Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tens of Thousands March against Arizona Law

May 29, 2010

Foes and Supporters of New Immigration Law Gather in Arizona

PHOENIX — Two sides of the immigration debate converged here Saturday, a throng of several thousand marching for five miles opposed to Arizona’s new immigration law and another large gathering expected at a nearby stadium this evening in support of it.
Organizers said the timing was coincidental, with both sides taking advantage of a holiday weekend to bring out the masses. But the gatherings promised to encapsulate in a single day the passions surrounding the national immigration debate recharged by the new law, which will expand the state’s role in immigration enforcement.
Banging drums, blowing whistles and carrying placards denouncing the new law — “Do I Look illegal?” many of them said — the largely peaceful march opposed to the law was one of the largest since Gov. Jan Brewer signed it April 23 and brought thousands of people to the capitol plaza.
“It’s going to get ugly here in Arizona,” said Irasema Carranza, 24, a United States citizen married to an illegal immigrant who has been told he has to wait 10 years for legal papers. She marched with him and their young daughter.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Arizona boycott

Arizona: A Critical Resistance Boycott
By Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez

The first rule of any boycott is to keep your eyes on the prize; translated, this means never lose sight of the big picture.

RUSHING TOWARDS APARTHEID: Arizona is speeding towards an apartheid state. Some of this rush has to do with repressive laws (including the legalization of racial profiling and the elimination of ethnic studies) that have been recently signed by the governor. Truthfully, however, this move pre-exists the recent legislation and much of the repression against the Mexican community here is also historical in nature and it is actually nationwide.

On the surface, it is about migration issues. Yet if we probe a little deeper, it’s about the Browning of Arizona. Probe some more and you will see that much of the hate has little to do with peoples’ legal status. That’s where English-Only and the new anti-ethnic studies law comes in. It is not simply about our physical presence (red-brown), but about our culture – which is thousands of years old and Indigenous to this continent. In this sense, it is beyond physical removal and even beyond thought-control; this is about our souls (they can’t have them).

THE PRINCIPAL TARGETS: Mexicans-Central Americans in this country are the primary targets. Also generally targeted are Indigenous red-brown peoples from the United States, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Tragically, in the end, as state and federal governments defend themselves against racial profiling charges, they will move toward a checkpoint society in which officials will demand documentation of everyone in the country, of all ages and at all times.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

LACLAA- Join the demonstration in Phoenix


PHOENIXAZ- In response to Arizona's new immigration law, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) is assembling their leadership, members and allies from across the country for a town hall in PhoenixArizona.  Diverse and passionate community leaders will convene to discuss strategic plans of action against this unconstitutional law.  Opposing SB 1070 is the beginning of an ongoing LCLAA campaign that will provide communities throughout the U.S. with the tools necessary to challenge other states who consider adopting similar legislation.  
·         Milton Rosado, President, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)
·         James McLaughlin, President, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) local 99
·         Claudine Karasik, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)
·         Brent Wilkes, Executive Director, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
·         Pablo Alvarado, National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON)
·         Francisco Heredia, Mi Familia Vota
·         Elisa de la Barra, District Director, Congressman Ed Pastor (AZ-4th)
·         Local and national leaders and representatives from the Laborers’ International Union of America (LIUNA) and the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)

Town Hall Meeting on the Arizona SB1070

Friday, May 28th at 6:00 p.m.

2401 North Central Ave.
PhoenixAZ 85004

Note: National and local leaders will be available for English and Spanish language media interviews following the town hall.

