Migrant Justice during the Pandemic – Solidarity Across Borders
In a call to action released May 19th, undocumented migrants wrote: “Those of us without status know that before the pandemic began, we occupied essential positions in agriculture, catering, and housekeeping. Since the start of COVID-19, we continue to work in high-risk occupations such as cleaning in CHSLDs and meat processing plants where we are forced to take public transportation to work. We are neither unionized nor do we have any health coverage. For these reasons, we are asking to share the same rights as everyone else: to be able to look after ourselves when we get sick; to work safely without endangering our lives; to be recognized for the work we do.”
Solidarity Across Borders (SAB) is a migrant justice network based in Montreal, active since 2003. A group of migrants and allies, they organize together to support individuals and families who confront an unjust immigration and refugee system. Members of SAB will be joining the Feminist Media Studio’s Doing Feminist in the Pandemic (DOFp) Project to talk about their responses to the crisis. They will discuss collective organizing, mutual aid, and the Status for All campaign leading up to a day of action on July 4th.
If you are planning on attending this event, we ask that you kindly do your best to take part in the Preparatory Teach-in on Migrant Justice to be held via Zoom on 18 June, 2020 from 11-12pm EST. This teach-in is meant to identify among ourselves first the key issues in migrant justice activism, to prepare to listen to SAB members, and to discuss together from a self-reflexive position what it means to cross academic and activist spaces. We will ask together who we are (individually and collectively) to listen to these experiences, from what positions, and what it is we can offer (individually, institutionally, structurally) to these struggles. Here is a small collection of resources on migration and borders in the Canadian context, to explore before the teach-in and workshop.
“Doing Feminism in the Pandemic” is conceived as a collective, process-based living archive. Based on the Slack platform, it invites in-process reflections, “hundreds”, keywords, conversations, prompts, and encounters amongst its participants. It is organized around four streams: “The Crisis was Already Here” (#thecrisiswasalreadyhere), “What does COVID-19 teach us?” (#emergentmodels), “What is the ‘Everyday’ of the Pandemic?” (#theeveryday), and “Reading Space” for sharing links, articles or other material (#whatimreading). Each stream includes some preliminary thoughts and questions to begin an open, process-based, collective conversation.
Alongside the living archive, the Feminist Media Studio is organizing a series of Zoom conversations, artistic prompts, and roundtable discussions with members of numerous communities (academic, artistic and activist) vital to doing intersectional, antiracist, queer, and decolonial feminisms, which participating FMS members can attend, and which will form a vital part of the living archive itself and its various collaborative contributions.