Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Resistance Continues: A Hunger Strike, a Caravan, and Plans for a National May 1 Action

Immigrant and labor organizers are hoping to mobilize a nationwide strike for immigrant rights on May 1 comparable to the massive “Day Without an Immigrant” on May 1, 2006, the largest national labor action in U.S. history. Clearly the “Day Without an Immigrant” in February of this year was much smaller than the 2006 mobilization, but organizers are hoping to bolster turnout with support from workers’ centers and union locals in the service sector. Meanwhile, local resistance goes on, including a new hunger strike at a detention center in Tacoma, Washington, and a “Caravan Against Fear” in California.—TPOI editor

On May 1, the US May See the Biggest Immigrant Strike Since 2006

By Adriana Cataño, Remezcla
April 7, 2017
On May 1 – a day known for labor organizing around the world – as many as an estimated 400,000 won’t show up to work across the United States. Immigrants’ rights groups, labor unions, and workers organizations are gearing up for what may become the biggest immigrant strike the country has seen in more than 10 years. Unlike other strikes, this one isn’t a protest against their employers. With the ongoing resistance to President Donald Trump, organized labor has taken the reins in order to show the current administration that the groups it’s vilifying and adversely affecting with its policies form the backbone of the US, according to Mic.

“The president is attacking our community,” Tomas Mejía, a member of the Service Employees International Union West’s executive board, told Labor Notes. “Immigrants have helped form this country, we’ve contributed to its beauty, but the president is attacking us as criminal.”

Earlier this year, immigrants staged a nationwide  Day Without Immigrants strike. But, unlike the May 1 strike – which already had 350,000 service workers vowing to join the protest by mid-March – the Day Without Immigrants strike came together in a shorter amount of time. And now, workers will take it to the next level.[...]

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For-Profit ICE Jail Faces Second Hunger Strike in Two Years

By Sam Knight, The District Sentinel
April 14, 2017
A hunger strike at a privately-run immigration detention facility in Tacoma, Washington entered its third day on Thursday.

More than 750 people are participating, according to supporters holding a demonstration at noon on Wednesday, in front of the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC). The rally is being held, in part, to see if the hunger strike will continue.

Prisoners began refusing meals at lunchtime on Monday, in protest over conditions at the privately-run prison. Specifically, they want speedier hearings, improved food and healthcare access, and lower prices at the prison's store.[...]

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Fighting Fear, Hundreds Join Border Caravan for Migrant Rights

By Laura Carlsen, Counterpunch
April 14, 2017
The Federal Building looms overhead like a threat as the protesters gather. Washington policies have brought them here to Sacramento, to push the state government to protect its citizens and communities from the anti-immigrant orders of the 45th president.

Union members, migrants, government officials and grassroots organizers—the categories often overlap—chant and march before stepping up to the mike to tell their stories and make their promises. Matching t-shirts read “Caravan Against Fear” with dates in April and a graphic of a child, her arms spread in a welcoming gesture, her face turned upward in hope.

It’s the launch of an unusual caravan for unusual times. One sign reads “Somos el pueblo. Respeta nuestra humanidad”—We are the people. Respect our humanity. Since when do the residents of an advanced democracy have to plead for respect for their humanity?

Apparently, since the election of Donald Trump.[...]

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