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No One Is Illegal Confronts Kenney Again!

Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister dodges Activists in Vancouver

by No One Is Illegal


On November 14, 2009, No One Is Illegal-Vancouver (Coast Salish Territories) activists, supporters, and allies confronted Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney at the University of British Columbia. Kenney was invited to speak to the UBC Campus Conservatives but did not receive a warm welcome, as his talk was continuously disrupted by a barrage of questions and confrontation regarding Canada's racist immigration policy.

There was a heavy presence of security and police at the event, in anticipation of alleged ‘security threats’ and ‘disruptions’ based on a tip that NOII-Van had called allies to mobilize around Kenney's arrival. As soon as Kenney entered the room he was immediately challenged about his claim that ‘there are no legitimate refugee claimants from Mexico’ in light of the murder of Grise, a 24-year old twice denied as a refugee in Canada and subsequently murdered upon her deportation to Mexico. He was further questioned about his repressive record of increased immigrant detentions and lower numbers of accepted permanent residents and refugees. In response, he maintained his lies (contrary to his own Department’s statistics) by stating that the number of immigrants Canada is accepting is on the rise.  One woman loudly screamed “Human Rights Abuser” into his face, visibly jarring him.

During the event, security and the RCMP removed one No One Is Illegal member from the building, who was subsequently detained and searched for causing a disturbance”, and then arrested for “swearing”. Police eventually released the individual and no charges were laid. Throughout the event, Kenney showed his propensity for manipulation, avoidance, and straight-out lies in response to any form of critique. When asked why he believed that immigrants should have to be fluent in the (colonial) languages of English and French if Canada is supposed to be "multicultural", Kenney alleged that he had only stated a need for "vague familiarity" and that the direct media quote was incorrect. When asked what his government was doing to end decredentialization of immigrants, he responded it was "a provincial problem" and when asked about the treatment of the 76 Tamil men that recently arrived on B.C. shores and remain in ongoing detention (except one), Kenney responded it was the police's business and he was sure they were acting appropriately. And when reminded of a sarcastic comment he had made earlier in Montreal, saying "yes, I'm a racist",  Kenney quipped that he was not racist because he had housed an Indian family in his basement (!).

Over the past year, activists have been confronting and disrupting Kenney, ensuring that he knows that wherever he goes, resistance will follow!  In the face of escalating attacks on immigrants and refugees through increased detentions and deportations, constant inflammatory and racist remarks, immigration raids, and significant repressive policy changes, we assert No One Is Illegal!

In Toronto: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvJnhduU57Y

In Montreal:
http://nooneisillegal-montreal.blogspot.com/2009/10/i-plead-guilty-im-ra...

Get involved! Contact us at noii-van@resist.ca or visit http://noii-van.resist.ca, where this article was originally posted along with other information about the campaign against Jason Kenney.

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