Something New for May Day 2006
“First American National Strike” for Immigrant Workers Rights
The following report, edited for style purposes by Labor Standard, was posted on the Internet on March 30, 2006. It is
followed by a statement issued by the March 25 Coalition (
Strike to support undocumented people’s legalization
During a press conference, the
leaders of the main Hispanic organizations stated that the
While presenting their mobilization program, the activists announced that next April 8 there will be a great assembly of the organizations that represent all the immigrants, in order to call for the “No-Latinos National Day.”
They stated that the strike is scheduled for May 1 and it is called the First American National Strike. This will not be exclusive, since they will make a call [to all kinds] of organizations.
Having that in mind, they said
that a delegation will travel to
They stated that the strike, which they also consider a boycott, “will be cheap; workers will not leave their homes, children will not go to school, and there will not be consumption from certain companies that will be known, but they will only be those that have damaged undocumented workers.”
Raul Murillo, director of the
National Mexican Brotherhood in
“The march that succeeded in
bringing some one million people together in
Murillo took part in the press
conference, held at one of the
Also taking part in the press conference were Juan José Gutiérrez, director of the USA Latino Movement; Gloria Saucedo, from the National Mexican Brotherhood in San Fernando Valley; the March 25 Coalition’s spokesman, Javier Rodriguez; and Hispanic radio station host Ricardo Sanchez, one of the march’s promoters.
Sanchez stated that “during this achievement, no one looked for special recognition or individual publicity. We all assumed our responsibility and supported the march from the beginning, and we were inviting people every day.”
On the other hand, Gutiérrez stated that although some changes may be seen in the Senate and that the HR 4437 Sensenbrenner initiative is apparently mortally wounded, “this movement will not stop until we reach legalization, respect, and recognition for the immigrants who work in this country.”
The U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee approved a wide initiative for an immigration reform, which includes [complex arrangements for possible] legalization of some 11 million undocumented immigrants [over a number of years].
The initiative, which was sent to the Senate to be discussed, also makes provisions for the legalization of 1.5 million agriculture workers in five years, a temporary workers plan for the future arrival of some 400,000 immigrants a year, and the Dream Act, which grants special college support for the children of undocumented people.
Also, the Senate Judiciary
Committee dismissed a controversial proposal that would criminalize all undocumented
people in the
Congressional procedures require whatever version is finally approved in the Senate to then be reconciled [somehow, but how?] with James Sensenbrenner’s proposal, which was passed by the House of Representatives last December and which does criminalize undocumented immigrants and anyone who aids them.
WE CALL FOR AMNESTY AND FULL LEGALIZATION
The following statement was issued by the March 25 Coalition, which sponsored the historic march for immigrants’ rights in
The massive March 25 demonstration in
On the lips of every marcher, representing millions more, was the demand for equality and the rights that all working people should enjoy. Those rights cannot be realized with anything less than a comprehensive, all-encompassing process of full legalization for all immigrants.
The schemes being debated in Congress only aim to either criminalize the undocumented, and by extension all immigrants, or to provide an extremely limited possibility for undocumented workers to be able to live, work, and remain in the country they have adopted as their own.
The immigrants’ rights movement cannot be satisfied to accept “guest worker” or other repressive schemes from Congress or Bush. Some say that amnesty and legalization are not realistic, and that it is even dangerous to raise the demand for full equality. The lessons of history in the
Let us remember the 1955–56 boycott in
Today this new Civil Rights and workers’ rights movement demands amnesty, legalization, and full equality.