08/22/2011 § Leave a comment
video on international student labor/community organizing at hershey’s factory in PA – staged a sit in this month, another angle on globalizations impact on domestic work. www.guestworkeralliance.org
01/04/2011 § Leave a comment
here’s the fundamental point. you can build walls and shoot hundreds of migrants a year (we do) who try to cross the border. but until we address the economic devastation that US wreaks on mexico and other poor countries, we will never stop immigration that circumvents the “legal” quota system. republicans and most democrats including obama spout this “we need to secure our borders first before passing the DREAM act or any other immigration reform” bullsh*t, which has gotten us nowhere except to militarize the border at exorbitant cost, and cause unneeded death and suffering of poor people.
i would ask you to think of undocumented immigrants, not as “illegals” (obviously) but as ECONOMIC REFUGEES. i start with the premise that most people would rather stay in their country with their families and communities. not trek across a border, endure dehydration and physical trial, get shot at by americans, risk your life, and get treated like sh*t in a country of wealth. why dont we examine NAFTA and the neoliberal policies we enforce on these countries that have made it impossible for farmers to survive because they now have to compete with american agribusiness, or because the US and IMF required their country to privatize water systems leaving people utterly desperate and assed out.
the debate in this country is so skewed and purposefully ignorant, sometimes there’s nothing to do but rant. this is a rant.
12/20/2010 § Leave a comment
[photo credit: ernesto arroyo FB: “Saw this piece on the way to my gig last night in Chinatown, took a shot with my cellphone cuz I figured it might not last the weekend before it gets covered… diggin’ it..”]
the DREAM Act was defeated in the senate on saturday. the senators who voted NO think they were making a politically expedient move. what they dont realize is that they’ve f*kked up. the courageous young people who have come out about their status has galvanized a new youth movement that’s really only begun. they’ve turned out a new cadre of pissed off young activists. and im sure that after the sting of betrayal fades, a deeper even more forceful movement burgeons.
09/22/2010 § Leave a comment
sen. dick durbin w. harry reid going off on the procedural defeat of DREAM Act today in the US senate. the campaign fell 4 votes short of the magical 60 needed to override republican filibuster. opponents included democratic senators lincoln and pryor and our boy republican scott brown.
despite the count, i consider the recent escalation a tactical victory. lets consider that a couple months ago, undocumented DREAM activists were shaking up DC, conducting congressional sit-ins in offices including that of harry reid. now, you have reid and durbin making this issue personal, and raising the profile of the DREAM act within national media (also tied up in a broader partisan narrative of ‘don’t ask don’t tell’s frustrating defeat). my only regret is the degree to which the proposal has been stripped down from 3 pathways towards documentation: military service, college, or public service, down to 2: military or college. the elimination of the public service provision alters the nature of the law towards a more institutionalized poverty draft. the college option is also less accessible without provisions to allow in-state tuition rates for undocumented students.
nonetheless, i trust and respect the immigrant youth leadership who have driven this campaign for years and who have put themselves on the line to bring resolution to an obvious injustice. and in fact i agree that the first step could be to carve out some pathways toward documentation for youth, with hopes of then expanding the frame. we can later look to state level campaigns for in-state tuition, and face the inevitable and highly charged fight for federal comprehensive immigration reform. while that broader debate is repressed until after elections and into 2011, the DREAM act should still be realized through its vote (and passage) as a stand alone bill.
09/18/2010 § 2 Comments
know about the DREAM Act! i did some work on this bill back in college, over 7 years ago. its passage is long over due, and the network of righteous and militant undocumented students spearheading this campaign is true inspiration. after sitting-in at harry reids office and shaming a bunch of pols, it looks like we could get some movement. this is an alert i wrote for the AARW, mobilizing phone calls into scott browns office: