Tell Canadian officials to condemn Israel’s massacre in Gaza

On Monday, May 14th, 2018, peaceful Palestinian protesters were shot and tear gassed by Israeli security forces. At least 60 Palestinians are dead, some as young as 8 months old. An additional 2,700 are wounded.

In response to this massacre, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland tweeted the following:

“Deeply concerned by violence in Gaza Strip. We are saddened by deaths + injuries that occurred today + over past weeks. It is inexcusable that civilians, journalists + children have been victims. All parties to the conflict have a responsibility to ensure civilians are protected.”

The Minister’s statement puts the onus of this tragedy on the Palestinian victims who were injured or lost their lives in peaceful protest. We are calling on Minister Freeland to retract her statement and take a stance against the murder of Palestinians. We ask that those who support freedom and peace in Gaza email her your concerns at chrystia.freeland@parl.gc.ca.

You may copy and paste the following letter to send to the Minister:

Dear Honourable Chrystia Freeland,

On Monday, May 14, 2018, the day before the 70th anniversary of Nakba (when 750,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes), Palestinians peacefully protesting near the Gaza border fence were shot and tear gassed. Israeli security forces killed at least 60 Palestinians in Gaza and wounded over 2,700. The dead include eight children under the age of 16.

In response to this event, you posted a tweet that read as follows:
“Deeply concerned by violence in Gaza Strip. We are saddened by deaths + injuries that occurred today + over past weeks. It is inexcusable that civilians, journalists + children have been victims. All parties to the conflict have a responsibility to ensure civilians are protected.”

The notion that it is even partially on the onus of the victims of this onslaught is abhorrent. As is widely noted by journalists, these protests have been peaceful and Israeli soldiers have not been injured. Insinuating that the people of Gaza exercise equivalent violence against Israeli citizens only serves to justify the violence used in this massacre.

I ask that you retract your statement on the events of May 14th, 2018 in Gaza and issue an apology to the victims and their families for suggesting they may have been responsible for this injustice against them.

No One Is Illegal Fredericton is also calling on our MP, Matt DeCourcey, also the Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, to take a stance against these injustices as well. He can be reached at matt.decourcey@parl.gc.ca.

You can copy and paste the following letter to send:

To the Honourable Matt DeCourcey,

I am asking you as the Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs to take a stance against the massacre in Gaza that claimed the lives of at least 60 Palestinians, including 8-month-old Leila al-Ghandour. Israel has unconscionably deployed hundreds of snipers to fire on protesters as the U.S. moved its embassy to Jerusalem. Currently the hospitals in Gaza City cannot treat the gunshot wounds as the number of those wounded rises in the thousands.

This use of force is unjust and unequal. I am calling on the Canadian government to take a stance against such injustices. As a world leader, Canada has a responsibility to draw attention to this massacre and foster peace.

The injustices against Palestinians have been ongoing for 70 years. For 70 years, Canada has remained silent on this issue. It is time that Canada lives up to its international reputation as a leader in peace and human rights.

No One Is Illegal is also holding a public vigil May 17th at Fredericton City Hall at 8:30 pm for the victims of this senseless massacre.

Let Lucy Stay: “Lights for Lucy” vigil held at Fredericton City Hall

“There are no windows. I want to see the light. I want to breathe. I don’t even know what my name is any more.” – Lucy Francineth Granados

Last night, April 10, “Lights for Lucy” vigils occurred in many communities including in Fredericton, New Brunswick. St. Thomas University students made signs and newcomer youth joined us on the steps of City Hall to demand that Lucy Granados, a mother of three and community organizer for the rights of undocumented women and workers in Montreal, be allowed to stay in Canada. Lucy’s deportation hearing is scheduled on April 13. 

At the vigil, speeches were delivered by community members, including Dr. Gül Çaliskan, an organizer with No One Is Illegal Fredericton and a professor of sociology at St. Thomas University.

Read her speech below:

