Monday, May 01, 2006

Day Without Immigrants

The anti-immigration movement in America is frightening. The notion that we will prevent immigration and criminalize efforts to become American seems so . . . un-American to me.

Illegal aliens have been coming to America for centuries. My paternal grandfather was an illegal and he and my paternal grandmother worked hard to establish a good life in the United States.

I suspect, however, that people spear-heading this anti-immigration movement would welcome my white grandfather today. It is just brown people that seem to be the targets of this witch-hunt.

Amazingly, Americans want to blame illegal immigrants for the lack of jobs. This could not be further from the truth.

We lack jobs, because the Reagan Reaction of the early 1980s established an anti-worker mentality and promoted the shipment off-shore of American jobs. Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton (especially Clinton) laid the foundation for a disappearing American workplace with NAFTA.

Also, the jobs being done by illegal immigrants are tasks that no American would ever perform.

If a handyman earned $25.00 per hour, everyone's sidewalk would be swept by white men, and the pool guys banging suburban housewives would all be circumcised!

But I am not going to sweep anything for $5.15 per hour, and neither are all these anti-immigrant Americans!

Today, many South and Central American immigrants are speaking-out against the anti-immigration movement by promoting A Day Without Immigrants.

Maybe your could support them. Maybe you get a lunch break and you, like me, can step down from the ivory tower where you earn more than minimum wage and find a group of immigrants demonstrating for equity and fairness.

Maybe you could shake a hand, say thank you, and let them know that you do not hate them.

Find a local event here.


New Yorkers can attend these events:

Location: Union Square
Date: May 1
Time Begin: 4:00 pm
Time End: 7:00 pm
Contact: Dustin Langley
Phone: 212-633-6646

New York City (Feeder March from Chinatown)

Three chances to join the Six Organizations May Day Coalition, (Million Worker March Movement, IWW, Workers In Action/Make the Road by Walking) plus "the Kingdom" of Chinatown-based Unionism (Chinese Staff Workers Union, 318, NMASS) in a historic show of force and unity amongst alternative labor organizations:

2:30 buses leave from Make the Road by Walking (301 Grove St.) in Bushwick for Chinatown

3:00 The Six converge at Grand and Chrystie by the park, Chinatown

4:30-ish The Six arrive at Union Square to join the rally in progress

New York City: HUMAN CHAIN Actions
MAY 1, 2006 12:16PM

Come out on our National Day of Labor at 12:16pm and form a HUMAN CHAIN in an
expression of solidarity for immigrant rights. New York's diverse and vibrant
immigrant commercial centers are vital to the economy of New York City and by
closing for 15 minutes we will join the nation in highlighting the many ways in
which immigrant workers and businesses contribute to and stimulate our economy.
ALL members of the community are encouraged to join in this peaceful expression
of solidarity!

Human Chain Locations and Contact info:

Bronx: NYCPP, Sussie Lozada, 212-388-2149

Brooklyn: Fifth Avenue Committee, Artemio Guerra, 718-930-9068; Council of Peoples Organization, Mohammed Razvi, 718-434-3266

Manhattan: Washington Heights: NYCPP, Laura Espinosa, 212-388-3296 and La Aurora, Rathamés Perez, 718-543-0410

Battery Park: Make the Road by Walking, 718-418-7690

Chinatown: Chinese Progressive Association, Mae Lee, 212-274-1891

Queens: NYCPP, Zahida Pirani, 212-388-2119 and LAIC, Ana Maria Archila, 718-565-8500

Staten Island: El Centro de Hospitalidad, Gonzalo Mercado, 646-772-0096 and Rev. Terry Troia, 646-523-7274

New York City (May 5th)
Sounds of Protest
Music - Politics - Celebration, Full Rights for Immigrants!
Location: Pollo Bravo in Harlem, 116th St. btwn 2nd/3rd Ave
Date: Cinco de Mayo - May 5th 2006
Time: Doors open at 8pm

Live Music & Dancing, DJs, Slam Poets, MCs and more! Great Raffle Prizes, $10 cover includes drink specials

Here's an AP story.

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