[Marxism] (Toronto) Bring Back Mohamed Cherfi: Vigil at home of Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Tony Tracy tony at tao.ca
Sun Mar 7 00:29:33 MST 2004


Tuesday, March 9th
At the home of Judy Sgro,
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

7 pm
25 Veerland Drive, North York
6 pm
Lawrence West Subway station
Car shuttles will be provided
(see below for direction details)


On Friday March 5th, 2004, the safe haven of church sanctuary was
violated by state authorities for the first time in Canadian history.

Mohamed Cherfi, one of the courageous and outspoken members of the
Montreal-based non-status Algerian community, was arrested and dragged
from the Saint- Pierre Church in Quebec City by local police,
transferred into the custody of Immigration Canada officials, and sped
across the border into US Immigration detention in a horrific
deportation effort carried out in mere hours.  He remains in custody in
Batavia Detention Centre in Buffalo, New York.

As a member of the Action Committee of Non-Status Algerians (CASS),
Mohamed has fought tirelessly to win landed status for hundreds of
people who faced deportation after the Canadian government lifted a
moratorium on removals to Algeria in 2002.  In return, the Canadian
state had targeted Mohamed, both by arresting him three times for
participating in sit-ins and pickets, but also for removal.  Friday's
events are a vicious and unacceptable escalation of this treatment.

Clearly, the police used the guise of intervening on a criminal matter
in Mohamed's case, specifically alleging that Mohamed was violating a
condition specifying he live in Montreal by seekng safety in a Quebec
City Church.

This overt operation by state forces sends a clear signal that
Immigration Canada and their police lackeys have no qualms about
violating church sanctuary - the final place of refuge to which people
seeking asylum are forced to turn.  The Canadian state is sending a
clear message that they will go to extreme lengths to hunt down people
fleeing deportation.

Mohamed had been forced into sanctuary after being denied landing on
Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds by Judy Sgro's Ministry of
Citizenship and Immigration Canada.  While deportation operations are
now carried out by Anne McClellan's Ministry, the Canadian Border
Services Agency, it is Judy Sgro who has the power and responsibility to
land people seeking status in Canada.

Mohamed's arrest and removal is not only a crime against an individual
who has stood up against Immigration Canada's deportation machine and
who faces return to a country currently under marshall law.  It is a
crime against all those people who have the right to seek safety and
sanctuary in this country.

Therefore, we are calling on supporters, organizations, community
groups, unions, and faith groups to issue public statements of
condemnation to the media and public, expressing outrage about the
reprehensible deportation of Mohamed Cherfi.  We call on all supporters
and allies to demand that the Ministers in question return and land
Mohamed Cherfi immediately.

We call on all supporters to attend a vigil for Mohamed Cherfi at the
Toronto residence of Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada,
Judy Sgro, to demand that Mohamed be returned to his home here in

Tuesday, March 9th
At the home of Judy Sgro,
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
7 pm
25 Veerland Drive

Driving directions:
North on Keele
West (left) on Maple Leaf Drive
Past Culford, turn  right on Veerland

TTC directions:
52 Lawrence Bus
from Lawrence Station or Lawrence West Station
Get off at Culford

6 pm
Lawrence West Subway station
Car shuttles will be provided

For more information, contact the Toronto Emergency Support Committee
for Mohamed Cherfi.  Call 416.925.6939 or email
nooneisillegal at riseup.net

For press inquiries, call Farrah Miranda at (647)296.9432 or Jean
McDonald at (416) 834.3730

A Solidarity Committee for Mohamed is active in Quebec City. They can be
reached at 418-262-0144 or solimo2004 at yahoo.fr

The No One Is Illegal Campaign in Montreal can be reached at
nooneisillegal at tao.ca or 514-859-9023.

For a PDF flyer about the Vigil, go to:


Please call/fax the Ministers below and demand Mohamed be brought back
to Canada and landed:

Anne McLellan, Minister of Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness 
Fax: (613)990-9077, Tel: (613)991-2924, McClellan.A at parl.gc.ca

Judy Sgro, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Fax: (613) 947-8319 Tel: (613) 992-7774, Minister at cic.gc.ca

Michelle Courchesne, Minister of Quebec Immigration
Phone: (418) 644-2128 Fax: (418) 528-0829

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