Protesters demand “Status Now!” and denounce the violence of deportations, detentions, and Canada’s immigration system
More than 25 protesters undertaking an unlimited occupation and ongoing disruption of CBSA activities
MONTREAL, May 3, 2016, 9am – More than twenty-five Solidarity Across Borders members and allies are currently undertaking an unlimited occupation and ongoing disruption of Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) offices in downtown Montreal at 1010 St-Antoine West, a site of daily anguish, fear and anxiety for hundreds of Montreal-area migrants. The protesters succeeded in occupying the offices, despite locked doors and security.
Solidarity Across Borders members are demanding an immediate, inclusive and ongoing regularization of all undocumented persons living in Canada, as well as denouncing the daily violence of the CBSA. The protesters assert that the agents and employees of the CBSA are complicit in detentions, the separation of families, creating fear and anxiety, and in some cases, the death of migrants in custody.
In the words of Rosalind Wong, one of today’s protesters who is risking arrest to disrupt the CBSA: “We’ve mobilized for more than a decade, since the Liberals were last in power, for the regularization of all undocumented people living in Canada. Tens of thousands of individuals and families continue to live in precarity, and the only just solution is for Prime Minister Trudeau and Immigration Minister McCallum to implement a comprehensive, inclusive and ongoing regularization program immediately for all undocumented people living in Canada.”
Romina Hernandez, also protesting today, adds: “We also question the legitimacy of the CBSA itself; we assert that all human beings have the freedom to move, the freedom to stay and the freedom to return. No human being is illegal.”
There are tens of thousands of undocumented migrants in the Montreal-area, with at least 500,000 in all of Canada. The CBSA plays a direct role in keeping these individuals and families precarious and isolated. Thousands of migrants are deported yearly, while hundreds more are detained at prisons. Since 2000, at least 14 migrants have died in CBSA custody.
For more detailed background to the reasons for today’s protest, visit: www.solidarityacrossborders.org/en/a-propos/revendications
The slogans “Status Now” and “Arrêtons les violences” have been placed on the exterior windows of the building. Inside, protesters have redecorated the interior lobby with silhouettes representing individuals and families deported in the past 15 years due to the actions of officials at the CBSA in Montreal.
Today’s occupation builds on ongoing organizing efforts against deportations and detentions in the past decade by Solidarity Across Borders, including support work, protests, pickets, petitions and more.
Today’s occupation is supported by several local organizations and groups, including la Fédération des femmes du Québec (FFQ), POPIR Comité Logement, le Comité BAILS. Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Le Comité pour les droits humains en Amérique latine (CDHAL), Syndicat industriel des travailleuses et des travailleurs (IWW-Montreal), the South Asian Women’s Community Center (SAWCC), and more.
ARRÊTONS LES VIOLENCES!
Media is asked to attend a Press Point at 10:15am at 1010 St-Antoine West.
Media Contacts inside the Occupation:
Romina Hernandez: 438-933-7654 (English/French/Spanish)
Rosalind Wong: 438-823-7243 (English/French)
Media Contacts outside the Occupation:
Lillian Boctor: 514-813-4918
Cybel Richer-Boivin: 514-717-4847
For updates, including photos and videos:
Social media tags for today’s action: