Wednesday, July 22, 2009

News of the following demonstration, sponsored by No One is Illegal Toronto comes Molly's way via the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP). The issue has been in the news recently with the Harper government deciding to impose visa requirements on visitors from both the Czech Republic and Mexico. Needless to say this has led to all sorts of bitterness in the countries affected. The supposed justification is that many people from these countries (the Roma in the case of the Czech Republic and those wishing to escape the drug wars in the case of Mexico) apply for a refugee status when they land in Canada, a status that the ruling Conservatives feel they don't deserve. The question of whether the Roma in all of eastern Europe are being persecuted (they are) or whether parts of Mexico are ineed overwhelmingly dangerous is beside the point to the government.
To Molly's eyes this sort of petty grandstanding (the stacked refugee boards routinely deny such status anyways, at least to Mexicans) on the Conservative's part has all the aspects of "throwing a bone" to their more rabid right wing supporters. This sort of thing, along with such visible petty actions as denying funding to gay festivals (in Montréal) or demoting ministers who let such grants slip by (as in Toronto), will, according to the hopes of Harper and his cronies, serve to pacify the right who must look askance at the recent conversion of the Conservatives to what will undoubtedly be very long term deficits and who will be ill at ease with the need to serve a more left wing administration in Washington. Throw the buggers a few little bones and they'll keep on marching out from the churches to the voting booths. Or so the Conservatives hope.
Others are appalled at this bit of vindictiveness. Here's the story of what's happening tomorrow. If you live down TO way try and join up with the demo.
No One Is Illegal-Tor July 23: Don't Close the Border on Refugees:
No One Is Illegal-Toronto Events, Updates & News
No Visa? No Rights?!
Community Rally & March
Thursday, July 23rd 1:00pm
Meet at the corner of Davenport & Perth (to get there by transit, take the168 Symington bus from Dundas West station)
Come raise your voice against the Canadian government's recent decision to impose visa requirements on Mexico and the Czech Republic!
Using arbitrary powers, granted to him under Bill C-50, Kenney single-handedly slammed the door on migrants and refugees from Mexico and the Czech Republic last week.
Kenney's decision shows blatant disregard for asylum-seekers fleeing racism, violence and persecution and prevents families from reuniting. Following US-style workplace raids this spring, these new visa requirements are a clear escalation in the attack on migrant communities that force people to apply for a tourist visa before being able to apply for refuge. This change limits poor and working people's entrance to Canada to precarious and temporary work programs.
Rather than considering the individual merits of each case as stated under the Refugee Protection Act, Kenney has just decided that all claims from these countries are "bogus and illegitimate"!
NAFTA and the SPP regime are responsible for displacing millions within Mexico. The American led, Canadian backed War on Drugs has resulted in violence that has killed over 6000 people in 2008 alone. On one hand, the Canadian government has warned Canadians against traveling to Mexico (in a travel advisory this spring issued by DFAIT), but on the other hand continues to assert that Queers, Women surviving domestic violence and others fleeing persecution can be safe in Mexico.
Obviously there are two standards of safety: one for Canadians and one for people in the global south. The escalation of racist violence in the Czech Republic has gone unmentioned in Canadian and EU political circles. Kenney has turned a blind eye to vicious neo-Nazi attacks on the Roma people. Kenney also lies about the failures in Roma refugee cases - for when the Immigration and Refugee Board has actually heard a Roma case, even this arbitrary body has granted status 85% of the time.
Lets learn from history - don't let the borders be shut on refugees and immigrants!
Join your neighbors in defense of our rights!
Demand Status for All!
There will be speakers at the rally from the Roma Community Centre, the FCJ Refugee Centre, No One Is Illegal-Toronto and others.
Organized by the Bread and Bricks Davenport-West Social Justice Group. For more info call 416.652.7867 ext. 237.
Endorsed by: No One Is Illegal-Toronto
To read more on Kenney's lies and attacks, read:
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Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
10 Britain St.
Toronto, ON M5A 1R6

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