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London chapter protests against Islamophobia

The Council of Canadians London chapter marched on the streets and rallied in Victoria Park today against Islamophobia and White Supremacy.

CTV reports, “Londoners are joining others across the country and at the U.S. Consulate in Toronto Saturday in the National Day of Action against Islamophobia. The rallies are in solidarity with six Muslims massacred in Quebec City, and in opposition to Trump’s travel ban on Muslims and refugees. Organizers want the federal government to rescind the Safe Third Country Agreement and Designated Country of Origin list.”

The article highlights, “In less than a week, over 150 organizations 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.”

The Council of Canadians is one of the organizations that endorsed this day of action.

Islamophobia is a term that refers to fear, prejudice, hatred or dislike directed against Islam or Muslims. And Salon magazine has explained, “White nationalism (and its ideological companion ‘white supremacy’) is an inherently racist, violent and regressive ideology that’s prefaced on a belief in the racial and cultural superiority of ‘white’ or ‘European-American’ civilization.”

The demands of today’s day of action include:

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.

The demands are from a statement initiated by Black Lives Matter-Toronto, supported by No One Is Illegal, Idle No More, Justicia for Migrant Workers, the Tamil Freedom Coalition and other groups, and endorsed by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, various CUPE and OPSEU locals, The Leap, and others.

#NoIslamophobia #NoBanNoWall