[Please feel free to forward widely]
Friday July 9, 2010
An open letter to the QPIRG Concordia community and networks —
On Monday, July 8th, the QPIRG Concordia Board of Directors received an email from our Working Groups and Programming Coordinator Jaggi Singh informing us that he was planning to turn himself in early Tuesday morning in compliance with a warrant that had been put out for him in relation to the resistance to the G20 summit in Toronto. The shock of receiving this email brought many of us to tears, learning that one of our valued employees, our close friend, and a tirelessly hard-working member of our community would be taken from us for an undetermined amount of time.
The Quebec Public Interest Research Group (QPIRG) at Concordia University works to create links between students and the broader Montreal communities, encouraging social and environmental justice on and off campus. Jaggi has been working as the Working Groups and Programming Coordinator of QPIRG Concordia since August 2008, though one could easily assume it has been much longer than that, as he has been a regular space-user, volunteer, and eager working group member for many years prior. As soon as he started the job, Jaggi threw himself into the position, coordinating innumerable highly successful events for QPIRG and striving to make social and environmental justice organizing more welcoming for people of all backgrounds. He has, along with his co-workers Tasha and Ashley, pushed QPIRG Concordia into a position of greater prominence, visibility, and accessibility within Concordia University and beyond.
Jaggi puts his heart into all of the work that he does, whether it’s promoting community-based research on campus, supporting all of the working groups that utilize the space and resources, planning Alternative Orientation programming for new students, helping to organize QPIRG’s annual Study In Action conference, and much more. He routinely coordinates film screenings, workshops, community bike tours, guest speaker presentations and skill-shares. He ties QPIRG Concordia to the heart of the organization, its working groups, the small groups of volunteers who organize around a wide variety of projects and campaigns. He is himself a member of a variety of QPIRG Concordia working groups including Solidarity Across Borders, The Montreal Childcare Collective and The Indigenous Solidarity Committee. Jaggi embodies the anti-oppression mandate that QPIRG Concordia strives to promote: constantly fighting for a wide variety of causes whether it be anti-racism, international solidarity, feminism, indigenous sovereignty or queer rights. His solidarity with these myriad struggles is a testament to his commitment to supporting the many communities that surround him.
Jaggi’s outgoing, sociable nature makes him an asset to the QPIRG space and a highly effective coordinator. He is widely known and very personable; he has many, many friends, a lot of whom have been calling the office all week wondering how he is doing. The paramount respect that he is shown from those around him is a testament to his strong networking abilities. Jaggi effectively links the Concordia student population with the broader Montreal community, creating necessary links between academia and the city in which it is situated. Furthermore, he is a warm and caring individual who makes the QPIRG Concordia office a much brighter place. His brilliant sense of humour and profound knowledge base mean that he can always be depended on for a joke and a meaningful story. He is a truly valued employee and we severely miss his presence in the workplace.
We at QPIRG Concordia want our employee, co-worker and friend released immediately so he can come back to his job and to the community that loves him. Our annual QPIRG Concordia visioning weekend is coming up next weekend and it would be a huge loss to not have him present to help us plan our upcoming year. We sincerely hope that he will be released and be able to once again work alongside all of us as soon as possible.
The QPIRG Concordia Board of Directors