Spring of Action launched with Disruption of Lemay Offices

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Mar 082020
 

From Solidarity Across Borders

On Friday, community members entered the offices of Lemay, architects of the new prison for migrants in Laval. Chanting slogans, distributing flyers, and carrying silhouettes of friends and neighbours who had been detained and deported, they disrupted business as usual.

The new prison, located at 400 Montée Saint-François in Laval, will replace the current one. Like all prisons in Canada, it will be filled with poor, brown, Black, and Indigenous people colonized by European powers. This prison is an essential part of Canada’s border strategy, keeping poor people from the global south out and wealth in the hands of a few.

Tisseur, a construction firm located in Val-David, has worked through the winter with the result that the new migrant prison is beginning to take shape despite widespread, concerted community opposition (to see photo from last month, click here).

This is a call to stop any further construction of this prison. Take action! Work with others, thoughtfully, strategically, in love and determination. This prison must not be built!

Contact (for coordination, flyers, media points, petition, information, toolkit, backgrounders, etc.): solidaritesansfrontieres [at] gmail [dot] com

For more about immigration detention in Canada and the new migrant prison, click here.

For more about the companies involved in constructing the new Laval migrant prison, click here.

To sign our statement against the prison, click here.

National Insecurity: The RCMP Knocks on Doors in Montreal

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Dec 072019
 

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

When it comes to its colonial, racist regime of borders and prisons, the Canadian state, in its police headquarters and technocratic backrooms, sees trouble on the horizon. With a network of border posts, patrols, surveillance technology, detention centers, courts, “alternatives to detention”, and deportation squads, this country’s rulers hope to secure the authority to determine who can make a life on the territory they fraudulently govern, who can find a place to live, who can send their kids to school, who can access health care, who can go about their days without fear. They are supported in this project by mass media always ready to dramatize any new trend in irregular border crossings, by cultural myths positing Canada as friendly and welcoming, concealing a murderous, cruel reality, and of course by the far right, who have the vital task of mis-directing poor and working people’s anger towards fellow victims of the global economic system at the root of their sense of powerlessness.

Yet this web of domination is far from impenetrable. Canada’s land border with the United States is too massive to completely control; clandestine crossing points abound. Likewise, overstaying a visa and keeping out of CBSA’s sights is not impossible. Across the country, migrants organize solidarity networks to ensure that no one needs to face the serious challenges of accessing services without status and confronting a racist immigration system alone.

This year, a list of CBSA agents’ names was published, encouraging people to hold them responsible for their destructive effects on our communities and comrades. And over the past two years, in response to the government’s effort to build new migrant prisons, Montreal-area contractors who have accepted work on the prison slated to open in Laval in 2021 have faced protests and a series of attacks, beginning with the release of crickets into prison architect Lemay’s building in spring 2018. This past July, a Lemay vice-president’s BMW was burned outside his home. On the night of October 26, the general contractor for the prison, Tisseur, appears to have lost a truck to a targeted arson. Most recently, this month, vehicles parked at the headquarters of subcontractor DPL had their tires slashed.

Such actions have an impact, both material and psychological; as the president of excavation firm Loiselle told the media after its headquarters was vandalized, “we don’t want trouble with these people.” Should these attacks continue and spread, they could quickly change the landscape of the state’s capability to maintain and expand the enforcement of borders, immigration, and citizenship.

It is no surprise that police agencies, of which at least 4 in the Montreal area have unsolved events related to the migrant prison within their territorial jurisdiction (SPVM, SPL (Laval), SPAL (Longueuil), and SQ), would join forces to share resources and coordinate a more intensive investigation. In fact, a La Presse article in July revealed that such a move was in the works.

The week of October 28th saw the first clear signs of this escalation in repressive resources, as a small number of long-time activists received house visits and phone calls from RCMP officers on the island of Montreal. The officers belong to an INSET (Integrated National Security Enforcement Team), the unit that has coordinated security for summits like the G7 and investigated other instances of what they call “violent extremism”. Each INSET is made up of RCMP officers, CSIS agents, and members of local police forces, as well as members of CBSA and Citizenship and Immigration Canada [source: Wikipedia].

