national insecurities

Posted by admin on Mar 21st, 2006

n a t i o n a l   ( i n ) s e c u r i t i e s

…. An evening of cultural resistance with our community of courageous poets and word warriors performing staged readings of Kafka’s The Trial, readings of statements from detainees in the War on Terror, along with poetry readings and spoken word performances….

Hari Alluri * Chin Banerjee * Nadine Chambers * Charlie Demers * Filipino Canadian Youth Alliance * Junie Desil * Phinder Dulai * Raul Gatica * Fiona Jeffries * Aziz Khaki * Katsumi Kimoto * Marge Lam * Cecily Nicholson * Carmen Rodriguez * Tom Sandborn * Ange Sterritt * Itrath Syed * Marcus Youssef

“There can be no doubt—said K.  that behind all the actions of this court of justice, that is to say in my case, behind my arrest and today’s interrogation, there is a great organization at work. An organization which not only employs corrupt warders, oafish Inspectors, and Examining Magistrates of whom the best that can be said is that they recognize their own limitations, but also has at its disposal a judicial hierarchy of high, indeed of the highest rank, with an indispensable and numerous retinue of servants, clerks, police, and other assistants, perhaps even hangmen…”  -The Trial

TUESDAY MARCH 21, 2006 (International Day for the Elimination of Racism)
BONSOR COMMUNITY HALL  (6550 Bonsor Avenue, just one block east of Metrotown Skytrain Station)

Suggested Donation $5-10 (includes dinner). Email or call 778-885-0040 to reserve. The location is wheelchair accessible. Transit tickets available on-site. Childcare provided, please call in advance to register.


The ever-widening web of racist national security in the post 9/11 climate has incarcerated, deported, and killed thousands of people as Western states are combating “terrorism” through militarization and occupation globally and policies of restrictive immigration domestically.

An Amnesty International report documents that over 1,200 foreign nationals — mostly Muslim men of Arab or South Asian origin – have been detained in the United States during inquires into the Sept. 11 attacks, although by the end of 2002, almost none were charged with any crimes related to terrorism. As the detention regime at Guantánamo Bay enters its fifth year, around 500 people from 35 countries continue to be held without charge or trial and there are mounting allegations of torture of detainees.

In Canada, five men are being held on secret evidence without charge under “Security Certificates”, a measure of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. They are imprisoned indefinitely, and mostly in conditions of solitary confinement and face deportation to their countries of origin, even if there is a substantial risk of torture or death. Like the PATRIOT Act in the US, Security Certificates only apply to non-citizens, thus denying certain communities their fundamental rights. Federal Court Judge McKay has stated, “in this great city of Toronto, we have our own Guantánamo Bay”.

Human rights attacks- on bodies marked as foreigners, on people whose ideas are said to be backward, on societies said to be in need of rescuing by the armed forces of democracy- are historically rooted in the imperialist view of indigenous and racialized communities as violent, backward and uncivilized. Such colonial ideology has justified policies of occupation and repression both within and beyond these borders. Over the past five decades, Canada has lent its support to interventions in Vietnam, East Timor, Afghanistan, Haiti, Palestine, and Iraq. Within these borders, Canada’s very establishment has dispossessed indigenous communities and for example, over 22,000 Japanese Canadians were said to be “enemy aliens” and relocated and/or interned during WW II.

Join us on March 21, International Day for the Elimination of Racism, to challenge and confront this historical system of global apartheid and the current racist crusade known as the “ War on Terrorism” in an evening with:

* Hari Alluri is an anti-racist activist based in Victoria and Vancouver and contributor and participant to the Colouring Book Project, a youth-driven writing project on racial identity and socialization.

* Chin Banerjee is a retired professor of English, lifelong lover of Kafka, and founding member of BC Organization to Fight Racism and South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy.

* Nadine Chambers life anchors her to Jamaica, Canada, Trinidad and unearthly points
unseen. Reading in service to social justice is reason to perform publicly after years of silence.

* Charles Demers is a local writer, activist and comedian. He is a founding editor of Seven Oaks magazine and of the Palestine Solidarity Group, and is one half of the sketch-comedy team Bucket.

* Filipino Canadian Youth Alliance (Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada) is a dynamic group of Filipino youth with the long-term vision of educating, organizing, and empowering Filipino youth and struggling for the rights of the entire Filipino community.

* Junie Desil works with the Vancouver Status of Women and is a local Haitian-Canadian activist and poet.

* Phinder Dulai is the author of Ragas From The Periphery (Arsenal Pulp Press 1995) and Basmati Brown (Nightwood Editions, 2000) and has given readings and talks on Canadian literature, with an emphasis on migrant voices. He will be reading from his current ms. Stream.

* Raul Gatica is a member in exile of the Consejo Indigena Popular de Oaxaca “Ricardo Flores Magón” (CIPO-RFM), an indigenous community organization in Oaxaca, Mexico. He has been a teacher, defender of human rights, and as a writer and has won numerous prizes for his poetry and short stories.

* Fiona Jeffries is a long-time activist, student and writer in Vancouver. She is currently writing a dissertation on the politics of fear and mobility struggles amidst the new enclosures in urban fortress North America.

* Aziz Khaki has been involved in the social justice and interfaith community for decades, currently with the Committee for Racial Justice

* Katsumi Kimoto

* Marge Lam was born in East Vancouver, on unceded west coast salish territory, and continues to live in the area. She is of taiwanese and chinese descent. Her disabled arms are teaching her to live well, giving space for her creative energies in music, art, and written production

* Cecily Nicholson: works and volunteers with the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre and with Vancouver Status of Women, most recently on their Racialization of Poverty Project

* Carmen Rodríguez is a Chilean-born bilingual writer, journalist and educator who came to Canada in political exile following the Pinochet military coup. She is the award-winning author of Guerra Prolongada/Protracted War and And a body to remember with/De cuerpo entero. Rodriguez teaches at SFU and is the Vancouver Correspondent for the Spanish Section of Radio Canada.

* Tom Sandborn is a local poet, writer, and activist. He arrived in Vancouver as a Vietnam-era draft resister. He sits on the boards of the BC Civil Liberties Association and of Judith Marcuse Productions.

* Angela Sterritt is a Gitxsan/Irish justice advocate, writer, artist and student. She currently works for Justice for Girls and The International Indigenous Youth Conference Secretariat.

* Itrath Syed is an activist and a graduate student in the Women’s Studies Department at UBC.

* Marcus Youssef is a playwright, performer, freelance journalist and community-educator. His plays include A Line in the Sand and Ali and Ali and the Axes of Evil, a war-on-terror satire. Marcus is currently Interim Artistic Producer at neworldtheatre in Vancouver.

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