Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Si, Se Puede!

A Reuters report gives a surprising sympathetic slant on the May Day actions in the US:
Factories closed, day labour jobs went begging, children skipped school and cargo was left on docks in what the organisers called "A Day without Immigrants."

The largely Latino crowds chanted "Si, se puede!" or "Yes, we can!" and banged drums while waving mostly American flags.

Rallies stretched from the lettuce fields of central California to the streets of Los Angeles and Chicago. [...]

"The volume of the demonstrations, the number of people who have turned out in different US cities, it's a national issue." [...]

Recent polls show only 30 per cent Americans advocate tougher laws for illegals, while the majority, like President George W Bush, wants a guest worker programme combined with better enforcement. [...]

"They're going to degrade my citizenship for helping somebody out, or just riding in a car with them?" said Wences Martinez, 30, born in Chicago of illegal immigrants. "It's like the British before the Revolutionary War."

Immigrants flex economic muscle in US
For those unaware, most of the incentive to protest revolves around US House of Representative's Bill H.R. 4437. It was passed on on December 16, 2005 by a vote of 239 to 182. Wikipedia as usual has a good summary of H.R. 4437, a bit of which is below:
  • Requires up to 700 miles (1120 km) of fence along the US-Mexican border at points with the highest number of immigrant illegal crossings. (House Amendment 648, authored by Duncan Hunter (R-CA52)
  • Requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to report to Congress on the number of OTMs (Other Than Mexicans) and conversely the number of Mexicans apprehended and deported. (Section 401)
The bill includes measures that will infringe on the human rights of asylum seekers by stripping important due process protections, it redefines illegal immigrants as felons, and punish anyone guilty of providing them assistance, including humanitarian workers, public schoolteachers, and church workers.

So I say "Si, Se Puede!" - yes we can stop more fascism from spreading in our country and rip up the roots of fascism which are already planted, both in our nation and in our own hearts.

Yes We Can! - take an internationalist perspective and understand that nationalistic chauvinism combined with fear is what drives racist and anti-human laws.

Si, Se Puede! - understand that another world is possible, one in which we can all live and work together with harmony, justice and dignity.

Yes We Can!

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