The officers who paid these visits in October had no warrant, and they said they wanted to discuss migrant justice organizing, as well as anti-gentrification movements, in relation to criminal acts that are under investigation. Those visited did not let the cops in or speak with them.

We consider these events important to share publicly so that comrades can take appropriate precautions, recognize patterns, and avoid the spread of false information. Anyone who is contacted by the RCMP, other police, or CSIS in a similar way or in relation to this investigation is strongly encouraged to let comrades know as soon as possible.

In past investigations, the Montreal INSET has used tactics that include bugging phones and houses, tailing suspects, surreptitiously entering houses and offices to make observations unbeknownst to suspects, and infiltrators and paid informants. Even combining these methods and others across several years, the INSET has been unable to bring charges in the past. Collectively, it’s clear where our power lies when faced with this type of investigation: the value of silence and total non-cooperation with any police can not be overstated. There is nothing to be gained by letting officers into your home or saying anything to them. Without a valid warrant, police have no right to enter your home or office (see the COBP’s “Guess What! We’ve Got Rights!?”). Contact a trusted lawyer if you are unsure of your rights in any situation.

Moreover, we benefit from continually reflecting on our security practices and striving to build a security culture that keeps us and our comrades as safe as possible while allowing us to fight with conviction and expand our capacity. This recently published reflection on security culture has much to offer both as an introduction to the topic and a prompt for re-assessing and refining our practices.

By bringing other struggles to which anarchists have contributed, namely anti-gentrification, into their sights, and by brandishing the spectre of “terrorism”, despite investigating mere arson and broken windows, the RCMP shows that it is not simply trying to solve specific crimes; they want to disrupt our movements’ ability to challenge the racist and colonial foundations of the Canadian state and the capitalist imperatives that govern it everywhere. With or without legal proceedings, they want to assign criminality to ideas that threaten them. They want us to be afraid to take the risks necessary to build something different. They want to break down solidarity between those speaking publicly and those acting clandestinely, so that public organizing contains itself within the approved channels of protest, and anonymous interventions are denounced and isolated. Importantly, they are also signaling that our movements are a threat to their ability to carry out their functions, a reminder that now is not the time to shrink away.

We know that the mere threat of repression can be effective at disrupting movements. While the information about this investigation and INSET tactics is concerning, we see no reason for paranoia or panic. This much is simple: if the cops have questions, it shows that they don’t know what they want and need to know. The struggle continues, and it is through the continued and increasing involvement of a wide variety of groups and individuals dedicated to keeping each other safe, sharing information and resources, and refusing to allow the state to sow divisions between us that we will all be the most formidable opponents to the police and the border regime.

When targeted by repressive forces, it can be tempting to appeal to discourses rooted in legality, decrying the ‘excesses’ of the state or demanding protection for ‘civil liberties’. But our movements will be stronger in the long run by acknowledging that if we want to see their world of confinement and control in flames, it’s inevitable that they will attempt to shut us down, by any means at their disposal. Once we step away from the myths of public opinion, it should be clear that there is nothing to gain by portraying ourselves as victims. It’s a question of practicing an unyielding solidarity and denying the state the power it seeks.

 

Call for Solidarity

In the event of raids or arrests related to the RCMP/INSET investigation, we call for offensive solidarity in Montreal and beyond against border enforcement infrastructure, or whatever targets are most relevant in your area! ?

Attack on vehicles parked at home of president of DPL, subcontractor involved in the construction of the new migrant prison

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Nov 192019
 

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

Early one snowy November morning, we visited the office of DPL, the company subcontracted to put in place the concrete formwork for the new migrant prison in Laval. We are lucky: the headquarters of DPL (situated at 370 rang Rivière Bayonne Nord in Berthierville) is also the home of Pierre-Luc Désy, president of DPL, his wife Christiane Désy, who is DPL’s administrative staff, and their children.

We popped the tires of one of the family’s vehicles and two of the company’s trailers which were parked in the yard. We also painted messages against the prison on the vehicles, notably: “Nique les prisons” and “Fuck prisons”.

How did we know that DPL is involved in this awful project if they are only a subcontractor with no public contract? Other subcontracters: this is a question you should also ask yourselves.

