Saturday, March 30, 2019

Cesar Chavez Taught Us How

Duane Campbell and Cesar Chavez, 1972.
Cesar Chavez, the UFW, and Strategic Racism.
 On March 31, 2019,  Eleven states will hold holidays celebrating labor and Latino Leader Cesar Chavez. A new film Cesar Chavez:An American Hero, starring Michael Peña  as Cesar Chavez and Rosario Dawson  as Dolores Huerta opened  in cities across the country on April 4, 2014. 
Let us be clear.  Chavez was religious, but he was not a saint. Neither were the growers, their  Teamster collaborators, nor corporate agribusiness saints.  Celebrations should not be about hero worship or uncritical praise, nor  should we ignore the present oppression of farm workers in the U.S.  
What they did accomplish along with Philip Vera Cruz , Marshall Ganz, LeRoy Chatfield, Gil Padilla, Eliseo Medina and  hundreds of others was to   organize in California the first successful farm worker union against overwhelming odds. 
Each of the prior attempts to organize a  farm worker union  had been destroyed by racism and corporate power.Chavez, Huerta, Philip Vera Cruz, and the  others deliberately created a multiracial union; Mexican, Mexican American, Filipino, African-American, Dominican, Puerto Rican and Arab workers, among others, have been part of the UFW.  This cross racial organizing  was necessary in order to combat the  prior divisions and exploitations of workers based upon race and language. Dividing the workers on racial and  language lines, as well as immigration status  always left the corporations the winners.

The violent  assaults on the farmworkers and UFW from 1960- 1980  along with the current reconquest of power in the fields  by corporate agriculture are examples of strategic racism, that is a system of racial oppression created and enforced because it benefits the over class- in this case corporate agriculture and farm owners.  Strategic racism as described by Ian Haney López  in Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism & Wrecked the Middle Class( 2014) is the development and implementation of racial practices because they benefit a group or a class.  

Chávez chose to build a union that incorporated the strategies of social movements and community organizing.  They allied the union   with churches, students,  and organized labor.  The successful creation of the UFW changed the nature of labor organizing  in the Southwest  and contributed significantly to the growth of Latino politics in the U.S.

The UFW and Chavez and Huerta have always had severe critics from the Right and  from corporate agriculture. Dolores Huerta  has  been  banned from the history text books in Texas and Arizona as too radical and because she belonged to DSA.  Both also have critics from the left.  

Miriam Pawel in The Union of Their Dreams: Power, Hope, and Struggle in Cesar Chavez’s Farm Worker Movement(2009)  uses individualist, personality driven reporting to assert that Chavez himself organized “Witch hunts” to expel union staff who disagreed with his leadership.  See Steve Early’s essay  non Talking Union.  
What the ultra  left critics allege, 
Frank Bardacke’s Trampling Out the Vintage: Cesar Chavez and the Two Souls of the United Farm Workers.(2011), Verso. is the view of a well- informed observer  who worked in the lettuce fields near Salinas as is Lettuce Wars: Ten Years of  Work and Struggle in the Fields of California(2012)by Bruce Neuberger.  These books, along with Pawell’s have been reviewed in prior posts on Talking Union. 

Friday, March 29, 2019

Trump vuelve a amenazar con cerrar la frontera y acusa a México de no ev...

Border Tensions With Mexico Increase

Migrants Are Detained Under a Bridge in El Paso. What Happened?
People rest as they are held by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in an enclosed area beneath the Paso del Norte International Bridge in El Paso, Tex., on Friday.
People rest as they are held by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in an enclosed area beneath the Paso del Norte International Bridge in El Paso, Tex., on Friday. Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times 
The surge in Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States is straining facilities across the Southwest border, with Border Patrol processing facilities this week handling thousands of people in excess of the system’s capacity. President Trump threatened to close the border next week if Mexico did not halt “all illegal immigration” into the United States. 
El Paso, the Texas border city where the president held a rally in February calling for his wall with Mexico, is emerging as a flash point. Border Patrol agents in the city have begun holding migrant families in an area under a bridge, surrounded by fencing and razor wire. 
Photos of the conditions drew attention this week on social media and in news reports. Here’s a look at where the migrants came from, and how they came to be detained under the bridge. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Monday, March 25, 2019

Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Children of Immigrants

Part of Us: A Data-Driven Look at Children of Immigrants
Shedding light on the children of immigrants who are shaping this country’s future
March 14, 2019
Urban Institute
One out of every four children in the US has at least one immigrant parent. Most are US citizens and the majority have at least one parent who is a US citizen. These children are America’s children; the nation’s future is inextricably linked to theirs. Their ability to learn, grow, and thrive is a measure of what this country will become.
The characteristics and realities of children of immigrants and their families are far more diverse and complex than suggested by stereotypes in public debate. These nine charts aim to tell a more complete story of who these children are, dispelling myths and shedding light on the diversity of their experiences, characteristics, and backgrounds.
(read entire report)

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Fox & Friends Whines About our Sacramento Work

Fox Contributor: Comic Book For Undocumented Kids Incites ‘Lawlessness’

In fact, the pamphlet specifically tells children not to lie to authorities.

By Amy Russo

During a “Fox & Friends” segment Tuesday, contributor Jedediah Bila expressed outrage over a comic book designed to teach undocumented immigrant children how to respond if approached by Immigration and Customs Enforcementofficials.

On Monday, the Sacramento Immigration Coalition announced the publicationof “When ICE Comes Knocking,” which is set to be distributed around a handful of California counties to help inform immigrants of their rights

“What kind of message is this sending to kids, to everyone?” Bila asked, claiming “it helps kids avoid the feds and escape.”

In fact, the pamphlet, of which there is also an adult version, specifically tells children not to lie to authorities, and points out the importance of contacting an attorney and maintaining silence.

Former acting ICE director Tom Honan then called it a “sad day in America when they create a comic book that shows children how to protect your parents form law enforcement.”

“It’s asking for total lawlessness,” Bila falsely declared.

During a press conference unveiling the publication, the Sacramento group’s chair Janet Rodriguez said she was “really proud to see this moment come to fruition,” and urged the public to share the document.

Duane Campbell of the League of United Latin American Citizens LULAC, ( and Democratic Socialists of America) one of the project’s sponsors, has already distributed more than 1,000 copies.

“We take them to places like, English as a second language classes, we take them to classes at the university and tell them to please take it to your local church, take it to your local bar, take it to any place where migrants hang out,” he said.

Amy Russo   Huff

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Attacks in Columbia


Mothers and children from Corinto, Cauca pose for a picture taken by AfGJ delegates. 
by James Patrick Jordan
Our partners in Cauca, Colombia desperately need your help. I have just received word that a young man, Jhon Jairo Noscue was killed by gunmen while observing a soccer game in his village. Jhon Jairo was a member of the Guardia Campesina, a form of self-defense committee organized by rural villages. These committees help guard against incursions and assaults by right wing death squads and other armed gangs. He was killed in the Mira Valle village of the municipality of Corinto. Over the past two weeks, we have received word of the killings of 13 people by death squads in the sister towns of Corinto and Miranda. These crimes are part of ongoing political violence by paramilitaries, narco-traffickers, and the armed forces. 

Please send an email to Colombian authorities and international human rights monitors calling for an end to the violence and for President Duque to go to Cauca and meet with the minga. The situation is urgent - help us keep the pressure up!

