CHARLOTTE, N.C.—As the Democratic National Convention was gavelled into session Tuesday, outside in the rain, in the paramilitarized heart of Charlotte, democracy in its finest form found expression. Democracy, that is, if you believe that it's built on a foundation of grassroots movements: the abolitionist struggle, the fight for women's suffrage, the civil-rights movement. In this city, where one of the first lunch counter sit-ins against segregation occurred, 10 undocumented immigrants blocked an intersection, risking arrest and possible deportation while calling on President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party to embrace the immigrant-rights movement and pass meaningful immigration reform.
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It has been over a week since the cuts to the 55-year-old Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) took effect, leaving refugees and refugee claimants without essential health care services and medication. These changes have affected children as well as seniors and adults, and have put the lives of vulnerable people in this country at risk.
Undesirables: White Canada and the Komagata Maru, An Illustrated History
As Parliament passes sweeping, repressive immigration legislation, Toronto filmmaker Ali Kazimi's timely book, Undesirables, is a welcome and necessary contribution that should be required reading not only for Jason Kenney and his cohorts, but also those good-hearted folks who claim the new law violates Canada's mythic "humanitarian traditions."
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TORONTO-Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care is grateful that the Government has backed down on cuts to health coverage for one refugee group: Government Assisted Refugees. Doctors expect the same coverage for all other refugee groups.
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On June 18, physicians and other health care providers carried out a National Day of Action in over a dozen cities across Canada to oppose the Conservatives' cuts to refugee health care. This article is a modified version of the speech delivered to the Montreal rally by pediatrician Samir Shaheen-Hussain.