Can we chant for Lucy? Let Lucy Stay!
We are here today because we dream of a better world—a world without borders, without the systems that force people to leave their homes.
A world where there is justice and dignity for migrants; a world where indigenous peoples have self-determination.
A world where those wishing to return to places they have left can do so.
It is a world where the state does not separate people into geographic territories.
This world might seem so far away.
But I can see it. Can’t you? We have no choice but to continue to dream that world.
Because, this world we envision puts a mirror for us to see this land.
Half a million of our friends, neighbors, co-workers, peers, and community members are undocumented in this land that we presently call Canada.
Even now, tens of thousands of refugees await decisions on their cases.
Nearly a hundred thousand migrant workers work in dangerous and difficult conditions.
Hundreds of people face indefinite periods of detention.
Nearly 100,000 migrants in Canada have been jailed without charge. Migrants are the only population of people in Canada who can be jailed on administrative grounds, without ever being charged with a specific criminal offense. That punishment is inflicted on up to 807 children per year.
Segregation is a legally recognized form of torture, and it must end.
In 2017, over 20,000 people entered Canada overland, escaping Trump’s America. They have access to few services, they lack full status, and they face possible deportation.
In the face of these challenges, communities across Canada are fighting back, as they envision the possibility of another world.
In dozens of places across the country, directly affected people and organizers are struggling for dignity.
The non-status women are organizing in Montreal.
We struggle to stop individual deportations (Lucy and Abdoul are only two of them).
Caregivers fight to stop the upcoming program closure that might deny status to thousands of workers.
Like many communities in cities across the country, in our city we are working to nurture a culture of commitment to reducing barriers and to accessing services for migrants who have precarious status or no immigration status.
We dream that future world, and so we demand full access to dignity, rights, and services for all people, regardless of immigration status, with a clear and consistent anti-colonial perspective. That commitment takes us a few steps closer to the world we dream of.
We will continue to hold that vision that feels so far away, yet so near.

Today, we say LET LUCY STAY.
Every day, we will demand, NO MORE DETENTIONS. STATUS FOR ALL, STATUS NOW!

 

About Lucy: 

Lucy Francineth Granados is a single mother, the sole supporter of her three children, and is known in her community as an advocate for the rights of women, undocumented migrants and temporary workers. She has made Montreal her home for the last nine years and is dear to so many of us.
Since four Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) agents violently arrested her on Tuesday March 20th, leaving her with a badly injured arm, Lucy has been treated with violence and total inhumanity by the CBSA. Lack of sleep, fear, confusion and the appalling conditions of her detention following her arrest led to two emergency hospitalizations, on the 26th and on the 29th.
Lucy originally left Guatemala after being threatened by maras (criminal gangs which spread to Central American countries from the United States). She traveled alone through Mexico on the infamous La Bestia train to the US and later to Canada, her husband having died. If Lucy were deported, her children would immediately lose their sole source of financial support.
Last year she filed a humanitarian application for permanent residence in an attempt to regularize her status. This is when she came to the attention of the CBSA who then sought to arrest her before her file could even be studied by Immigration Canada. Lucy’s attempt to regularize her status made her a target for the CBSA.

 

Lucy’s supporters are encouraged to: 

Share any of these images (https://www.facebook.com/pg/NoOneIsIllegalFredericton/photos/?tab=album&album_id=623491081320222) on social media using the hashtag #LetLucyStay and tag Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.
On Twitter: @AhmedDHussen & @RalphGoodale
On Facebook: @AhmedHussenLib & @ralphgoodale

Call or write Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen (dial 613-995-0777, 613-954-1064 and 416-656-2526 or write to Ahmed.Hussen@parl.gc.ca and minister@cic.gc.ca) and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale (call 613-947-1153, 306-585-2202 and 613-991-2924, email ralph.goodale@parl.gc.ca and Hon.ralph.goodale@canada.ca). Copy Fredericton MP Matt Decourcey (matt.decourcey@parl.gc.ca). Ask them them to stay Lucy’s deportation until her application for permanent residence on humanitarian grounds is decided.

Sign the petition to Let Lucy Stay here. 

 

 

Resourced by the NB MediaCo-op, Change.org petition

End immigration detention: No One Is Illegal Fredericton

On July 26, 2016, No One Is Illegal Fredericton wrote Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety, to demand an end to immigration detention. Read the letter here. Six months later, on January 15, 2017, Minister Goodale responded. Read his reply here.

On January 18, 2017, No One Is Illegal Fredericton wrote to Fredericton MP Matt DeCourcey reiterating concerns over Canada’s immigration detention system. Read the letter here.  DeCourcey responded on March 8, 2017. Read his reply here.

Sixteen people have died in immigration detention since the year 2000 — four of them died in maximum security prisons in Ontario since No One Is Illegal Fredericton wrote our letter to Minister Goodale. The Toronto Immigration Holding Centre and other immigration detention centres are being expanded. The Toronto Star reported on February 23, 2017 that an average of 48 children are held in Canadian immigration detention every year.

More information at: www.endimmigrationdetention.com

Send a Message to Decourcey – Act on the Muslim Ban!

Community members will be circulating a letter from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) outside MP Matt Decourcey’s office on February 1st at 12:00pm asking the government of Canada to act on the US Travel Ban

https://ccla.org/contact-your-mp-re-us-travel-ban/

Decourcey’s office is located at 494 Queen St. in Fredericton.