If you think you can hide your involvement in this project, think again. You would be wise to reconsider if it is really worth it.

Understand: your role will not remain a secret, and once your involvement is revealed you will be just as vulnerable as Loiselle, Lemay, and Tisseur, victims of many attacks over the past year.

Pierre-Luc and Christiane: while your children play hockey in your yard and live in safety with the comfort of parents who love them, you are helping to build the foundations of a prison that will separate other families, a prison in which children will be traumatised, and possibly die. Does that make you proud? Do you think that your children will be proud when they understand your choices? Won’t they be ashamed to have worn t-shirts with your company’s logo?

Until the end of this prison, of all prisons, and of the world that needs them.

Responsibility Claim for an Incendiary Attack Against Migrant Prison Construction Company

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Oct 312019
 

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

By accepting to be the general contractor for the new Laval migrant detention center, Tisseur Inc. made a grave mistake. On the night of October 26th we decided to make our contribution to the struggle against the system of borders and prisons in all its forms. We set fire to a truck on the banks of the Lachine Canal, on the site of another Tisseur project. We’re not done.

– anarchists

Nighttime Visit to Lemay’s Installations in Parc Frédéric-Back

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Oct 052019
 

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

As part of a series of actions targeting migrant prison profiteers, around 12 of the spherical shaped biogas-capturing wells designed by Lemay and installed in Parc Frédéric-Back were tagged with the words ‘fuck lemay’. Many of these wells also had their unique identifiers blacked-out. Some park benches and one large map of the park, also designed by lemay, were tagged with anti-lemay, anti-cop, anti-authoritarian, and antifascist slogans and symbols. These much needed modifications will no doubt add to the park’s “unique environmental layout”, enhancing the “landscape’s feeling of otherworldliness”.

How to find and take action against border infrastructure anywhere in Canada

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Sep 282019
 

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

Construction has begun on a new prison for migrants and refugees in Laval, QC, a suburb just outside of Montreal. As the project has advanced, the struggle to stop it has ramped up as well, with a wide variety of actions being taken to stop its construction. The prison is part of a $138 million plan called the National Immigration Detention Framework (NIDF), announced in 2016 by the governnment of Canada following a period of resistance against the imprisonment of migrants. The NIDF expands and strengthens the government’s capacity to surveil, imprison, and deport migrants, creating two new migrant prisons as well as new forms of surveillance & control such as mandatory ankle bracelets, voice biometric scans, and halfway houses for migrants.

In the midst of this it can be hard to figure out how to intervene in what’s happening, either as an individual or group. In the spirit of spreading all forms of resistance to Canada’s border and prison regimes we’ve brainstormed a list of (just some of) the ways people might contribute to this fight.

Border and detention infrastructure can be found in most cities in Canada. Read on for some ways to identify it in your context (and a few ideas for what to do with that info).

IDENTIFYING BORDER INFRASTRUCTURE IN YOUR AREA

In the US, an extended and fierce struggle againt ICE has been ongoing, with most major cities in the country showing up to shut down ICE offices, hold noise demos outside of detention centers, and take other creative measures to counter the US detention and deportation regime. The government has been feeling the heat, and, while there’s still quite a ways to go, we think it’s both possible and necessary to bring resistance to the border in so-called Canada to this level!

Check if any of the following organizations have locations in your area:

Government:

  • Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) – The main enforcement for the detention, surveillance and deportation of migrants in Canada. Offices, staff, and infrastructure located all over Canada.

Did you know that in 2017, an access to information request resulted in the release of the names and positions of hundreds of CBSA employees? You can read those documents at this link and figure out if there’s anyone in your area whose responsibility for the deportation and detention of migrants should be revealed. https://mtlcounterinfo.org/doxxing-the-canadian-border-services-agency/

  • CBSA migrant detention centres – there are currently three federal migrant prisons – one in Toronto, one in Laval, and one inside the Vancouver airport. Construction on a new one in Surrey, BC, was recently completed, and a new one is being built in Laval, QC.
  • Provincial jails – The CBSA pays millions of dollars to provincial governments each year, as part of deals that allow the agency to imprison migrants in provincial jails. In Ontario, most migrants detained by the CBSA are held in provincial jails.

