November 24, 2018 (Halifax) – From November 25-26, Haligonians will participate in an email and phone campaign calling on the Canadian government to break its silence and take concrete action in support of the Central American refugees and migrants who’ve trekked for over one month to reach to the US-Mexico border. This campaign is part of the International Day of Action in Solidarity with the Caravan and Exodus from Central America taking place on November 25th. Demonstrations will take place in over 20 cities throughout the United States and more actions are expected internationally.
WHO: Organized by Halifax in Solidarity with the Migrant Caravan. Open to all.
WHAT/WHERE/WHEN: Community members will participate in a campaign geared towards Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen via email on November 25th and over the phone on November 26th. They will deliver a letter to the office of Halifax Member of Parliament Andy Fillmore at 1888 Brunswick Street, Suite 808 on November 26th at 12pm.
They will call on the Canadian government to:
- – Break its silence on the Central American caravans and issue a statement in support of the rights of the refugees and migrants;
- – Open Canadian borders to the refugees and migrants in the caravans in light of the humanitarian crisis in Central America;
- – End the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the US; and
- – Better respect the rights of undocumented people in Canada.
Since October 12th, Central American refugees and migrants – most of them from Honduras and many of them families – began a mass exodus to the US-Mexico border to escape a situation of widespread violence, poverty and government repression that has escalated since the 2009 Honduran coup, backed by the US and Canadian governments. The group has called for their exodus to be recognized as a humanitarian crisis that has lead to forcible displacement.
The global day of action takes place on the anniversary of the 2017 Honduran election stolen by the right-wing military dictator Juan Orlando Hernández, with the support of the US and Canadian governments.
Over 5,000 refugees and migrants have already reached the Mexican border city of Tijuana, where they face long wait times to apply for asylum, as well as ongoing threats by US President Trump. On November 19th, a federal judge temporarily halted President Trump’s “asylum ban,” which attempted to deny asylum to anyone entering the country from outside of a “legal” port of entry. Meanwhile, more than 5,000 active duty troops have been deployed to border areas and military personnel have been given extended powers, including the use of lethal force.
Support for the Central American refugees and migrants is growing throughout Canada. On November 3rd, approximately 50 community members in Halifax gathered to express their solidarity with the Central American caravans. Shortly after, they launched a social media campaign in support of the refugees and migrants that has already reached over 10,000 people on Facebook. On November 11th, the Montreal-based group Solidarity Across Borders issued a call-out for actions in solidarity with the migrant caravans and will host a rally on November 28th with other local groups. Finally, since early November, close to 10,000 Canadians across the country have signed a petition initiated by a woman from Nanaimo, British Columbia, which calls on the Canadian government to grant asylum to the Central American refugees.
Despite the growing support for the Central American refugees and migrants demonstrated by Canadians, and the escalating situation at the US-Mexico border, the Canadian government has yet to respond.