Hunger Strikers at Metro West Detention Centre

by Mac Scott

Recently, a lot of attention has been centered on the issue of security certificates since two men, Mohammad Mahjoub and Hassan Almrei being detained based on these certificates held hunger strikes demanding such radical things as being able to see their families and receive proper medical care.

Though it seemed as if the state was prepared to let them die, both men ended their hunger strikes feeling optimistic, Hassan naming the huge popular support as his main motivation for ending, while Mohammad ended after finally receiving assurances that he would receive proper care for hepatitis C which he contacted in jail.

Neither of these men has had nor ever will have a trial nor a chance to defend themselves. Neither has been able to see the evidence being used to justify their detention, neither has been convicted of a crime. Both can potentially be held forever in the name of national security. And they’ve not even been allowed contact visits with their children.

They’re being held under orders of a “security certificate” issued in the name of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Minister of the Border Protection Services Agency where they feel a person is a threat to national security. The certificates are issued and then reviewed in Federal Court, where the judge sees all evidence, but any evidence deemed to be dangerous to national security if revealed is withheld from the person who the certificate is issued against and their counsel.

This is in an era when the capitalist empire is consolidating power through military might in Iraq, Haiti, Afghanistan and other areas. At the same time, they are militarizing the borders as right wing militias hunt so-called “illegal” immigrants crossing into the United States from Mexico or Canada. These racist “Minutemen” are even planning to patrol Vermont!

As capital stops the movement of poor people and working people around the world, they increasingly impose draconian conditions on workers and the poor here. As they attack people of colour and Muslim people in other parts of the world to justify their military expenditures and to consolidate their hold on the middle east, they need to vilify the same populations here.

If we are to build a better world, we need to build a world where poor and working people can decide where they want to live not states and large corporations. If you want to get involved with the fight to stop detentions, deportations and security certificates contact: No One Is Illegal [nooneisillegal@riseup.net], or the Campaign to Stop the Secret Trials [tasc@web.ca].