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Immigrant Rights

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    Dispatch from Alabama: Organizing against HB 56 Ingrid Chapman February 16, 2012

    This is a message to friends, family and fellow organizers regarding the struggle in Alabama against the most extreme anti-immigrant law in the country, HB 56. The bill, titled the Hammon-Beason Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, was signed into law in June of 2011. Although it has received a lot less coverage, it is, by all accounts, even more draconian than Arizona’s SB 1070.

    I arrived in Alabama 2 days before HB 56 went into effect with the original plan of being here for 2 weeks. That turned into 3 months.  I have just returned for 6 more months to work with the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice I learned about the incredibly egregious law HB 56 and I listened to my heart, which told me to respond to the call for organizing support and to go to Alabama.  Now I am living in Alabama (AL), a place I never imagined myself. Every day is incredibly challenging, full of simultaneous heartbreak and inspiration and yet I am thankful to be here, working side by side with hundreds of incredible people. I believe that from this atrocity, a movement is being born that will impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, possibly millions.  I know many might not know the extent of both the crisis and the subsequent developing movement to confront it, so I want to update you and ask for your feedback and support in building a national movement against this vicious anti-immigration law.

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    “America, your 9/ our 24/7”*, Ten Years of Fighting State Violence Arab Resource and Organizing Center September 9, 2011

    Imagine one day, you oversleep your alarm clock by a few hours. You wake up, and the world is a different place. You leave your house and your neighbors look at you with suspicion. You walk down the street and racial slurs are shouted in your direction. Your sister is harassed at her workplace. Your brother, a lawful resident, is forced to give his fingerprints to immigration. Your cousins are made refugees in their homeland (again). Confused, you turn on the news and see two planes have hit the World Trade Center. Your world has changed forever.  

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    Day Laborer Organizing in the New Economy: Perspectives from the Latino Union of Chicago B. Loewe November 1, 2008

    When the economic ladder sinks, it’s the bottom rung that goes under first. As the rest of the country has recently begun worrying about job instability and uncertain benefits resulting from the economic crisis, those who have walked across deserts, ridden for days beneath the floor boards of buses, and those who have scrambled in the shadow economy to provide for themselves and their families are surely thinking, “Middle America, welcome to the rest of the world.”

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    Turning the Tide: Migrant Rights, Barrio Defense, and New Directions B. Loewe December 1, 2010

    These days people are scared. Whether it’s fear of big government or job loss, immigration raids or foreclosure, socialism or fascism, police violence or terrorist attacks, cap and trade or ecological collapse, one thing we all hold in common is an undeniable sense of insecurity.  Which direction the country goes to resolve these fears is largely up to us. Times of crisis hand us all with the responsibility to answer the question, “How shall we be together as a people?” One of the key sites for resolving that question is the migrant rights movement and the resolution of who is and who is not considered part of the body-politic.

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    Organizing with Love: Lessons from the New York Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Campaign Ai-jen Poo December 1, 2010

    Great organizing campaigns are like great love affairs. You begin to see life through a different lens. You change in unexpected ways. You lose sleep, but you also feel boundless energy. You develop new relationships and new interests. Your skin becomes more open to the world around you. Life feels different, and it’s almost like you’ve been reborn. And, most importantly, you begin to feel things that you previously couldn’t have even imagined are possible. 

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    A Lesson to Inherit: A "Back in the Day" Review of "Salt of the Earth" Carlos Perez de Alejo December 1, 2010


    Independent Productions, 1954

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    With Liberty and Justice for All? Jon Liss June 1, 2010

    The war against immigrants has just taken another turn for the worse with the passage of SB 1070 by the Arizona state legislature. This law is designed to criminalize undocumented immigrants, all who help them, and ultimately all who "look" like them! It is a continuation of a 20-year battle that will ultimately determine the future of the US. Winning full political and economic rights for 10 to 15 million immigrants will have an impact comparable to that of freed slaves and the rise of Black reconstruction in the 1860s and 1870s or to the formation of Roosevelt's New Deal coalition in the 1930s and 1940s.

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    Burning Too Few Illusions Mike Davis July 14, 2002

    The 1992 Los Angeles riot never happened. Forgive me—I am not trying to be clever. This is not a philosophical provocation in the mode of Jean Baudrillard’s notorious claim that the 1989 Gulf War was ‘impossible.’ Rather, it is a straightforward argument from the factual record: the 1992 riot, as visualized by most of the world, never happened.

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    Sweatshop On Wheels Subhash Kateel November 01, 2005

    On May 13, 1998 the city of New York came to a virtual standstill, at least the portion that could afford cab fare. On that historic day a group of workers fought back against the vindictive Giuliani administration in what would end up being the largest strike in New York City history. Over 24,000 NY yellowcab drivers, an impressive 98% of the active workforce, refused to drive a cab for 24 hours anywhere in the city in protest of a series of "public safety" measures meant to punish the mostly immigrant of color workers into submission.

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    The People United Worker’s Rights Organizing in New Orleans Jordan Flaherty July 7, 2006

    According to a powerful new report released today by the Advancement Project, the National Immigration Law Center and the New Orleans Workers Justice Coalition, Black and Latino workers in post-Katrina New Orleans have faced a shocking catalog of abuses, including wage theft, widespread and massive health and safety violations, racism and discrimination, law enforcement violence, and more.

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