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Sudbury Social Justice News - April 26, 2015

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.


1) Monday, April 27: Urgent Status Housing Application Blitz & March
2) Tuesday, April 28: Day of Mourning for Workers Killed on the Job
3) Friday, May 1: May Day Movie -- Memory and Muscle
4) Friday, May 1: May Day Songs and Sing-Along
5) Monday, May 4: Ramsey Lake Stewardship Committee Meeting
6) May 4 to May 26: Eight Workplace Rights Workshops in Sudbury's Libraries
7) Thursday, May 28: Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury AGM
8) Thursday, May 28: Council of Canadians Meeting


1) May Day Statement from No One Is Illegal
2) "The Politics of Fear" by Andre Clement


Monday, April 27: Urgent Status Housing Application Blitz & March

Time: Drop-in: 1pm to 3:30pm March: 3:30pm
Location: Drop-in at and march starting from APANO (66 Elm Street, Sudbury)

Even though the weather is improving, the conditions on the street remain harsh.  The Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty, homeless folks, and allies will be organizing an Urgent Status Housing Application Blitz, including our drop-in scheduled at APANO on Monday April 27th from 1 to 3:30pm to assist with filling out applications.  We will be delivering these applications to Sudbury Housing following the drop-in.  All supporters are invited to meet up outside APANO at 3:30 to march the applications over and help demonstrate that shelter and housing are immediate needs that cannot be ignored.


Tuesday, April 28: Day of Mourning for Workers Killed on the Job

Time: 10am to noon
Location: Fraser Auditorium, Laurentian University, Sudbury

The International Day of Mourning began in Sudbury in 1984. Since its inception in Sudbury, the observance has spread to over 80 countries around the world. The purpose of the Day of Mourning is to remember and honour the lives lost and to prevent further deaths, injuries or workplace diseases.

This event is sponsored by the Sudbury and District Labour Council.

This event on Facebook:


Friday, May 1: May Day Movie -- Memory and Muscle

Time: 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Location: Meeting Room #1 downstairs at the Main Library, 74 Mackenzie Street

On May Day, a day set aside to celebrate working class power, join us for a viewing of Memory and Muscle, a documentary about the 1965 wildcat postal strike. These postal workers were not organized in a business union and had no collective bargaining “rights”. What they did have was autonomy, militancy and solidarity. This strike is also a good example of women workers struggling within an overall context of class struggle, before middle class feminism began to dominate women’s struggles. Another interesting aspect of this strike is that it united English and French workers. So, this strike is an important one in the history of workers, and it’s also timely: as postal workers are coming under renewed attack, we need to start thinking about how we can best practice solidarity with these workers at this moment in history. To that end, we’ll also have a report from a postal worker in Sudbury.

What defines the importance of this strike is that it was led by workers themselves. To emphasize this point, we’ll be making a short presentation on the importance of autonomy in workers’ struggles – even in unionized workplaces – and a critique of how the film is resolved. The film is 49 minutes long and we’ll have a discussion afterwards.

We apologize for the terrible timing of this event, but the library is not open late on Fridays. Tell your boss you’re S.I.C.K. (Sudden Interest in Collective Knowledge) and come down to the library for an afternoon of inspired militancy!

Join and share on Facebook:


Friday, May 1: May Day Songs and Sing-Along
Time: 7 – 9 pm
Location: The Townehouse, 206 Elgin Street

Friday May 1st is May Day – an international day for celebrating workers, working class power and working class culture!

Workers produce everything that society needs! Everything we value in society is made by workers! On May Day, workers of the world stand up and take credit for everything we value as a society!

May Day is not sanctioned by the state or by business unions! This is our day and we struggle for it every year! Let’s get together and sing songs about our struggles and workers’ past struggles!

We’ve got some great folk songs and pop songs planned, and we’ll have lyric sheets too, so we’re hoping people will want to sing along! Here are some of the songs we’re planning to cover:

Bread And Roses
Sixteen Tons
We Work The Black Seam
She Works Hard For The Money
Take This Job And Shove It
Blue Sky Mine
Which Side Are You On?

If you have a favourite song about workers you’d like to hear, let us know on FB!


Monday, May 4: Ramsey Lake Stewardship Committee Meeting
Time: 7pm
Location: Living with Lakes Centre (840 Ramsey Lake Road, Sudbury)

This meeting will be a brainstorming session to decide the committee's direction for the next year. Bring your ideas!


May 4 to May 26: Eight Workplace Rights Workshops in Sudbury's Libraries
In the month of May, the Sudbury Workers Education & Advocacy Centre will be hosting a series of workshops across multiple libraries in town.

Do you work part-time? In a contract? For a temp agency? Non-unionized workplace? Starting a new job? Questions about a workplace issue? This is for YOU!

Please join us at any of the following workshops to learn about your workplace rights:

May 4 @ 6:30pm Chelmsford Library (French)
May 6 @ 6:30pm Valley East Library (French)
May 12 @ 1pm New Sudbury Library
May 13 @ 6:30pm Downtown, Main Library
May 20 @ 6:30pm Lively Library
May 21 @ 6:30pm Garson Library
May 25 @ 6:30pm Dowling Library
May 26 @ 1pm Coniston Library

Questions? Call us at 705-470-3323 or like us on Facebook:


Thursday, May 28: Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury AGM
Time: 7pm to 9pm
Location: LAL classroom, St. Andrews Place (111 Larch Street, Sudbury)

Doors open at 6pm. Agenda to be announced.

