Status for All! Silent March

Posted by admin on Jun 25th, 2005


Lunch served at The Canadian Refugee Camp at Victory Square. The Canadian Refugee Camp will go up prior to the march and visually depicts the various historic and present community struggles against exclusionary immigration policies.

A silent march to honour all the deportees struggling against Citizenship and Immigration Canada….

This march is being organized to coincide with the historic 200 km walk from Montreal to Ottawa being organized by Solidarity Across Borders- a Montreal network of self-organized refugee groups, individuals and their allies- from June 18-25, 2005 to draw attention to the struggles of refugees and immigrants for life and dignity. Dozens of groups have so far endorsed the march, including the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW), the Canadian Union of Postal Employees (CUPW), the Quebec Women’s Federation (FFQ), and many more.

Lack of status, deportations, detentions, and security certificates all contribute to making migrants vulnerable to exploitation, poverty, insecurity and indignities that no one should suffer. In the current political context, as Canada rushes to harmonize its border policies with the United States to create a unified “Fortress North America”, the situation of immigrants and refugees is worsening.

Every day, thousands of migrants and their families struggle against the uncertainties created by the racist and anti-poor processes of criminalization carried out by Immigration Canada. They are forced underground; threatened with detention or with deportation to desperate situations; and subjected to discriminatory legal standards. The people whose lives have been torn apart by Canadian immigration are not anonymous; they are our friends and neighbors. Some families threatened with deportation have lived and worked in Vancouver for several years and have Canadian-born children; this is their home. In the past years, we have written hundreds of letters, collected thousands of signatures, and organized dozens of demonstrations. We have successfully fought deportations and detentions, but have also seen our family members and friends removed, detained, forced underground or forced into sanctuary.

In Vancouver, the migrant communities leading the march are simply demanding their basic rights to a secure life, dignity and a future. Our demands for regularization call for the recognition and affirmation of rights and status of people residing in Canada without permanent residency- non status peoples, refugees, and temporary workers.

For every arbitrary detention, for every summary deportation, for every minute spent in jail without charge or trial, for every anxious and dehumanizing day spent waiting for status—for all the stolen time and the stolen lives — this march will pay tribute to those fighting in this silent battle.

Organized by Association of Chinese Canadians for Equality and Solidarity Society, Vancouver Status of Women, No One Is Illegal, Iranian Federation of Refugees, Kalayaan Centre (Philippine Women Centre), South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy, Iranian Refugees of BC, La Surda Latin American Collective, Committee for Solidarity with Columbia.

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