NGOs profiting from and enforcing the “Alternatives to detention” portion of the NIDF: https://communemag.com/the-same-prison-with-a-nicer-facade/

  • John Howard Society – a non-profit which was awarded almost $5 million to implement the new “Community Case Management and Supervision” program, essentially a regime of programming and halfway houses for migrants that mirrors the existing parole system in Canada. Locations in all provinces across Canada, no location in Yukon or Nunavut. http://johnhoward.ca/services-across-canada/
  • Toronto Bail Program – A recipient of approximtely $7 million to implement the “Community Case Management and Supervision” program, located in Toronto.
  • The Salvation Army – A recipient of over $1 million to implement the “Community Case Management and Supervision” program, locations in most Canadian cities.

Profiteers from the construction of the new migrant prison in Laval

Miscellaneous:

  • GardaWorld – This private security company, contracted as prison guards at the current migrant prison in Laval, and as security at the construction site for the new one, has locations all over Canada. There is no shortage of heinous projects they’re connected to. Check their website to see if they have a location in your area.
  • G4S – Contracted as prison guards at the migrant prison in Toronto.

Once you know the organizations and companies in your area that are profiting from border enforcement, consider trying to find out the names and locations of individuals involved. Try finding out where the executives of the company live, and put up posters in their neighbourhood, or hold a surprise demo outside of their home. You can also send them emails, faxes, and letters from an anonymous computer.

With a trusted friend or friends, take action against the companies or implicated agencies directly!

You can find a collection of communiques from actions that have taken place against the construction of the new migrant prison at this link: https://www.stopponslaprison.info/en/news-and-analysis/

If you’re considering taking direct action against border infrastructure in your area, take a look at this “Recipe for nocturnal direct actions”, which covers a lot of useful information for planning and executing effective direct actions while keeping eachother as safe as possible in the process! https://mtlcounterinfo.org/a-recipe-for-nocturnal-direct-actions/

Still not sure whether there is border infrastructure in your area? Reach out to a nearby No-One Is Illegal chapter or other migrant justice organization and see if they can point you in the right direction. Or, get together with friends for a research night!

There are of course still things you can do even if you live in a small community without any border infrastructure:

1. Share materials and information

Check out the materials page of stopponslaprison.info. You can share and print zines, posters, flyers and stickers with those in your network.

Get a group of friends together, and put up some posters in your neighbourhood, or near a bus stop. You can find instructions on how to make wheatpaste, which makes posters hard to remove, at this link. https://mtlcounterinfo.org/how-to-wheatpaste/

Spend a couple hours putting up stickers in the transit system, in your school, workplace, or in your neighbourhood.

Do a banner drop in a visible location in your area that shares a message against borders and prisons! Here is some information on how to do a banner drop: http://destructables.org/node/56

Plan an information picket or flyering day. Print out some flyers, or make your own! Get a few friends together and hang out at the subway/metro/skytrain or bus station for a few hours, giving people information about the project.

2. Spam the companies

Send spam faxes or flood the phone lines, email accounts, and social media accounts of the companies and their employees.

It’s easy to make temporary email accounts with protonmail or guerrilamail.

You can send faxes for free online at https://www.gotfreefax.com/ or https://faxzero.com/. Sending faxes with a lot of black ink can waste all of the ink on their machine or jam up the machine, making it less possible for them to recieve real faxes.

If you’re thinking of spamming the companies online, keep in mind that you may not want to do so from your own social media account, or IP address. Take a look at the EFF guide to safer online communications, and check out tools such as Tor and TAILS to use to create your temporary anonymous email account and for sending faxes.
https://ssd.eff.org/
https://www.torproject.org/
https://tails.boum.org/

3. Share this call with friends and family, and meet with them to talk about how you might organize something in your area!

Why Stantec and the Guy-Favreau Complex got targeted at the climate march and why the climate movement should fight the border regime

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Sep 282019
 

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

Canada is a major contributor to the climate crisis, playing an active role in displacing people from their homes around the world. Canada hosts over 70% of the world’s mining companies, which sow environmental and economic devastation on a global scale. Canada creates more greenhouse gas emissions than any other G20 country, contributing to the creation of climate refugees. And within its borders, the federal government continues to push through pipeline project after pipeline project, despite sustained resistance by Indigenous communities.

