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(en) Canada, Toronto, Bring Mohamed Cherfi Home - TORONTO UPDATE by OCAP* [EXCERPT]

From a-infos-en@ainfos.ca (Worker)
Date Tue, 16 Mar 2004 08:46:52 +0100 (CET)
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One week after Mohamed Cherfi was ripped from sanctuary and deported to the US, where
he remains in detention in Buffalo, supporters in cities across the country took action for the
second day of national co-ordinated outrage and organizing to bring Mohamed back. In
Toronto, a press conference took place inside the Eastminster United Church, one of the
churches which has actively spoken out against the arrest and deportation of Mohamed.
Speakers include representatives from Palestinian rights and faith groups, as well as labour
unions and Jack Layton, the federal leader of the New Democratic Party. It was made clear
that the Canadian government is in a position to act to rectify the situation they created by
denying Mr. Cherfi status, violating church sanctuary and ordering him deported. According
to Layton, "If his Ministers can't sort it out, Paul Martin must step in."

That evening, after a picket at the Immigration and Refugee Board, a
group of supporters traveled to a meeting in the north end of the city,
where Judy Sgro, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration was making
an appearance.

After flyering and flying banners outside the meeting, the group
determined to speak directly with Sgro, to demand her response to the
fact that under Section 25 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection
Act, the Minister has the power to intervene to return Mohamed to
Canada.

After the presence outside the meeting became louder and more insistent,
a representative from the group of supporters was eventually allowed
into the meeting space and Sgro was ushered forward to receive a letter,
but carefully kept her distance behind a line of police. When pressed to
give an answer on the reprehensible circumstances of Cherif's arrest,
deportation, and how she was planning to act on his case, Sgro's
inability to meet the representative's eye was underlined by her sole
statement: "You already have my response."

This unacceptable answer prompted an escalated reply from the
representative, who was then shoved by police and Sgro's handlers back
out the doors and into the rest of the people supporting outside. A
bried melee ensued, with one person arrested and released from custody
several hours later, facing a minor 'cause disturbance' charge.

Sgro was not and can not be permitted to ignore the imminent danger
faced by Mohamed Cherfi, inseparable from that which is also faced by so
many people fearing deportation from Canada. Mohamed is being targeted
for his fight for justice for his community, and a dangerous precedent
will be set if he is not returned to Canada.

The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, alongside the
enforcement-oriented Canada Border Services Agency, is complicit in the
denial of status, detention, and deportation of thousands of people
entitled to the right to build lives of safety and stability for
themselves and their families. The vicious inequality and arbitrary
nature of Canada's Immigration system destroys lives. Those responsible
must be held to account.

WHAT NEXT?

On Wednesday March 17th, Mohamed will be brought before an American
official for a bond hearing in Buffalo, NY. On this day, supporters
across the country will again call for a National Day of Action. This
fight is far from over - stay posted for local details and read on to
find out what you can do.
-----
At - http://nefac.northernhacking.org/newswire/display/1064/index.php
there are three sample letters that we encourage everyone to fax/email
to demand the return of Mohamed Cherfi.

* The first letter is a sample letter to be sent to the Minister of
Immigration and the Minister of the Public Safety of Canada.

* The second letter is for the BICE (Bureau of Immigration and Customs
Enforcement - the old INS) Regional Director in the US to demand that
Mohamed Cherfi be released on bond and NOT be removed to Algeria.

* The third letter is a standard letter to be sent to individual local
MP's in Canada encouraging them to pressure the government directly
about Mohamed's return.

Please take a quick minute to send this letters. We will bring Mohamed
home !!!

- Members of No One is Illegal* and Action Committee of Non Status Algerians.
===================================
Email: ocap (at) tao.ca (unverified!)
===================================
* [Ed. Note: Antiauthoritarian social class struggle anarchists and others.]


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