(July 1st) Refugees Welcome! Urgent mobilization at the Quebec-US Border

June 26, 2017

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OPEN THE BORDERS! REFUGEES WELCOME!
STOP RACIST INTIMIDATION OF MIGRANTS!
Urgent mobilization at the Quebec-US Border.
In support of refugees & against anti-immigrant racists.

SATURDAY, JULY 1st, 9am-3pm (vehicles leave from Montreal at 8am sharp)
At the Roxham Road Crossing near Hemmingford.
Roxham Road, south of Chemin Fisher.
(About 50 minutes south of Montreal).
Map: http://bit.ly/2saPbxj

Vehicles will leave from Montreal; rendez-vous at 8am (sharp!)
If you would like to attend this demonstration with our vehicles, please reserve a spot before 8pm on Thursday, June 29.
Reserve by e-mail at: solidaritesansfrontieres@gmail.com

An appeal by the Anti-Racist/Anti-Fascist Response Committee of Solidarity Across Borders.

-> If you can lend a vehicle, please get in touch as well.
-> We are asking for a $5-$10 contribution, if possible (but pay what you can).
-> We encourage anti-racists from all over Quebec (Sherbrooke, Quebec City, Gatineau) to attend this protest as well.

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This coming Saturday, July 1, racists from a group called “Storm Alliance” are planning anti-immigrant demonstrations at border crossings across Canada. The Quebec branch of the Storm Alliance, with the support of anti-Muslim groups like La Meute, are mobilizing to be present at the Roxham Road crossing near Hemmingford, Quebec, where migrants regularly make asylum claims by crossing from the USA into Canada.

There is something cruelly appropriate about the racist Storm Alliance demonstration occurring as the Canadian colonial state marks 150 years. Canada’s history is marked by the ongoing brutal genocide of Indigenous people as well as the racist exclusion and oppression of people of color. All of this land remains to this day occupied territory, and the Canada that the Storm Alliance hopes to “protect” itself remains a colonial and racist state.

As such, in the context of calls for a National Day of Action to Unsettle the 150th (http://unsettling150.ca/), and as a concrete act against racism and colonialism, Montreal-area migrant justice and anti-racist individuals and groups will be mobilizing to the border region on July 1st ourselves, with a clear message: Open the borders! Refugees are welcome! Resist and oppose Canadian colonialism and white supremacy!

Montreal, just 45 minutes away from the border, is part of the border region, and we will not allow anti-immigrant racists to intimidate asylum seekers. We encourage all who can make the time and support open borders and the rights of refugees to join us for this mobilization at the border region on July 1st.!

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WHY ARE PEOPLE CROSSING IRREGULARLY INTO CANADA AT ROXHAM ROAD?

Refugees have crossed irregularly at Roxham Road and other border crossings across Quebec and Canada in larger numbers ever since the shameful Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the USA was implemented in 2004. This agreement prevents migrants from making refugee claims if they come to Canada from the USA at a regular border crossings. However, refugees can make claims if they make an “irregular” crossing at any other point at the border, such as at Roxham Road, which is a relatively convenient and safe place to cross.

There has been a marked increase in irregular crossings into Canada by asylum seekers currently in the USA due to the rhetoric and policies of the Trump administration, which includes attempted travel bans and attacks on the integrity of entire groups, such as Muslims, Arabs and Mexicans. This is in a broader context, in which states like Canada and the United States are responsible for economic and social devastation in countries throughout the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and yet seek to limit who from those countries can live here.

The Safe Third Country agreement forces refugees to make often dangerous border crossings. In May, a refugee claimant from Ghana, Mavis Otuteye, 57, was found dead due to exposure south of the Manitoba border, where she had travelled to try to reunite with her daughter. During the winter months, other refugee claimants lost limbs due to frostbite, or risked death due to hypothermia.

Racist anti-immigrant groups like the Storm Alliance and La Meute demonize and blame refugees. In contrast, we support and commend refugees who cross into Canada, and we will be present at the border region on July 1st in support of the right of all to migrate safely and securely.

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OUR DEMANDS

OPEN THE BORDERS! Allow access to all migrants fleeing poverty, travel bans, raids and other attacks on their integrity as human beings. All human beings have the right to move, the right to remain, and the right to resist forced displacement.

CANCEL THE SAFE THIRD COUNTRY AGREEMENT! The USA is not a safe third country, and maintaining this agreement means that refugees leaving the USA need to enter Canada irregularly, which results in serious injuries, and will lead to more deaths.

REGULARIZE ALL UNDOCUMENTED PEOPLE IN CANADA! Canada too has a significant undocumented population, with at least 500,000 people living without regular status. Canada must implement a comprehensive, inclusive and ongoing regularization program.
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BACKGROUND

National Day of Action to Unsettle the 150th:
http://unsettling150.ca/

Border Rights For Refugees: A multilingual guide for refugees coming to Canada from the U.S.:
https://noii-van.resist.ca/border-rights-for-refugees-a-multilingual-guide/

FAQ: Coming to Canada from USA:
www.solidarityacrossborders.org/en/faq-coming-to-canada-from-the-united-states

Community Alert: Montreal is NOT a Sanctuary City:
www.solidarityacrossborders.org/en/community-alert-montreal-is-not-a-sanctuary-city

Principles for a Regularization Program in Canada:
www.solidarityacrossborders.org/en/principles-for-a-regularization-program-in-canada

Ghanaian woman walking toward Canada found dead near Minnesota border:
www.startribune.com/ghanian-woman-walking-toward-canada-found-dead-near-minnesota-border/425509203/

Frostbitten refugee will lose fingers, toe after 7-hour trek to cross U.S.-Canada border:
www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/refugees-frostbite-manitoba-1.3930146

An ‘Ultranationalistic’ Group Is Patrolling Canada’s Border With the US:
www.vice.com/en_ca/article/8×43g5/an-ultranationalistic-group-patrolling-canadas-border-with-the-us
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An appeal by the Anti-Racist/Anti-Fascist Response Committee of Solidarity Across Borders.
www.solidarityacrossborders.org / solidaritesansfrontieres@gmail.com

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