Thorold. Ontario. On a hot Sunday on August 23rd, 2020 a modest group of anti-prison, migrant worker and labor activists gathered for a noise demo at the Niagara Detention Centre in Thorold, Ontario on a National day of Action organized by the Migrant Rights Network. This site was chosen because the Niagara Detention Centre is used to cage community members who are undocumented and seeking asylum.
Originally published by Nortshore Info.
A member of One Dish, One Mic gave a thanksgiving address and provided a livestream for migrant workers joining in across the country, there was also ASL interpretation provided. A short opening speech by a Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (www.migrantworkersalliance.org) member linked together the struggles of migrant workers across the country, the current various BLM and Defund the Police campaigns and the reign of racist global capitalist structures. A moving and emotional memorial was then given for a few of the recent deaths of migrant workers who died here working locally in Southern Ontario while away from their home land and families.
Here is a few of the words spoken by Migrant Workers Alliance for Change:
“Migrants are not scared victims waiting to be rescued. They are self-organizing and building power together. Farm workers have been successfully organizing sit-down and slow-down strikes and setting up worker committees at their farms. Over the past two months, migrant workers across the country have been raising their collective voice further to call for full immigration status for all. They’ve been bravely speaking out in the media, reporting abusive employers to hotlines, making calls to local MPs & the Prime Minister’s office, sharing photos of themselves & their coworkers holding status for all signs, which were used to create visual petitions and were also plastered over the windows of Justin Trudeau’s office last month.”
After a few more shared words the group marched up to the front doors of the jail with banners and signs waving and pots, pans and drums banging. Two detention centre guards approached the group but many kept on walking past them eager to show solidarity to those locked up inside the jail. After a few songs from a portable but loud rolling speaker the group retuned to its rallying point for a few snacks, to decorate the detention centre’s sign and a closing address.
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