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March Against Racism Takes Vancouver's Streets

Issue: 77 Section: Canadian News Geography: Prairies Vancouver Topics: racism

March 25, 2011

March Against Racism Takes Vancouver's Streets

by Claudio Storelli, Murray Bush

Leading the way Photo: Murray Bush - Flux Photo

VANCOUVER—Hundreds of people took to Vancouver's streets last week to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racism.

Representatives from Coast Salish Territories and the grassroots anti-colonial immigrant and refugee rights collective No One is Illegal rallied close to 500 supporters under the shadow of the Price Waterhouse Cooper building in downtown Vancouver.

Once the march got underway, the streets were electrified with speakers and music. Organizers denounced Canada’s genocidal legacy, the occupation of Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan as well as Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s modifications to Bill C-50, the
Live-in Care Giver Program and the $53-million budget cuts to immigrant and refugee servicing agencies.

Announced in December, those changes empowered Kenney to decide who can and cannot stay in Canada, while the budget cuts were meant to reduce government spending and redistribute the "savings" across the provinces.

Stopping at the Canadian Department of Immigration on Burrard and Robson, march organizers called for a stop to the theft of Indigenous lands and freedom from police violence, imprisonment and deportation.

Immigrants and Indigenous peoples remain over-represented in the Canadian criminal system, are subject to a high child apprehension rate, low education and income levels and often dwell in substandard
housing.

Adriana Paz, of Justicia for Migrant Workers, denounced the myth that Canada embraces multiculturalism, and that Canada is a multicultural paradise where everybody gets along.

"Why is it that the poorest people in this country are indigenous people, why is it that immigrants of color still earn the lowest wages, why is it that in Canadian institutions, organizations and universities it's
only white people that have the power and privilege to make decisions for everybody else?" she asked

The march continued down Hornby Street before wrapping up with music, food and speeches behind the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Photos by Murray Bush/Flux Photo.

Marching through downtown Vancouver.
For Palestine.
Smashing racism.
Marching through downtown Vancouver.
Family banner.
All ages gig.
Canadian Union of Public Employees contingent.
Justicia for Migrant Workers BC speaker Adriana Paz.
Stop for drumming.
Guns 'n' roses.
Love trumps hate.

This article was originally published the Vancouver Media Co-op.

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