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Canadian Immigration Minister flees as speech is disrupted by immigrant rights protesters (Photos and Text)

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  • No One Is Illegal Montreal
    -- Speech by Canadian Immigration Minister is disrupted by immigrant rights protesters -- Monte Solberg flees event as demonstrators demand a moratorium on all
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2006
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      -- Speech by Canadian Immigration Minister is disrupted by immigrant rights protesters

      -- Monte Solberg flees event as demonstrators demand a moratorium on
      all deportations and the regularization of all non-status migrants


      May 31, 2006, OTTAWA -- Canadian Immigration Minister Monte Solberg
      fled the Christ Church Anglican Cathederal just seconds after
      beginning a scheduled speech this evening. He left abruptly after
      being directly confronted about his government's policy on
      deportations, and lack of action on regularization, by immigrant
      rights protesters from Ottawa and Montreal.

      --> Photos of the disruption are available at:
      http://gallery.cmaq.net/solbergottawa

      --> The flyer passed out during the disruption ? "Why we're
      protesting" -- is linked at:
      http://solidarityacrossborders.org/en/node/188

      Monte Solberg was due to address the Annual Meeting of Citizens for
      Public Justice on the theme of "Welcome the Stranger: Becoming
      Neighbours". At least a dozen members of Solidarity Across Borders and
      No One Is Illegal-Montreal came to Ottawa to attend the speech, and
      were joined by immigrant rights allies in Ottawa.

      Solberg began his speech alluding to the evening theme when a member
      of Solidarity Across Borders stood up to denounce his hypocrisy.
      Others present began speaking about neighbors and friends who had been
      deported, despite pleas made directly to Solberg and his government
      colleagues.

      The policies of the Conservative government -- who support the "Safe
      Third Country Agreement", oppose an appeals division at the
      Immigration and Refugee Board, have increased spending on police and
      border enforcement, and have refused to consider a regularization
      program for non-status migrants -- was also highlighted during the
      heckling. Several protesters referred to the arrest of children in
      Toronto-area schools by deportation agents of the Canadian Border
      Services Agency (the responsibility of Public Security Minister
      Stockwell Day, a colleague of Minister Solberg).

      As some demonstrators spoke out, others passed out a flyer prepared
      for the occasion entitled "Why we are protesting!" to the assembled
      audience, many of whom were upset that Solberg's speech had been
      effectively disrupted. The flyer included facts about Monte Solberg,
      Immigration Canada and the Conservative government. Banners that had
      been used during the recent Status for All National Day of Action for
      Immigrant Rights were also displayed throughout the intervention.

      Solberg immediately left the venue, searching for his limousine. The
      entire way he was surrounded by protesters, who vented on Solberg for
      recent deportations, as well as to press for an immediate moratorium
      on all deportations.

      Throughout the barrage by demonstrators, Solberg remained silent,
      except for one comment: "The police will take care of this."

      Solberg was able to enter his limo, but it was blocked for at least 15
      minutes before the arrival of Ottawa-area police. One of the many
      slogans, in English and French, by the protesters was: "Immigrant
      rights under attack, what do we do? Stand up and fight back!"

      The police presence didn't stop the protest, as unprepared police
      officers arrested a few demonstrators who were promptly un-arrested.
      Eventually, more police came and cleared a path for Solberg's limo to
      depart the scene

      --> Photos from today's disruption are linked at:
      http://gallery.cmaq.net/solbergottawa

      --> The flyer passed out during the disruption ? "Why we're
      protesting" -- is linked at:
      http://solidarityacrossborders.org/en/node/188

      --> A Photo Essay about the May 27 STATUS FOR ALL National Day of
      Action for Immigrant Rights is linked at:
      http://gallery.cmaq.net/may27montreal

      --> The text of the flyer passed out in Montreal on May 27 is linked
      at: http://solidarityacrossborders.org/en/node/166
      ----------

      SOLIDARITY ACROSS BORDERS: sansfrontieres@...

      NO ONE IS ILLEGAL-MONTREAL: noii-montreal@...
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