Filipino Protest: Feb 13: Canadians condemn racist acts of neo-Nazi group:Taking it to the streets during hearing

Vancouver Statement

For immediate release

January 27, 2012

Filipino Canadians condemn racist acts of neo-Nazi group:Taking it to the streets during hearing

The Filipino Canadian Youth Alliance, Philippine Women Centre of BC and SIKLAB for Migrant Workers condemn the racist acts of neo-Nazi group Blood and Honour for setting a young Filipino man on fire while sleeping on a couch on Commercial Drive in 2009. We hold Canada’s legal and policing system accountable for not acting fast enough to penalize and dissolve the white supremacist group. On Feb. 13, during the hearing of the men charged with burning the Filipino man, Filipino Canadians will take to the streets in protest of the racist acts.

Despite being the third largest minority group in Canada, Filipino youth are faced with racist systemic barriers and limited access to resources in Canada. Education obtained in the Philippines is often not recognized, pushing college kids back to high school upon arriving in Canada. There are few public services that integrate Filipinos successfully while being culturally-sensitive to the realities and struggles of migration.

In the case children of Filipino nannies entering Canada through the Live-in Caregiver Program, reunification with their families occurs 5 to 15 years after being separated. Depression and anxiety are prevalent in the Filipino community due to separation from family and isolation. Because of meager earnings and unrecognized qualifications by the Canadian state, poverty amongst first generation Filipinos permeates into future generations to create a legacy of poverty. As a result, Filipino youth are overrepresented in escalating high school and post-secondary drop-out rates, low-income communities, and service sector jobs.

Racism and class oppression of people of colour still exists. Canada has and continues to be built on the backs of exploited immigrant communities. These forms of systemic racism and violence that the educational, immigration and labour systems have imposed on Filipino Canadians have marginalized Filipino communities since the 1980s, when foreign credentials became invalidated and Filipinos were streamlined into the Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP). Today, Filipinos are reduced to “working horses,” or as Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has said, “economic units.”

Canada’s history is muddled with racist policies such as the colonization and genocide of First Nations people, the Chinese Head Tax, the Japanese internment during WWII, the refusal of entry to Indian refugees on the Komagatu Maru ship in 1914 and the recent Sri Lankan refugees on the MV Sun Ship in the summer of 2010. Through these race-based policies, the state has effectively sowed an anti-immigrant sense into Canadians.

Filipino communities have also faced a history of racism and violence in Canada, with the banning of Filipino youth at the Scarborough Town Center in 1993, the hate graffiti and physical violence against Filipino youth at the Vancouver Technical School in 1999, and the deaths of two young Filipino men, both sons of nannies who entered Canada under the LCP. Mao Jomar Lanot was a victim of school bullies at Vancouver’s Sir Charles Tupper Elementary in 2003 and Jeffrey Reodica was shot to death in the back by two plain-clothed Toronto police officers in 2004. Filipino youth have been targets of police brutality and racial profiling, as they are immediately labeled as gang members.

In 1999 following the racist dismissal of Filipino students from Van Tech, the Kalayaan Centre formed a group named “Filipino-Canadians Against Racism” dedicated to exposing and opposing Canada’s racist policies, empowering the community and uniting marginalized groups towards a common goal of genuine equality and participation. It is both timely and urgent that we need a resurgence of activism and organizing in the community so that we are not complacent, but are proactive and not reactive to racist events.

The blatant acts of racism committed by Blood and Honour show how systemic racism trickles down to an individual level and pervades everyday life. That the Crown charged Alistair Miller and Robert de Chazal two long years after brutalizing the young Filipino man on Commercial Drive is an act of racism and discrimination in itself. We refuse the racist policies Canada maintains to oppress our community and subject them to violence! We demand full entitlement and equal rights, refusing to be Canada’s underclass! It is our human right to build our homes and root ourselves in Canadian society.

Join us in protest of all forms of racism on Feb. 13, 2012 at 9 a.m., in front of the Vancouver Provincial Court on 222 Main St.

End systemic racism!

Scrap the Live-in Caregiver Program! Status upon arrival!End family separation!Equal rights for all!Oppose economic inequality!

Contact info: pwcofbc@gmail.com | info.ukpc.bc@gmail.com

Phone: 604.215.1103FB: Ugnayan Ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada|Filipino Canadian Youth Alliance BCTwitter: @ugnayanbcWebsite: http://www.kalayaancentre.net/

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