“Un millon de gracias” – Our COVID-19 mutual aid fund is open once again

May 27, 2020


“A million thanks to you (un millon de gracias). In the past, I never thought there would be people like you in this world. Now I know you exist. And you tell me I also exist (“y ustedes me hicieron sentir que yo tambien existo”).
Gabriela, a non-status Montrealer

Hello again, friends,

We would like to take a moment to express our deep gratitude to our friends and allies for the frankly staggering outpouring of support we’ve received from you all over the past weeks – as well as during the last few days in particular. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Solidarity Across Borders has been facilitating the redistribution of financial resources to non-status members of our community, as part of our work to build the collective capacity of the movement for justice for migrants and refugees and to demand status for all. A few days ago our mutual aid fund was almost completely depleted, and with rent payments on the horizon as June 1 approaches, we urgently reached out once again for your help. The response was swift and emphatic: we received over $20,000 in donations over a 24-hour period. These funds will have a significant and immediate effect on the lives of our neighbours, and honestly, we’re speechless.

The solidarity shown by you the moment our fund hit zero builds on the beautiful and powerful coming together of our community that we’ve since the crisis hit Montréal: detainees in Laval banding together to fight for freedom and community members rallying to support them in any way possible; our non-status members caring for each other deeply during the pandemic and fighting as hard as they can for Status for All; new and old members of Solidarity Across Borders working to get food and money to families and individuals across the city at all hours, including for our first ever video conference Iftar. The list goes on. All of this has lifted us up and kept us going.

And of course, we still have a long way to go, both in terms of short-term needs and longer-term planning for the future. Since the middle of March, we have redistributed over $100,000 to undocumented members of our network in and around Montreal, and a huge majority of those expenses will be recurrent for the foreseeable future. Solidarity Across Borders is 100% volunteer-run, and after unavoidable banking transaction fees, 100% of the money we receive for this purpose goes directly into the mutual aid fund. We have shared financial resources with hundreds of people/families since the beginning of the pandemic; most requests are in the range of $400 to $1000 which is our cap. We will need to keep asking for your support as we navigate a way through this crisis together.

While we continue to address the immediate needs of our community members, it is imperative that we also stay focused on our ongoing struggle for #StatusforAll and to #FreeThemAll. We don’t yet know what our world will look like when/if the COVID-19 outbreak subsides, but we refuse to allow a return to a “new normal” that simply replicates the exploitation and injustice so foundational to the current global order. We’re nowhere near giving up, and luckily it appears that neither are any of you. We are humbled and inspired by this incredible expression of generosity and solidarity, and are honoured to continue the struggle alongside all of you.

In solidarity,

Solidarity Across Borders

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