I have visited Corinto and the north of Cauca several times since AfGJ's first delegation there in 2009, and we have maintained strong contacts in Cauca and the neighboring departments of Valle de Cauca, Nariño, Tolima, and Huila. This entire region has been heavily affected by social cleansing and by climbing murders of social movement leaders, human rights defenders, and disarmed ex-insurgents. This violence is at its highest in Cauca, and much of that has been concentrated in the north, in Corinto, Miranda, Caloto, Buenas Aires, the Naya region, and other nearby places. People are suffering there because of US policies, including funding, direction, and policies explicitly designed to undermine the peace accords. We owe a debt of solidarity, the need for which is desperate. Dreams of peace and justice are disappearing in a land where what peace there is seems to be that of the silence of the dead and of the houses abandoned by those no longer to stay. Last year there were 226 social movement leaders assassinated in Colombia, 48 in Cauca. There have been at least 423, some say as many as 500, since the beginning of 2016, when the peace accords were being finalized. Each year, the highest number of victims has been in Cauca. Cauca has Colombia's largest indigenous population. 
Indigenous and other rural communities there have called a minga, a series of grass roots consultations regarding the violence and displacement in the region. They are calling for President Iván Duque to come and meet with them and for the state take action to stop the bloodshed and repression. Above all, they want respect their land rights. Three quarters of crimes of political violence have to do with land questions. So far, the president has refused to meet with the minga. Instead, the demands of the minga have been answered with state violence. In the municipality of Cajibío, minga participants have been subjected to repeated attacks with tear gas, resulting in several wounded. Following these attacks, the military raided and set fire to a minga encampment.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Sacramento Community Groups Oppose ICE

(SACRAMENTO, CA, 3/18/19)Sacramento and Yolo county community-based organizations involved with immigration advocacy came together  Monday, March 18, to announce the release of two publications that will assist undocumented residents and their allies if they encounter ICE agents on the street, at home, at work or while incarcerated.

One publication contains information in the form of narrative stories, while the other illustrates the same points graphically in a comic book style.

To read the multipage documents in English and Spanish.

Defend California Sanctuary Law

Defend California Sanctuary law.
Event and Demonstration  March 13, in San Francisco.

Hello all! I had the pleasure of going to a rally in SF on March 13th, the day the courts were arguing about the “legality” of California’s Sanctuary State policy. Coalitions from up and down California organized to host an event outside of the courthouse from 8 am to 12 noon and myself and about 15 Fresno activists and community members took a bus to SF to join them!
This is video I took using a camcorder–dizzy alert—my hands were shaky, sorry about the shaky cam!! I had several hours of video, so I decided to cut it down a lot, since editing takes hours. This is part one, part two will take another couple of days to edit!
Here’s the link I posted on my Nahuatl Language Revival page I started in linguistics grad school, and which I repurposed for immigration rights in late 2018!
The musicians are amazing, but I didn’t record their names! The singer and guitarist at the end gave me a card with a coupon code for her music online, so if I find that I might get her name off of it and I will share it here in case you want to purchase her brilliant music!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

When ICE Comes Knocking

Press Conference for Release of “If ICE Comes Knocking” Publications
(SACRAMENTO, CA, 3/15/19) –Sacramento and Yolo county community-based organizations involved with immigration advocacy will come together Monday, March 18, to announce the release of two publications that will assist undocumented residents and their allies if they encounter ICE agents on the street, at home, at work or while incarcerated.

One publication contains information in the form of narrative stories, while the other illustrates the same points graphically in a comic book style.

WHAT: Press conference co-hosted by CAIR Sacramento Valley (CAIR-SV) and Sacramento Area Congregations Together (Sac ACT) to announce the release of “If ICE Comes Knocking” publications. Member organizations of the Sacramento Immigration Coalition will be speaking.
WHEN: 11 a.m. Monday, March 18, 2019 
WHERE: CAIR-SV’s office, 1122 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95815
MORE INFO: Joe Engle, MNA, marketing & publications consultant with N&R Publications,

Free copies of the narrative “What to do if ICE Comes Knocking” publication and the comic book version of “When ICE Comes Knocking” by the Independent Journalism Fund will be given out to organizations who are working with the immigrant community until supplies run out.

