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South Asian Youth (SAY) Collective Statement on Anti-Black Violence

“In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.” – Angela Davis

As members of the South Asian Youth Collective, we assert our solidarity alongside Black communities fighting against police brutality and the mass murder of Black people here in North America and around the world. We understand that it is not enough to merely state our support and solidarity. We must do the work every day to unlearn anti-Blackness, support and amplify the voices of Black people, educate other non-Black allies, and show up for Black people as the movement continues for all Black lives, including Black trans lives, to not only survive but thrive.

As we continue to grieve the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, and the countless other lives brutally lost at the hands of the American police, at the hands of white supremacy, we cannot ignore the continued violence, murder and oppression of Black people here in Canada.

White people and non-Black people of colour in Canada are actively complicit in anti-Black racism if they think that anti-Black violence is solely a reality in the United States. Canada’s colonial nation building project has been built by stealing Black and Indigenous lives, land, and labour. Canada as a country, on unceded Indigenous territory, has a history of using the RCMP and other police departments as a weapon of white supremacy against the Black community and Indigenous Nations.

In Montreal, the SPVM, like all police departments in Canada, has a long history of killing innocent Black people. Anthony Griffin (1987), Preslie Leslie (1990), Osmond Fletcher (1991), Marcellus François (1991), Trevor Kelly (1993), Alain Magloire (2013), René Gallant (2015), Bony Jean-Pierre (2016), Pierre Coriolan (2017) and Nicholas Gibbs (2018) are only some names of the Black people who have died at the hands of the SPVM.

And the names listed above are only in the context of Montreal. As recently as last month, on May 27th, Regis Korchinski-Paquet died in Toronto, after requesting police help to de-escalate a family conflict. O’Brien Christopher-Reid (2004), Duane Christian (2006), Junior Manon (2010), Michael Eligon (2012), Ian Pryce (2013), and Andrew Loku (2015) are some of the names of the Black people who have died at the hands of Toronto Police. We demand that our governments put in motion real actions to ensure this violence never happens again. We would also like to assert that police interventions do not need to be deadly in order to be disproportionately violent towards Black people. We call to action our elected officials to defund all police departments in Canada, with the long-term aim of abolishing the police and prison system.

Furthermore, as South Asians, we must not ignore and remain silent about anti-Black racism that runs deep in our communities. South Asian cultures, as it is today, is a constant setting of microaggressions that target Black people, Black South Asians, South Indians, West Indians, and dark-skinned South Asians. Colourism is a system of violence that continues to remain largely unchecked in our communities. Prejudice, discrimination and violence against dark-skinned South Asians is the extension of the violence against Black people, and to not fight against both shows the apparent hypocrisy in South Asian communities when it comes to anti-Black racism.

To South Asian allies, posting and protesting in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement is important, but it is the bare minimum. We call for all South Asians to critically assess, unlearn and call-out anti-Blackness and colourism in our own communities, including and within ourselves. We cannot only fight against police brutality, as if it isn’t a larger global system of anti-Black violence and genocide. We can no longer ignore and stay silent about ingrained beliefs and practices that members of the South Asian community continue to uphold, reinforce, and use as weapons against Black people, whether consciously or subconsciously.

Finally, as South Asians we must shed our belief in the model minority. The Model Minority Myth is used by the state to cast doubt on racial inequality and violence. This myth pits marginalized people against each other. Asians are taught that we should not align ourselves with Black people and communities. In adhering to this, we are encouraged to believe that our personal safety and institutional success will be safe-guarded. This narrative is nothing more than a false sense of security. To believe in this narrative means using our privilege as non-Black people in order to stay silent while remaining complicit in anti-Black violence.

We, as South Asians, need to end this narrative, and combat anti-Blackness in our own communities as well as show up for the fight against the genocide and mass violence of Black people. We must rethink our own communities’ relationship with the police, and allow ourselves to reimagine alternative forms of justice. We need to answer the call for concrete actions that Black activists are demanding from us, including joining their fight to abolish the police and prisons, and restructuring education, healthcare, social security, and government.

Thank you,
The South Asian Youth Collective, Tiohtià:ke / Montreal

June, 2020

Sources:

1 Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present by Robyn Maynard
2 “Defund the police, not just to end police violence, but to end violence itself” by Nathalie Batraville

Resources:


Where to Donate (Canada): 


Where to Donate (United States):


Petitions/Letters: 


Information on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in multiple languages

Please see the below links to access the information sheet on the COVID-19 virus, provided by ACCÉSSS, in multiple languages. English information follows.

The Facts about COVID-19 — Coronavirus 19


The World Health Organization has officially declared the status of a pandemic as applies to COVID-19 and, although its propagation in Quebec is actually under control, the next few weeks promise to be critical in counteracting the contagion; and our government is taking all the necessary steps to respond rapidly and efficiently, both scientifically and socially. 

