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Transportation Not Deportation: Community, Legal, Human Rights Groups Speak At Transit Police Board Meeting On Transit Police and CBSA Collaboration, February 27, 2015

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    We will no longer hold people for CBSA
    (Canada Border Services Agency);
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    nor will CBSA ask us to.
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    They're aware of everything that's been going on,
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    and they understand that this
    is not activity we will participate in.
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    We're just here to say that we think that the termination of the Memorandum of Understanding
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    and the directives that
    Transit Police have submitted to
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    are a step in the right direction,
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    and we just want to ensure
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    that information sharing does not occur
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    between Transit Police and CBSA
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    and that we have oversight of these directives.
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    We're really glad to see these reforms
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    to hopefully make it so that folks without status
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    can access transit with less fear
    of being reported to CBSA and deported.
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    The point that we want to bring up
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    is that we still have
    tens of thousands of people in this region
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    who actually can't afford the bus fares.
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    Who structurally, because of low wages,
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    because of the welfare rates,
    because of the high rents,
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    cannot afford to pay for transit,
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    which is a fundamental human right
    and a basic public service that people rely on.
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    Those people, which includes many migrant workers
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    who are working often for very low wages
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    still don't have access without fear
    to our public transit system.
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    They're still gonna have skytrain police with guns
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    being paid over $100,000 a year at a cost
    to taxpayers of $32 million a year
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    checking their busfares.
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    And we'd really like to see
    the Transit Police out of fare enforcement.
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    I want to start by acknowledging that we're here
    on un-ceded Coast Salish territories,
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    and thank you for the opportunity to speak.
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    First of all I want to start by
    congratulating everyone in this room
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    who has been part of making possible
    the recent encouraging developments,
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    which is the termination of the Memorandum of
    Understanding between Transit Police & CBSA.
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    All of us here have spent
    hours and hours advocating on this issue.
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    And we do so because we care
    very very deeply about this issue,
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    and we see it affecting our communities.
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    I think about Lucia Vega Jimenez,
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    who committed suicide and died in CB(S)A custody.
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    She was initially turned over to CBSA by Transit Police
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    in part because Transit Police officer Jason (Schuss)
    believed that she wasn't originally from Canada.
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    And not only did she get a ticket for lack of fare,
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    but she was then detained by Transit Police,
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    and actually driven to the holding centre
    by Transit Police, to do CBSA's work.
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    It was Lucia's tragic death that spurred a movement
    within the community over 10 months ago.
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    In May and in June, conversations
    among members of various groups
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    began to look at and to challenge Transit Police policy
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    in light of what became known to us in Lucia's death.
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    This includes groups like Mexicans Living in Vancouver,
    who are here today;
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    BCCLA, who is here today;
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    Sanctuary Health, No One Is Illegal, Rainbow Refugee,
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    and many other organizations.
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    As we are witnessing all across this continent,
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    people are questioning the role of police,
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    and the impact of policing
    on marginalized communities.
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    From police inaction
    on missing murdered Indigenous women,
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    to police impunity being raised by
    the Black Lives Matter south of the border,
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    or the killing of Naverone Woods.
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    Migrants without permanent legal status
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    are some of the most vulnerable
    members of our community.
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    They're often vilified in the media,
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    but migrant workers and non-status people
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    are the ones taking care of our children,
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    growing our food, serving us food,
    growing our food,
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    building our homes, pumping our gas.
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    Refugees are fleeing war, persecution and
    unimaginable and horrendous levels of violence,
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    often escaping paramilitaries
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    and arriving here seeking some level of safety,
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    only to question whether they can ride transit safely,
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    just to get to and from work
    like Lucia was doing.
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    So in memory of Lucia Vega Jimenez and the
    thousands of other migrants in our community,
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    public transit should not be a border checkpoint.
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    There are far too many lives at stake.
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    (Next speaker) Lucia is just one of the cases.
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    I hear many cases around the time
    I remember since 6 years ago,
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    about immigrants that were sent back just because
    they didn't have a fare in the skytrain.
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    Immigration didn't look at them when
    the Olympics were starting
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    and they were needed in order to construct
    and create infrastructure that we didn't have;
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    but once that was done, they didn't matter.
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    So I heard a lot of members that were sent back.
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    I heard hard working people that was contributing
    enormously to this country sent back.
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    I heard people that was in risk sent back.
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    People with humane cases sent back.
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    Over a $2.50 fare.
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    I want to congratulate everybody in this room
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    for working to end the Memorandum of Understanding
    between CBSA and the Transit Police.
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    That's an important step,
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    and as has already been said, that's a first step.
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    I personally as a transit user,
    and I think many of the people in the room,
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    would like to get clarity about
    what that process is going to look like,
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    and how we're going to ensure that there is adequate
    separation between CBSA and the Transit Police.
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    We need to keep in mind the real realities
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    of what criminalizing, scrutinizing, racially profiling, detaining and deporting people,
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    of how all that stuff affects them.
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    This is real, these policies are very very real.
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    People are being deported, people are fearful,
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    people are going as far
    as Jimenez and my uncle went.
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    (same speaker continues) We're happy about
    some of the changes you've made,
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    some of the concessions,
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    but we need to see that they're implemented.
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    We are all gonna hold you to it,
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    and we just want to see the end
    of detentions and deportations.
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    So please, to everyone here,
    and to everyone who couldn't be here,
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    but who's still involved,
    and who cares about this issue,
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    let's keep fighting, let's keep pushing for
    the end of detentions and deportations,
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    and let's ensure that public transportation
    is not a border checkpoint. Thank you.
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    [APPLAUSE]
Title:
Transportation Not Deportation: Community, Legal, Human Rights Groups Speak At Transit Police Board Meeting On Transit Police and CBSA Collaboration, February 27, 2015
Description:

https://transportationnotdeportation.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TransportationNotDeportation

================
Captions courtesy of the Radical Access Mapping Project,
Un-ceded Coast Salish Territories of the Skwxwú7mesh, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.

To learn more, see:

http://radicalaccessiblecommunities.wordpress.com/subtitled-videos/
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Video Language:
English
Duration:
06:17
Radical Access Mapping Project edited English subtitles for Transportation Not Deportation
Radical Access Mapping Project edited English subtitles for Transportation Not Deportation
Radical Access Mapping Project edited English subtitles for Transportation Not Deportation

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