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Tamils Welcomed in Vancouver

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Issue: 71 Section: Photo Essay Geography: West Vancouver Topics: tamil, Refugee

August 27, 2010

Tamils Welcomed in Vancouver

Hundreds support Tamil refugees on the MV Sun Sea

by Isaac Oommen, Murray Bush

VANCOUVER—Two hundred people assembled at the Vancouver Art Gallery on the afternoon of August 22 to show solidarity with the 492 Tamil refugees detained and being processed by Canada Immigration. The refugees arrived together on the MV Sun Sea, a ship which docked near Esquimalt, BC.

"People all across the country are saying that we're with the refugees; let the boat stay," said Harsha Walia, an organizer with No One Is Illegal. "[To] every single person who says the boat should go back: we will overcome your dehumanization."

Marchers carry a banner demanding Canada stop jailing refugees.
A man and his child march in support of the rights of the Tamil refugees.
Many of the marchers are affiliated with No One Is Illegal, the group that organized the rally.
Marchers made their way through downtown to the Vancouver Public Library, where the march ended.
Demonstrators hold a sign showing support for Tamil refugees, and demanding that families be kept together.
A detractor hid behind mainstream media coverage of the MV Sun Sea and was overheard spouting racist comments. He also refused the flower.

Text by Isaac Oommen; photos by Murray Bush. This photo essay was previously published in two parts by the Vancouver Media Co-op.

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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