As the climate crisis continues to escalate, pushed along by the extractive forces of capitalism and colonialism, this has led to an acceleration of the global migration crisis. In response, we see Canada further fortifying its borders in an attempt to prevent those it has displaced from seeking refuge.

This buildup of border infrastructure is not limited to the border itself. Over the past two decades, migrant detention has been one of the fastest growing forms of incarceration in Canada. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has three prisons just for migrants and rents space to detain migrants in jails across the country. In 2016, the government invested an additional $138 million to strengthen and expand this system, leading to the construction of two new migrant prisons (one in Laval, QC) as well as new systems of surveilance and control such as mandatory ankle bracelets and voice biometric scans for migrants.

As Canada responds to climate change by fortressing its borders, those championing the white supremacist politics behind this decision will continue to become more mainstream. In Quebec, we’ve already seen the mainstreaming of anti-islam groups like La Meute, the success of the CAQ’s anti-immigrant election campaign, as well as the violent consequences of its Law 21. As the charade that is the federal election begins, we have already seen a further mainstreaming of white nationalism, as politicians sow fear and hatred of migrants crossing into Quebec at Roxham Road.

Borders and prisons are colonial impositions on these territories, systems fundamentally about domination and control. As Canada continues to invest billions into extraction, those feeling the brunt of the crisis here continue to be Indigenous peoples. Whether its pipelines forcibly installed across Indigenous territories, mining or logging companies operating in Indigenous territories without consent, or the envrionmental devastation caused by refineries built right next to reserves, Indigenous communities are consitently on the frontlines, experiencing the harmful effects of extractivism, as well as leading the resistance to it.

It is for these reasons and more that Stantec and the Guy-Favreau Complex were targeted by people participating in the climate march. The buildings were hit with green paintbombs and spraypainted with “Bienvenue aux migrants” (Welcome migrants). In the Guy-Favreau Complex, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada holds detention review hearings daily, often resulting in the prolongation of a migrant’s imprisonment. Stantec is an engineering consulting firm involved in the construction of the new migrant prison in Laval.

This new prison is part of Canada’s false solution to the threat posed by climate change, an attempt to further intensify its border infrastructure, to keep out those it continues to displace. The real threats to the earth and the people who live on it are capitalism, the destruction of the environment, and the politicians who, without fail, will continue to defend these systems while scapegoating those displaced by them.

We believe it is necessary to push far beyond making requests of politicians, and toward directly challenging the role Canada is playing in the global crisis. We hope that the climate struggle can broaden its tactics, deepen its analysis, and continue to build links with ongoing struggles against white supremacy, settler colonialism, and border imperialism.

Call for Local Actions: October 3rd, Day of Action against Canada’s Detention of Migrants

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Sep 102019
 

From Solidarity Across Borders

What: Multi-City Day of Action Against Migrant Detention
When: October 3, 2019
Where: Pan-Canadian & international

Over the past two years, there has been an active struggle against the construction of a new prison for migrants planned for Laval, Québec. Opposition to this project has included many groups and tactics, each fighting in their own way for an end to Canada’s border and prison regimes.

The anti-detention committee of Solidarity Across Borders has participated in this struggle by organizing demonstrations, workshops, press conferences, a declaration against the prison (now signed by more than 80 groups), and temporary occupations of the construction site itself. But despite sustained and widespread opposition to this project, initial construction of the new Laval migrant prison recently began.

We are now faced with the urgency of acting rapidly to build pressure on the companies that have received contracts for the construction of this new prison. We have begun a series of weekly actions focusing on these profiteers, and are calling for a multi-city Day of Action on October 3rd, organized by allied groups in cities across the country and internationally.

The new prison in Laval is just one part of Canada’s immigration detention system that the Day of Action aims to challenge. Whether it’s federal migrant prisons, provincial jails detaining migrants for the CBSA, companies profiting off migrant detention, CBSA offices, or the NGOs implementing the CBSA’s new ‘alternative’ systems of surveillance and control, Canada’s immigration detention infrastructure spreads far and wide. We are calling for actions on October 3rd that both challenge this system and help make its infrastructure more visible.

