with the cops.
Many of us come from communities that have long been targeted by police forces, and continue today to be harassed by and experience violence from those same forces. We are queer, poor, non-status, trans, racialized, sex-workers, indigenous, disabled and homeless. We have been victims of violence, wrongful arrests, sexual assaults, intimidation and ridicule by the police.
This has been the case for many many years. But recently, in the last year, the systemic nature of abuses on the part of the Ottawa police has been so exposed that even the most sympathetic can no longer excuse it as 'a few bad apples'.
Earlier this year Ottawa Police released the photograph of a man who didn't disclose his HIV-positive status to partners, using the words "sexual predator” in media communications. The young man is now being charged with aggravated sexual assault for allegedly spreading a sexually transmitted disease. His picture made the front page of Ottawa newspapers. Despite this being widely condemned by HIV activists and community organizations, Police Chief Vern White stood by his decision earlier this year to release the photograph. By flatly rejecting a community proposal to review and develop policy guidelines for prosecution for HIV non-disclosure cases, Chief White showed no interest in collaboration and chose to ignore the expertise of HIV/AIDS community organizations and legal opinions denouncing this intensification of the criminalization of HIV. The outrage over this incident caused deep divisions in the queer community during Ottawa Pride in August, when official Pride organizers invited the Ottawa police to speak at the human rights vigil as part of the week's events, prompting an outcry from community-based HIV/AIDS organizations and activists in which they stated that if the police were not uninvited from the event they would be forced to withdraw and organize independently.
This summer well over a thousand people were arrested at the mass anti-G20 mobilizations in Toronto. Some were beaten, some were dragged from their beds in the early hours of the days of action, some were captured on their way to or from the protests and some were caught in mass arrests. Most of the arrestees have had their charges dropped, though some still face serious Conspiracy charges, draconian bail conditions, while some remain in jail and others face deportation.
On June 18th of this year three local activists were arrested. One was released a few days later under strict conditions, another spent months in jail, and another remains locked up today. Charges have been stayed for two of the arrestees, but the damage to their lives has already been done. In addition, through the court proceedings it was discovered that police had not only had active surveillance on local activist groups, but actually had an undercover agent infiltrating social justice organizations.
Recently, an Ottawa police officer who followed a cab driver to the airport, in a fit of road-rage after being cut off on the road, and broke the cab driver's arm after uttering racial slurs, was acquitted. Despite the obvious racist motivations behind the attack, and the complicity of other officers in the incident, the Police Chief chose to defend his officers and faced sharp criticisms from the taxi driver's union who could not be appeased, and demanded that the entirety of the Ottawa police force be reviewed and that Chief White address the systemic racism of the force.
Recently, a number of women have gone public with charges of harassment and assault against Ottawa police officers, many of them implicating the same officers in a more than one incident of abuse – officers who remain employed by the Ottawa police. We learned about the case of a young woman who was arrested, sexually assaulted – violence which was caught on police video – and held for hours by the Ottawa police after having committed no crime. Walking through the Byward Market late at night she was a victim of social profiling. A judge called her treatment a ''travesty.'' Two weeks later, another woman came forward with a lawsuit against the same officers, among others, for assault while in custody and wrongful arrest. And this past weekend, another Ottawa woman also came forward with charges of sexual assault and mistreatment while in custody after being arrested without cause.
We say that these are not random or unrelated incidents. And they are also just the tip of the iceberg, further proof of a bad system that must be changed immediately.
These are not just a few bad apples – this is a corrupt, illegitimate, and violent institution. More than the high profile cases that we see on the news, it is the institutionalized discrimination and day-to-day abuses of the police that worry us the most: systemic racism and misogyny, the continued arrests of sex workers, the ticketing of panhandlers, the lack of any real action for the hundreds of missing aboriginal women, the harassment and criminalization of drug users and countless other offences. Despite mountains of proof that criminalization does more harm than good, it continues to be the only agenda that this city is willing to put money behind. This dangerous strategy is being implemented by a police force with a long and troubling history of violence, abuse of authority, and impunity. This is not a system that we deem fair and democratic and this is not a system that we will cooperate with.
We applaud the efforts of all those struggling for justice and freedom, and those who have risked or lost their freedoms in this fight. We stand in solidarity with all prisoners and all those struggling to survive in the face of a system that would rather see them dead. We will continue to support all political arrestees and all those subjected to police brutality, and continue to proclaim loudly that the police are not our friends.
For more information and recent articles about our local police force:
Friday, November 5, 2010
NOII-Ottawa drops banner on Pinecrest/Greenbank bridge over the 417, at 7am Nov 5, 2010. Protesting Bill C-49.
On the early morning of Friday November 5th the migrant justice group No One Is Illegal (Ottawa) has unfurled a massive banner on the Pinecrest/Greenbank bridge over the 417 in protest of Bill C-49.
Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney have proposed a new Immigration Act, Bill C-49. It would allow the Minister of Public Safety to declare any group of migrants coming in to Canada, a 'smuggling incident'. There is no definition of a 'smuggler' in this Act.
For the asylum seekers who are declared part of an incident (which could be anyone making a refugee claim in a groups of 2 or more), the Conservative government wants to:
Jail them for a minimum of one year
Deny access to health services
Deny monthly detention reviews, allowing migrants in jail a chance to gain freedom only once every 6 months
Be able to revoke people's refugee status after it has been granted by the refugee determination process
Ban applications for permanent residence for five years after gaining refugee status
Bar people from reuniting with their families for five years after gaining refugee status
Stop people from leaving Canada for five years after gaining refugee status
Deny the right of appeal to a rejected refugee claim
Put in an ex-CSIS director and the man responsible for police brutality during the G20 as a special advisor on human migration
No One Is Illegal (Ottawa), as well as many other migrant rights groups across Canada are outraged by this proposed Bill.
We think it is imperative that people across Canada are aware of this bill and its implications. No One Is Illegal is also co-ordinating a letter writing and fax campaign.
No One Is Illegal (Ottawa) believes that all forms of migration should never be criminalized, specifically refugees often are forced to make the difficult but necessary decision to travel in irregular ways. In doing so they are not breaking any laws, but rather are doing what is necessary for their families and their own safety. Furthermore we oppose border militarization as well as all forms of racism and xenophobia.
We are a coalition of migrants and allies that advocates and fights for the rights, dignity, and respect of immigrants and refugees, as well as those living without status in Canada. we are against capitalism and we believe in abolishing borders. We call for Status For All. We also stand in solidarity with the struggles of indigenous peoples for land, self-determination and sovereignty for further media enquires contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org