The Hamilton Sanctuary City Coalition is looking for new members and we’re inviting you to get involved. As a coalition, to date we’ve worked on getting a policy passed at City Council ensuring access to city services to undocumented residents, raising awareness through hosting a Migrant Workers’ speaking tour and other events, and coordinating with others across Canada to demand status for migrant workers. With each of these actions, we’re trying to develop and expand the migrant justice movement in Hamilton, and we want to invite you to join us in growing this movement.
We see three key areas where the movement can grow in Hamilton. These are by no means the only things we can work on together, but if you are interested in any of them we want to hear from you.
1) Anti-deportation and Stop Immigration Detention: Over the past few years we’ve seen several residents in Hamilton threatened with deportation, and we’ve also seen strong communities of support come together to fight for the right to stay. Now we see a need for a space where people can come together outside of these emergency situations and build the knowledge and history together to hit the ground running when threats of deportation and immigration detention arise. This means developing our legal knowledge of how to challenge within the system, but also our direct action and campaigning knowledge and skills because we know legal routes are not enough.
2) City Accountability/Access not Fear at the School Board, Police Services: Part of our work getting the Sanctuary City motion passed at City Council was the knowledge that passing a motion is one thing, making sure people follow through on it is another. We want to make sure that services are meeting their requirements to be accessible to all residents regardless of status, that people are able to access without fear of deportation or detention. And we want to call City Council and services out if they aren’t meeting their commitments. Beyond this, the School Boards and Police Services were not included in the motion passed by Council and so getting these institutions to pass their own Access not Fear Policies is another important step we can take. This is a long haul project, but it is one that matters to people’s daily lives and to building the movement.
3) Organizing with Migrant Workers and Allies Across Canada: Recent days of action were held in Hamilton and elsewhere as part of the No4and4 campaign to protest the changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program that are leading to mass deportations. Across Canada, people involved are building momentum to turn this into a broader mass movement of migrant workers and allies that can push for real change in the TWFP and LCP, but can also organize workers and fight against austerity and neoliberal immigration regimes. We were part of the initial action organizing, but to keep up this work, we need to get more people together in Hamilton to organize locally and contribute to this nation-wide campaign.
These are some of the ideas that excite us and that we think can help make the movement stronger in Hamilton. But, we’re still a small group and we need more people involved to make any of this happen.
We need people who can do anything: website maintenance, facilitating meetings, holding signs at rallies, public speaking, one-on-one talking to workers/migrants, legal knowledge, design, or just coming out and sharing your ideas and taking on tasks.
If you’re excited to do this work too, we’d love to hear from you. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hamilton Sanctuary City Coalition