TORONTO, Oct. 15, 2017 /CNW/ - Tens of Thousands of people are expected to gather at Queens Park in Toronto on Sunday, October 15th from 12 - 3 p.m. In the wake of the recent tragic incident in Charlottesville, Virginia and the terrorist attack in which six muslim men were massacred and many others seriously injured while worshiping at the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre and mosque, the vandalism of a mosque in Montreal and Trump's hateful policies banning Muslims and refugees, demonstrators will march to raise awareness about the rise of white supremacy, the tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia and demanding action from the Canadian government.
"We can't just speak to our values. We have to act on our values," said Walied Khogali, a Toronto community activist and one of the protest organizers. "Standing up for Canada is not just telling our friends south of the border that their policies are xenophobic, Islamophobic and they're making Canadians less safe but we must examine Canada's own policies in supporting systemic practices that promote and condone white supremacy."
Over the past couple of months, the Coalition against Islamophobia and White Supremacy (CAWSI) has been working with over 150 organizations that have endorsed the National Day of Action against Islamophobia and White Supremacy.
Civil society across the country, from national unions that represent teachers, postal workers and other professions to student associations and environmental groups, have united to combat hate.
Shannon McDeez, organizer of the facebook event page that sparked the action asserts that "white privilege is an opportunity for white allies to take practical and responsible steps to combat hate."
Demonstrators are calling on the government to:
1) Condemn President Trump - The Canadian government must make an immediate public condemnation of the executive order by President Trump that bans Muslim visa-holders from six 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.
To read the full statement signed by over 120 organizations across Canada, see: https://docs.google.com/document/u/1/d/1b_pT-zGAGQdqxGLA-jE3pcBFFCOOxWpAaf43skrFtHU/pub
The Trudeau government has to date refused to make policy changes in response to the legalization of Islamophobia in the United States. The violence in Quebec shows that Canada is not a safe place for Black and Brown Muslims and refugees. Demonstrators say that Canada must take action to prevent serious hate crimes and allow migrants the freedom of movement.
Jeewan Chanicka, community activist and educator believes that, "It is imperative for our politicians to take a decisive stand and support the most vulnerable members of our society."
- Event Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1939091156346752/
- Coalition Website - https://cawsi.com/
Details: Unity Rally to End White Supremacy
When: Sunday, October 15th 2017
Time: 12:00 pm – 3 pm.
Location: Queens Park - South Side
111 Wellesley St W, Toronto, ON M7A
SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students
For further information: For Media Inquiries, please contact: Walied Khogali - 416-625-7712 (Cell); Shannon McDeez -347-335-6792 (Cell)