Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Solidarity With All Immigrants


Solidarity with all immigrants

Published Apr 25, 2010 7:41 PM

It is now of utmost priority for all class-conscious workers to show solidarity with immigrants, documented and undocumented.

The Arizona State Legislature has passed an anti-immigrant law that surpasses all past ones in viciousness — the most repressive action since the 1920s Palmer raids and the 1940s internment of Japanese-origin people. Few immigration laws could be more destructive of class solidarity than Arizona’s.

Gov. Jane Brewer’s signature will now turn Arizona from the Grand Canyon state to the state of totalitarian intolerance and xenophobia. Arizona was already headed there, with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio ready to take his place in the Pantheon of world-class villains, alongside Sheriff Bull Connor of Birmingham, Ala., infamy. Connor turned attack dogs on Civil Rights demonstrators. Both are criminals in uniform.

This Arizona about-to-be-law is reason enough to awaken a call for solidarity among all U.S. workers. But the actions of the federal government have taken it even further. Helicopters whirring overhead, some 800 masked agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the FBI and other misnamed Homeland Security, some armed with assault rifles, launched a military operation against Latino/a and Indigenous neighborhoods in Tucson, Phoenix and Nogales.

Arizona is re-enacting the Nazi days of Hitler’s Third Reich. Arpaio supplies the know-nothing Storm Troopers. The feds supply the professional Gestapo. By wearing masks to hide individual cops, the federal officials tore the mask away from U.S. imperialism’s steel-toothed apparatus of state power. Like the Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib and Bagram prisons, like the leaked videos from Iraq and the civilian slaughter in Afghanistan, the raids in Tucson show the real face of the U.S. ruling class.

They also make this year’s May Day demonstration of vital importance. The marches will be the immigrant community’s show of strength. They will also be an opportunity. All workers in the U.S. — especially those who don’t need to fear the immigration Gestapo — can and must show the strongest solidarity. Above all this must be solidarity to stop the raids. And it must be solidarity to win legalization for all workers in the U.S. and reinforce the unity and solidarity among all workers.

Unity, unity, unity

Legalization of all workers was the demand of the grassroots immigrants at the huge rally in Washington on March 21. This demand is just and right for undocumented workers. Winning it would strengthen the hand of the entire working class in this country against the rapacious capitalist class that is attacking workers’ rights and income every day in every way. Workers World newspaper supports the demand for legalization 100 percent.

Thus we are opponents of the “immigration reform” promoted by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and supported by President Barack Obama. This “reform” is completely inadequate for winning the legalization that immigrant workers want and need. On top of this, it imposes oppressive biometric identification procedures on all workers.

Nevertheless, we applaud the decision of the immigration coalitions in Los Angeles to hold a united May Day march even while they may hold different positions on this question. Unity in action strengthens solidarity within the immigrant community. It also makes it possible for non-immigrant workers to demonstrate solidarity without backing one march over another. The different leaderships can argue their respective positions while marching together. This should happen in every city where May Day is celebrated.

In New York, the May 1 Coalition, led by immigrant workers and some others, is calling an action in Union Square on May Day for the fifth consecutive year, demanding legalization. Another group from some of the trade unions is calling its first action further downtown, demanding reform. The initiative of these trade unionists, with the announced goal of revitalizing May Day as a workers’ holiday, would be completely progressive — if it did not counterpose itself to the May 1 Coalition march.

By calling a separate rally and march, the second group unnecessarily risks dividing the working class. We hope its leadership will make use of the remaining 10 days until May Day to find a way to agree on a united action that all progressive and class-conscious workers in the city will want to join. Solidarity and unity are both important this May Day.
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