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Toronto Camp in Solidarity with Migrants Under Attack in France

Posted in
Oct/02/2009 - 11:00 am

Calais CampNO ONE IS ILLEGAL! STOP THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN!

Friday, 02 October 2009
11am
CONSULATE GENERAL OF FRANCE IN TORONTO
2 Bloor Street East

At 9am on Tuesday morning, 11 migrants in Calais, France started a highly visible hunger strike in the port area to oppose the recent use of heavy military force and other state violence against migrant camps in the area, largely comprised of non-status Afghanis.

In solidarity with the hunger strikers, and in direct opposition to the criminalization of migrants and Canada’s war in Afghanistan, No One Is Illegal – Toronto is calling for a camp to be setup outside the French Consulate in Toronto on Friday, 02 October 2009 at 11am.

Please bring tents, sleeping bags and signs to setup camp to demand that France immediately halt attacks on migrants. At the same time, demand that Canada cease its war in Afghanistan and Haiti and it's support for occupations in Palestine, Iraq and other places that displace migrants in the first place.

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On the morning of September 22, 2009, French authorities began dismantling an undocumented migrants’ camp near Calais, resorting to extreme force. Hundreds of migrants, mostly Afghani, were dispersed that morning. Faced with detention and deportation, they have gone into hiding in the region, facing police brutality at every corner. Calais has become a “bottleneck” position in the European Union for migrants aiming to seek asylum in the United Kingdom, where a slightly greater chance of refugee protection is perceived to be available than the more repressive countries of the continent. This hope for acceptance is often dashed in arriving in the UK, where many migrants live in dangerous, xenophobic, and impoverished conditions.

Every year, as thousands of migrants perish in desperate attempts to cross militarized waters, immigration policies in southern Europe become more and more restrictive. EU policies have declared that migrants must apply for asylum/refuge in the first "safe country" they land in. Those applying for refuge/asylum in other places are immediately deported to these "safe countries" in Eastern Europe which are the first port of landing for those unable to get through other more draconian borders in the Western Mediterranean Sea, particularly in the Canary Islands and southern Italy. Most of the Calais residents face deportations to Greece where there are functioning work camps, constant police brutality, and extremely precarious living conditions. It is these same discriminatory policies that Kenney aims to bring to Canada.

The eight-year NATO occupation of Afghanistan of which Canada is a leading member is primary reason for displacing many of the Calais residents. Canadian and French companies profit from the “redevelopment” project in Afghanistan while the governments stand in the way of status for all people, keeping migrants in precarious and temporary positions.

Join us in solidarity with the migrants of Calais to say that no one, anywhere, is illegal!