Solidarity Across Borders
A Solidarity City is created in our communities when we collectively support immigrants, refugees, and non-status people in the daily struggle against a racist, dehumanizing, and violent immigration system. Concretely, as we build a Solidarity City we are working together to dismantle the power of immigration controls in our city. Immigration controls extend beyond the border, reaching into the everyday lives of people with precarious status in ways that are often invisible to people with full status or citizenship. These controls, propped up by capitalism and white supremacy, take shape in daily life in the form of structural racism, anti-immigrant sentiment, shame and stigma around being labelled “illegal,” fear of being deported, poverty, and isolation, as well as in barriers to essential services such as food banks, health care, education, and shelters. For people with precarious status, simple daily acts such as attending school, applying for a job, or trying to access health care present tangible borders and run the risk of carrying severe consequences.
A major part of the Solidarity City campaign has been the struggle for Access Without Fear to city services. In order for services to be more accessible to all Montrealers, we insist that service provision organizations refuse to discriminate based on immigration status. In practice, this means that they adopt a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, whereby they do not ask for immigration status and refuse to collaborate with the Canada Border Services Agency. Immigration enforcement is not the job of service providers; immigration authorities should therefore not be permitted in service spaces.
Some initiatives that have emerged from the Solidarity City campaign are the Education Without Borders Collective, which fights for access to education for non-status children and youth, and the Food for All! Committee, which works with food distributors to make their services accessible to people without status.
The Solidarity City campaign is an attempt to generalize and broaden some key organizing principles that have been applied in migrant justice work in Montreal, such as breaking isolation and fear, practicing tangible mutual aid and solidarity, organizing campaigns arising from on-the-ground realities, and using direct action to achieve justice.
For more information or to find out how to plug in to an existing initiative: email@example.com, 438-933-7654, solidarityacrossborders.org
To read our Solidarity City Declaration, visit: http://solidarityacrossborders.org/en/solidarity-city/solidarity-city-declaration