 

What is COVID-19? 

COVID-19 is a virus of the coronavirus family that can cause serious health problems, especially to the elderly or those who have a weakened immune system or suffer from a chronic illness.

 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 

Its symptoms are similar to those of the seasonal flu or of the common cold. It is characterized by: 

– a sudden and powerful fever;

– coughing;

– fatigue;

– and difficulty breathing.

 

Are the symptoms the same for everyone?

Some persons can be asymptomatic and can heal without the need of any particular treatment or may simply display few symptoms.

Other patients can suffer aches and pain, a runny nose, or recurrent diarrhea.

Symptoms can be mild (similar to a cold) or more severe (such as those associated with pneumonia and with breathing and renal difficulties). In serious cases, the infection can cause death. 


Which are the most affected organs?

Usually: the nose, the throat and the lungs.


How is it transmitted?

The virus can be transmitted by:

… direct contact with the exhaled droplets of an infected person when he or she coughs or sneezes;

… close and prolonged contact with an infected person;

… indirect contact with the hands, objects or surfaces covered with the droplets expelled by the mouth, nose or eyes of the infected person. 

 

How long can Coronavirus 19 survive?

In general, Coronavirus 19 does not survive a long time on objects:

… about 3 hours on dry objects and surfaces;

… 6 days on wet objects or surfaces.

 

What to do if I have the symptoms?

Quebec residents who develop symptoms such as fever, cough or breathing difficulties upon returning from a trip outside Canada, are urged to call 1 877 644 4545

Screening clinics have been set up across Quebec in order to quickly diagnose persons who may have been infected; however, you must call 1 877 644 4545 before showing up in any of said clinics.

During calling or visiting the hospital, you must mention if you have visited another country since the start of 2020, or had contact with persons who have travelled or immigrated recently.

 

Is there a vaccine or a treatment for the virus?

For the moment, there is neither vaccine nor treatment, but support treatments to soothe and mitigate the symptoms can be offered.

Most infected persons recover normally by themselves.

The best means to protect oneself against the virus is to follow the following prevention rules:

 

How can I prevent being infected by this virus?

These are the proven hygienic measures recommended for all:

– Wash your hands frequently with soap and running lukewarm water for at least 20 seconds;

– Use an alcohol-based disinfectant if you don’t have access to soap and water;

– Observe the rules of hygiene when you cough or sneeze; Cover your mouth and nose with your arm in order to reduce the propagation of droplets when you cough or sneeze; If you use a paper tissue, discard it if you can, and wash your hands afterwards;

– Avoid visiting persons in hospitals or long-term care residences in the 14 days following your return from a foreign country, or if you are sick yourself;

– Avoid direct physical contact, such as shaking hands or kissing, when greeting anyone.


Montreal’s Regional Public Health Directorate has confirmed that access to the COVID-19 Screening clinic at the Hôtel-Dieu Hospital is open to everyone, regardless of their immigration status, with or without RAMQ coverage.
Do not forget to call 1 877 644 4545 to be properly referred.

This is Montreal’s Regional Public Health Directorate website for further information about this virus: https://santemontreal.qc.ca/population/coronavirus-covid-19/ 

 

Useful Links:


COVID-19 General Information phone line,
Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.: 1 877 644 4545


Government of Canada Information phone line
about COVID 19: 1 833 784 4397


The WHO website:
https://www.who.int/fr/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019


The government of Quebec
website: https://www.quebec.ca/sante/problemes-de-sante/a-z/coronavirus-2019/#c46333


The following are the
most recent measures undertaken to limit the propagation of COVID-19:

– 14-days voluntary self-isolation at home of all persons who have returned from abroad, starting on March 12th 2020;

– 14-days compulsory self-isolation at home for all public sector employees as well as all personnel, both public and private, employed in healthcare, education and daycare services, who have returned from abroad starting on March 12, 2020;

– Cancellation of all unnecessary gatherings in enclosed spaces, for 30 days starting on March 12, 2020;

– Interruption of all daycare services (CPE, subsidized and non-subsidized daycare services, home childcare and unregulated nurseries) and all educational establishments (primary and secondary schools, trade schools, private schools, CÉGEPs, colleges and universities) from March 16th to the 27th included. Special measures will be set up to maintain daycare services in order to accommodate parents who work in the public healthcare network and other essential services;

– Finally, healthcare prevention and control measures will be enhanced for all cases of presumed or confirmed infection.


© Produced by Alliance des communautés culturelles pour l’égalité dans la santé et les services sociaux — ACCÉSSS. 


Cancelling our Caban à sucre

In order to minimize the rate of spread of the Corona Virus, we have decided to cancel our annual Caban à sucre trip of this year. We are sorry that we would not be able to enjoy this yearly treat, this year but we feel that it is the right decision for everybody’s safety.

We wish you a safe and healthy future!