Thursday, May 28: Council of Canadians Meeting


1) May Day Statement from No One Is Illegal
2) "The Politics of Fear" by Andre Clement


This International Workers' Day: Support, Don't Deport.

International Workers’ Day Statement by No One Is Illegal Toronto and No One Is Illegal Vancouver, Coast Salish Territory

Last Thursday, Jason Kenney announced a moratorium on new and pending permits of migrant workers in the fast food and restaurant sector. This is a mass deportation order.

Though exact numbers are as yet unknown, there were 44,000 Labour Market Opinions in the food and accommodation sector issued in 2012. Thus, approximately that many migrants will be shut out this year. Migrants abroad with pending applications have also likely paid recruiters thousands of dollars to come to Canada. To do so, many have gone into immense debt that they will not be able to get out of. Workers already here will be unable to change jobs and apply for new LMOs in the sector, leaving them tied to potentially abusive employers.

The ex-Immigration Minister and now Employment Minister Jason Kenney has been on a war path since 2008, systematically shutting out refugees, spouses, permanent residents and citizens. To do so, he has fanned the flames of xenophobia and racism coining terms such as 'bogus refugees', 'marriages fraud', 'birth tourism', 'human smugglers' and 'foreign criminals'. In 2012, the Conservative government cancelled over 250,000 permanent residency applications without processing them. New refugee laws passed at the end of 2012 have halved the total number of refugee applicants in the country - in essence excluding 10,000 people. Laws passed in 2011 will mean that migrant workers who have been here for four years or more will face deportation in January 2015. Add to that the nearly 90,000 people deported under Harper's regime - we are witnessing an enormous wave of mass deportations and exclusion.

Challenges to these have been posed, but have never become a unified social justice concern. That must change.

Though the current story broke in newspapers and media outlets after a CBC Go Public report on April 14th, which focused on "Canadian" McDonalds workers feeling sidelined by migrants, the roots of this disaster have been growing for a long time. This time last year, two other reports on RBC and coal mining in British Columbia, respectively, received national attention with a very similar refrain: 'Foreigners are taking our jobs'.

Mainstream media, and people across the political spectrum have perversely used examples of migrants speaking out against their abuse and exploitation as the excuse to call for migrant worker exclusion (See statements from Alberta Federation of Labour, Canadian Labour Congress, BC Federation of Labour, and the NDP).

Canadian style racisms are institutionalized and subtler – implicit in Canada's immigration laws and policies. Though we see vulgar and vicious anti-immigrant flyers handed out in Brampton, and the rise of white power groups in BC - there hasn't been a similar rise of fascist groups and political parties as in Europe here. But the widespread exclusion of migrants, supported by organizations from across the political spectrum is the same.

While most migrants are only able to come in as temporary foreign workers now, the response has not been solidarity with them but rather calls for their removal. All across the political spectrum, we see protectionist nationalist measures demanding an end to temporary foreign worker, rather than seeking full immigration status on landing, full labour protections and clear pathways to residency.

Calling for a moratorium on migrant workers first, and then paying partial lipservice to some permanent immigration system is a de facto call for mass exclusion of people of colour. If we truly believed in equal access for people irrespective of their racialization and impoverishment, we would first ensure full immigration status for all before shutting down the program that gives a toe-hold to some.

Absent in the wave of press statement and media drumming is Canada's role in global displacement, the long history of exclusion of poor people of colour, and the participation of unions, churches, and other charities in that exclusion. What we do hear loud and clear are the decontextualized stories of a few people being laid off. There is no mention of the entrenchment of temporariness in the immigration system and the lack of access to permanent immigration for most poor migrants. Little voice in the current debate is given to migrant workers, who have been organizing for decades. There is an overall non-recognition of care, service and domestic work usually carried out by women and racialized people.

Austerity-era economics, which have resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs in Canada, aren't factored into the equation. Instead, unemployed workers and migrants have been pitted against each other.

This is unconscionable. It allows similar patterns of oppression to unfold time and time again - hence the rise in anti-immigrant policy and sentiment in every economic downturn. It is imperative that we recognize that the Temporary Foreign Workers Program furthers capitalist exploitation of workers. But in the fight between capitalist desire and racist uproar, at least in this latest round, racism has won. Migrant workers are being excluded because they are “foreign”. Thus anti-racist work, particularly within workers’ movements, must escalate. We must strive to organize all workers, with or without jobs, with or without status. It is only in naming white supremacy, patriarchy, ableism and capitalism for what they are and how they determine our economy and our society that we can actually transform the structures within they flourish.

As we strive towards that world where the movement of people is unlinked from the displacement of others, we must ensure that those marginalized, silenced and illegalized in our community are not the ones most harassed, first excluded. It is imperative that we build solidarities with all workers, around the world. We must truly believe that an injury to one is an injury to all, and act accordingly. We must strive to organize all workers, with or without jobs, with or without status. This May Day, lets us resolve to organize, to support, and not deport.

No One Is Illegal is a migrant justice movement rooted in anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, ecological justice, Indigenous self-determination, anti-occupation & anti-oppressive communities. We are part of a worldwide movement of resistance that strives and struggles for the right to remain, the freedom to move, and the right to return. We undertake public awareness about the exploitation inherent in the immigration system and border controls, as well as inter-related systems of exploitation and oppression. We mobilize tangible support for refugees, undocumented migrants, and (im)migrant workers and prioritize solidarity with Indigenous land defenders. We struggle alongside anti-capitalist, anti-authoritarian, and anti-imperialist movements, and fight back through rallies and direct actions to affirm dignity and respect for our communities.


The Politics of Fear

by Andrew Clement
(From The Media  Co-op:

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