Harsha Walia is a well-known community activist with No One is Illegal. She was listed in the Vancouver Sun's March 27th list of 100 South Asians who are making a difference in BC.
Harsha was one of the first people I recognized walking to the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre last Monday. She is a member of the BCGEU, as she works in a women's shelter on the Vancouver Downtown East Side. We both made our debut speaking engagements on the Monday, supporting the Women's Committee report, and we each got great rounds of applause. But Harsha is a fiery speaker, used to speaking at rallies and protests for No One Is Illegal. She has been instrumental on protesting the deportation of Laibar Singh and she really got the crowd going.
Harsha always opened her addressses acknowledging that we are standing on unceded Coast Salish erritories – pretty impressive for somebody who has only been in Canada for 10 years.
We chatted on Wednesday while standing in line to speak at the microphone, and mutually agreed that a “Workers of Colour” caucus meeting was missing. I was quickly able to contact representatives on the BC Fed Human Rights Committee such as Frank Lee and Vai. We had lunch with Lorene Oikawa, shared our concerns and we had a room booked for the next day.
Here is the latest email from NOII:
Please join us on
wrap up the year:
On Saturday Dec 6 join us at Rhizome along with our friends and allies as
part of a Craft Fair. NOII will be selling crafts, posters, CD's, buttons,
calenders, and we also have a new batch of our Tshirts
coming in (http://www.flickr.com/photos/20887173@N04/2442110234/) Great
gift ideas for the holiday season!
On Saturday Dec 13 we are hosting what we feel is a critical discussion on
advancing anti-colonial and anti racist struggle. In honour of the
anniversary of the December 10th airport action to prevent the deportation
of Laibar Singh and its symbolism to grassroots movements for the
self-determination of racialized migrants, we invite you to gather and
discuss questions of solidarity, alliances and movement building.
We hope you will join us in the coming weeks as we look to continue our
collective struggles for justice in the year ahead!
Crafts for a Cause: A Craft Fair to SupportStruggles
Rhizome Café, 317 East Broadway, www.rhizomecafe.ca
Saturday, December 6, 6:00-10:00pm
$2 suggested donation at the door, but no one turned away for lack of funds
Phone 6048723166 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Come shop for holiday gifts while supporting migrant rights, youth
empowerment, Indigenous autonomy and more! Peruse socially conscious
crafts by local artists and items created by local organizations to
support their social justice work.
Participating groups and individual artists include Urban Native Youth
Association, No One is Illegal, Leave out Violence, Filipino Canadian
Youth Alliance, Tania Willard, Café Ramona and products made by Zapatista
Mayan women, Open to Chance, Wishing Well Organic Farms, Sam Bradd, Fierce
Green Creations and More!!
There will be live musical performances, and yummy food and drink
available for purchase throughout the evening.