Venue for and refreshments at the event will be provided by the Independent Journalism Fund. Recognition and speaking time will be made available to The California Endowment as a primary sponsor. Other sponsors include League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and Communities for a New California

Friday, March 15, 2019

Children of the Undocumented Live in an Emotional Prison

Tomasa Mendes, two years old, whose father, Hector Mendez, one of 361 workers at the Michael Bianco New Bdeford, Mass. plant, which made backpacks for the U.S. Army, was detained by ICE, March 6, 2007., Photo by Peter Pereira with the New Bedford Standard Times // Voices4Kids
Most ninth-grade children say goodbye to their parents in the morning without a second thought, knowing they’ll see them again when they get home. Not Carlos.*
Each day, Carlos says goodbye to his parents and wonders if, by the time he gets home, immigration officials will have ransacked his home and taken his parents away. Perhaps that casual goodbye will be the last words they ever say to each other in person. This is the plight of many children who have undocumented immigrants as parents.
As a 14-year-old boy growing up in New Jersey, Carlos appears to be a lot like his peers — he likes baseball, is well-liked by his classmates, and excels at schoolwork. But unlike many of his peers, his parents’ immigration status has shrouded him in uncertainty. He worries about them constantly, to the point where it interrupts his sleep, interferes with social activities, and causes him to isolate himself.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), officers arrest an undocumented Mexican immigrant in New York City.
John Moore / Getty Images  //  BuzzFeed.News

Extensive news coverage of migrants trying to cross the southern border has given most people a clear understanding of the extreme stress and anxiety a child feels when detained in a foreign country, separated from his or her caregiver.
What is less understood is the anxiety experienced by children like Carlos, a US-born child of undocumented parents. These children are American citizens. But one or both parents, who are undocumented, are living under the constant threat of deportation.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Mexico (AMLO) rejects U.S. plan to extend "Stay in Mexico" policy

Mexico rejects US plan to extend ‘stay in Mexico’ policy for asylum seekers

But it continues to accept returning migrants 'for humanitarian reasons' 

The federal government has rejected the United States’ announcement that it will return asylum-seeking migrants to Mexico to await their immigration court hearings via a second border crossing.
The United States plan, formally called the Migrant Protection Protocols but initially dubbed “Remain in Mexico,” began earlier this year at the San Ysidro border crossing between Tijuana and San Diego, and will now extend to the crossing between Mexicali and Calexico, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials said Monday.
The Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (SRE) said yesterday that “the Mexican government doesn’t agree with this unilateral measure implemented by the United States authorities.”

Border Shutdowns and Violence

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Dream and Promise Act of 2019

Dream and Promise Act Provides a Needed Solution for Immigrant Families

Washington, D.C., March 12, 2019—More than two million people with long-term roots in the United States who are key supports to their families and communities are one step closer to a clear, attainable path to citizenship thanks to today’s introduction of the Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6) in the House of Representatives by Members Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), and Yvette Clark (D-NY). The bill addresses the crisis faced by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) beneficiaries and immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) as a result of the Trump Administration’s actions.

The bill provides a permanent solution for immigrants whose lives have been turned upside down by the Trump Administration’s reckless decision to terminate protected status for more than 800,000 DACA young adults and more than 400,000 people with TPS or DED. It comes at a critical time as DACA, TPS, and DED beneficiaries are caught in limbo while the federal court system grapples with the future of their protections. (see full article)

Friday, March 08, 2019

Dolores Huerta Opening Day - Sacramento

Dolores Huerta will be speaking at the California Museum tomorrow morning at the grand opening of the Smithsonian Dolores Huerta traveling exhibit. Here are two links - one regarding tickets for tomorrow, and the other is a youtube link where you can watch her speak live via telecast. My social studies methods students are being required to visit this exhibit at the California Museum (I am on the CA Museum Learning Advisory Board so I am also attaching the Smithsonian Dolores Huerta Community Guide that was provided to me). - Maggie

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Apprehensions at the Border

Number of the week: 76,000

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection | By The New York Times