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(en) Canada: At least 1000 demonstrate in Montreal to demand "Status For All"

Date Tue, 30 May 2006 17:05:11 +0200 (CEST)


MAY 27, 2006 -- At least 1000 demonstrators gathered in downtown Montreal
as part of the STATUS FOR ALL National Day of Action for Immigrant Rights.
There were demonstrations and activities across Canada, including
Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Peterborough and Fredericton.
--> Photos from Montreal demonstration (with photos from the
demonstrations and activities in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Peterborough
and Fredericton) are available at: http://gallery.cmaq.net/may27montreal
In Montreal, demonstrators gathered at Phillips Square, in the heart of
downtown. The demo began with a press scrum, which turned into a speak-out
by various migrants who are faced with deportation, or who have
successfully resisted removals. Migrants from Mauritania, Iran, India,
Algeria, Romania, Somalia and elsewhere spoke to a packed crowd at
Phillips Square.

Kahntinehta, a Mohawk elder from Kahnawake, opened the demonstration,
followed by Jean St-Vil of the Canadian Haiti Action Network. Smail
Behlouli and his family, activists with the Action Committee of Non-Status
Algerians and Solidarity Across Borders, who marched last year for one
week as part of the "No One Is Illegal March on Ottawa" also opened the
demonstration.

This year's march follows from last year's historic efforts.

Demonstrators today heard recorded speeches from two participants of last
year's march. The first was by Amir Hodhod from a demonstration on April
3, 2006, at Immigration Canada's offices in Montreal. Amir, originally
from Egypt, was fighting a pending deportation order, which has since
passed, and his speech was in reaction to the refusal by CIC bureaucrats
to cancel his deportation order.

The second speech, by Kader Belaouni, was specially recorded for the May
27 day of action. Kader is currently in sanctuary, since January 2006, at
the Saint-Gabriel Church in the Point-St-Charles neighborhood of Montreal,
and could not attend the demonstration. There are currently 9 individuals
and families in sanctuary in Canada today (Vancouverx2, Torontox2,
Ottawax2, Montreal, and Newfoundlandx2).

--> Kader and Amir's recorded speeches can be heard at:
http://radio.indymedia.org/news/2006/05/9985.php

Throughout the demonstration, a flyer entitled "WHY WE ARE MARCHING" was
passed out to by-standers, as well as inside various stores, cafes and
apartment blocks. At least 8000 flyers were distributed throughout the
day.

--> The text of the flyer is linked at:
http://solidarityacrossborders.org/en/node/166

In Montreal, demonstrators left Phillips Square, and marched past the
headquarters of the Immigration and Refugee Board (where Fawzi Malik of
the Action Committee of Non-Status Algerians spoke about dealing with the
IRB bureaucracy). The demo also stopped at the offices of Royal Air Maroc,
which is part of a group of airliners that deport migrants from Canada. At
Royal Air Maroc, a local anti-deportations collective -- les Apatrides
Anonymes -- performed a street theatre sketch about direct actions against
deportations.

Many demonstrators also wore colourful bandanas and masks, as a sign of
solidarity with the many non-status migrants who were too afraid to attend
the demonstration, or need to hide their identity.

The day-long march continued north, thru the Main and Mile End, to the
predominantly immigrant neighborhood of Parc Extension. There was a rest
stop in a local park, which included more testimonies from various
migrants and groups, including members of the La Otra Campana, the Centre
des femmes d'ici et d'ailleurs, the Human Rights Action Committee (mainly
Punjabi migrants from India) and the Forces de Liberation Africaines de
Mauritanie (FLAM).

The demo continued thru Parc Extension, and into another predominantly
immigrant neighborhood, Cote-des-Neiges. The day ended with a Community
Festival in Kent Park. The festival included a breakdance exhibition (by
both the Immortalz Crew and Legz), activities for children, and a meal
(donated, in part, by a local Sikh Temple). Speakers at Kent Park included
members of SIKLAB (a Philipino migrant workers group), the Phillipino
Women's Center, PINAY, and the Justice Coalition for Adil Charkaoui.

The May 27 Day of Action continues to build a cross-Canada immigrant
rights movement, that refuses to be divided between "good" and "bad"
immigrants, and instead demands STATUS FOR ALL!

----------
www.solidarityacrossborders.org
514-859-9023 - sansfrontieres@resist.ca


[Ed. note: The majority of groups within Solidarity Across Borders are
self-organized committees of persons directly affected by repressive
anti-immigrant and 'anti-terrorist' laws and regulations in Fortress North
America. The coalition includes "No One Is Illegal-Montreal", an
anti-authoritarian anti-capitalist initiative.]

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