Car Caravan Gathers at the Laval Immigration Detention Centre to Express Solidarity with Hunger-Striking Detainees and Demand their Release
Quoi : Caravane au centre de surveillance de l’immigration de Laval en soutien aux détenus grévistes de la faim
Quand : Mercredi 13 septembre 2023 à 13h
Où : 300 Montée Saint-François (Laval)
As migrant detainees entered their sixth day of a hunger strike, a car caravan gathered in front of the Laval Immigration Detention Centre to honk horns, display banners, and send messages of solidarity to those on the inside.
The action took place as detainees are denouncing the arbitrary and unjust reasons for their ongoing imprisonment by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). After submitting a petition signed by 30 detainees to the CBSA, detainees launched a hunger strike on Thursday September 7th to call for their release and are vowing to continue until they are granted a meeting with a CBSA representative and their demands are heard.
The detainees’ hunger strike is the third one to take place at the Laval Immigration Detention Centre over the last three years. In March 2020, detainees carried out an eight-day long hunger strike that succeeded in virtually emptying the migrant prison at the height of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, while a second hunger strike unfolded in February 2022, as detainees demanded their release in the face of a COVID-19 outbreak and conditions that made following basic public health guidelines impossible. In October 2022, the CBSA quietly opened a new migrant prison right next to the previous one. Despite reports from detainees of spoiled food, suspended visits, increased surveillance and a more carceral atmosphere, the CBSA has presented the facility as a kinder, more humane prison. However, detainees and supporters counter that the new prison serves only to expand the CBSA’s capacity to detain and deport migrants, and does not solve the problem.
“This most recent hunger strike shows us that the problem is incarceration itself”, said XX, of Solidarity Across Borders. “There is no gentle means of uprooting someone’s life, and no humane way to separate a family. The only solution is to liberate all of the detainees”.
Supporters will be calling for the immediate release of all detainees, as well as the implementation of a full, inclusive regularization program as the only alternative to detention.
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