Wendy Maxwell is on hunger strike in prison, and a group
of her supporters is encouraging others to join in a desperate attempt to
prevent her deportation Monday.
Word of the CKLN programmer's deportation to her native Costa Rica surfaced
yesterday, and ever since, the Wendy Maxwell Support Committee has been lobbying
government officials to overturn the decision.
"If she's deported, she's going to try to stay in contact, but we're all
very worried about what's going to happen. She left Costa Rica for a reason--she
was sexually assaulted by police," said supporter Mohan Mishra.
Maxwell was apprehended by police Saturday at an the International Women's
Day Fair at Ryerson. The arrest came after a tip from Ryerson security.
Maxwell was denied bond Tuesday after the judge ruled she was a flight risk.
She has been an active member of the community for years, speaking out against
racial profiling by police, violence against women, and homophobia. She's
also involved in labour rights and AIDS prevention work.
"She's been living without status, but she hasn't been in 'hiding'... despite
the risk (of deportation), she's been a defender in her community," said Farrah
Miranda, who has worked with Maxwell on projects.
Immigration Canada ordered Maxwell to be deported December 1, 2003, and
since then she has been "underground." In February 2004, Maxwell filed a
humanitarian and compassionate level application for status.
The Maxwell Support Committee is asking students to contact the Minister
of Citizenship and Immigration, to request she be given a Temporary Resident's
This article first appeared in
The Eyeopener, the Ryerson University student newspaper.
It can be found on the Eyeopener website at: