Posters: I am a Human Smuggler

Posted by admin on Jan 18th, 2011


**View the posters:
No One Is Illegal Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories Poster Series
No One Is Illegal Vancouver Coast Salish Territories Poster Series
Under the banner of combating “human smuggling” and deterring the arrival of boats such as the MV Sun Sea, politicians are proposing and debating blatantly anti-migrant legislation. Criminalizing smuggling cannot prevent human migration as millions of people across the globe are forcibly displaced from their lands and communities due to military occupation, environmental degradation, and corporate profiteering.

Much like the hypocritical ideology of “liberation” through military occupation, anti-smuggling provisions are justified through the rhetoric of protecting migrants. In reality, such legislation only increases the stakes in irregular, often dangerous, migration. There are an estimated 500 deaths per year at the US-Mexico border and over 1000 deaths at the African-European border.

We affirm human smuggling as an often necessary pathway to protection and freedom. Human smuggling exists as a symptom in a broader context of increasing border controls, repressive immigration policies, and racist security processes that cast migrants as undesirable human cargo.

We also reject anti-trafficking legislation that perpetuates exploitation of women and children through policies of detention and deportation. In actuality, the state is the biggest culprit in the trafficking of humans – importing hundreds of thousands of exploitable migrant labour to the fields and homes of Canadians to toil under conditions of servitude and legally denying them basic rights.

Rather than despair, historic resistance from within the walls of detention centres to human underground railroads has inspired us to create a poster series “I am a human smuggler”. 

We encourage you to please download, post, and distribute this poster linked above widely from here

**No One Is Illegal Toronto and The South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario held a public forum on January 11, 2011 called “Can human smuggling be defended?” Watch the video


Canada’s immigration system is not broken. It is the result of a perfected system of social control, containment, and commodification. We do not advocate for more humane politicians or more generous laws. We demand an end to detentions and deportations and the violence of all cages of control. We demand the abolition of exploitative temporary worker programs. We demand workers control over their own production, not corporate wage-slave working conditions that commodifies human beings especially women. We demand status for all those who have been deemed illegal in order to justify theft of their labour.  From Turtle Island to Afghanistan, we demand the dismantling of Fortress North America and its border security pacts as well as the global military-industrial complex, all of which deliberately creates and justifies a culture of fear and repression.

We say this because we challenge the very notion that some people are more deserving of a fulfilling life than others.  Ideologies of worth are based on racism and domination that have justified the dehumanization and genocide of peoples across the world. Instead, we assert the basic principle of self-determination. That people have the right to remain in their homes in the face of global displacement due to land theft, occupation, corporate globalization, and other capitalist and imperialist forces. That in light of the freedom afforded to capital and armies, people are free to move whether due to persecution or poverty, or simply in order to flourish with dignity. That people have the inherent right to return to the lands of which they have been unjustly dispossessed.

The Canadian state and its economy are built on the theft of Indigenous lands; the exploitation of labour, especially slave, migrant, and reproductive labour; and the global appropriation of natural resources. The ongoing apartheid reality instituted through reserves and sweatshops is one that must be fundamentally uprooted and transformed. We envision and actively strive to create a humanity where everyone has the right to sustenance and the ability to provide it, where we are free of oppression, misery, and exploitation, and are able to live meaningfully with one another and in reverence for the land that sustains us.

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