IN ENGLISH

Dear Matt Decourcy,

My name is [NAME] and I live in [CONSTITUENCY].
I am writing because I am deeply concerned about the recent US travel ban, including both its impact on Canadians and immigrants and refugees worldwide.

I join the Canadian Civil Liberties Association in calling on the Canadian government to take the following steps to honour its constitutional, legal and international law obligations immediately:
Suspend the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement, which prevents asylum-seekers travelling from the US from claiming refugee status in Canada, unless they qualify for the limited exception under the agreement.

Put in place procedures to efficiently process applications from all asylum seekers from countries affected by the ban who are in the United States and wish to seek refuge in Canada.
Increase the number of refugees accepted by Canada in 2017 to accommodate individuals from countries currently affected by the U.S. ban, and in particular raise the cap recently imposed on refugees from Syria and Iraq.

Ensure Canadian airlines and other commercial enterprises do not collude with a foreign domestic order – and refuse boarding passes to immigrants, dual citizens, refugees and asylum seekers ̶ that discriminates on the basis of country of origin, ethnic origin, or religious belief.

Ensure clear guidelines are provided by Canada and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to all consular officials to assist any Canadians from the U.S. ban-listed countries who are overseas and find themselves stranded, detained, or otherwise prevented from returning to Canada.

Review the impact of all information sharing agreements with the United States, including, but not limited to the Security Canada Information Sharing Act introduced by Bill C-51; the information sharing agreements pursuant to the Canada-U.S. Security Perimeter Agreement; and the particular impact of Canadian national security agencies including the Canadian Border Security Agency sharing information with U.S. agencies. Canada must ensure that innocent persons are not put at risk by information provided by Canada.

Review the implementation of the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITARS), which has been used on several occasions by Canadian companies to unlawfully discriminate against individuals lawfully in Canada on the basis of their country of origin or contacts to a foreign country.

Provide immediate assistance for any individuals who may be stranded at Canadian airports, bus and train stations as a result of the ban, including those who anticipate being denied entry on arrival to the United States and those who have been turned away by U.S. Customs and Border Protection preclearance.
As your constituent, I would like to be notified as soon as possible of the steps you, your office and the Canadian government are taking to protect the rights of immigrants and refugees.

Thank you,

[YOUR NAME]

[YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION, INCLUDING YOUR ADDRESS]

EN FRANÇAIS

Vous pouvez trouver votre député-e à l’aide de votre code postale ici.
Cher Matt Decourcey,

Mon nom est [NOM] et j’habite dans la circonscription de [VOTRE CIRCONSCRIPTION].

Je vous écris pour vous faire part de mes inquiétudes par rapport au récent décret américain sur l’immigration, qui porte atteinte à la fois aux Canadiens ainsi qu’aux réfugiés à l’échelle mondiale.

J’appuie les démarches de l’Association canadienne des libertés civiles qui demande au gouvernement canadien d’agir immédiatement sur les points suivants afin d’honorer ses obligations constitutionnelles, légales et de droit international:

Suspendre l’Entente entre le Canada et les États-Unis sur les pays tiers sûrs, qui interdit aux demandeurs d’asile en provenance des États-Unis de demander l’asile au canada, à moins qu’ils ne remplissent les conditions d’une des exceptions prévues par l’Entente.

Établir des mesures efficaces pour traiter le volume de demandes d’asile des demandeurs provenant de tous les pays affectés par le décret américain qui se trouvent aux États-Unis et qui souhaiteraient demander l’asile au Canada.
Augmenter le nombre de réfugiés acceptés par le Canada en 2017, afin d’accommoder les individus en provenance de pays affectés par le décret américain, et plus particulièrement augmenter le plafond récemment imposé sur les réfugiés en provenance de la Syrie et de l’Iraq.

Assurer que les compagnies aériennes et autres entreprises canadiennes ne collaborent pas avec le décret américain – en refusant d’octroyer des cartes d’embarquement aux immigrants, aux individus ayant une double nationalité, aux réfugiés ainsi qu’aux demandeurs d’asile – qui constitue de la discrimination sur la base du pays d’origine, de l’origine ethnique, ou des croyances religieuses.

Assurer que des consignes claires sont données par le Canada et le Ministère des affaires étrangères à tous les consulats officiels pour assister tous les Canadiens venant des pays visés par le décret américain, qui sont outremer et se retrouvent bloqués, détenus ou empêchés de retourner au Canada de toute autre façon.

