Emergency Forum on Racism and Immigrants

Posted by admin on Oct 15th, 2007


Tuesday October 16, 2007 @ 6 pm. Philippine Women’s Centre. 451 Powell Street. Children welcome.

In light of increasing racial violence against immigrants, the normalizing of public racist discourse against immigrants, and escalating border and security measures that are disproportionately impacting racialized communities, we are organizing an emergency community forum and discussion. We strongly encourage all communities and individuals that are being impacted as well as all allies to attend in order to build a more broad-based and effective anti-racist movement.

Although nothing new, in the past few months we are witnessing an escalation of overt racial attacks and discourse, for example recent acts of violence against South Asian elders and farmworkers, the phenomenon of “nippertipping” against Asian-Canadian fisherfolk; and countless highly publicized incidents suggesting that immigrants are not ‘integrating properly’ as evident through Bruce Allen’s comments, the reasonable accommodation’ hearings in Quebec, the issue about identifying women in hijab, and much more.

We understand how these incidents are not exceptions; rather they are more obvious examples of an underlying racism that continuously places racialized immigrants (although not white immigrants) as ‘Outsiders’ to the Canadian nation and so-called Canadian culture. It is evident how this racism has created a general climate of hysteria, distrust, and skepticism of immigrant communities. The very fact that entire communities are considered ‘immigrant’ although many of have resided on the indigenous territories of Turtle Island for centuries, reveals their second-class positioning.

Therefore we feel that such comments are not harmless or simply an issue of free speech; they are used to normalize overt and covert systems of racism and exclusion- especially to demonize societies of the global South who are impacted by Western militarization and occupation and through domestic repressive immigration, border, and security policies: the deportation of ‘unwanted’ migrants such as Laibar Singh who are considered ‘drains to the system’; the denial of rights to migrant workers who are only valued for their labour but not their human dignity; continued associated of immigrants to terrorism through use of Security Certificates and racial profiling particularly of Muslim, Arab, Middle Eastern, and South Asian men; summary deportation of Latin American and Caribbean asylum-seekers at the Eastern border who are being portrayed as ‘illegal immigrants flooding’ the Canadian border, and much more.

We hope you will join us in this crucial community forum and discussion and to together build on historical struggles and resistance movements against racism.

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