Can you help organize an action in your city? Please write to: solidaritesansfrontieres@gmail.com

No Prisons! No Borders!

For more about immigration detention in Canada and the new migrant prison

To sign our statement against the prison

Tisseur Turns to Courts in Bid to Silence Critics of New Migrant Prison

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Aug 282019
 

From Solidarity Across Borders

Info-picketMontreal, 27 August 2019 — The Superior Court of Quebec has granted Construction Tisseur Inc. a legal injunction against the migrant justice network Solidarity Across Borders. Tisseur was awarded the federal contract to build the new migrant prison in Laval in June. The temporary injunction was sought in response to a festive information-picket, featuring live Klezmer music, outside Tisseur’s headquarters in Val-David last Thursday.

“This sets a very disturbing precedent. It is a huge concern for everyone in Quebec when a company uses the courts to silence critics. We remember Barrick Gold’s legal harassment of Éco-societé for publishing Noir Canada. And we see a clear connection: Canadian mining companies like Barrick Gold contribute to displacing people who then end up in immigration detention centres. We won’t be silenced, there is far too much at stake,” said Jane Doe of Solidarity Across Borders.

Solidarity Across Borders received notice at 6:26 pm on Thursday, 22nd August of a court hearing the following morning. Solidarity Across Borders’ legal representative requested a postponement to allow time to prepare a defence, but the postponement was denied. The temporary injunction, prohibiting Solidarity Across Borders, Jane Doe, and John Doe access to Tisseur’s property at 1670 Route 117 in Val-David, remains in place until September 1st. The injunction could be renewed this week.

“We organized the picket last week to reach out to the workers involved in this project. We believe that detention centres for migrants and refugees, and the immigration system they are part of, undermine labour rights. We wanted to engage with Tisseur workers about this during their lunch hour,” said John Doe of Solidarity Across Borders.

“Tisseur complained that we put up posters on their walls. We taped up silhouettes of friends who had been detained and deported, such as Lucy Granados, a single mother and worker from Guatemala who came to Canada after the US-owned factory she was working at moved to Asia, where labour was cheaper, and “Daniel,” a 17-year old boy who was detained at a Montreal high school and deported alone to Mexico,” said Doe.

“We don’t think Yannick Tisseur was afraid of our temporary posters or non-stick tape, but he is clearly scared of these stories reaching his workers. One of the signs read, ‘Tisseur, would you imprison your kids?’ He doesn’t want his workers to know that this prison will be used to imprison children.”

Tisseur began construction of the new prison, located beside the current Laval Immigration Holding Centre, on 5 August 2019. Scheduled to open in 2021, it is part of a $138 million investment into Canada’s capacity to indefinitely detain and deport migrants, including children. Former detainees report serious mental health problems such as nightmares, depression, suicidal thoughts, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, and other symptoms related to post-traumatic stress syndrome.

22 August – Protest the New Migrant Prison

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Aug 132019
 

From Solidarity Across Borders

Join us for the first of a series of public actions in opposition to the new Laval migrant prison! These actions will take place on Thursdays at noon at various locations, culminating in a multi-city day of action on October 3rd.

The new Laval migrant prison is part of a $138 million investment into Canada’s migrant detention system under the National Immigration Detention Framework (NIDF), a new policy announced in 2016. The NIDF provides for the construction of two new migrant prisons along with expanded carceral technologies to supervise and control migrants outside these facilities.

On Aug 22nd, we will be gathering in front of the Val-David headquarters of Tisseur Inc for a family-friendly, public, information-picket. Tisseur was recently awarded a $50 million contract to oversee construction of the new Laval prison, with initial work already begun.

Companies like Tisseur are eager to help build the infrastructure of an anti-migrant future but we have a vision of the future of our own. It does not include detention, borders, or prisons and we are calling for help to realise it.

To join us on August 22nd: we’ll be driving together from Montreal, so email solidaritesansfrontieres@gmail.com to reserve your place and find out the meet up place. We’ll be meeting at 10am to arrive at noon and return to Montreal no later than 4pm. If you have a car you can bring or lend, please let us know, as well as the number of seats you can offer.

No borders, no prisons, status for all!

Background

Statement to endorse