Thursday, March 22, 2007

Fighting Back Against the Human Round-Ups

Activists are speaking out against the Human Hunting Season that is underway across this country. In California, they are also getting something desperately needed - media coverage.

From Mendota, CA:

Asking other cities in the San Joaquin Valley to follow their lead, members of the City Council unanimously endorsed a resolution condemning recent immigration raids that resulted in the arrests of 200 residents.

Federal immigration agents swept through Mendota, which has a population of 8,775, last month. The council's resolution asks immigration officials to stop deportations of undocumented workers because such sweeps "are extremely detrimental to an already economically depressed community."

While their resolution has no jurisdiction over the federal agents conducting the raids, it is a strong signal for the local authorities to send to their residents. We already know that families are being separated and concentration camps are being filled by this government. It sends an unspeakable chill throughout the neighborhoods and communities that suddenly find themselves less populated overnight.

Look at what happened in Texas after the Virgen De Guadalupe Meatpacking Roundups:
The streets of this small, isolated city in the Texas Panhandle are virtually empty nowadays, and "For Rent" signs decorate dilapidated trailers and shabby 1940s-era military barracks that just weeks ago were full of tenants.

Sales of tortillas and other staples are down. Money wire transactions to Central America have mostly dried up. The "Guatemalas," as local residents call them, are almost all gone, and so are a significant number of Mexican nationals.

An estimated 12 to 18 children are now living with only one parent because the other was arrested in a massive immigration raid at the biggest employer in town.

Did everyone in the town get put in prison? Unlikely. Those 'Left Behind' merely moved elsewhere, further into the shadows of society. This inhumane cycle will continue unimpeded until more city councils and local activist groups send a strong message that it must be stopped.

The youth understand this, and are organizing as you read this via MySpace. As of the writing of this post, there are 5018 friends of this particular MySpacer.
On Friday March 30, we close our schools and march to honor California’s César Chávez Holiday. A year ago, we closed our schools and marched to defeat an unjust law, HR4437. This year, we close our schools and march to enforce the spirit and letter of a just law declaring César Chávez birthday a school holiday in California.

When we take to the streets on Friday, March 30th, we will reassert the power of the new civil rights movement we are building and give living expression to the heartfelt pride and dignity of the Latina(o) communities. A year after the struggle to defend immigrant rights gave rise to the biggest and potentially most powerful civil rights movement in more than 100 years, it is up to us to keep the movement alive and to provide the leadership needed to increase the power of our movement.

On Saturday, March 31, and Sunday, April 1, the weekend following our statewide Chávez day actions, the young leaders who have been organizing our mass actions will come together in Los Angeles for a conference. The conference sponsored by BAMN is being organized to develop, consolidate, and build the collective leadership of our new civil rights movement. The movement’s ability to become stronger and bolder relies on our building a more politically conscious and accountable leadership. The conference of the new civil rights movement will give the young leaders of the movement an opportunity to discuss and draw out the lessons we have learned from the struggles we have led so that we can chart a course for our future.
Don't be caught by surprise this year. Find out if any local groups are planning solidarity events next Friday, March 30th. If there is nothing, well maybe it's the time to roll up your sleeves and become an Accidental Activist and create one. I'll be in Portland, OR that day and will see what I can do to join mis herman@s to fight for justice.

The Arizona César Chávez Holiday Coalition is sponsoring several events featuring one of our strongest advocates - Dolores Huerta. There will be a movie screening on Friday evening and the annual Marcha at 9:00am on Saturday, March 31st beginning at Pueblo High School in Tucson. Click here for more information.

Time to step it up a notch.

Crossposted at My Left Wing

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