Day 1: No One Is Illegal March on Ottawa for Regularization
FOR PHOTO ESSAY OF DAY 1: http://gallery.cmaq.net/noiimarch_2
[Links to more audio, photo and print coverage of the March are included below.]
June 18, 2005 -- The NO ONE IS ILLEGAL MARCH ON OTTAWA began today in Montreal. A spirited and diverse demonstration of up to 1000 people (at the high point), marched through downtown Montreal, and north to two mainly immigrant neighborhoods: Parc Extension and Cote-des-Neiges.
The demonstration was opened by Kahntinehta, a Mohawk elder from Kahnawake Mohawk territory. She was followed by remarks by members of the Behlouli family (Smail, Nacera, Yasmine, Kenza and Kahiina), who have been active members of both the Action Committee of Non-Status Algerians and Solidarity Across Borders, who will be marching as a family the entire route to Ottawa. Dorothy Dubé, a non-status Zimbabwean refugee who took sanctuary in a Montreal-area church in 2002, also addressed demo participants.
Throughout the demonstration, many directly affected migrants addressed by-standers and the crowd, including representatives of migrant communities from the Congo and Iran, and individuals facing deportation to Egypt and Palestine. As well, members of the South Asian Women's Community Center (SAWCC), the Immigrant Workers Center (based in Cote-des-Neiges) and the Migrant Workers Support Center (defending the interested of seasonal farmworkers in Quebec, mainly from Latin America).
Today's demonstration ended in Kent Park, with a neighbourhood festival, including an open-air concert with local acts Syncop, Nomadic Massive and Muzion.
The march continues tomorrow to the village of Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, on the tip of the island of Montreal. On Monday, marchers will leave the island, and be welcomed in the evening on the Mohawk territory of Kanehsatake.
COVERAGE OF THE MARCH:
--> Comprehensive Photo Essay about Day 1: http://gallery.cmaq.net/noiimarch_2
--> More Photos and Links: http://www.yayacanada.com/1865.html
--> Two-hour Special Broadcast by CKUT Radio: http://184.108.40.206/32/20050618.14.03-16.00.mp3
Includes interviews with Pakistani refugee Shamim Akhtar and her daughter Sadaf, who first proposed the idea of a march to Ottawa for regularization in 2003, but were deported from Canada in 2004. As well, interviews with Solidarity Across Borders organizers Smail, Babar, Tatiana and Amir.
These two hours were taken from a week-long special broadcast on CKUT entitled "Broadcasting Across Borders". You can catch the rest of this broadcast today (Sunday) from 2-4pm, or this coming Monday to Friday from 5-6pm on 90.3FM (or online at www.ckut.ca). The broadcast will highlight some of the issues behind this historic walk.
--> Why We Are Marching: http://solidarityacrossborders.org/en/march#15
The text of the flyer that was handed out in the thousands to Montrealers during today's march.
--> "Status, Survival, and Solidarity" by Aaron Lakoff and Seth Porcello: http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=30&ItemID=8088
--> More coverage available courtesy of CMAQ (Quebec Indymedia): http://www.cmaq.net
--> The March to Ottawa continues on Sunday, June 19. We meet at 9am at metro Snowdon, and march to Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, on the tip of the island of Montreal. To know where the march is, phone 514-848-7583. Join us!
--> To join the march from Montreal any time between MONDAY, June 20 to FRIDAY, June 24, visit http://solidarityacrossborders.org/en/march#7 for more info about shuttles. Shuttles leave in the morning, and return at night.
NOTE: We need drivers (especially people who can drive standard) to help with the shuttles, plus more cars! If you can help, e-mail email@example.com as soon as possible, or phone 514-848-7583.
--> There will be buses from Montreal to Ottawa (and back) on June 25, to greet the marchers as they arrive on Parliament Hill. Buses leave Montreal at 9am, and cost $10 per adult (children are free). To reserve a space, phone 514-859-9023 and leave your name and number. There will also be buses from Toronto to Ottawa on June 25; contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
--> You can reach the Solidarity Across Borders media team at 514-848-7583.
[prepared by Aaron, Jaggi and Pat, late-night media team]