Migrant farm workers in the unceded Indigenous territories known as British Columbia are one of the most vulnerable populations of the capitalist system that exploits us all. The vast majority of these workers identify as male, and therefore our work includes recognizing and understanding that the patriarchy is a major obstacle in this struggle. Patriarchal discourse and practice not only teaches cismales to objectify and enact violence against folks who do not conform to traditional roles of masculinity, it also encourages self-harm through unsustainable levels of neglect towards their own physical and mental health by devaluing self-care and emotions as “feminine”, and therefore, “inferior,” traits. This is why our work is explicitly and fervently multidimensional: identifying and organizing against these inter-connected forms of oppression creates an opportunity for radical political action where we can achieve victory in all of our struggles.
We have worked on the article “Multidimensional solidarity: Building migrant power means challenging hegemonic masculinity,” which explains this pillar of our work.
Migrant workers face unjust working and living conditions as a result of geographic isolation, racialization, restricted access to social services, and an exclusive legal bond to a singular employer. This is why Fuerza Migrante endeavors to design and implement projects that attack these tools of oppression. Through these, the organization assists migrant workers, free of charge, in solving any issues they may have – whether with employers, government institutions, or in everyday life as migrants – always seeking to build collective solutions that promote organization, and which contribute to a liberatory movement in which workers’ autonomy goes together with the self-determination of women, Indigenous, people of colour and LGBTQ communities.
We are committed to placing the workers and their needs at the centre of our projects and advocacy work, facilitating collective decision-making for how our organization can best support them while they are living in Canada and abroad. The majority of our projects are geared towards migrant farm workers and implemented in B.C., but we also provide services, information, and support to migrant workers and folks with precarious status across Canada and in Mexico and Guatemala.
Many Indigenous nations of the continent have stories of the hummingbird being a bringer of wisdom and gifts; an audacious messenger offering aid to humanity in times of need; personifications of our ancestors; or the spirit of warriors who died in battle. We chose the hummingbird because of its historical and cultural significance, but also because it’s a bird native to the continent, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, and the Caribbean. This is also to represent that we all share the continent, but each of us belong to particular homelands. It is black and red because together, these colours represent the unity and strength of horizontality, self-determination and communal power.