Word on the Street


  • Date: Sunday, October 02, 2011
  • Time: 12:30 to 5pm
  • Location: Simcoe - Brantford - Hamilton - Toronto
  • Contact: Justicia for Migrant Workers
  • Email: pilgrimage2freedom@gmail.com

Join the caravan!

Hamilton meeting spot: 12:30pm, Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, 51 Stuart Street, Hamilton

Welcome the Pilgrimage to Freedom caravan as migrant workers and allies arrive in Toronto.

Meet at 3:00pm Ontario Ministry of Labour 400 University Ave., Toronto (just south of Dundas St. W and St. Patrick subway station)

March to the Simcoe Park Workers' Monument (Front St. and Simcoe St., beside the CBC building) for closing celebration featuring Rosina Kazi from LAL, Amai Kuda and other performers from 3:30 - 5pm

** If you cannot join the march from the Ministry of Labour, consider waiting at the park and be part of the reception for the caravan!

Last year, over 150 migrant workers and their allies made history by marching over 50 Km, an equivalent of 12 hours, from Leamington to Windsor, Ontario demanding justice, respect and dignity for the hundreds of thousands employed under the auspices of Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Programs. Over the last year, thousands of people have heard the testimonies and the stories that led to organizing the march. Demands for permanent residency and citizenship status, an end to repatriations and deportations, labour law reform, equal access to social entitlements and an end to the coercive role of recruiters and contractors has inspired many others about the realities faced by migrant workers in Canada.

Migrant workers and members of Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW) have continued to organize in rural Ontario and are once again demanding that the chains of indentureship in Canada be broken! This year the pilgrimage continues as a form of a caravan across rural Ontario. Migrant workers and their allies will be recreating the stops of the underground railroad to pay tribute to the important struggles of resistance that we base our struggle upon. On September 4th, 2011 we visited St. Catharines, Virgil, NOTL, and Niagara Falls during the first stage of the Pilgrimage to Freedom and on September 25, 2011, workers and allies traveled from Windsor to Dresden, Chatham and Leamington.

J4MW is requesting the support of community, religious, labour and allied organizations to join us for the last action.

*RIDES: Being a grassroots organization, we have very limited funding and it will go to paying for the buses of the tour and transporting farmworkers, so we cannot offer a bus leaving Toronto. We will do our best to coordinate rides so people can attend from out of town. Please let us know if you can offer a ride to someone from Toronto to Simcoe, Brantford or Hamilton.

Coverage of our Sept 4 action: http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1049164--annual-labour-day-march-to-honour-jack-layton-and-defend-public-services#article





CONTACT INFO pilgrimage2freedom@gmail.com

Background Information

More than 20, 000 migrant farm workers from Thailand, Mexico, Guatemala, the Philippines, and the Caribbean arrive in Canada to work in our fields, orchards and greenhouses every year. Many workers pay thousands of dollars in fees to recruiters to be able to work in Canada, sometimes for jobs that do not even exist. Once they arrive, many workers face dangerous working conditions, sub-standard housing and employment standards and human rights violations. As farm workers and migrants, they have little recourse to assert their human and labour rights and are constantly faced with the threat of deportation if they voice their concerns.

Justicia for Migrant Workers is an award winning volunteer-run collective that strives to promote the rights of migrant farm workers by creating spaces for workers to lead their own movement and articulate their own voices in a country that makes renders them invisible.

Call out for last year's march: http://www.justicia4migrantworkers.org/ontario/pilgrimage/march.html

Message of solidarity from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers: http://j4mw.tumblr.com/post/1273578615/message-of-solidarity-from-the-coalition-of-immokalee

Videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsC1Bt-eSJg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JB5fb3cyQyw

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gerardophotos/sets/72157625316969595/with/5197247770/ Labour Start’s International Photo of the Year, Pilgrimage Photo Won!: http://www.labourstart.org/lpoty/

Tumblr Multimedia snapshots: http://j4mw.tumblr.com/archive/2010/10

Print: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/872459--no-thanksgiving-for-migrant-workers http://www.windsorstar.com/entertainment/Migrant+workers+march+rights/3654881/story.html


Posted by Redmama

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