To fight back against a globalized austerity drive, labour and migrant justice movements will need to unite, recovering the spirit of Haymarket and the Winnipeg General Strike. This is the second in a two-part series previewing International Workers Day, May 1. Part I, tracing the roots of May Day, can be read here.
Immigration policy as austerity
While racialized workers with less precarious immigration status are the last hired, first fired, while many of us remain in temporary non-unionized jobs and without services, a new slew of immigration policies have emerged to make immigrant workers of colour even more precarious.
An open letter to Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism
Canadians are proud of their country's tradition of providing protection for those in need. Bill C-31, the Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act, however, contradicts this tradition.
The Bill protects no one and threatens many. It treats asylum seekers as criminals rather than people who need our protection. It is discriminatory, conflicts with Canadians' sense of fairness, and violates the fundamental rights guaranteed to all people by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The call for Occupy May Day emerged out of Oakland, California in mid-February and swiftly gained momentum within the United States and beyond. A people's movement that took root in encampments across North America last fall -- one that was brutally uprooted by coordinated police action -- was calling for an American Spring and the day of action it chose was May 1, International Workers Day.
Introduced under another signature defensive title, the Conservatives' Bill C-31: "Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act", combines exclusionary refugee measures from Bill C-4 (“Protecting Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System”) and Bill C-11 (“Balanced Refugee Reform Act”). Both C-4 and -11 were previously proposed but rejected by opposition while the Conservatives were a minority in Parliament.