Saturday, September 11, 2010

latest update from NOII-Ottawa

*** End of season update, a look back at the summer, and a look ahead to the fall (of capitalism) ***

No One Is Illegal - Ottawa (NOII-Ottawa) is an anti-capitalist, anti-colonial migrant justice grassroots organization based in Ottawa. We are migrants, indigenous people and allies. We build campaigns of opposition to racist and xenophobic governments and policies. We believe in mass mobilization, direct action, public education and grassroots agitation. We are part of a broad network of NOIIs existing in cities across Canada and allies around the world.

Summer of Rage

This summer, NOII-Ottawa took an active role locally in mobilizing against the G20 summit in Toronto. We opposed the G20 because their anti-people policies have negatively affected migrant communities, among many others. We are opposed to the brutal continuation of rabid capitalist and colonial policies. Along with our allies from disabled communities, the poor and working poor, the labour movement, queer people and anarchists, thousands of us took to the streets to directly confront and disrupt the G20 and business as usual. We made it loud and clear that we are in this struggle together, that we have got each other’s backs, and that we are angry and organized. A full week of inspiring actions took place, and through it all our networks came out of it stronger and more unified. Meeting each other face to face, and seeing the potential that we hold was a boost for NOII-Ottawa and the anti-capitalist movement inside occupied Turtle Island.

In August, NOII-Ottawa also joined up with NOIIs from across the country in days of action in support of the MV Sun Sea migrants. A boat carrying nearly 500 Tamil migrants arrived in British Columbia to a welcoming committee of xenophobic news articles, racist hysteria and jail. In response, the NOII network set to work to dispel some of the myths surrounding these Tamil refugees, and in many cities took to the streets to denounce racist ministers Jason Kenney and Vic Towes. In Ottawa, NOII called for a demo at Jason Kenney’s office. While his spokesperson was slandering us in the news, nearly a hundred of us mobilized in support of the Tamil migrants and in support of status for all.

NOII-Ottawa also organized around Capital Pride, Ottawa’s annual pride week celebrations and LGBT pride march. We hosted a panel called ‘‘Queers in Radical Struggles’’, where speakers addressed the criminalization of HIV, the role of queers in the struggle against Israeli Apartheid and the parallels between the migrant justice movement and the queer movement. During Pride week, NOII-Ottawa also had a contingent in the pride parade where many of our members marched alongside the anti-Israeli Apartheid contingent organized by Queer Faction, a local radical queer group. Our contingent handed out flyers addressing Jason Kenney’s xenophobia and homophobia.


Because of the flurry of activity this summer, NOII-Ottawa is currently in a very exciting phase. The links with individuals and organizations that we have made this summer are very important to us and will surely play a role in our upcoming fall plans.

NOII-Ottawa is attending meetings to support the Indigenous Sovereignty Week events, organized by a loose coalition of unions and activist groups. The Indigenous People’s Solidarity Movement, which is also involved with the planning of the week are long-time allies of ours. We look forward to supporting their work and the demands of ISW.

In late September we will be co-hosting a panel on the role of casework in radical organizations and movements. We are very excited to share a stage with the amazing folks at the Immigrants Workers Center, Stella and ASTTeQ (Trans Health Action of Quebec).

Also in late September, NOII-Ottawa will have a contingent and a speaker at the annual ‘Take Back the Night’ march, where we will address the role of deportations and xenophobia in perpetuating violence against women.

On Saturday November 20th we are gearing up for a big Status For All march in Ottawa. It has been years since NOII marched on Ottawa, and we feel it is important to have pressure building in Ottawa, the capital of this racist state. The march will be an important part of our ‘Solidarity City’ campaign. With that campaign we are working towards establishing a comprehensive city-wide network of organizations and service providers that will commit themselves publicly to ensuring safe access to basic services and community spaces for non-status people, so that everyone in our city, regardless of immigration status, can live here with dignity and without fear of exclusion or deportation. The November 20th march will be a way to build excitement about the campaign, as well as a time where we can declare our intentions and mobilize our communities.

It’s going to be a hectic season for NOII-Ottawa, so we appreciate all help we can get. To join NOII, to learn about upcoming meetings and events, or to state your support, please get in touch with us at: