General Defense Committee Local 6 appeals to all GDC locals and IWW branches to hold fundraisers for the legal defense of Fellow Worker Deepan Budlakoti.
The Canadian government is attempting to strip him of his citizenship, even though he was born in Ottawa, Canada and held a Canadian passport. Both of his parents, immigrants from India, are Canadian citizens.
Deepan ran into some trouble with a break-and-enter in 2009; he was arrested, convicted, served a four-month prison sentence, and released. The next year, the Canadian government decided to deport him as a non-citizen. The police then set an undercover police officer to entrap Deepan for trying to buy two hunting rifles. They also charged him separately with trafficking drugs; lacking the funds to mount a defense, Deepan pled guilty and served nearly 4 years in jail.
Over that time, the government has continually attempted to deport him. After serving his time, he is detained by immigration officials. Only when India refused to issue this Canadian citizen travel documents for deportation did the Canadian government release him on April 10, 2013 under strict conditions.
Since then, the Ottawa-Outaouais GMB has tirelessly sought to win justice for him in two wage theft cases, which have been resolved successfully.
To fight deportation, Deepan has launched a Charter of Rights challenge in the federal government to keep from being deported from his home and native land.
Deepan is on the spearhead of an attempt by the government to use criminal history, even for people that have served their sentences, as cause for stripping them of their citizenship and deporting them. By dehumanizing convicts, immigrants and the children of immigrants in this way, it is then a short step for the government to apply this practice against its critics and political enemies who run afoul of the law during protests, direct action and civil disobedience.
We urge all IWW and GDC members to take the following steps to support Deepan and the fight for all of our freedom:
Please make your presence felt and engage in whatever actions you see as necessary to raise funds and awareness about Deepan’s campaign for justice across Canada and across the world.