Saturday, November 7, 2009

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Every year, tens of thousands of women and trans-people travel across borders and check-points, empty their savings and make the difficult journey to Canada, leaving behind homes, families and sometimes children in search of safety. For economic security. For refuge. Often entering a system of temporary, exploitative work. Live-In Care-Givers and other migrant workers are being treated like disposable commodities by Canada. Women fighting back against violence are being denied status. Working for years. Unable to bring their families. Unable to unionize.

Enraged by this treatment and inspired by the victories of the DADT campaign in Toronto schools, the Women's Movement has risen up to demand Status for All. Shelters have opened their doors further to non-status women. Rape/Trauma Crisis Centres, Group Counseling Homes, Anti-VAW Shelters, Agencies and Community Organizations have organized to provide basic and essential support services to survivors of violence while mobilizing and advocating for a full regularization program.

We demand that immigration enforcement cease harassing women and trans-folks at shelters and anti-VAW spaces. We insist that Toronto Police stop colluding with Immigration Enforcement. We are creating safe, accessible spaces without fear for all women irrespective of Immigration status.

Shelter | Sanctuary | Status is a growing movement of over 120 Anti-VAW organizations across Turtle Island (Canada). On October 2, 2008, nearly 500 front line workers, women, marched up on the Immigration Enforcement. On the night of September 13, 2009, nearly a 1000 women and trans people took to the streets of Davenport, calling for Status for All. On November 25, 2009, continue the fight.

Now more than ever, we have to gather ourselves. The Ministry of Immigration is looking to dismantle the refugee system before Christmas. Proposed temporary worker regulations are set up to ensure that workers who live and work here for up to four years will be barred for the next six. Refugee acceptance numbers for 2010 are 40% of 2008. This shift towards a temporary system of Immigration needs to be stopped. By the women's movement. By Shelters. By Anti-VAW orgs. By Feminist Students and Academics. By the Labour Movement. By All of Us.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009
6:00pm - 8:30pm
Innis Town Hall
2 Sussex Avenue (Corner of St. George & Sussex, South of Bloor)
Toronto, ON

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