The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) is a national organization representing the interests of approximately 2 million Latino/a trade unionist throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. LCLAA provides a voice for Latino working families nationally. In this effort LCLAA works in coalition with other leading Hispanic organizations to maximize support for economic and social policies that are essential to advancing the interests of Hispanics. Visit for more information.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Arizona- National protest


The Mexican American Political Association (MAPA) and the Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamericana join the call made by the National Day Labor Organizing Network (NDLON), Puente, and Tonatierra, and the National Latino Congreso to converge and march on the capitol of Arizona in Phoenix on May 29th to demand the repeal of SB1070. We agree with NDLON, Tonatierra, and the Coalicion de Derechos Humanos, the main organizations organizing and coordinating the resistance in Arizona, that we cannot stop until the law is repealed. There are many ways to contribute to the fight. If you cannot join the bus caravan to Arizona for the May 29th march and rally, look up the websites of NDLON, Tonatierra, and Coalicion de Derechos Humanos and make a monetary contribution to their efforts. These are organizations that are on the ground and have been in Arizona for a good number of years. They are leading the people on the ground. They are giving backbone to the good legislators and other political leaders who have spoken out against SB1070.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Arizona graduation speech- Immigration : Sandra Soto

There are now 6,500 comments on this speech on Huffington Post.

Arizona Graduation Speech Criticizing Immigration Laws Elicits Boos, Jeers

First Posted: 05-24-10 09:15 AM   |   Updated: 05-24-10 09:20 AM
University of Arizona associate professor Sandra Soto has come under intense criticism for addressing Arizona immigration laws in her graduation speech last week.
In her address to the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (video and full text below), she called up on the class of 2010 to use their critical thinking skills to solve the state's problems and openly voiced her disapproval for Arizona's newly passed immigration laws. Her reasoning, she said, was in part because her field of scholarship, Chicano studies, was "under attack in [the] legislation."

"My work is in Chicana cultural studies, so it's my obligation, if I am going to be up on a stage, I feel it is my absolute responsibility to address these issues."

It is my great pleasure and honor to be among the first to congratulate you on completing your studies at the University of Arizona, the flagship institution of our state, and -- I can say with utmost confidence -- the university with the most Facebook fans in the state.
Congratulations as well to those family members and friends who have supported and encouraged our students through the process. Graduates, I applaud you for showing up day after day, semester after semester, for opening your hearts and minds to multiple ways of seeing, representing, and analyzing the world. For some of you, a Bachelor's degree has turned out to be not enough schooling and so you are headed off to graduate school, medical school and law school. A handful of you are here today because you have finally reached the terrific milestone of completing a doctorate. But most of you are here to celebrate the momentous conclusion of your undergraduate studies.
If you entered college immediately after finishing high school, you have been a student for at least the last 17 consecutive years. 17 years. Now you will try your hand at making a life outside of the context of classes, teachers, required reading, libraries, flip-flops, office hours, deadlines, and all-nighters. That you are about to undergo a major and exciting life transition may not have fully sunk in yet. I'm guessing that you have been too busy attending to the details and whirlwind of the end of your last semester: your examinations and essay writing, your celebrating and packing. But in the upcoming months you are likely to experience a range of emotions from euphoria over what you might perceive as newfound freedom to a great sense of loss as you realize that college life simply cannot be replicated.
When finding yourself nostalgic for this stage of your life, can you remember that though you are no longer a student, you are taking your college experiences with you everywhere you go. Whichever route you take from here, it is absolutely essential that you honor and not take for granted your diplomas. Too many people in this country will never in their lifetime have the "privilege" to set foot on a research-one campus, much less hang a framed diploma on their wall. You may not have always appreciated those five-page essay assignments in which you were required to analyze and interpret a social problem or a poem or a political speech. But I hope that among the dozen or so of those essays you wrote for us, the process of brainstorming, outlining, discussing, writing, and revising at least one or two essays made you feel alive, interested, engaged, heard, smart, maybe even brilliant. Now that you won't be receiving grades and regular feedback from professors, it is crucial that you own your knowledge, that you deeply believe in yourselves as thinkers, and that you continue to hone your critical skills by being avid and sharp readers, by discussing social issues with your friends, co-workers, and family. The United Negro College Fund created a spot-on slogan when 40 years ago they said simply "A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Human Rights in Cuba and Honduras :2010

Human Rights in Cuba and Honduras, 2010: The Spring of Discontent

by John M. Kirk, Dalhousie University*
and Emily J. Kirk, Cambridge University*

May 19, 2010 Cuba-L Analysis (Albuquerque)

The spring of 2010 has witnessed a plethora of articles
in mainstream US media on the human rights situation in
Cuba, largely surrounding three issues-the hunger
strike (and eventual death) of Orlando Zapata Tamayo,
that of Guillermo Fariñas (still alive at the time of
writing), and a series of demonstrations by opponents
of the government (and family members of prisoners)
known as the Ladies in White.

The facts are clear in all cases.  Zapata died on
February 23 after 85 days of a hunger strike-the first
Cuban to perish in this manner in almost 40 years.  The
following day Fariñas started his own strike at his
home, and has been hospitalized since March 11,
demanding the release of 26 allegedly ill political
prisoners.  The Ladies in White are a group that was
formed in 2003 to protest the imprisonment of 75
opposition figures and sentenced to lengthy terms.
Some 53 of that number remain in prison.  The women
have been leading demonstrations for 7 years, marching
on Sundays down Fifth Avenue in the Miramar district of
Havana.  In early April, however, they were confronted
by large pro-government demonstrations, and security
forces intervened to protect them.

For three Sundays in a row these confrontations
continued until Cardinal Jaime Ortega negotiated with
government officials, with the result that the Ladies
were allowed to march wherever they wanted, and without
official permission to stage a demonstration (normally
required by Cuban law).  What was negotiated was a
return to the status quo ante that had existed prior to
the first week of December 2009.  On May 2 a dozen
Women in White renewed their traditional march. [1]

Schools or prisons?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How to win the Arizona boycott

How to Win the Arizona Boycott

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

California- other states- avoid Arizona law

From; Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — New Mexico's governor says it is a step backward. Texas isn't touching it. And California? Never again.
Arizona's sweeping new law empowering police to question and arrest anyone they suspect is in the U.S. illegally is finding little support in the other states along the Mexican border.
Among the reasons given: California, New Mexico and Texas have long-established, politically powerful Hispanic communities; they have deeper cultural ties to Mexico that influence their attitudes toward immigrants; and they have little appetite for a polarizing battle over immigration like one that played out in California in the 1990s.
But perhaps the biggest reason of all is that the illegal flow of people across the border is seen as a more acute problem, and a more dangerous one, in Arizona.
In the 1990s, the U.S. government added fences, stadium lights and more agents to the border in Southern California and Texas, forcing a shift in the flow of illegal immigrants that has now turned Arizona into the single biggest gateway for people sneaking into the country from Mexico. The influx has led to a sharp increase in kidnappings, home invasions and other violence tied to drugs and human smuggling.
Arizona's population of illegal immigrants has increased fivefold since 1990 to around 500,000. The Tucson region replaced San Diego as the top place for Border Patrol arrests in 1998 and accounts for nearly half the total. And Phoenix has been dubbed the kidnapping capital of the U.S., with an average of one abduction per day in recent years.
The other border states have older, larger and more culturally entrenched and politically connected Hispanic populations.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Come to Arizona to Protest


As a group of educators, students, workers, organizers and immigration activists who live in Arizona, we are fighting against SB 1070 daily. Because we are at the epicenter of the anti-immigrant movement, we invite organizers and activists from throughout the country to join us in our actions and protests in Arizona. (Good News: The Tucson City Council voted yesterday 5-1 to sue the state of Arizona over SB 1070. Flagstaff also voted to sue the state. Earlier, the Pima Sheriff has also elected not to enforce SB 1070).

In Tucson, in addition to anti-immigrant hysteria, we are also involved in a relentless cultural war involving what can be taught in Arizona schools. Specifically, over the past few years, we have had to defend the validity of Tucson Unified School District’s highly successful Raza Studies program. Less than one week after the extremist state legislature passed a bill that encourages racial profiling, they also passed HB 2281 that calls for eliminating ethnic studies.

As a result of these two bills and others, communities throughout Arizona, led primarily by young students, have risen up in protest. Seemingly the entire country has risen up in solidarity with us. We are actually receiving support from around the world. U.S. Congressman Raul Grijalva has called for a nationwide and international economic boycott of the state of Arizona. This boycott is directed towards corporations, tourism, major economic activity in the state and the state government (The 2011 All-Star Game in Phoenix is one example of major events that are being boycotted). It calls on organizations to refrain from choosing Arizona as a convention or meeting site, etc.

