The following speech was given by Risa Cantu C'DeBaca, and organizer with ANSWER Syracuse, at May Day 2012.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Risa Cantu C’DeBaca. I am an SU student, a worker and educator, and a local activist—speaking on behalf of the Syracuse ANSWER Coalition.
It’s great to see such a lively, passionate crowd of people coming together in Syracuse for May Day and in solidarity with workers all around the world. I just have a few words to share with ya’ll about why workers and activists must work together to fight in the anti-racist struggle.
The U.S capitalist system was built on the backs of all workers of the 99%, but it is essential to understand how people of color and immigrants have been exploited to the highest degree in this age of mass incarceration or modern-day slavery, extreme racial profiling, and anti-immigrant rhetoric.
Por ejemplo (for example)…
The Obama administration has deported more immigrants than any other U.S. President! Why criminalize people who contribute so much to this country—workers who contribute so much to this country—while Wall Street and transnational corporations that control our government are the real root of the problem?
Although our white brothers and sisters experience being exploited in the workplace, police brutality, and face discrimination for their gender and/or sexuality…black and brown bodies are constantly hyper-surveillanced, instantly criminalized, and are disproportionately affected by the violent, racist, police state we live in!
It is an injustice that workers are discouraged to speak out against low wages, abuse, and layoffs—that they are discouraged from even organizing. Whether it be organizing in unions or just simply organizing. It’s time for us to take the streets and make demands because as workers we truly hold the power to make real changes!
¡Otro mundo es possible! Another world is possible!