Saturday, March 15, 2008

TODAY Saturday March 15 at Left Forum

NOTE: The Politics of Immigration authors Jane Guskin and David Wilson will be available to sign copies of their book at the Monthly Review table at the Left Forum today from 1pm-2pm.

NYC, March 15: Panel Analyzes Immigrant Rights Movement

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants took to the streets on May 1, 2006, in one of the largest nationwide protests in US history. This show of force by the immigrant rights movement came as a complete surprise to many political analysts--who seemed no less surprised when the protesters then appeared to go back into the shadows.

The dynamics and future of this important but little-understood movement will be the topic of a panel discussion at the Left Forum 2008 conference in New York City on March 15. The panelists are experienced grassroots organizers active in New York-area groups that work with immigrants and their families in community and labor struggles. One panelist, a longtime local organizer who fled his native Chile to escape the Pinochet regime, is now fighting the US government's efforts to deport him.

The panel is sponsored by the independent radical magazine Monthly Review ( and was organized by Jane Guskin and David Wilson, the authors of The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers, published by Monthly Review Press last year. Guskin and Wilson have facilitated a number of dialogues around the country since the book came out, addressing people's concerns and questions about the current wave of immigration.

"We want to focus on what activists can do to support immigrant community organizing, and what we can all do to start to chip away at anti-immigrant attitudes," says Guskin, who will be on the panel.

Left Forum ( hosts the largest annual conference of the international and US Left in North America, with nearly 2,000 participants in 2007. Speakers at this year's conference, entitled "Cracks in the Edifice," will include Naomi Klein, Grace Lee Boggs, Tariq Ali, Staughton Lynd and many others.

WHAT: Panel Discussion, "The Battle for Immigrant Rights: From Dialogue to Action"
WHEN: Saturday, March 15, 2008, 3-5 pm
WHERE: Cooper Union, 7 East Seventh Street (at Third Avenue, room to be announced)
- Aarti Shahani, co-founder, Families for Freedom (a multiethnic organization of families fighting deportation,
- Ana Maria Archila, co-executive director, Make the Road NY, a grassroots group organizing immigrant communities in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island (
- Victor Toro, a founder of Chile's MIR, now an activist for the human rights of immigrants who has lived in New York for 25 years; founder of Vamos a la Peña del Bronx (, currently fighting his own deportation order; his case is rescheduled for August 15, 2008.
- Jane Guskin, co-author of The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers (published July 2007 by Monthly Review Press,

Moderator: Adriana Rocha, program officer, New York Foundation (

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