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An Extinction Rebellion protest beside the National War Memorial in Ottawa expanded to four tents on Friday afternoon, with no word from authorities on whether related squatters would be removed from the hallowed ground.
Tanya Buckner started the encampment nine days ago and claimed she walked from Calgary to Ottawa to discuss the prime minister’s “negligence on the looming climate extinction”, and that it was her “human right” to camp there until she received an audience.
Joining Buckner for the protest at the war memorial, and on her sixth day of camping out is 25-year-old Roksana Hajrizi, a self-described “stateless Roma from the former Yugoslavia” who fears she, her sister and mother Celina Urbanowicz will be deported to Kosovo.
“We are in danger of removal and the long story short is there was lawyer negligence on our refuge process,” claimed Hajrizi.
“My mother was not given a translator in her language and our lawyer didn’t provide documents to the court on time.”
According to Hajrizi, she and her sister “got smuggled into Canada” by Celina and her father Ismet, arriving Vancouver in 1997 after fleeing the war in Yugoslavia. Ismet was deported to Kosovo earlier this year where he “remains in hiding” while Roksana says they will be next.
Hajrizi also wants to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the hopes that he might intervene in her case.
According to National Capital Commission, which is responsible for historic properties in the Ottawa region, its jurisdiction ends at the war memorial’s concrete expanse and that the adjacent garden where a tent city is emerging, remains Public Works’ responsibility.
Public Works has yet to respond to queries about the legality of camping beside the war memorial, right across the street from the Prime Minister’s Office. The Post Millennial queries to the PMO on whether Trudeau would meet with Hajrizi or Buckner, have thus far gone unanswered.
However, Extinction Rebellion’s Buckner, who goes by the alias “Ann Cognito”, was very willing to offer her thoughts about the matter and her tent neighbour Roksana.
“Our government knew that this eco-system collapse was coming over 40 years ago and our immigration system has been designed with this in mind, to keep people like Roksana out,” said Buckner.
The openly gay Hajrizi said she is currently engaged to a Canadian and wants to remain in Canada and get her citizenship. According to her, she would be persecuted in Kosovo for being Roma and for her sexuality.
Either of Hajrizi’s parents–Celina, a Catholic Pole and Ismet a muslim of Serbian origin–have had run-ins with the law since sneaking into Canada; both spent time in jail for 2006 fraud and extortion convictions, ironically against other vulnerable immigrants.
“Yes, both my parents have made mistakes,” said Hajrizi who provided documentation that her mother received a pardon in 2018.