Montrealers In Solidarity with Migrants Crossing Mexican-US Border
Canada Remains Guilty of Closing Its Borders to Asylum Seekers
Activists gathered on Wednesday morning in front of the Honduran Consulate General in Montreal in solidarity with the migrant caravans who are forcefully exiled from their country and detained at the US-Mexican border.
“If borders were so open, then people wouldn’t have to take the risks that they’re taking to seek a better life,” said Mostafa Henaway, an organizer at the Immigrant Workers Centre. “That also is very much the same kind of regime that we have here in terms of our border policies and that’s what I think is important about us being here.”
The crowd chanted “No one! No one! No one is illegal!” And “No borders, no nations, stop the deportations!”
Organized by the Comité pour les droits humains en Amérique latine, the Honduran community in Québec, Projet Accompagnement Québec-Guatemala, Projet Accompagnement Solidarité Colombie, Solidarity Across Borders and Food Against Fascism, they showed their support to migrants fleeing their country to seek asylum.
Many of the migrants fleeing from their current situation are from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and other countries in a state of humanitarian crisis.
Canada holds some responsibility for the current humanitarian crisis in Honduras, as well as the forceful migrant-flees to the United States. Canada signed a trade agreement with Honduras in 2012 to push a laborious mining law into the country. This agreement contributed to the exploitation of the workers as well as a violation of Indigenous peoples’ rights.
“No one’s talking about the U.S. and Canadian intervention in Honduras or Guatemala, there’s no discussion of that,” said Henaway.
The purpose of the rally was to expose the responsibility that Canadian companies have in Latin American countries, where they are involved in destroying the lands’ resources and causing people to seek a better living situation.
“We’re gonna go to a couple places today to denounce the ways that Canadian imperialism is complicit with U.S. imperialism and global capitalism causing folks to have to leave their countries of origin and make their way north,” said Fred Burrill from Solidarity Across Borders.
Protesters made their way in front of Gildan Activewear Montreal headquarters on de Maisonneuve to share the story of Lucy Francineth Granados.
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“Her story explains exactly the problem of relying on the [Canadian] refugee system” said Moira Kilmanhim from the Comité de soutien de Lucy.
Francineth Granados migrated from Guatemala to Montreal to be able to provide financial support for her family after her husband was killed.
“She went the same route that the migrant caravans are now going, she took freight trains, and she walked,” said Kilmanhim. “Many people everyday, many thousands of people every day go about that route.”
She was a part of member of Montreal’s Non-Status Women’s Collective and the Association des travailleurs/euses temporaires d’agences de placement—a temporary workers’ rights organization.
She was forcefully deported from Canada back to Guatemala on Apr. 13.
“The canadian government came looking for her and they found her, I don’t know how they found her but they broke into her house,” said Kilmanhim.
The march continued in front of the Consulate General of the United States of America where they chanted “No borders, no nations, stop the deportations!”
Protesters made noise to alert the people inside the building of the effect they have on the migrants trying to find asylum in both Canada and the United States. The march ended in front of the Government of Canada’s Complexe Guy-Favreau on René-Lévesque Blvd. W.
Protesters shouted “No hate! No fear, migrants are welcome here,” to end the march and to bring awareness to the situation of migrant families trying to seek asylum from their country.
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