In a coordinated effort on Refugee Rights Day, members of refugee and immigrant rights groups including No One Is Illegal are occupying Conservative MP offices in Ottawa, Toronto, St. Catharines, Edmonton, and Vancouver Coast Salish Territories. Banners have also been dropped in Montreal and Halifax. These actions are being organized to demand that the Refugee Exclusion Act, Bill C-31, be discarded.
Update: Vancouver activists are occupying Citizenship and Immigration Canada offices.
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Press release linked here: http://noii-van.resist.ca/?p=4789
FIVE TORY OFFICES BEING OCCUPIED: Occupations of five Conservative MP offices are currently underway at John Baird’s office (2249 Carling Avenue, Ottawa), Ted Opitz’s office (577 Burnhamthorpe Road, Unit 2, Toronto), Rick Dykstra’s office (61 Geneva Street, St. Catharines), Wai Young’s office (6406 Victoria Drive, Vancouver), and Laurie Hawn’s office (11156 - 142nd Street, Edmonton).
ABOUT THE REFUGEE EXCLUSION ACT: The actions and occupations today are part of a campaign against the Refugee Exclusion Act. The Refugee Exclusion Act (Bill C-31) creates a two-tier system of refugee protection that entrenches nationality-based discrimination, mandates jail for many asylum seekers, denies and revokes permanent residency for many who have already been granted refugee status, and violently targets and expels refugees and migrants from Canada. This Act also introduces intrusive biometrics data collection on all migrants and gives increased powers of arrest and detention to border guards. This racist and repressive new bill is a major roll-back on an already minimalist and exclusionary refugee system.
SOLIDARITY MESSAGE: “The Lhe Lin Liyin of the grassroots Wet'suwet'en supports No One Is Illegal in their effort to see the Refugee Exclusion Act axed. The future generations amongst Indigenous, Refugee, and Settler Societies have an opportunity today to make known that we all as a human family require respect, compassion, a home to live in, and our status to be complete and recognized. In a world faced with increased industrial activity, intensifying climate change, and war mongering; refugees require understanding, respect, and safety. The occupation of Canada does not recognize the status of refugees and migrant peoples, but the Indigenous peoples who are the true owners of these lands will!”
BUILDING RESISTANCE: As with opposition to the Tar sands & Enbridge pipeline, Crime bill, public sector layoffs, and the Harper austerity budget, escalated and wide-spread opposition is necessary to ensure justice and dignity for refugees and migrants. The Refugee Exclusion Act is part of a frightening trend towards temporariness – where through shutting the door to permanent residency for refugees, family sponsorships, and skilled workers, Canada is ensuring that migrants are recruited primarily as indentured labour for big business. Hundreds of asylum-seekers languish behind bars, while hundreds of thousands of temporary workers and non-status people toil in fields and factories. Canada and its economy is built on the theft of Indigenous lands and resources locally and globally, and the exploitable (im)migrant labour of those who have been displaced through capitalism and imperialism. If the Refugee Exclusion Act is passed, more migrants will choose precarious means to get to Canada. Today we are sending a clear message to the Tories that their laws and policies will be resisted at every turn and that we will continue to offer our solidarity to migrants. No One Is Illegal, Power to the People!
+ Today go on facebook or twitter, email or text a friend, talk about Refugee Rights Day and the Refugee Exclusion Act. Help Break the Silence! Use #noBillC31 #CdnImm #RefugeeExclusion For more ideas HYPERLINK "http://bit.ly/H95QsJ" http://bit.ly/H95QsJ
+ Learn more – Joint NOII Statement – Axe the Refugee Exclusion Act:
HYPERLINK "http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/no-one-illegal/2012/03/noii-alert-axe-refugee-exclusion-act" http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/no-one-illegal/2012/03/noii-alert-axe-re...
+ Sign & share Amnesty’s appeal to MP’s – easy way to send a message:
HYPERLINK "http://www.amnesty.ca/iwriteforjustice/take_action.php?actionid=843" http://www.amnesty.ca/iwriteforjustice/take_action.php?actionid=843
+ Find your MP’s contact info HYPERLINK "http://bit.ly/mfMkVq" http://bit.ly/mfMkVq and call or write them. Some sample letters HYPERLINK "http://scr.bi/GNtvx2" http://scr.bi/GNtvx2 and HYPERLINK "http://is.gd/jCeRm6" http://is.gd/jCeRm6 and HYPERLINK "http://bit.ly/HzFWYJ" http://bit.ly/HzFWYJ
+ Join No One Is Illegal. Find us at HYPERLINK "http://www.facebook.com/NoOneIsIllegalNetwork" www.facebook.com/NoOneIsIllegalNetwork HYPERLINK "http://www.twitter.com/NoOneIsIllegal" www.twitter.com/NoOneIsIllegal and HYPERLINK "http://www.nooneisillegal.org" www.nooneisillegal.org for updates and events. On May 1 in Toronto join us at 4pm at Nathan Phillips Square for a massive demonstration against the Refugee Exclusion Act and against changes to Family reunification system.