Two dozen concerned Hamiltonians and supporters of the Canada First Immigration Reform Committee gathered today in the late afternoon at the War Memorial in Gore Park (King and John Streets) to gather signatures on a letter to the Prime Minister to protest the government’s decision to allow a boatload of illegals to enter Canadian waters last. This was part of a nation-wide series of such rallies.
And here they are:
Hmmmm, that doesn't seem like two dozen people. Well, perhaps they weren't all photographed, just as the 20 people he claims attended his and the Northern Alliance's protest in London didn't all make it into the photograph) Still, given the report we received about his efforts in Ottawa, we have to question the numbers he's claiming:
Paul Fromm and two racist supporters were confronted in Ottawa today as they tried to hold a (tiny) protest against rights for the Tamils of the MV Sun Sea. They were shouted down and promptly scampered away before a larger crowd of anti-racists had time to arrive at the scene of their (tiny) protest.
Their (tiny) protest was to be held today, two days after No One Is Illegal Ottawa held a much larger demonstration in favor of letting the Tamil migrants stay on Monday August 23rd.
"from one community of resistance to another, we welcome you" said one Anishnabe member of NOII-Ottawa, speaking at the pro Tamil rights protest of monday.
“To those who say that immigrants are a burden, we ask you: Who cleans up after you? Who picks your fruit and vegetables? Who serves you food? Who drives you around? Who builds your houses, your schools, your hospitals? Time and time again, immigrants are scapegoated for the problems of capitalism.” said another NOII spokesperson to the enthusiastic crowd that had assembled in front of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada offices downtown Ottawa.
As NOII and other migrant justice groups continue to fight to dispel racist and xenophobic myths about Tamil migrants, it is important to keep the pressure on, especially when we are up against known Nazi supporters.
For more info on No One Is Illegal: www.nooneisillegal.orgSo we can't help but question if Paulie is being honest about the groundswell of support that he's receiving, or the claims being made about the numbers signing his petitions:
A similar rally in Calgary netted several thousands of signatures, “a hell of a lot of sheets filled,” said organizer Kyle McKee.
Still, if this were true, we wonder if those who signed are aware that the Aryan Guard is spearheading this effort in Calgary. But back to Hamilton:
Residue of both drugs and explosives were found on their clothes.
Well, that's a bit of a lie at this point as well. Back in November 2009 when a group of Tamil refugees made it to Canada, the government claimed that two articles of clothing tested positive for chemicals that could be used in the making of explosives. Then again, if you tested the clothing of the average Canadian farmer, there's a good chance that you would find residue of chemicals that could be used in making bombs... or fertilizing their fields. Either way, right?
Paulie is using something that occurred in 2009 and trying to say it applies to this case as well. Right now there's no indication that this claim is true at all (and, like the claim that the ship was filled with people infected with TB, may prove to be absolutely false). Besides, Paulie himself associates with people convicted of possessing bomb making materials.
Then again this refugee case is rife with lies and half truths. Not long ago, a "Toronto Sun" article claimed that most Tamil refugees returned to Sri Lanka for vacation during the civil war, calling into question their claims of persecution. Paulie jumped on it immediately:
However, as the fabulous Kady O'Malley pointed out on her blog, context is pretty damn important:
First of all, what exactly is a "secret government survey"? Does that mean a poll? A focus group? A voluntary questionnaire? Were respondents randomly selected from the total Tamil immigrant population - not that I'm sure how, exactly, one would do that -- and then weighted so as to be representative of the whole? How was it conducted -- and by whom? What was the margin of error?
According to the Sun, CBSA refused to release the full study, although it did confirm the numbers obtained by QMI. The story did not, alas, provide any further detail on the methodology, so I sent a query off to CBSA to see if they'd be willing to give me a little more information. Less than two hours later, I received the following response:
Per your request: travel patterns of Sri Lankans returning to their homeland after being granted refugee status in Canada, we can confirm that a small sampling was done (50 persons) and here are the results:So it seems that this was not, in fact, a "secret government survey," but a review of a sampling of files from Sri Lankan nationals, some of whom were formerly found to be Convention refugees, who now want to sponsor family members to come to Canada. No weighting was done, and no claim has been made that the findings are representative of the total population. In fact, as far as CBSA is concerned, it "must be considered anecdotal in nature."
Of the 50 files reviewed the following information was identified:
*Number of sponsors not previously deemed Convention Refugees - 19
*Number of sponsors formerly deemed Convention Refugees - 31
*Within the aforementioned subset of 31 sponsors formerly deemed Convention Refugees who, according to the FC1 applicant, had subsequently returned to Sri Lanka - 22
As this review was done based on statements applicants made during their immigration interview and not based on any formal entry control system, this information must be considered anecdotal in nature.
Numbers were counted within the sample group and no statistical modeling or statistical process was applied. As such, CBSA has no ability to state that this sample is statistically representative of any pattern that may or may not exist beyond this sample. Rather, these numbers are solely indicative of an observed pattern within the small sample reviewed.
Since there has been no analysis beyond what was on the immigration file in Colombo, these findings should be considered as context only.
Additionally based on the size and statistical validity of this sample, it should be noted that no conclusions should be reached on the comments/observations made on this file.
Our friend BigCityLib also provides further context by providing information from the Canadian Tamil Congress which indicates the trips back to Sri Lanka likely occurred during the four year cease fire.
“Send the illegals back!” shouted one young unemployed man from Hamilton as he grabbed a sign and joined the protest.
Perhaps this young man wouldn't be unemployed if he didn't stop to protest. Get a job you long-haired hippy!
See what we did there? You see, it's funny because when we protest, they tell us to get jobs. Funny, right? No? Oh, well, we'll move on (though we do have to wonder how Terry Tremaine, for whom Paulie cries poverty, managed to foot the bill to attend a protest in at least Hamilton and London).
Okay, while that might have been funny, this is hilarious:
Foreign ships engaged in human smuggling operations should not gain admittance to Canadian waters on principle: human smuggling is illegal. Other grounds include what is in the best interest of Canadians - what is in the best interest of human cargo destined to be utilized as sweated labour, or more chillingly, as operatives - and what is in the best interest of an ethnic community that has long endured Tiger fundraising shakedowns without recourse to Canada's legal remedies.”
Right. Paulie is deeply concerned with the welfare of the Tamil community in Canada. And we have a bridge to PEI we'd like to see you.