Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Community leader harassed by police from station 25 in the Cotes-des-Neiges area

Kabataang Montreal (a Filipino youth organization in Montreal, KM) condemns the harassment of our community leader and the continuing and growing harassment of the Filipino youth in the area.

On July 24, Roderick Carreon, chairperson of SIKLAB (Advance the Rights and Welfare of Migrant Filipinos In Canada), was talking to the wife of Mel Domingo, a director of FAMAS (Filipino Association of Montreal and Suburbs), in front of the FAMAS center on Van Horne when a police officer beckoned Carreon with his finger. Knowing that he was clearly not breaking any law, Carreon ignored the officer's call and continued talking with Mrs. Domingo.

Upset, the officer then approached Carreon and demanded to see his identification. When Carreon asked what his violation was, the officer stated that he had the right to check his ID. When Carreon continued to question the officer on his violation, the officer became more upset and called for back up stating that Carreon was resisting arrest.

As 3 patrol cars arrived on the scene, Carreon decided to present his driver's license and registration although no actual charges were brought against him. As well, the police confiscated his vehicle and ticketed him for not having paid his vehicle’s registration even though he had his valid registration with him.

"Although there was no clear charge put against me, it was a clear case of discrimination," says Carreon of the situation during and interview with Sigaw ng Bayan (a Filipino Community radio show in Montreal) which featured police harassment against the Filipino community of Montreal.

Carreon goes on to add, "It is not an isolated incident but something being experienced by more and more Filipinos in the area, especially Filipino youth."

"This summer (2007) has seen an increase in police surveillance from station 25," shares Ryan G., a Filipino youth who lives in Cotes-des-Neiges. The police continues to randomly check ID's and harass Filipino youth.

Since KM was formed in 2000, there has been a lot of positive changes among Filipino youth in the community – making KM a role model in community youth organizing. Under Carreon’s leadership, KM had encouraged many young people to go back to school or find work and the City of Montreal had supported and funded some of its youth activities in the community.

KM continues to fight for the rights of Filipino youth and encourages the youth to learn their rights and deepen their understanding on why they experience racism and discrimination from the police who are supposed to protect them