The Undoing Borders Blog

Poetry In Motion

Toronto, Part II: Making Sanctuary For Ourselves

We were really excited to have conversations with a number of No One Is Illegal folks about their strategies for approaching sanctuary.  In San Francisco, we have had laws on the books since the 1980s that designate us as a Sanctuary City.  This means that the city does not direct any municipal resources towards collaboration with federal immigration authorities.  It means that you should be able to enroll your kids in school, access city services, or call the police without being asked about your immigration status or being reported to ICE.

anti-S-COMM poster Read the rest of this entry »

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Toronto: Confronting Colonial Legacies & Contemporary Apartheids

Toronto is where the Undoing Borders tour was born.  When Hussan, a member of No One Is Illegal (NOII), emailed us to say that he read our zine and wanted to talk more, we dreamed up a roadtrip that would take us to his city.  We’d been hearing about No One Is Illegal’s great work for a long time, and had a not-so-secret collective crush on them.  Here was our chance to take this crush to the next level!

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London, identity, and the political possibilities of Queer as a HOW

London, ON Group Photo

Being on road is really taxing.  Long hours in the car, sleeping in new places every night, eating prepared food– it takes a toll on our bodies.  And we all want to maintain as much health and energy as we can to soak in all of the amazing things we’re seeing, learning, the people we’re meeting.  Tonight, this meant that Essex stayed in Toronto to rest and recover from many non-stop days of work, while Molly and Li took a trip to London, Ontario for a talk at the main library. Read the rest of this entry »

The Anarchist Hotbed of North America

We were invited to Guelph, Ontario by Carly of Earful of Queer radio, a weekly radio show on CFRU 93.3 FM that focuses on anti-capitalist programming, queer media, writings, and action, and prisoner solidarity work.  When we accepted Carly’s invitation, we thought we were simply taking a day-long detour to a small town outside of Toronto, but over and over again on the road, we met people who had things to say about this little town.

 “Guelph!  That place is the anarchist hotbed of North America!”   “Oh!  Earful of Queer is a GREAT show.  Did you hear that interview with Ed Mead from Men Against Sexism?”   “Oh, you’re going to Guelph?  I’ve heard that the queers there are hardcore!”

Needless to say, we were curious about this town.  Read the rest of this entry »

a morning in Montreal

We arrived to the city of Montreal, Quebec with less than an hour before the start of our gathering – this is a first for us on this tour. Thank you to Quebec Public Interest Research Group (QPIRG) – Concordia for hosting our tour stop at their offices and QPIRG-McGill, No One is Illegal and Solidarity Across Borders for their organizing support as well.

“Homes not Colonies”, one of many magnificent posters at QPIRG Concordia offices.

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Crossing into Canada

On our way to Montreal, we stopped in at Molly’s family’s home in Marshfield, Vermont.  Thanks for hosting us and the home-cooked meal.

Over dinner, Li and Essex learned about the library in Derby Line where the border runs right through the building!

One could enter the library from either side, we were told, and we wondered what that could look like.  Would there be fences or guards posted inside?  Would library users have to carry a passport with them?  Li had only known the southern border and its ever-increasing presence of more and more border patrol officers, fences, lights and cameras.  How could a library ever be shared across a line like that? Read the rest of this entry »

Troy Davis, NYU, and our last day in New York

Wednesday was a day of mixed emotions.  It was the day that Troy Davis was scheduled to be executed, and we spent the day anxious, watching for updates from the last-minute Supreme Court appeal, for updates from the appeal for clemency to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, for any hopeful news. 

Our last talk in New York was scheduled for 8pm at NYU.  As people packed into the room, we felt a similar anxiety across the crowd.  In the introductory remarks, one of our co-panelists shared an update that the Supreme Court had granted a temporary stay.  The relief was palpable.  There was applause, and then we started the panel.

Jackie Vimo—a professor of Political Science at CUNY and the New College and the advocacy coordinator for the New York Immigration Coalition—offered an amazing history of border enforcement from a queer lens.

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