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Action Committee For Non-Status Algerians & NOII Call For Support

AN OPEN LETTER from the Action Committee for Non-Status Algerians and the No One Is Illegal Campaign of Montreal:

As many of you know, last Thursday, May 29th, 10 non-status Algerians and
2 supporters from the No One Is Illegal Campaign of Montreal occupied the
waiting room of Immigration Minister Denis Coderre's Ottawa Office. They
were demanding a face-to-face meeting with Minister and a just solution
for individuals facing deportation to Algeria because they are excluded
from the regularization process put into place by Canada and Quebec
Immigration.

The police response to this occupation was brutal. At approximately 10:30
PM, about 30 members of the Ottawa Police Services tactical squad, in
coordination with the RCMP, charged the people occupying the waiting room.
After forcing them to the ground, the police beat and Tasered many of the
men on their necks, backs, torsos and genitals. One man was bashed on the
head with the butt of a Taser gun, leaving a large gash on his forehead.
Another man lost a tooth as a result of being punched in the face by a
police officer. Several people have Taser burns on the backs of their
neck, backs and arms. The 12 occupiers were arrested, charged with
mischief over $5,000, and released from jail the next day.

Ottawa police also used Tasers against protesters at the support
demonstration outside the Immigration Canada building. Francine Dumas and
Michele Marois , a mother and daughter from Hull, were arrested after
protesting when police Tasered and arrested a third Ottawa-area activist.
They were detained by police for 36 hours before being released on the
completely unconstitutional condition that they not attend a demonstration
anywhere in Canada. Michele was charged with obstruction; Francine was
charged with assault police and obstruction.

The Action Committee for Non-Status Algerians and members of the No One Is
Illegal Campaign of Montreal denounce the brutality, racism and impunity
with which Ottawa Police Services and the RCMP ended the occupation of
Minister Coderre's office. We join Amnesty International and the Ligue des
droits et libertes in demanding an independent, impartial and public
inquiry into what happened in the Immigration Minister's offices on May
29th, 2003, in order that all those responsible, including police and
their superiors be held accountable for their actions.

We also demand full police disclosure of any and all evidence relating to
their operation on May 29th, 2003, including any and all communication
with Minister Coderre and/or the Minister's Office, and all surveillance
and intelligence.

The Action Committee for Non-Status Algerians has no intention of allowing
this or any other display of racist police brutality to deter us from
continuing to mobilize and struggle for justice for all non-status people.
We stand firm in demanding, as we have for the past year and a half, that
Immigration Canada stop the deportations, reinstate the moratorium on
deportations to Algeria and regularize all non-status Algerians living in
Canada.

The No One Is Illegal Campaign of Montreal reiterates its support for the
Action Committee's demands. We maintain that Immigration Minister Denis
Coderre must be held accountable for the wounds and humiliation inflicted
on protesters in his office last Thursday. The Ottawa Police Services and
the RCMP coordinated their brutal response strategy with the Immigration
Minister's Office. Coderre's hands have been bloodied and his credibility
as Immigration Minister has been tainted by the police violence
perpetrated against the people occupying his office, as well as by his
ongoing refusal to meet with the Action Committee for Non-Status
Algerians. We demand that he resign from his position as Immigration
Minister immediately.

No One Is Illegal will continue to support the struggle of the Action
Committee for Non-Status Algerians and all non-status people for full
regularization. The brutality demonstrated by all levels of police and
government incite us to intensify our efforts to disrupt the bureaucracies
and border controls that limit the rights of migrants to freedom of
movement and self-determination. We will continue to stand in solidarity
with immigrants, refugees and non-status people struggling for the right
to live and move, in security and dignity, wherever they choose.

As we proceed in this struggle, we ask for the solidarity and support of
other groups and individuals. There are a number of ways you can help, and
some of them are listed below. If you have other ideas, please don't
hesitate to get in touch.

