Building a Solidarity City: An annual conference on building our networks of mutual aid and collective support

An invitation from Solidarity Across Borders …
Building a Solidarity City: An annual conference on building our networks of mutual aid and collective support
Two days! NOVEMBER 23 & 24, 2013 (Montreal)


Solidarity Across Borders is organizing a two-day conference to discuss and share strategies about building and reinforcing local networks of mutual aid and support, as well as assuring access to free and quality services related to health, education, food, housing, shelters and more, for non-status migrants and all residents of Montreal. We’re inviting local community members, organizers, activists and all people interested in this topic.

Workshop-Discussions-Panels during the weekend: 
Supporting Indigenous Sovereignty & Self-determination (with Ellen Gabriel, Amanda Lickers, C. Monge & Chelsea Vowel) * Education For All! * Food for All! * Resisting Gentrification in Montreal * Deportation, Prison & the Double Punishment of migrants * Making shelters safer spaces for all *  Immigration support: a strategy session * Health Care For All! * No Borders Movements & Building Solidarity Cities across North America (New York City, Toronto, Vancouver & Montreal)
WHEN : Saturday, November 23 & Sunday, November 24, 9am-5pm
WHERE : 1455 de Maisonneuve West, 7th floor, métro Guy-Concordia

* Childcare and kids activities on-site (free)
* Whisper translation (English, French, Spanish)
* Free
* Wheelchair accessible
* Free breakfast and lunch available on-site
* Please confirm your participation (solidaritesansfrontieres@gmail.com / 438-933-7654)
* This event is for migrants, community organizers and allies
 
FINAL CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23
* 9am-10am: Breakfast and Coffee
* 10am-12pm: A) Opening Panel: Supporting Indigenous Sovereignty & Self-determination (with Ellen Gabriel, Amanda Lickers, C. Monge & Chelsea Vowel)
* 12pm-1:30pm: Lunch
* 1:30pm-3pm: Workshops: B) Education For All!; C) Food for All! Status for All!
* 3:30pm-5pm: Workshops: 
D) Resisting Gentrification in Montreal; E) Deportation, Prison & the Double Punishment of migrants

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24
* 9:30am-10am: Breakfast and Coffee
* 10am-12pm: Workshop: F) Making shelters safer spaces for all
* 12pm-1pm: Lunch
* 1pm-2:30pm: Workshops: G) Immigration support: a strategy session; H) Health Care For All!
* 3pm-5pm: I) Closing Panel: No Borders Movements & Building Solidarity Cities across North America (New York City, Toronto, Vancouver & Montreal)

[FULL DESCRIPTIONS BELOW or www.solidarityacrossborders.org/en/building-a-solidarity-city-conference-november-23-24/final-conference-schedule]

-> You can attend the discussions that directly interest you, or the entire two days. The discussions will be organized to share strategies between participants. We are hoping that concrete projects will emerge from this day.

-> Please confirm your attendance (and if possible, which workshops you are interested in attending).

-> The conference is fully wheelchair accessible. For other accessibility needs, please get in touch at solidaritesansfrontieres@gmail.com

-> We will also be offering free childcare and kids activities on-site. Please contact us (at least 48 hours in advance, if possible) to request childcare. We will also have free bus/metro tickets available.

ENDORSE the Solidarity City Declaration: 

We encourage Montreal-area organizations and groups to discuss and collectively sign the Solidarity City declaration, which is linked here: 

The SOLIDARITY CITY declaration is currently signed the following organizations: 
Solidarité sans frontières * Personne n’est illégal-Montréal / No One Is Illegal * Dignidad Migrante * Mexicains Unis pour la Regularisation (MUR) * Centre des travailleurs et travailleuses immigrantEs (CTI) * Apatrides anonymes * Artivistic * Assemblée populaire et autonome de Hochelaga (APAQ-Hochelaga) * Assemblée populaire et autonome de Montréal (APAM) * Assemblée populaire et autonome de Villeray (APAQ-Villeray) * Association pour la liberté d’expression * Association de locataires de Villeray (ALV) * Association of McGill University Support Employees (AMUSE) * La Belle Époque * Café l’Artère * Centre communautaire des femmes sud-asiatiques / South Asian Women’s Community Centre * Centre d’éducation et d’action des femmes (CÉAF) * Centre des femmes d’ici et d’ailleurs * Centre des femmes italiennes de Montréal * Centre des femmes de Verdun * Centre d’orientation paralegale et sociale pour immigrants (COPSI) * Centre Québécois de Formation pour les jeunes en matière de droits humains  * Centre Social Autogéré de Pointe St-Charles * Chaotic Insurrection Ensemble * Coalition des familles homoparentales * Collectif opposé à la brutalité policière (COBP) * Comité d’Action de Parc-Extension (CAPE) * Comité citoyen de Parc-Extension * Comité logement Ahuntsic-Cartierville * Comité logement de la Petite-Patrie * Comité pour les droits humains en Amérique latine (CDHAL) * Conseil central du Montréal métropolitain-CSN * Convergence des luttes anticapitalistes (CLAC) * Coopérative d’habitation Le Peuplier de Pointe-Saint-Charles * Coopérative d’habitation Port d’attache (Parc Extension) * Laboratoire de recherche en relations intercuturels (LABRRI) * Médecins du Monde * Médi@s Libres – collectif de média alternatif * Mouvement Action Justice * People’s Potato * P.O.P.I.R. – Comité Logement * Projet Accompagnement Solidarité Colombie (PASC) * Quebec Public Interest Research Group (QPIRG) at Concordia * Quebec Public Interest Research Group (QPIRG) at McGill * Réseau de la Commission Populaire / People’s Commission Network * Réseau Koumbit * Services Juridiques Communautaires de Pointe- Saint-Charles et de Petite Bourgogne * Southwest Solidarity Network / le Réseau de Solidarité du Sud-Ouest * Stella, l’amie de Maimie * Syndicat des auxiliaires de recherche et d’enseignement du Concordia (SAREC/TRAC) * Tadamon

If your organization would like to endorse this declaration, or needs more information (including a presentation about the Solidarity City campaign) get in touch (solidaritesansfrontieres@gmail.com).
—–
 
 

FINAL UPDATED CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

A)

Opening Panel: Supporting Indigenous Sovereignty and Self-Determination
Saturday, November 23, 10am-12pm
1455 de Maisonneuve West, 7th floor, métro Guy-Concordia

Panelists include:

* Ellen Gabriel: Ellen (Kanien’kehá:ka Nation, Turtle Clan) is an Indigenous human rights activist, former head of the Quebec Native Women’s Association, chosen by the People of the Longhouse and her community of Kanehsatà:ke to be spokesperson during the 1990 “Oka” Crisis.

* Amanda Lickers: Amanda is an anarcha-queer Onkwehon:we cis-woman. She belongs to the Turtle Clan of the Onondowaga nation, part of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Focusing on combating ecocide, hating the police, and harvesting medicines, Amanda hopes to work towards dismantling all systems of oppression, slashing at their social, cultural and material infrastructures.

* C. Monge: Mr. Monge is a displaced Indigenous (Nahuatl) person from Mexico who has been an asylum seeker in Canada since 2008. He works closely with undocumented migrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries in their fight for inclusion in Canadian society, through the process of regularization of their migratory status. Mr Monge is active with Mexicans United for Regularization (MUR) and the Status For All campaign.

* Chelsea Vowel: Chelsea is Métis, Plains Cree from Lac Ste. Anne, Alberta. She teaches Inuit youth under Child Protection and blogs as âpihtawikosisân. Chelsea is passionate about law, culture and language, and trying to deconstruct harmful myths with the hope that there can be a restructuring and renewal of the relationship between Canadians and indigenous peoples

From the Status for All Indigenous Solidarity Statement: “We believe we cannot speak meaningfully about apartheid globally, and unjust migration policies, without first speaking about the realities of apartheid here in Canada.

From its very foundations, Canada has been based on the theft of Indigenous lands, and the genocide and displacement of Indigenous peoples. In crucial ways, the Canadian state’s treatment of Indigenous peoples, historically and currently, is an apartheid system – from the imposition of the Indian Act, band councils and reservation system, to stolen children and residential schools; from the continued theft of lands and resources by governments and corporations, to the cultural appropriation of native traditions and culture.

Today that legacy continues, whether through the disproportionate rate of incarceration of Indigenous peoples in the racist Canadian prison system; through the complicity of Canadian authorities in the disappearance or murder of hundreds of native women in the last three decades alone, through Children’s Aid Societies taking the place of residential schools to continue the theft of native children; or through resource extraction projects such as the Alberta Tar Sands, which contribute to the ongoing environmental devastation of Indigenous territories. Canada’s genocidal past is celebrated in the names of our streets, towns, and cities, while continuing to erase the genuine identity of the original peoples of this land.”

Read the full statement here: http://www.solidarityacrossborders.org/en/statement-of-support-for-indigenous-struggles-and-sovereignty

B)

Workshop-Discussion: Education For All!
Saturday, November 23, 1:30pm-3pm
1455 de Maisonneuve West, 7th floor, métro Guy-Concordia

How can we organize together to ensure that all non-status children get access to primary and secondary schools for free? How can me make links between the struggle for the right to free education and the movement against racism and xenophobia in the context of a Charter of Values (now Bill 60) that is encouraging the rejection of the Other. The Education For All collective invites you to this workshop on the theme of access to education, in order to present the past two years of our campaign, and to brainstorm together our next steps. You are encouraged to respond and make proposals on the following questions: 1. Do you have experience with the problem of exclusion from school due to immigration status? 2. What can we do together to coordinate our forces to put an end to this exclusion?

This workshop is organized and facilitated by the Collectif éducation sans frontières. Info: www.solidarityacrossborders.org/en/education-across-borders-collective


C)

Workshop-Discussion: Food for All! Status for All!
Saturday, November 23, 1:30pm-3pm
1455 de Maisonneuve West, 7th floor, métro Guy-Concordia

This workshop will be an overview of the Food for All campaign for organizations and individuals within the food service sector in Montreal as well as anyone interested in joining the campaign. It will outline a no borders analysis of the food system, as well as steps that the Food for All committee has taken toward meeting our main goal, that is: working toward ensuring healthy, accessible food for everyone in Montreal regardless of immigration status. The aim will be to encourage the creation of a city-wide network of food service providers and other individuals who can collectively make this goal a reality.

D)

Workshop-Discussion: Resisting Gentrification in Montreal: Assuring access to affordable, sanitary and safe housing for everyone
Saturday, November 23, 3:30pm-5pm
1455 de Maisonneuve West, 7th floor, métro Guy-Concordia

Part of building a Solidarity City is ensuring that everyone has access to affordable, sanitary and safe housing. This effort means working to resist the growing gentrification of working class neighborhoods: St-Henri, Point-St-Charles, Verdun, Côte-des-Neiges, Parc Extension, Villeray, St-Michel, Ahuntsic, Plateau-Mt-Royal, Centre-Sud, Hochelaga and more. By “gentrification” we refer to the organized process of displacing poor and working class people from neighborhoods by the development of high-end housing and businesses. Gentrification involves complicity between capitalist property developers and municipal politicians and bureaucrats.

While housing is technically accessible to non-status people, who are not asked for proof of citizenship or other papers in order to rent an apartment or sign a lease, increasing gentrification is forcing people with limited incomes, including non-status families and individuals, to move from previously accessible neighborhoods.

The goal of this session will be to create an active anti-gentrification committee. During this session, we will: i) share basic analysis about gentrification in Montreal; ii) share information about current grassroots campaigns against gentrification; iii) strategize about organizing together as an anti-gentrification committee, as part of the Solidarity City campaign.

One goal of the anti-gentrification committee will be to organize a city-wide consulta (popular assembly) in the new year, to launch a long-term (5 years) campaign to demand and implement an effective moratorium on condominium development and conversion anywhere in Montreal. The condo moratorium is part of a larger effort to resist capitalist developers in Montreal.

This session is open to all who want to be part of the new anti-gentrification committee, and who are also in agreement with the basic demands of Solidarity Across Borders, for accessible, safe and sanitary housing for all, and against gentrification and capitalism. We encourage workshop participants to confirm their participation by e-mail at solidaritesansfrontieres@gmail.com

E)

Workshop-Discussion:  Deportation, Prison & the “Double Punishment” of Migrants
Saturday, November 23, 3:30pm-5pm
1455 de Maisonneuve West, 7th floor, métro Guy-Concordia

“Double punishment” is the term used to describe the unjust policy used against non-citizens who face deportation after being punished for a criminal conviction. In other words, non-citizens who commit criminal offenses are punished twice: once when they’re sentenced for their crime, and then again by being permanently removed from Canada, often after living here since childhood. This workshop is intended for local community members who would like to actively oppose double punishment and be actively involved in local organizing campaigns. The starting point of this workshop is: opposition to deportations & detentions, support for a regularization program for all non-status migrants, opposition to prisons and the prison industrial complex, and the abolition of double punishment.

This workshop is organized and facilitated by members of No One Is Illegal-Montreal.

F)

Workshop-Discussion: Making shelters safer spaces for all: Opening access to non-status womyn and womyn with precarious status
Sunday, November 24, 10am-12pm
1455 de Maisonneuve West, 7th floor, métro Guy-Concordia

What are the realities and lived experiences of migrant women and trans people, living without status or with precarious status, here in Montreal? What barriers do they confront when accessing shelters? What strategies and practices promote better access to shelters for women and trans people, regardless of their immigration status? What are the challenges and limitations encountered? How do we deal with the question of interactions with police and border enforcement agents?

This workshop aims to bring to bring together workers from shelters and women’s centres across Montreal, as well as women and trans people living in shelters and directly affected by the immigration system and/or violence. We hope to create a space for exchange surrounding practices of solidarity and resistance employed by shelters and women’s centre to promote the creation of safer spaces for all.

This workshop is for people who identify as women and/or trans. This is not a public workshop, please confirm your attendance in advance at: solidaritesansfrontieres@gmail.com

[Solidarity Across Borders holds a position that includes women-identified trans in its concept and demands for womyn.  We recognize that we may be working with groups who do not share this analysis, and we will work respectfully and collaboratively in a space of solidarity despite these important differences.]

G)

Workshop-Discussion: Immigration support: An informal strategy and brainstorm session
Sunday, November 24, 1pm-2:30pm
1455 de Maisonneuve West, 7th floor, métro Guy-Concordia

This workshop is intended for people who do direct support within their communities with people struggling against the immigration system, outside of a formal institutional network.

Those who work within institutions are welcome to attend but the workshop is meant to focus on grassroots direct support and anti-border movement building.

Come share your experiences and resources in this informal strategy session.

H)

Workshop-Discussion: Health Care For All: Sharing Strategies
Sunday, November 24, 1pm-2:30pm
1455 de Maisonneuve West, 7th floor, métro Guy-Concordia

This workshop period is geared towards organizations and individuals working in the health care sector who have signed the Public Statement: “No Border Agents in our Hospitals and Clinics/Health Care For All”, and is also open to people interested in joining SAB’s newly formed Health Care For All Committee. Signing the statement is a symbolic first step and great way to show that healthcare providers are committed to providing health services for all people, regardless of immigration status, and to keeping border agents out of healthcare settings. The goal of this workshop is to create a space for dialogue around concrete ways to follow through with this commitment. It will be a chance to share ideas about how to put the statement into practice, including discussion about the barriers that exist, how healthcare providers can navigate around them, as well as how we can work to confront and break them down. People are encouraged to bring their personal or organization’s experiences of the challenges and successes in providing healthcare for all.

Public Statement: No Border Agents in our Hospitals and Clinics/Health Care For All: www.solidarityacrossborders.org/en/public-statement-no-border-agents-in-our-hospitals-and-clinics-heath-care-for-all

I)

Closing Panel: No Borders Movements & Building Solidarity Cities across North America (New York City, Toronto, Vancouver & Montreal)
Sunday, November 24, 3pm-5pm
1455 de Maisonneuve West, 7th floor, métro Guy-Concordia

This panel will share experiences and analysis about building networks of mutual aid and support from community organizers in New York City, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. Panelists include:

– Juan Baro from Movement for Justice in El Barrio, New York City
info: http://movementvsdawnayday.org/
– Harjap Grewal & Harsha Walia from No One Is Illegal-Vancouver
info: http://noii-van.resist.ca/
– Syed Hussan of No One Is Illegal-Toronto and a member of the Solidarity City Network of Toronto (to be confirmed)
info: http://solidaritycity.net/
– Jaggi Singh & Rosalind Wong of Solidarity Across Borders in Montreal
info: www.solidarityacrossborders.org



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