This panel features speakers representing the independent, humanitarian, solidarity based, organizations: No One Is Ilegal! -Toronto, Canadian Humanitarian Appeal for the Relief of Tamils (Canadian HART), Migrante-Ontario, and Communist Party of Canada. The first three speakers share the experiences of their communities as being comprised of racialized working-class and poor (im)migrants in Canada, illustrating the hardships, inequalities, racism, and other abuses inherent in the process of (forced) migration to Canada. All participants examine the recent changes in the Canadian immigration system and focus on the work that grassroots, anti-oppression, community organizations have and are doing in southern Ontario to create change.
About the speakers:
Maru Maesa is a migrant advocate and she is currently working under Canada's Live-in Caregiver Program. She is active with Migrante-Ontario, an alliance of organisations working for the rights and welfare of migrants in Ontario through various initiatives such as organizing, education, training and advocacy. Migrante-Ontario is part of Migrante International, a network of anti-imperialist Filipino-led organizations worldwide.
Liz Rowley is the Ontario Leader of the Communist of Canada (CPC). She has been very active in the fight for workers' rights, civil and human rights, and local democracy. The CPC works for a new direction in government that puts people’s needs ahead of corporate greed and that can begin to overcome the devastation wrought by neoliberal policies and governments over the past three decades.
Panel discussion organized by Fuerza/Puwersa, a migrant worker justice group in Guelph, ON.
Music: "Got it" by Bang On!
For over 120 years, May 1st has been designated International Workers' Day. In Canada, the working class is currently being forced deeper into poverty through the policies of our governments which are controlled by corporate interests. It is through unity and solidarity that we can win!
We also remember that many of the most exploited workers in Canada today are strategically being denied status and thus not being provided with the same basic rights as other workers. This has created a two-tiered, apartheid like system where big business can drive down all our living standards. We stand with our sisters and brothers to demand "status for all" and good jobs, food, health-care, education, shelter, housing, justice and dignity for all people, irrespective of immigration status.
Jason Kenney and the Harper Conservatives have stepped up their attack in the last years with U.S.-style immigration raids and deportations and racist refugee and Temporary Foreign Worker Program reforms.
Now more than ever, we must fight back!
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