Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No One Is Illegal (NOII) Ottawa says “let them stay"

Monday August 23rd

Ottawa, Ontario

Unceded Algonquin Territory

On Monday August 23rd migrants, Indigenous people and allies rallied outside the Citizenship and Immigration Canada offices in support of the Tamil migrants who have landed in BC aboard the MV Sun Sea.

“From one community of resistance to another, we welcome you” said Pierre Beaulieu-Blais, an Anishnabe member of NOII-Ottawa to the enthusiastic crowd, “as people who have also lost our land and been displaced because of colonialism and racism, we say Open All The Borders! Status For All!”

Monika Thakker, spokesperson for NOII-Ottawa also addressed the crowd, explaining that "Refugees will do whatever they need to do to seek safety for themselves and for their families from violent colonial and military occupations, wars, poverty, and environmental destruction. Borders and immigration controls do not provide security; they make people even more vulnerable to violence." “To those who say that immigrants are a burden, we ask you: Who cleans up after you? Who picks your fruit and vegetables? Who serves you food? Who drives you around? Who builds your houses, your schools, your hospitals? Time and time again, immigrants are scapegoated for the problems of capitalism.”

At its peak, nearly one hundred people gathered to speak up against the racist, anti-immigrant rhetoric that Canadian public officials, such as Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, have spread. The crowd cheered for welcoming immigrants and refugees as people who are deserving of respect, dignity, and freedom of movement.

As Jason Kenney, minister of Citizenship and Immigration, hid in his office under lock down and his spokesperson was lashing out at NOII, the crowd chanted “Jason Kenney Go Away – Tamil Migrants Here to Stay” and “No Borders, No Prisons – Stop the Deportations”. Families, students, Union representatives and other community members distributed hundreds of flyers to onlookers and people walking by, dispelling some of the myths about the Tamil migrants.

No One is Illegal Ottawa is 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.

Contact us:

Myths and Realities about 490 Tamil Refugees on MV Sun Sea:

more info about anti migrant hysteria: