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article imageNo One Is Illegal holds Christmas days of action in Toronto

By Andrew Moran     Dec 26, 2010 in World
Toronto - No One Is Illegal, an immigration network based in Toronto, held three days of efforts during the Christmas holiday across the Greater Toronto Area. The group held a vigil and two days of political action.
The No One Is Illegal organization has been politically active in the issue of immigration for several years now. The group mostly operates out of Toronto and has been an important faction addressing some of the alleged crimes committed during the G20 Summit.
Christmas Eve Vigil
On Christmas Eve, No One Is Illegal held a candlelight vigil in the city’s west end to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the deaths of four migrant workers when the scaffold the employees were working on broke in half.
The men Aleksey Blumberg, 33, Vladimir Korostin, 40, Fayzullo Fazilov, 31, Aleksanders Bondarevs, 25, were restoring a 13th floor balcony at 2757 Kipling Avenue.
The vigil occurred at 2 p.m. and urged the three levels of government to protect migrant workers.
“The Tories are cutting settlement funding, jailing Tamil refugee claimants, and letting workers without full status die,” said an organizer of No One Is Illegal-Toronto, Mohan Mishra, in a press release. “We are gathering to mark the memory of those dead and demand that immediate action be taken to ensure full status, workplace protection, health benefits and just workers compensation for all workers, particularly those without full status."
Christmas Day of Action
On Christmas Day, the organization gathered at St. Casimir’s Church, also in the city’s west end Parkdale, urging the immediate halt of the deportation of 17-year-old Daniel Garcia, a Pakdale Collegiate Institute student.
Approximately 50 classmates, friends, parishioners and teachers filled the church asking Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to permit Garcia temporary status and grant him to have his pre-removal risk assessment to be “fairly heard.”
Garcia filed a refugee claim after he sought protection from violence in Mexico. Garcia claims he and his family faced severe threats to their lives in Mexico, plus his sister’s boyfriend was murdered.
Martina K., Garcia’s girlfriend, stated that all she wants for Christmas is “for Daniel to be free and safe with me and his friends.”
“I was walking down Parkdale, when the Police showed up, demanded to see my ID for no reason, then their system told them that there is an Immigration warrant for me,” said Garcia in a press release. “I was so surprised, because I'd been waiting for my decision all this time, I really want to stay in Toronto.”
Boxing Day Rally
During one of the busiest intersections and busiest shopping days of the year, high school students rallied in front of the Eaton Centre at Yonge and Dundas Streets to seek the release of Garcia.
The group states that the “only boxing day deal we want is for Daniel to be free.”
Organizer of Sunday’s event and classmate of Garcia’s, 16-year-old Akira Kato-Mckerr, said in a press release that there is a ton of community support for Garcia and that the actions of the proper authorities is “unjust.” The Parkdale Collegiate Institute student urged the Immigration Minister to “stop this.”
“I have personally witnessed the connections that Daniel has made in the school and in the community,” said Garcia’s teacher, Hillel Heinstein. “Knowing Daniel, the connections I have witnessed are only the tip of the iceberg. It will be a tremendous blow to Parkdale CI if he is not allowed to stay.”
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