In the Blog
Mid-Week Round Up: June 11
Illustration: Erin McPhee
Check out what’s been making our headlines this week:
On June 5 the federal government released its proposed “Prostitution” Bill which many sex-workers are saying will make their work more dangerous. Bill C-36 “Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act” is still not a law and a national day of action has been called on June 14 to protest the passing of the Bill.
In 2013 Toronto become the first “sanctuary city” in Canada after City Council voted 37-3 to adopt policies allowing people to access services regardless of their immigration status. It was a landmark for undocumented migrants and activists in the city. Yesterday on June 10 City Council revisited its “sanctuary city” policies and voted 29-8 in favour of moving forward with its 2013 commitment.
The second season of hit TV show Orange is the New Black (OITNB) premiered last week and with it surfaced details about the real-life inhumane treatment of prisoners in Riverhead jail the Suffolk County, NY prison which the show’s setting is based on. Some of the conditions inmates face in Suffolk County jails includes mouldy food, brown drinking and bathing water, sewage water in cells, and toilets exploding with feces. The New York Civil Liberties Union has launched a campaign called Humanity is the New Black urging _OITNB _fans to take action and demand better treatment for prisoners in Suffolk County.
While the FIFA World Cup kicks-off tomorrow, a soccer tournament in Brazil has just wrapped up. The final of the People’s Cup took place on June 8. Joyce, one of the People’s Cup competitors, explained to Al Jazeera how the FIFA World Cup is affecting people in Brazil: “A lot of people are suffering because of the World Cup. This is a way to protest…There are a lot of people losing their homes. Health and education are chaotic. They are wasting money on unnecessary things like more roads, when really health and education should be in first place.”
The Canadian government’s proposed Bill C-24—which is on track to become law before parliament wraps up this summer—will make it possible for the federal government to deport a Canadian citizen to a country they have ties with if they are convicted of treason, high treason, espionage, or terrorism. In addition, Bill C-24 will make it harder to gain citizenship. On June 3 the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers and the BC Civil Liberties Association delivered a petition with 25,000 names addressed to the Citizenship Minister requesting he not pass Bill C-24. To learn more about the changes Bill C-24 would usher in, check out this document put together by the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers.
Migrant justice organization No One Is Illegal (NOII) has released a video featuring the voices of migrants being detained in prisons in Ontario. The video outlines how detained migrants’ citizenship and refugee statuses are being held in limbo. As of June 2, 100 detained migrants have started a month-long boycott of detention reviews. As NOII explains, “Detention Reviews (DR) are the primary means through which border authorities insist that the entire immigration system is fair. They are a unique bail-like process that takes places 48 hours, 7 days, and then every 30 days after arrest. Detainees plead their case in front of an appointed ‘member’ who single-handedly decides on their release or terms and conditions. By refusing to participate, detainees are courageously insisting that the very fabric of the immigration detention system is unjust.” You can learn more at the Truth About Detention.