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Fanfaronesque Action at Montreal International Airport Calls for 'Open Borders'
MONTREAL, June 4 2016 — Today members and allies of Solidarity Across borders, along with seven brass bands, arrived at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport to perform a piece of symphonic theatre, in order to highlight and denounce violent border policies and the arbitrary nature of Canada's immigration system. This action took place one month following the group's occupation of Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) offices on May 3 of this year, and following an unprecedented number of migrant deaths and disappearances in the Mediterranean.
The violence of deportations is often overlooked by most people. Every day, thousands of Montrealers take international flights, often crossing borders with ease and without a second thought. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of migrants are detained and deported every year, forced into separation from their family and their loved ones and returned to situations of danger or precarity.
“We are here because the airport is a place where the violence of borders is palpable, where the movements of some are being facilitated just as others' movements are being controlled, be it via detention, deportation or refusing to let someone even step foot in Canada,” says Rosalind Wong of Solidarity Across Borders. “We find it absurd that movement for some is so violently restricted, while others can go where they wish with great ease. Every human being should have the right to move, to stay, to return where they desire.”
Over fifty participants in the action played and sang “Ouvrez les frontières” by Tiken Jah Fakoly, as sousaphones sounded out across the departures wing, and the words echoed throughout the airport. “We expressed the message through music and testimonies as well as by a theatre piece bringing forth the image of the butterfly, which migrates every year with the beautiful freedom to move,” adds Claire Abraham, another activist participating in the action.
Today's action is the first of several taking place during Solidarity Across Borders' Month Against Deportations, a month of events aiming to denounce the violence, racism and oppressions of border controls, and to underscore the impact of these policies on the daily lives of tens and thousands of people living without status in Montreal.
The participants of “Borders are Bonkers” demand an immediate, permanent and comprehensive regularization of all people living without status in Canada.
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Rosalind Wong, member of Solidarity Across Borders