USA May Day mobilization 2007


Los Angeles immigration demonstration, 25 March 2006, photo Lucas Johnson, Reuters

US May Day mobilisation to support immigrant workers

12 January 2007

A national mobilisation for May Day 2007 is set to involve young people, workers, peace activists and others in solidarity with immigrant workers.

The protest will say no to anti-immigration legislation, to the militarisation of the US border and to the guest worker program, and will say yes to amnesty for undocumented immigrants and to living wages and conditions for all workers.

For more information, visit here.

Source: Green Left Weekly, Australia.

Pro immigrant art in the USA: here.

Anti immigrant bigots in the USA, cartoon

6 thoughts on “USA May Day mobilization 2007

  1. A Call for a National Conference on
    Feb 3 & 4, 2007 in Los Angeles to Organize

    The Great American Boycott II
    May 1, 2007

    On Election Day, Nov 7, 2006, the Iraq war, corruption and a lack of immigration reform took center stage. The electorate spoke and the extreme right lost control of congress and the Democrats are the new majority. The correlation of forces has changed and there is a new political reality, but as history tells, the democrats are part of the “Empire”. They will not end the war. Corruption and record profits will continue to soar. An inclusive pro-immigrant non-corporate immigration reform will not be addressed unless we march and boycott as we have in 2006.

    On May Day 2006 history was made. The world watched as millions marched and boycotted the economy. We shut down the economy in several key cities, states and border entries. In Los Angeles alone we shut down the ports, trucking, taxis, construction, public transportation, agriculture, gardening, home-care and day-care work, small and chain restaurants and stores, factories, garment, meat industry, offices, etc. In the Midwest meat packing and auto parts plants were shut, in Florida, agriculture and construction. In El Paso Texas 40,000 migrants refused to cross the border. In New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Phoenix, Tucson, San Jose, San Antonio, Orange County, and San Diego and in many other cities the boycott succeeded. Students walked out, Businesses closed and the people refused to buy. In Mexico, Central America and many other countries US corporations were targeted by millions of workers. It was truly a Day without Immigrants.

    We have begun to debate and plan for new round protests and a nationwide boycott starting May 1, 2007. This time, we hope to protest not just one day but more. Why? To assure the immigrant rights forces give voice to and empower the tens of millions of immigrants in the U.S. it is imperative to have broad-based representation from all immigrant groups in order to move the immigration reform agenda: unconditional legalization for all immigrants. We represent the Central and South American, the Mexican, the South Asian, Pacific, East Asian, Caribbean, and African immigrant communities, the undocumented Irish, Eastern European, Muslim and Middle Eastern immigrants and stand with the Native Americans, the victims of Katrina, the women, youth, students, unionists, anti-war activists and clergy who are together demanding a better country where all can live decent lives, free of fear and deprivation.

    To plan this effort, to decide the demands, the preparation, and the plan of action, we are calling activists to a May Day Planning Conference in Los Angeles. We will assess what we have done, debate how to broaden the movement, educate ourselves on the situation facing us and democratically make decisions. We intend to put this effort in the context of the history of the immigrant and workers movements in this country, to link it to allies internationally, and to address the root causes of mass migration in the policies of globalization. Join with us in this effort and make May Day another truly historical day.

    ENDORSERS (list in formation):

    * March 25th Coalition LA
    * May 1st Coalition-New York
    * Border Social Forum (100 organizations on both sides of the border,
    * Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington State,
    * Colorado, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Sinaloa, Sonora, Baja California, etc.)
    * Southwest Workers Union-San Antonio
    * International Action Center
    * NALAAC-National NGO Florida Convention
    * Hermandad Mexicana Nacional-California-Nevada
    * Elvira Arellano in Sanctuary Adalberto Church Chicago
    * Emma Lozano-Centro Sin Fronteras

    * California Peace & Freedom Party
    * LUUM-Latinos Unidos de Michigan
    * BAYAN National
    * International Workers of the World
    * Centro Obrero, Michigan
    * US-Cuba Labor Exchange
    * Freeport Workers Center
    * Justice for Filipino Workers
    * Pachamama Ecuadorian Immigrant Organization
    * Million Worker March

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  2. Indentured Servants in America

    By BOB HERBERT
    The New York Times
    March 12, 2007

    A must-read for anyone who favors an expansion of guest worker programs in the U.S. is a stunning new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center that details the widespread abuse of highly vulnerable, poverty-stricken workers in programs that already exist.

    The report is titled “Close to Slavery: Guestworker Programs in the United States.” It will be formally released today at a press conference in Washington.

    Workers recruited from Mexico, South America, Asia and elsewhere to work in American hotels and in such labor-intensive industries as forestry, seafood processing and construction are often ruthlessly exploited.

    They are routinely cheated out of their wages, which are low to begin with. They are bound like indentured servants to the middlemen and employers who arrange their work tours in the U.S. And they are virtual hostages of the American companies that employ them.

    The law does not allow these “guests” to change jobs while they’re here. If a particular employer is unscrupulous, as is very often the case, the worker has little or no recourse.

