Head tax redress: Outside Inside: Observing A Year of Redress Struggle

Sid Tan sends this media release as the first redress cheques will be 
presented in Vancouver on Friday.

Media Advisory: For Immediate Release - October 19, 2006

Outside Inside: Observing A Year of Redress Struggle:
Seminal Moment "On the Streets" Creates Turnaround

Vancouver BC - The Head Tax Families Society of Canada (HTF),
successor group to the BC Coalition of Head Tax Payers, Spouses and
Descendants (BC Coalition), will observe the turnaround of the Chinese
head tax/exclusion redress struggle with a public forum. Invitees
include Greater Vancouver Members of Parliament from the three parties
represented in the House of Commons, the BC Attorney General and
Minister of Multiculturalism, the three Chinese Canadians sitting on
Vancouver City Council and other elected officials.

When: 11:00am Saturday, November 25, 2006
Where: Chinese Cultural Center - Dr. David Lam Hall
50 East Pender Street, Vancouver

"Outside Inside" refers to last November 26 when several hundred
people set up an information line in Chinatown. It attended outside a
closed redress conference funded by the government at the Chinese
Cultural Center and a photo opportunity for Prime Minister Paul Martin
at United Chinese Community Enrichment Social Services (SUCCESS). This
"on the streets" action is now considered by many in the redress
movement as a seminal moment in the redress struggle.

At the time, governing Liberals were reaching an Agreement in
Principle (AIP) to direct millions of dollars in a community redress
fund to a pro-Beijing group created in the aftermath of Tiananmen
Square in 1989. Then, the opposition Conservatives were introducing
Private Member's Bill C-333 allowing the Liberal government to direct
millions of dollars to the same group, which would accept the funds on
an agreed precondition of "no apology, no compensation" to head tax
families.

The Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNC) and local Association of
Chinese Canadians for Equality and Solidarity Society (ACCESS), who
were against Bill C-333 and AIP, enlisted head tax families and
supporters to make a strong and definitive statement that the
Government's and Official Opposition's actions were a betrayal. The ad
hoc BC Coalition was revived and called for political participation
and peaceful assembly. Recently, the Head Tax Families Society of
Canada was formed to call for good faith negotiations between the
federal government and representatives of head tax families for a just
and honourable redress to all head tax families.

The unilateral settlement imposed by the Government will directly
address only 0.6% of affected head tax families. Approximately 600
surviving head tax payers and spouses will receive $20,000 in ex
gratia payments. Over 82,000 Chinese families paid the unjust tax
between 1885 and 1923 in Canada and 1906 to 1949 in Newfoundland
before joining Confederation.

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