5:30 – 6pm, Saturday March 14th, 2015 at McGill Faculty of Law FACEBOOK EVENT HERE
Blind faith in legal reform as a strategy is to be in denial of one reality: unwanted bodies remain disposable both to the general population and to law enforcement, judges, and juries, no matter which laws are used to justify their dehumanization. If black bodies and those in the sex trade are seen by police, judges, juries and general society as disposable, can narrow legal reform projects truly address and outlaw the hate and dehumanization which make this disposability possible? Yet criminalization itself has power. It carries a stigma which helps maintain particular populations’ status on the margins of society. Drug, sex, and immigration laws perpetuate exclusion from the social fabric, and reinforce perceived disposability of those whom they target. The criminal outlawing of drugs, and women and men’s ability to trade or sell sex in Canada have morally justified massive intrusions of law enforcement into our communities, helped fill prisons and youth detention centres, and helped ‘explain away’ the state and police violence that defines all to many black lives, especially those who trade in underground economies. So what to do? Despite massive limitations to its effectivity, using the law to fight back has still been highly useful as a tool for social change when rooted in larger movements. Ending racially segregated education in Canada, more recent fights by sex workers to decriminalize many laws surrounding their ability to work safely, and efforts to decriminalize drugs or at least reduce the severity of sentencing are legal reform strategies which can and do have material effects on the lives of those targeted by these laws. Robyn Maynard’s talk will explore the possibilities and limitations of movement-led legal reform as a political strategy when used by those whose bodies consistently remain the targets of police brutality and arrest.
The forum is organized by the McGill Radical Law Student Community and several other student clubs at the McGill Faculty of Law, including the Women of Colour Collective, the Black Law Students Association, the Aboriginal Law Students Association, the Human Rights Working Group – Immigration and Refugee Portfolio, the McGill Environmental Law Club, and the Disability and the Law Working Group, among others.
Robyn Maynard will be speaking on a panel alongside Isabel MacDonald (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), Martin Lukacs (The Guardian), David Koch, Devni Walpola (Journalists for Human Rights – McGill Chapter). February 19th, 5pm, SSMU Room #02.
As part of the Month Against Prisons, members of No One Is Illegal-Montreal and Solidarity Across Borders will present on issues linked to criminalization, detention, incarceration and prisons.
– Carceral Feminism: The Failure of Sex Work Prohibition by Robyn Maynard
– Ten Months In An Immigration Jail byArash Aslani
Sunday, January 11, 2015, 5-7pm
1500 de Maisonneuve West, #204
Police violence is everywhere. It is visible not just in police killings, but also in everyday practices of surveillance, profiling, harassment, and coercion. In all of this, racism and colonialism are close by – though not always in the same way.
This event focuses on the connections between racism, colonialism, and police violence. Panelists – all of them active in the fight against police violence – will talk about how violence appears in the policing of migrants; in indigenous communities; and in places like Montréal-Nord, Halifax, and Ferguson, MO.
– Robyn Maynard (Stella, No One Is Illegal)
– Nargess Mustapha (Montréal-Nord Républik)
– Clifton Nicholas (Kanienkehaka activist and filmmaker)
– El Jones (Halifax-based poet and activist)
To celebrate Black History Month is a special edition podcast, No One Is Illegal Radio: Fear of a Black Planet, a show focused on Black Power and Black resistance in Canada and beyond.
This special in-studio discussion features two of Montreal’s most prominent black historians, David Austin, author of Fear of a Black Nation: Race, Sex, and Security in Sixties Montreal, and DJ Andy Williams, Black music historian, educator, archivist, and DJ.
David Austin discusses his research on the Black Power movement in Montreal, detailing the collaboration between black Caribbean activists and Montreal’s older black communities in fighting racial injustice in 1960’s Montreal. Discussing Angela Davis, George Jackson, and the modern imprisonment and policing of black populations, he critiques the notion that we have acheived a ‘post-race’ society, and ties in historical and current injustices faced by the black population in Canada.
DJ Andy Williams speaks to the role of art in fighting colonialism and racism, and the effects of the Black Power movement on music more generally. He also shares important musical pieces from his unparalleled collection of vinyl records.
This podcast is a rebroadcast of August 2013’s edition of No One Is Illegal Radio.
TO LISTEN CLICK HERE
No One Illegal Radio in Montreal is hosted and produced by Robyn Maynard and Jaggi Singh.
Robyn Maynard, along with author Dave Austin and other researchers and activists, is featured providing analysis and information in the new documentary film “Twice Removed: Double Punishment and Racial Profiling in Canada,” by Lillian Boctor. This film tells the story of Nicholas, who was deported on August 9, 2012, after living 30 years in Canada, to Guyana, a country he hadn’t seen since he was 9 years old, and where he knew no one. Under Canadian immigration law, non-citizens who are convicted of criminal offenses are punished twice: once when they’re sentenced for their crime, and a second time when they are permanently removed from Canada, even if they had lived here since childhood. They are often sent, with few resources, to places where they have little or no connections. This is known as “double punishment.” People are often subject to double punishment as a direct result of racial profiling: a recent study proves that racial profiling by police is endemic in Montreal. Neighbourhoods that have larger numbers of immigrants and people of colour are over-policed and criminalized. Nicholas’s story shares many elements with thousands of others who have been deported from Canada and the U.S. as “criminal aliens” since the 1990s. TO WATCH FILM CLICK HERE
Robyn Maynard is proud to have contributed to Undoing Border Imperialism, an exciting new book by Harsha Walia that reframes immigrant rights movements within a transnational analysis of capitalism, labor exploitation, settler colonialism, state building, and racialized empire. Preface by Andrea Smith.
Copies can be ordered here
Information about Montreal launch forthcoming!