Activist groups come together, calling for more refugees to come to Canada
Dozens of protesters marched in solidarity with refugees on Saturday and called for the government to take in more refugees and stop the deportation of Haitians and Zimbabweans.
The march was organized by Solidarity Across Borders, Let’s Unite, Le Comité d’actions contre la décision 168-13 de la République dominicaine and Le Comité d’action des personnes sans statut.
The activists hoped the march would bring attention to several key issues. First, they called for an increase in the number of refugees being accepted into Canada, an issue that’s been in the spotlight since the images of Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old boy who drowned while he and his family were fleeing Syria, went viral last month.
The organizers also spoke out against the deportation of Haitian and Zimbabwean refugees currently living in Canada. A moratorium on deportations from Haiti and Zimbabwe has been lifted, giving refugees without status six months to apply for residency on humanitarian and compassionate grounds or be deported.
“We’re here to … call to an end to all deportations,” said Solidarity Across Borders member Rosalind Wong. “There have been no deportations yet, but they are coming and we’re standing in solidarity with [the refugees] saying that their place is here with the community.”
The group marched East along Ste. Catherine Street from Norman Bethune Square to Phillips Square. At Phillips Square, police in riot gear were waiting and created a line to keep the march from entering the space. The organizers of the march then decided to turn up their speakers and play music, encouraging the group to dance in the street. The police soon backed down to the corner of Cathcart Street and Union Avenue before leaving the area.