Mobilize for Immigrant Rights
on May 17 in Washington DC
Wednesday, May 17
National Mall at 14th St.
On Thursday, May 11 at a unity press conference in Washington DC, leaders of the International May 1 Coalition, the National Capital Immigration Coalition, the March 25 Coalition, Centros Sin Fronteras, the National Lawyers Guild and the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation announced that they would work together to promote a large scale mobilization for immigrant rights on Wednesday, May 17 on the Mall in Washington DC.
The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition has been active in the efforts of the International May 1 Coalition to build solidarity amongst all sectors of the U.S. population to support full legal rights for undocumented workers. The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition has passed out hundreds of thousands of leaflets in support of the May 1 Great American Boycott and has organized people to join in mass demonstrations in cities throughout the United States. Since its creation in September 2001, the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition has connected the issue of Bush’s militarist foreign policy with its equally reactionary domestic policy that has stimulated racism, xenophobia and repression against immigrant communities.
Tomorrow night, George W. Bush, with his approval rating at an all-time low (29 percent according to a Friday poll released by the Wall Street Journal), will take to the national airwaves and announce his plans to militarize the U.S.-Mexican border. All sectors of society must reject the demonization and criminalization of immigrant communities and demand full legalization and full equality for all working people in the United States.
Undocumented workers, having been driven from their homeland by the U.S. government’s so-called “free trade” policy, are being scapegoated. This is a trick. It is the old style divide-and-conquer tactic employed once again by the rich and powerful. At a time when millions of workers in the United States are losing their pensions and healthcare benefits, and watching their wages being slashed, there is a full scale campaign to blame low paid immigrant workers. Meanwhile, the 400 richest people in the United States, 374 of whom are billionaires, have a combined wealth of $1.1 trillion, larger than the gross domestic product of Canada and Spain, the 8th and 9th largest economies in world. While the U.S. government has worked hand in glove with the corporate and banking elites as they amass greater and greater fortunes, the same government is seeking to divert the anger of working people into a reactionary and racist anti-immigrant hysteria.
This is a critical moment. It is only the action of the people that can push back racism and win important concessions. Comprehensive immigration reform, which gives full legalization to undocumented workers and families, is an imperative. The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition urges everyone to mobilize for the May 17 march in Washington, or to participate in May 17 activities that may be taking place in cities outside of Washington.
The press conference announcing the May 17th activity:
From left to right, Jaime Contreras, National Capital Immigration Coalition; Mahdi Bray, Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation; Emma Lozano, Centros Sin Fronteras; Juan Carlos Ruiz, National Capital Immigration Coalition; Juan Jose Gutierrez, Latino Movement USA and International May 1 Coalition; Jesse Diaz, March 25 Coalition; Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, National Lawyers Guild and Partnership for Civil Justice.
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