Living in this battleground state compels us to stay and fight for our human and political rights. Yes, we are appalled by repressive legislation that condones immigrant bashing but we are not ashamed of the valor that we have seen in recent days especially by the youth in our middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities, and we do not intend to hide inside our homes.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Union janitors dismissed in San Francisco

Hundreds of Union Janitors Fired Under Pressure From Feds

Friday 07 May 2010

by: David Bacon, 

San Francisco, California - Federal immigration authorities
have pressured one of San Francisco's major building
service companies, ABM, into firing hundreds of its own
workers. Some 475 janitors have been told that unless they
can show legal immigration status, they will lose their
jobs in the near future.

ABM has been a union company for decades, and many of the
workers have been there for years. "They've been working in
the buildings downtown for 15, 20, some as many as 27
years," said Olga Miranda, president of Service Employees
Local 87. "They've built homes. They've provided for their
families. They've sent their kids to college. They're not
new workers. They didn't just get here a year ago."

Nevertheless, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
division of the Department of Homeland Security has told
ABM that they have flagged the personnel records of those
workers. Weeks ago, ICE agents sifted through Social
Security records and the I-9 immigration forms all workers
have to fill out when they apply for jobs. They then told
ABM that the company had to fire 475 workers who were
accused of lacking legal immigration status.

ABM is one of the largest building service companies in the
country, and it appears that union janitorial companies are
the targets of the Obama administration' s immigration
enforcement program. "Homeland Security is going after
employers that are union," Miranda charged. "They're going
after employers that give benefits and are paying above the

Last October, 1,200 janitors working for ABM were fired in
similar circumstances in Minneapolis. In November, over 100
janitors working for Seattle Building Maintenance lost
their jobs. Minneapolis janitors belong to SEIU Local 26,
Seattle janitors to Local 6 and San Francisco janitors to
Local 87.

President Obama said sanctions enforcement targets
employers "who are using illegal workers in order to drive
down wages - and oftentimes mistreat those workers." An ICE
Worksite Enforcement Advisory claimed, "unscrupulous
employers are likely to pay illegal workers substandard
wages or force them to endure intolerable working

Curing intolerable conditions by firing or deporting
workers who endure them doesn't help the workers or change
the conditions, however.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Arizona- a failed state and right wing politics

SB1070: Symbol of Arizona's Failed Economy and Right-Wing Politics

If other state leaders, even conservative ones from border states like Texas, are not rushing to copy SB1070, it's because whatever their partisan politics, they don't share the peculiar brand of pathological right-wing politics and the hollow economy that has left Arizona such a political and economic basket case.
Click for larger image online.
Other states have grappled with a range of programs to reform their economies and budgets during the current economic crisis.  That Arizona's claim to fame in this crisis is immigrant bashing in the form of SB1070 is symbolic of years, even decades of failed political and economic policies.  That Arizona politics has promoted low-wage jobs that have left state residents with falling individual incomes relative to the rest of the nation and conditions for the state's children that rank at the bottom of the nation.  Since the current economic recession began in December 2007, Arizona has lost 265,000 jobs, or 9.9 percent of the state's employment.  And with little else to offer the unemployed, scapegoating immigrants has become a substitute in Arizona for having a real solution to solving the economic needs of its residents.
Individual Incomes Fall Behind the Nation:  For decades, Arizona's average wages and income have been falling behind other states.  A University of Arizona business school study from 2005 noted that "over the long term, the real income of the average Arizonan has lagged behind the rest of the nation... Arizona slipped from 94 percent of the U.S. level in 1970 to 86 percent in 2003."  While the bubble economy in the state of the mid-decade gave a slight bump to individual incomes in the state, per capita income fell 4 percent from 2008 to 2009 after having been stagnant for the previous two years, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis recently reported.  Arizona was tied for fourth place with Idaho in having the highest drop in personal incomes per capita. Nationally, the decline last year was 2.6 percent.