Réviser l’impact de toute entente de partage d’information avec les États-Unis, incluant, mais ne se limitant pas à la Loi sur la communication d’information ayant trait à la sécurité du Canada introduite par le projet de loi C-51; les ententes de partage d’information conformément à l’Accord canado-américain sur la sécurité du périmètre; et l’impact particulier des agences de sécurité nationale canadiennes incluant l’Agence des services frontaliers du Canada qui partage de l’information avec les agences américaines. Le Canada doit s’assurer que les personnes innocentes ne sont pas mises en danger par l’information qu’il transmet.

Revoir la mise en œuvre de la Réglementation américaine sur le trafic d’armes au niveau international, qui a été utilisée à de nombreuses occasions par des compagnies canadiennes afin de discriminer illégalement contre des individus se trouvant légalement au Canada, sur la base de leur pays d’origine ou de leur lien à un pays étranger.

Procurer une assistance immédiate à tout individu pouvant être détenu aux aéroports, stations d’autobus et de trains canadiens en raison du décret, incluant ceux et celles qui anticipent un refus à leur arrivée aux États-Unis, ainsi que ceux et celles à qui l’entrée aurait été refusée par le service douanier américain.
L’Association canadienne des libertés civiles a justifié toutes ces demandes, ainsi que plusieurs autres que vous trouverez à l’adresse suivante:
https://ccla.org/ccla-calls-for-concrete-action-from-canadian-government-on-u-s-travel-ban/

En tant qu’électeur(trice), j’apprécierais qu’on m’informe des actions que vous, votre bureau ainsi que le gouvernement du Canada comptez prendre afin de protéger les droits des immigrants et réfugiés.

Merci de l’attention que vous porterez à ma demande,

[NOM]

Letter to MP Matt DeCourcey concerning Immigration Detention

The following is an open letter from our collective addressed to MP Matt DeCourcey. For the purposes of transparency, we have attached this letter in full. 

For more information on immigration detention, please see the End Immigration Detention Network

No One is Illegal Fredericton

January 18, 2017

Matt DeCourcey, Member of Parliament, Fredericton

494 Queen St., Suite 300, Fredericton, NB E3B 6J4

Dear Hon. Mr. DeCourcey,

We last met on April 4, 2017, hand-delivering a letter to you about our concerns related to Canada’s immigration policies. Refugees Welcome Fredericton is now a working group of No One Is Illegal Fredericton. No One Is Illegal is an organization that exists in other cities across Canada and is devoted to issues associated with migrant justice.

Since we spoke with you on that chilly April day outside your office, a number of developments have taken place. Over the course of 2016, there were three hunger strikes by immigration detainees in Lindsay and Toronto, Ontario detention centres, the largest taking place in July 2016, when over 50 detainees refused food. Detainees opposed indefinite detention, the fact that immigration detainees can be detained with no charges, and the conditions they endure while detained. Since 2000, fifteen people have died while in Canadian immigration detention; three people in 2016 alone.

The brave actions of those on hunger strike drew public, activist, and media attention to the continuing treatment of immigration detainees within Canada. Disappointingly, the federal government’s response to these actions was the announcement of an additional $138 million for new or existing detention facilities in Quebec and British Columbia. The response ignored the significant and troubling issues brought forward by immigration detainees and their supporters.

Given that the conditions associated with immigration detention in Canada are deeply troubling, we believe that it is important that the government first consider all alternatives to immigration detention. Through the current system, immigration detainees are jailed for weeks, months or even many years due to flaws with their identification, their status as “irregular arrivals” or simply put in prison as a secure holding place where they await deportation. Detention should be a last resort or a response to exceptional circumstances, not public policy. This sort of action runs counter to Canada’s treatment of Canadian citizens or permanent residents. We believe that the government needs to weigh concerns regarding the deprivation of individual liberty for little (or no) gain. At its core, this treatment runs counter to the spirit of Canadian multicultural policy, social justice and is both fundamentally discriminatory and racist.

No One is Illegal Fredericton echoes the following changes demanded by immigration detainees and their supporters across the country: 

  •  An end to arbitrary and indefinite detention: If removal cannot happen within 90 days, immigration detainees must be released. Limits on detention periods are recommended by the United Nations, and are the law in the United States and the European Union.
  • Release all migrant detainees who have been held for longer than 90 days .
  • No maximum security holds: Immigration detainees should not be held in maximum security provincial jails; must have access to basic services and be close to family members.
  • Overhaul of the adjudication process: Give migrants fair and full access to judicial review, legal aid, bail programs and pro bono representation.

We understand that the government is reviewing the immigrant detention process. We would like to know the status of this review and ask that you support calls to end the inhumane detentions of immigrants and refugees.

We appreciate a response to our concerns by February 1, 2017, and will gladly meet with you to further discuss these urgent matters.

Sincerely,

Asaf Rashid, Kristi Allain, Tracy Glynn (and the rest of the No One Is Illegal – Fredericton Collective)