A CALL FOR THE 2ND NATIONAL CONFERENCE TO ORGANIZE FOR IMMIGRANT RIGHTS ON MAY 1, 2008-INTERNATIONAL WORKERS DAY
By Javier Rodriguez
We are almost at the end of the year and the coming of International Workers Day -May 1, 2008 is only seven months away. The Immigrant Rights Movement and all our allies are waiting for the next move. The political panorama is complex and diverse and it includes the country’s number one concern, putting an end to the war on Iraq and its catastrophic 1.2 million Iraqi deaths; an economic crisis of major consequences; the state of the nation’s health and housing systems turned into a true social nightmare for the people; a broken immigration system which has over 3 million applicants and their families waiting in an endless line; no humane immigration reform for the 13 million plus undocumented immigrants and their families, including their 3.3 million US born children; and of course the continued Homeland Security’s brutal campaign of terror and fear on the nation’s immigrant community which has grown into a collective psychosis. Make no mistake, it’s a WAR ON IMMIGRANTS and it is Latinos and particularly Mexicans feeling the brunt of the vengeful targeted racist repression, which then extends to African-Americans, Native Americans Asians.
All this in the context of a presidential campaign which by all indicators point to a change of guard in the White House from a republican to a democratic administration. This will again change the correlation of forces in the country with an added probability, the democrats will increase their majority in Congress. With George W. Bush and the Republicans out of the White House the extreme right wing will also lose its major advantages.
However, as we pointed out last year, “the democrats, as part of the Empire will not make any decisive moves on ending the war, nor resolving the immigration crisis, unless the mass movement, in all its forms, puts the heat on”.
Today the immigrant right forces are open to unity in action and on the basic demands for legalization and ending the ICE repression. We may not have complete unity over the type and quality of the immigration reform proposals in the house and the senate, but an approximate 80% of the movement opposed the Strive Act and the Grand Bargain bills, opting instead for and create more favorable conditions for an inclusive, humane, pro immigrant, non-corporate designed immigration reform. One that could conform to the norms established in the 1991 United Nations International Covenant for the Protection of Migrant Workers. But it should be highlighted that the decisive factor in the defeat of the corporate designed Grand Bargain Bill was the right wing and the millions of emails, faxes and telephone calls it generated to the capitol.
So what is to be done? We must get on the move and take action. At this time there are several alternatives on the people’s agenda. There are those that will wait until the presidential campaign is concluded and then reenter the debate. Not a good option. Then, there is a wing of the movement that is pushing to resurrect the immigration reform debate under the auspices of the Democratic Party and the Hispanic Caucus within the framework of the STRIVE ACT which has been condemned by an overwhelming majority of the movement. The other alternative is to maintain the struggle upfront, capitalize on the presidential campaign, attempt to build a united front with all forces willing to struggle and not give in to the pressures of the liberal establishment and push forward a more progressive immigration agenda.
The May 1 National Movement and the March 25 Coalition call for the 2nd National Conference to Organize May 1-International Workers Day as a National Day of Action, to be held in Los Angeles in February, 2008 and discuss creative/appropriate strategies and tactics including a: national day of civil disobedience, institutionalizing MAY DAY, defeat the Border Wall and taking the streets massively once with a national mobilization on Washinghton DC.
On behalh of the March 25 Coalition, this Call is submitted for discussion and endorsement to:
1 “Primer Parlamento Migrante” in Mexico City Nov. 16-17 and the
2 “US-CUBA-VENEZUELA-MEXICO Labor Exchange Conference” in Tijuana, Mexico Dec. 8-9-10, 2007 respectively.
Javier Rodriguez is a Media and Political Strategist and was the initiator for the 1.7 million digitally counted mass protest of March 25, 2006 in Los Angeles. firstname.lastname@example.org 323-702-6397.