Be There for a Peaceful Gathering – Saturday, September 30th , 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – at the Niagara Falls, Ontario end of the Rainbow Bridge
A Call-Out from the citizen-based Niagara Antiracism Coalition
Posted September 29th, 2017 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – The people of Niagara continue to welcome refugees and celebrate diversity in the face of hate.
The Niagara Antiracism Coalition (N-ARC) has organized a celebration of diversity and welcome to counter an anti-immigration demonstration planned by a hate group this weekend.
More than 500 people are expected at the celebration that will take place at the end of the Rainbow Bridge between 10AM and 2PM on Saturday, 30 September.
The event is supported by the Unitarian Congregation of Niagara, The Niagara Regional Native Centre, Quakers in Niagara and OPIRG-Brock. It has the full endorsement of The Niagara Regional Labour Council that represents thousands of unionized workers across Niagara including Unifor, CUPE, OPSEU, CUPW, OSSTF, OECTA, Teamsters, ATU, BUFA, PSAC, and ETFO.
N-ARC is addressing the demonstration against “illegal immigration” planned for Niagara Falls by the Storm Alliance. The hate group references the German Sturmabteilung who were also known as the Storm Troopers and Brown Shirts under Hitler’s Nazis.
Today, Canada is a haven for refugees facing crises around the world. Our historical shame comes not from taking people in, but from turning people in desperation away.
As this action coincides with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement and holiest day of the Jewish calendar, we remember the Canadian government’s decision to turn away a boat of 900 refugees fleeing Germany in 1939. 500 of them were returned and more than half of them did not survive the Holocaust. Antiracists will not allow groups like the Storm Alliance to enable a repeat of this crime against humanity.
Increasingly, refugee claimants are coming to Canada from the US where they face constant hostility and the threat of detention and deportation. In recent months thousands have crossed the border into Canada and voluntarily submitted to immediate arrest. T
hey present no threat to our national security or stability. N-ARC recognizes that refugees, migrant workers and immigrants have made and continue to make positive contributions to Canada. Their lives here enrich all Canadians.
“Our region, like our country, is at a crossroads. We have the choice to repeat the mistakes of the past, and the politics of exclusion based in xenophobia, or we can move forward and attempt to realize the vision of Canada we try to promote internationally and live each day,” says Renee Martin, spokesperson for N-ARC.
“With Storm Alliance planning a protest at the Rainbow Bridge, the Niagara Antiracism Coalition, along with various allies, intends to ensure we make it clear that hate and intolerance have no place in the region or in this country. If diversity is truly our strength, then it must also must be the rock by which we stand.”
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