In solidarity & struggle,
The Action Committee for Non-Status Algerians (CASS)
cassdz@yahoo.fr

No One Is Illegal (Montreal)
nooneisillegal@tao.ca

[For more background information or previous reports and updates about the
occupation of Coderre's office in Ottawa, please get in touch with
nooneisillegal@tao.ca]

Here are some ways that you can support:

=3D=3D=3D> DEMAND THAT THE CHARGES BE DROPPED: Please email, fax and mail
letters to Norm Sterling, the Attorney General of Ontario, demanding the
charges of mischief over $5,000 levelled against the 12 people arrested in
Coderre's office and the charges of obstruction and assault police against
Francine Dumas and Michele Marois be dropped immediately.

You might want to refer to the following points in your letter:

* If the 10 non-status individuals charged with mischief over $5,000 (one
of the most minor charges in the criminal code) are convicted, they will
nonetheless be deported, according to Immigration Canada's "Zero
Tolerance" policy with regard to "criminality". The penalty of deportation
to a country where they face the possibility of further violence and
torture is entirely disproportionate to the charges levelled against them.

* The outrageous brutality of the police's treatment of all those arrested
in connection with the occupation of Coderre's offices was such that it
undermines the credibility of the charges. It seems obvious that the
charges were laid arbitrarily, in order to justify the violence of the
police's treatment of protesters.

Please be sure to send a copy of your letter to the Action Committee for
Non-Status Algerians & No One Is Illegal (Montreal).

MAIL:
Norm Sterling, Attorney General of Ontario,
720 Bay Street,
Toronto, ON
M5G 2K1

Comite d'action des sans statut/ No One Is Illegal
PO BOX 47590
1550 de Maisonneuve West
Montreal, QC
H3G 2V7

E MAIL:
Attorney General's Office: jus.g.mag.webmaster@jus.gov.on.ca
cc: nooneisillegal@tao.ca and cassdz@yahoo.fr

FAX:
Attorney General's Office: (416) 326-4007
Comite d'action des sans statut/ No One Is Illegal: (514) 398-8976

=3D=3D=3D> CONTRIBUTE TO THE LEGAL DEFENSE FUNDS: The Action Committee for
Non-Status Algerians has set up a legal defense fund to help cover the
lawyers' fees and administrative costs incurred in the defense of the
twelve people arrested in the occupation. Your donations would be greatly
appreciated.
Cheques should be made out to: Comite d'action des sans statut
Note 'Legal Defense Fund' in the memorandum.

Please send contributions by mail to the following address:
Comite d'action des sans statut
PO BOX 47590
1550 de Maisonneuve West
Montreal, QC
H3G 2V7

=3D=3D=3D> SUPPORT THE CALL FOR CODERRE'S RESIGNATION: The Ottawa Police
Services and the RCMP coordinated their brutal response strategy with the
Immigration Minister's Office. Coderre's hands are not clean in this
matter and his credibility as Immigration Minister has been tainted by the
police violence perpetrated against the non-status Algerians peacefully
occupying his office, as well as by his ongoing refusal to meet with the
Action Committee for Non-Status Algerians. Please send letters calling for
Coderre's resignation and supporting the Action Committee's demands to
Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

Also, tell the Prime Minister that you support the Action Committee for
Non-Status Algerians demands. The demands are: 1) stop the deportations
deportations 2) reinstate the moratorium on deportations to Algeria and 3)
regularize ALL non-status Algerians.

Please be sure to send a copy of your letter to No One Is Illegal
(Montreal).

MAIL:

Prime Minister Jean Chretien
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa
K1A 0A2

No One Is Illegal
PO BOX 47590
1550 de Maisonneuve West
Montreal, QC
H3G 2V7

EMAIL:

PMO: pm@pm.gc.ca
cc: nooneisillegal@tao.ca

FAX:

PMO: (613)941-6900
No One Is Illegal: (514) 398-8976