“August 14, 2014
To Mamdouh Shoukri and York University,
This week, students, faculty and staff at York University were attacked by blatant racism on campus. Flyers created by Immigration Watch Canada (IWC) depicting students of colour as a threat to white Canada were circulated on the York University Keele campus. Similar flyers were also distributed across the York Village, where many of the university’s students live. IWC is a notorious white supremacist group which was in the news earlier this month for flyering racist anti-immigration posters across the city of Brampton. Their expansion into York University indicates an escalation of their racist calls for a white nation. Their white supremacist demands include severe reductions in immigration, limitations on the entry of racialized peoples into Canada, and no recognition of the historical and ongoing colonization of the indigenous peoples of this land.
As students, faculty members, and community members of colour at York University we are deeply affected by the IWC’s abrasive actions, which are designed to intimidate and immobilize communities of colour. The language that people of colour are “invading” Canada, used by the IWC flyers instigates a mood of panic. This is a historically recurring narrative of white supremacy and colonization in Canada. Historical and contemporary examples include the refused entry of the Komagata Maru, the “yellow peril” propaganda and internment of Japanese Canadians, fear mongering around refugees arriving on the Ocean Lady and MV Sun Sea, and the changes to temporary migrant labour laws that now systematically deny workers of colour access to services and pathways to citizenship.”
Read the rest here