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Over 70 Community Groups Demand Cancellation of “Border Security” Reality TV Show

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By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive

Cancel Border Security

Over 70 community groups have signed a letter demanding the immediate cancellation of anti-immigrant reality TV show, Border Security. The letter is addressed to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who personally approved the show, the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and various companies with interests in the show, including Force Four Entertainment and Shaw Media. The letter is part of a growing “Cancel Border Security” campaign by rights groups and progressives.

The letter states:

We are deeply concerned about the traumatic and potentially dangerous consequences upon all those who find themselves being filmed forBorder Security. In Border Security a highly one-sided narrative is told about those crossing the border under varying circumstances or those people in the process of migration, which has the particular long-term impact of spreading fear about and among immigrant and migrant communities.

At best, this TV show is an invasion of privacy with questionable ethics on informed consent; at worst, it can put the lives of vulnerable migrants at risk by commercially exploiting their stories for broadcast. No one deserves to face the trauma of being forcibly separated from their families and then having this suffering turned into entertainment. We also find it extremely troubling that the federal government has approved and is involved in this production.

Deportation is not entertainment. We urge you to cancel, stop participating in, and end the broadcast of Border Security. More than 23,000 people have signed a petition calling for an end to this TV show. They are joined by prominent cultural producers, human rights groups, and legal organizations. We hope you will take this opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to upholding human rights, legal obligations, and ethical media production by cancelling Border Security.

The letter is part of a growing protest that “has actors, directors, artists, Amnesty International citing risk to immigrants”, according to the Toronto Star.  Last month, over 100 actors, directors, producers, directors, technicians and other cultural professionals dispatched a protest letter to the National Geographic “and all other producers, financiers, and broadcasters of Border Security.”

And, as I blogged earlier:

In March, the BC Civil Liberties Association filed a formal complaint with the federal Privacy Commissioner, arguing that the filming was illegal and violated the immigrants’ rights under the federal Privacy Act.

More than 23 000 people have signed a petition calling on National Geographic Channel, Force Four Entertainment and Shaw Media to cancel Border Security.  Amnesty InternationalLeadNow, the Council of Canadians, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, NDP and Liberal MP’s and NDP MLA’s have also spoken out against the show. According to http://www.cancelbordersecurity.ca/

The Cancel Border Security campaign invites you to send “a strong and necessary message to the show’s producers and broadcasters that deportation is not entertainment.” To add your organization as a  signatory to the letter, please email info@cancelbordersecurity.ca​ To Like and Share the campaign’s Facebook posting, please go here.

Via: Cancel Border Security:

​The full list of addressees:

  • Minister Vic Toews, Ministry of Public Safety, Government of Canada
  • Luc Portelance, President, Canadian Border Services Agency
  • Rob Bromley, President, Force Four Entertainment
  • John Ritchie, Partner and Executive Producer, Force Four Entertainment
  • Gillian Lowrey, Partner and Director of Business Affairs, Force Four Entertainment
  • Paul Robertson, President, Shaw Media
  • Peter Bissonnette, President, Shaw Media
  • Zoran Stakic, Privacy Officer, Shaw Media
  • Andrew Eddy Vice President, Shaw Media Content Distribution
  • Michael French Vice President, Shaw Media Finance
  • Barb Williams Senior Vice President, Shaw Media Content
  • Deb Avis, Senior Vice President, Shaw Media Social Responsibility
  • JR Shaw, Executive Chair, Shaw Media
  • Jim Shaw, Vice Chair, Shaw Media
  • Bradley Shaw, Chief Executive Officer, Shaw Media​

The full list of signatories:

  • Agriculture Workers Alliance Support Centre-Surrey
  • Alberta Public Interest Research Group
  • Alliance for People’s Health
  • Amnesty International
  • Antidote: Multiracial and Indigenous Girls and Women’s Network
  • Association of Chinese Canadians for Equality and Solidarity Society
  • Babae Montreal
  • Battered Women’s Support Services
  • BC Civil Liberties Association
  • Café Rebelde
  • Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers
  • Canadian Council for Refugees
  • Canadian Labour Congress
  • Chinese Canadian National Council
  • Coalition of South Asian Women Against Violence
  • Connective Project for Colombia
  • Council of Canadians
  • Defenders of the Land
  • Dignidad Migrante
  • Downtown Eastside Women’s Center
  • Fraser Valley Peace Council
  • Global Queer Research Group-University of British Columbia
  • Health for All
  • Idle No More
  • Immigrant Workers Center
  • Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign
  • International Iranian Federation of Refugees
  • Justice for Migrant Workers
  • Latinos in Action
  • Law Union of Ontario
  • Lead Now
  • Migrante BC
  • Mining Justice Alliance
  • Native Youth Movement
  • No One Is Illegal-Toronto
  • No One Is Illegal-Vancouver Unceded Coast Salish Territories
  • Out On Campus-Simon Fraser University
  • People’s Commission Network
  • People Against Settler Colonialism-University of British Columbia
  • Pivot Legal Society
  • Progressive Nepali Forum in Americas
  • Purple Thistle Center
  • QTIPOCALYPSE
  • Quebec Public Interest Research Group-McGill University
  • Queer Migration Collective
  • Raices Latin American Cultural Society
  • Rising Tide-Vancouver Coast Salish Territories
  • Regina Public Interest Research Group
  • Salaam Canada
  • Sanctuary Health
  • Shit Harper Did
  • Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group
  • Siraat
  • Social Housing Coalition BC
  • South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy
  • Streams of Justice
  • Tadamon
  • Teaching Support Staff Union
  • Toronto Action for Social Change
  • Trikone Vancouver
  • Truthfool Communications
  • University of British Columbia Colour Connected Against Racism
  • University of British Columbia Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice
  • University of British Columbia Race Autobiography Gender and Age Graduate Student Network
  • Unis’to’ten Camp
  • Vancouver Status of Women
  • West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund

Photo: No On Is Illegal/Facebook

The Canadian Progressive recommends: Canada Border Services Agency broke law with reality TV raid: BCCLA

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