Tzazna Miranda Leal:
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September 25, 2011
Windsor - Leamington - Chatham - Dresden
Windsor meeting point:
11:00 am at the Tower for Freedom Monument, at 100 Pitt St East, Windsor Ontario, and get on the bus for the Pilgrimage to Freedom Caravan!!
October 2, 2011
Simcoe - Brantford - Hamilton - TORONTO!!!!
Brantford meeting spot: 10:00am, S. R. Drake Memorial Church, 165 Murray St., Brantford
Hamilton meeting spot: 12:30pm, Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, 51 Stuart Street, Hamilton.
The caravan will end in Toronto with a march and celebration, featuring a great line up of speakers and performers such as Rosina Kazi from LAL. Join us as we make labour history!!
Toronto meeting point:
Ontario Ministry of Labour
400 University Ave.
(just south of Dundas St. W and St. Patrick subway stattion)
Marching to the Simcoe Park Workers' Monument
(Front St. and Simcoe St.)
for closing celebration from 3:30- 5pm
** If you cannot join the march, consider waiting at the park and be part of the reception for the caravan!
*RIDES - Being a grassroots organization, we have very limited funding and it will go to paying for the buses of the tour and transporting farmworkers, so we cannot offer a bus leaving Toronto. We will do our best to coordinate rides so people can attend from out of town. Please let us know if you can offer a ride to someone from Toronto to Simcoe, Brantford or Hamilton.
Coverage of our Sept 4 action:
St. Catherine's Standard
Pilgrimage to Freedom Caravan 2011
Last year, over 150 migrant workers and their allies made history by marching over 50 Km, an equivalent of 12 hours, from Leamington to Windsor, Ontario demanding justice, respect and dignity for the hundreds of thousands employed under the auspices of Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Programs. After years of harassment, intimidation and exploitation, migrant workers organized and took to the streets to stand up to these abuses.
The march called the 'Pilgrimage to Freedom: Breaking the Chains of Indentureship' ended in Windsor at the Tower of Freedom that is dedicated to those who travelled the underground railroad. The monument was chosen as the ending point to reflect on the connections of past and the present to slavery, indentureship and statelessness that renders racialized peoples as non-citizens. Over the last year, thousands of people have heard the testimonies and the stories that led to organizing the march. Demands for permanent residency and citizenship status, an end to repatriations and deportations, labour law reform, equal access to social entitlements and an end to the coercive role of recruiters and contractors has inspired many others about the realities faced by migrant workers in Canada.
Migrant workers and members of Justicia for Migrant Workers have continued to organize in rural Ontario and are once again demanding that the chains of indentureship in Canada be broken. This year the pilgrimage continues as a form of a caravan across rural Ontario. Migrant workers and their allies will be recreating the stops of the underground railroad to pay tribute to the important struggles of resistance that we base our struggle upon.
J4MW is requesting the support of community, religious, labour and allied organizations to join us for this year's action. Migrant workers and their allies will be calling community meetings, and organizing meetings across south western Ontario. This year's actions will take place across several communities. If you are interested in further information feel free to contact Justicia for Migrant Workers. Tentative dates for stops on the caravan include
September 4, 2011
Niagara on the Lake, St. Catharines and Niagara Falls
For more details on the Niagara Action click here
September 25, 2011
Windsor, Leamington, Chatham and Dresden
October 2, 2011
Simcoe - Brantford - Hamilton - Toronto
Updates will be forthcoming in the upcoming weeks describing greater details the actions and what support we are asking for this event. We are seeking financial and in kind support but mostly your presence during these dates and communities.
More than 20, 000 migrant farm workers from Thailand, Mexico, Guatemala, the Philippines, and the Caribbean arrive in Canada to work in our fields, orchards and greenhouses every year. Many workers pay thousands of dollars in fees to recruiters to be able to work in Canada, sometimes for jobs that do not even exist. Once they arrive, many workers face dangerous working conditions, sub-standard housing and employment standards and human rights violations. As farm workers and migrants, they have little recourse to assert their human and labour rights and are constantly faced with the threat of deportation if they voice their concerns.
Justicia for Migrant Workers is an award winning volunteer-run collective that strives to promote the rights of migrant farm workers by creating spaces for workers to lead their own movement and articulate their own voices in a country that makes renders them invisible.
Justice for Migrant Workers!
Got food? Bought local? Thank a migrant farm worker!
Background on the Pilgrimage:
Call out for last year's march
Message of solidarity from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers
Labour Start’s International Photo of the Year, Pilgrimage Photo Won!
Tumblr Multimedia snapshots