Black Lives Matter – Toronto (BLM TO), the self proclaimed “coalition of Black Torontonians resisting anti-Black racism, state-sponsored violence, police brutality,” has launched a nation-wide campaign entitled “National Days of Action Against Islamophobia & Deportations” which includes planned protests in several cities on February 4-5, 2017. The protest in front of the American Consulate in Toronto will take place on Saturday, February 4, at 1230pm.
BLM-TO has also issued an official statement accusing “white supremacy” and “white nationalism” of “terrorizing” black communities and listing the following demands:
condemning Trump’s executive order on temporarily banning immigration from seven nations
opening Canada-USA border
ending racist, anti-refugee, anti-Black, Islamophobic and anti-immigrants policy
repealing Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act and anti-terror legislation such as Security Certificates and Bill C51
The statement was initiated by Black Lives Matter – Toronto with the support of:
- Anti-Fascist Action Calgary
- Black Lives Matter -Vancouver
- Coalition Against Bigotry – Pacific
- Idle No More
- Justicia for Migrant Workers
- Kashmir Solidarity Group – Toronto
- No One Is Illegal – London, Ontario
- No One Is Illegal – Toronto
- No One Is Illegal -Vancouver Coast Salish territories
- People for Peace – London, Ontario
- Refugees Welcome – victoria/lekwungen territory Victoria
- Salaam -Vancouver: Queer Muslim Community
- Siraat Muslim Collective – Vancouver
- Tamil Freedom Coalition
- Toronto Street Medics
- Trikone – Vancouver
The following is the text of the statement:
We are tired. The war waged against Muslims and refugees worldwide has reached its boiling point with Trump’s Presidency. These xenophobic, anti-Black, Islamophobic, anti-refugee racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic policies have come to fruition. Walls and bans against Muslims and Refugees on stolen Indigenous lands. We affirm our solidarity with Indigenous nations whose lands we reside on.
Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Yemen. The geographies of our birth place that put targets on our heads. Families separated, refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants deported and detained, trapped in between borders or taken back – our communities are being terrorized by white supremacist violence and domination. Our movement is confronted by racist white nationalism, our lives are devastated in constant fear. We flee war, persecution, mass poverty in search for life – instead we get a fatal sentence for our faith.
Enough is Enough.
On January 29th, in Quebec City a group of Muslims were praying in a mosque at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre when a gunman came in and rang shots throughout this place of worship. Six have died, even more are injured. We mourn their lives. Last summer during the holy month of Ramadan, a pig’s head was left at the doorstep. The president of the cultural centre hoped the event was an isolated incident, and responded with nothing but love and respect to the Centre’s neighbours.
Colonial borders are imaginary constructs.
The white supremacist hatred of Muslims and refugees from all intersections world wide is the colonizing force that fuels the identity and economy of America just as much as Canada. Trump’s power is extended to Trudeau’s. The institutional and systemic Islamophobic, anti-Black and racist policies that are killing us at the border, in the streets, in our homes, at work and in our mosques are one. We are under attack on all fronts, especially those of us who live in the intersections of Blackness and Muslimness and are Refugees who are the first to be silenced, ignored or forgotten.
Not another life. Not another mass murder.
Our resistance does not stop here. Now more than ever we must organize. This is a national call to action to plan demonstrations in your cities, Canada wide. Join us, as we rise up!
1) The Canadian government must make an immediate public condemnation of the executive order by President Trump that bans Muslim visa-holders from seven countries and also bans all refugees from entering the US.
2) Canada must immediately open the Canada-USA border.
This includes revocation of the Safe Third Country Agreement which bars most refugee claimants entering from the United States over land to claim asylum in Canada. The Designated Country of Origin list, which makes it almost impossible for US citizens and citizens of forty other countries to claim asylum in Canada, must be eliminated.
3) Canada must end racist, anti-refugee, anti-Black, Islamophobic exclusion of migrants and refugees within this colonial border.
This includes ending the system of indefinite immigration detention. The federal government must create a regularization program so that all undocumented residents can live here with their families rather than fear mass deportation. Migrant workers in Canada must also be given permanent status and open work permits. We want real, not symbolic, Sanctuaries that guarantee access to services and refuse collaboration with Canadian and American border agents.
4) Canada must rescind all federal legislation that attacks racialized Black and Brown Muslims and refugees, including the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act as well as anti-terror legislation such as Security Certificates and Bill C51.
Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act
The Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act (click HERE) amends the Civil Marriage Act to provide for the requirement of a minimum age of 16 years for marriage and bans any support of a forced early marriage.
Part 1 amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to specify that a permanent resident or foreign national is inadmissible on grounds of practising polygamy in Canada.
Part 2 amends the Civil Marriage Act to provide for the legal requirements for a free and enlightened consent to marriage and for any previous marriage to be dissolved or declared null before a new marriage is contracted. Those requirements are currently provided for in the Federal Law—Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 1 only in respect of Quebec and under the common law in the other provinces. It also amends the Civil Marriage Act to provide for the requirement of a minimum age of 16 years for marriage. This requirement is currently provided for in the Federal Law—Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 1 only in respect of Quebec.
Part 3 amends the Criminal Code to
(a) clarify that it is an offence for an officiant to knowingly solemnize a marriage in contravention of federal law;
(b) provide that it is an offence to celebrate, aid or participate in a marriage rite or ceremony knowing that one of the persons being married is doing so against their will or is under the age of 16 years;
(c) provide that it is an offence to remove a child from Canada with the intention that an act be committed outside Canada that, if it were committed in Canada, would constitute the offence of celebrating, aiding or participating in a marriage rite or ceremony knowing that the child is doing so against their will or is under the age of 16 years;
(d) provide that a judge may order a person to enter into a recognizance with conditions to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for the purpose of preventing the person from committing an offence relating to the marriage of a person against their will or the marriage of a person under the age of 16 years or relating to the removal of a child from Canada with the intention of committing an act that, if it were committed in Canada, would be such an offence; and
(e) provide that the defence of provocation is restricted to circumstances in which the victim engaged in conduct that would constitute an indictable offence under the Criminal Code that is punishable by five years or more in prison.
Finally, the enactment also makes consequential amendments to other Acts.
Anti-terrorism Act, 2015 – Bill-51
The Anti-terrorism Act:
- authorizes governmental institutions to disclose information to other governmental institutions that have jurisdiction or responsibilities in respect of activities that undermine the security of Canada.
- Deals with persons who may engage in an act that poses a threat to transportation security or who may travel by air for the purpose of committing a terrorism offence.
- permits the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to take, within and outside Canada, measures to reduce threats to the security of Canada, including measures that are authorized by the Federal Court.
- gives more powers to the security services and the justice system to deal with terror threats and the offence of knowingly advocating or promoting the commission of terrorism offences.
To read Bill-51 click HERE.