    One of the guest workers profiled in the report was a psychology student recruited in the Dominican Republic to work at a hotel in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The woman had taken on $4,000 in debt to cover “fees” and other expenses that were required for her to get a desk job that paid $6 an hour.

    But after a month, her hours were steadily reduced until she was working only 15 or 20 hours a week. That left her with barely enough money to survive, and with no way of paying off her crushing debt.

    The woman and her fellow guest workers had hardly enough money for food. “We would just buy Chinese food because it was the cheapest,” she said. “We would buy one plate a day and share it between two or three people.” She told the authors of the report: “I felt like an animal without claws – defenseless. It is the same as slavery.”

    Steven Greenhouse of The Times recently reported on a waiter from Indonesia who took on $6,000 in debt to become a guest worker. He arrived in North Carolina expecting to do farm work but found that there was no job for him at all.

    The report focused primarily on the 120,000 foreign workers who are allowed into the U.S. each year to work on farms or at other low-skilled jobs. In most cases the guest workers take on a heavy debt load to participate in the program, anywhere from $500 to more than $10,000. Worried about the welfare of their families back home, and with the huge debt hanging over their heads, the workers are most often docile, even in the face of the most egregious treatment.

    The result, said the report, is that they are “systematically exploited and abused.”

    Some of the worst abuses occur in the forestry industry. The report said, “Virtually every forestry company that the Southern Poverty Law Center has encountered provides workers with pay stubs showing that they have worked substantially fewer hours than they actually worked.”

    A favorite (and extremely cruel) tactic of employers is the seizure of guest workers’ identity documents, such as passports and Social Security cards. That leaves the workers incredibly vulnerable.

    “Numerous employers have refused to return these documents even when the worker simply wanted to return to his home country,” the report said. “The Southern Poverty Law Center also has encountered numerous incidents where employers destroyed passports or visas in order to convert workers into undocumented status.”

    Without their papers the workers live in abject fear of encountering the authorities, who will treat them as illegals. They are completely at the mercy of the employers.

    President Bush has been relentless in his push to greatly expand guest worker programs as part of his effort to revise the nation’s immigration laws. To expand these programs without looking closely at the gruesome abuses already taking place would be both tragic and ridiculous.

    “This is not a situation where there are just a few bad-apple employers,” said Mary Bauer, director of the Immigrant Justice Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has initiated a number of lawsuits on behalf of abused workers. “Our experience is that it’s the very structure of the program that lends itself to abuse.”

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  3. Take to the Streets May 1st 2007!

    In support of immigrant rights:

    No shopping, no work, no school!

    Demand an end to deportations & raids!

    Fight for equal rights for all workers,

    U.S. and foreign born!

    Across the country on Tuesday, May 1st 2007, tens of thousands of workers are expected to take to the streets once again to say no to anti-immigrant, anti-worker policies.

    The demonstrations are a continuation of last year’s historic marches of undocumented and documented immigrants as well as their supporters against the highly repressive and punitive Sensenbrenner legislation that criminalized workers.

    The current raids and deportations in cities across the country carried out by ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) are just as deplorable and unacceptable.

    By singling out Latinos, Asians, Muslims, Caribbeans, and Africans they are thoroughly racist. Not only are they meant to warn immigrants that they better not fight against super-exploitation, it is a message to all working people in this country. As the economic crisis deepens workers—whether they are foreign or U.S. born—are being warned that they had better accept these conditions. The raids and the anti-immigrant climate are designed to bust unions as well as to foster divisions among U.S. and foreign born workers.

    But workers are fighting back. Across the country, the most exploited and poorest workers are standing together. Day laborers, for example are standing up to racist attacks whether they emanate from goons or from local city or state officials.

    Others are standing up as well. Several unions such as the International Longshore Workers Union, Local 10 and the San Francisco Labor Council are passing resolutions in favor of May 1st and mobilizing to get people out on May Day. In New York , a UFCW local pushed the May 1st event at a labor event demanding justice for Smithfield workers in Tar Heel, North Carolina .

    The International Action Center , a member of the New York May 1st Coalition and the National Movement for Worker and Immigrant Rights, is actively supporting these efforts in every way possible. We urge you to do the same!

    Here is how you can help:

    1. Endorse the May 1st action in your city and nationally. To endorse or to find out events visit http://www.maydaymovement.blogspot.com
    2. Donate to help build May Day events. Donations are urgently needed! Please make checks/money orders payable to “May 1st Movement” (on-line donations will be accepted shortly) and mail to:
    3. National May 1st Movement for Worker & Immigrant Rights
    c/o United Teachers Los Angeles
    3303 Wilshire Blvd. 10th floor
    Los Angeles CA 90010
    4. Download flyers and help get the word out. For national flyer, click here English Español. For the New York flyers, click here: English Español
    5. In New York , attend meetings of the May 1st Coalition. Call the IAC at 212.633.6646 for date and location of the next meeting.

    May 1st Press Conference held at the National Press Club in Washington , DC on March 15, 2007.

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  4. Pingback: Guatemalan Mayan priests will purify site after Bush visit | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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