I’ve mentioned Día de los Muertos events around the city on this blog. While I’ve listed them with Halloween events, in no way am I implying that the two are interchangeable. I could discuss how Halloween has lost its origins, becoming commercial and unrecognizable but that’s for another time.
While there is a celebratory aspect to the Día de los Muertos holiday, it is also a time when people remember their ancestors and deceased loved ones.
Tonight at 6 p.m. in front of the Mont-Royal metro, a group called Mexicain.e.s uni.e.s pour la regularisation is holding a political/cultural event in honour of victims of capitalist policies across the world.
The group asserts that contrary to popular belief Día de los Muertos is not a “Mexican Halloween” but a day dedicated to remembering and thinking about the dead by offering them their favourite foods and beverages.
According to a press release, tonight’s event will include traditional offerings to the dead and a performance in honour of people the world over who’ve died as victims of the capitalist system and its policies. For instance: the millions of immigrants who have died while attempting to cross borders, those who have suffered discrimination and exploitation, and those who have been deported (the current Harper government’s policies playing a big part in this).
The organizers want people to remember Blanca Peña González, a mom of two sons who was popular in Montreal’s Mexican community, and who was deported last Sunday in spite of valiant efforts to keep her family together. At the time of her deportation, organizers say, her immigration claim was nearly resolved, her sons has begun their school year. For years she lived in fear of her abusive ex-husband in Mexico and she had remarried in Canada and was sponsored as an immigrant by her Canadian husband. But she and her sons were deported when her refugee claim was denied.
Today’s event was organized to denounce unjust laws, indifferent bureaucracy and racist policies that derail plans, ruin dreams and contribute to great injustices, the organizers say.