Jason Kenney Confronted and Disrupted in Montreal

Syndicated from No One Is Illegal – Montréal

At least 50 protesters, in an action called by No One Is Illegal-Montreal, were able to
surround Kenney in the Arts Building as he tried to enter the private event. For about
one-minute, Kenney was asked about the report in today’s Toronto Star that a Mexican
woman, who twice tried to apply for refugee status to Canada, was found murdered in
Mexico. Kenney brushed off the question and didn’t answer.

Kenney was also asked explicitly about his party’s blocking of a refugee appeals
division, and again he didn’t answer.

When Kenney was told by a member of No One Is Illegal that his policies scapegoat
migrants and pander to racists, Kenney replied (with a hint of sarcasm): “I plead guilty,
I’m a racist.” At that point, Kenney’s handlers and security pushed through protesters to
get Kenney inside the venue.

For the next hour and more, protesters chanted and made noise to disrupt the event
from outside. The protest was partially a teach-in as demonstrators gave speeches
about Kenney’s track-record, highlighting in particular:

– the murder in Mexico of Grise, a woman who twice tried to claim refugee status in
Canada but was refused

– the Conservatives continued refusal to implement a refugee appeals division;
– the recent treatment of Sri Lankan migrants who are currently detained in British
Columbia;
– Kenney’s introduction of visas for Mexicans and Czechs while falsely misrepresenting
their refugee claims as bogus;
– Kenney’s role in US-style mass raids on migrant workers in Ontario this past April;
– Kenney’s unapologetic defense of Israeli war crimes in Gaza and Lebanon;
– Kenney’s attack on free speech by preventing the entry of George Galloway into
Canada;
– Kenney’s involvement in cutting the funding of the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF);
– Kenney’s proposed changes to the status of migrant workers, which makes their
situation more precarious;
– the trend under Kenney and the Conservatives to push migrants into temporary worker
categories;
– Kenney’s defense of Conservative policies justifying rendition to torture and security
certificates;
– the lifting of the moratorium on deportations to Burundi, Rwanda and Liberia, while
making it harder for other migrants to make refugee claims;
– Kenney’s record of comments that pander to racists, by inaccurately portraying
migrants as abusive of the immigration and refugee system.
– and more (!).

Members of Solidarity Across Borders, active in support work with local migrants facing
removal, also spoke to the day-to-day reality of deportation and detention in Montreal,
citing examples of local individuals and families fighting for status, in defiance of
removal orders.

At one point, two members of Conservative McGill – Gregory Harris and Derek
Beigleman — began chanting “We love Kenney, we love Kenney.” Protesters stayed
silent for at least a minute, and then asked the Conservatives about their view on the
murder of Grise, as well as Conservative immigration and refugee policies that allowed
the tragedy to happen. The two Conservatives laughed throughout the narration of
Grise’s deportation and eventual death.

During the picket, protesters also spoke in solidarity with No One Is Illegal Vancouver’s
picket today demanding the release of Sri Lankan migrants who are currently detained
after arriving in Canada last Sunday, as well as this evening’s migrant justice assembly
by No One Is Illegal-Toronto.

No borders, no nations, stop the deportations!
— No One Is Illegal-Montreal

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