Inspired by the Freedom Riders of the Civil Rights Movement, immigrant workers and their allies will set out from Portland and 9 other major U.S. cities and cross the country in buses on September 23rd, 2003. They (over 900 Freedom Riders) will converge on Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress and then travel to Liberty State Park in New Jersey October 3, and then Flushing Meadows Park, Queens, New York for a mass rally on October 4, 2003.|
|Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride|
The goal of the IWFR is to demonstrate a broad national constituency for meaningful reform of immegration laws while also encouraging civic paticipation by new and future citizens. In particular, IWFR will educate the public and elected officials about three key requirements of a new immigration policy:
|* Reward Work by granting legal status to hardworking, taxpaying, law-abiding immigrant workers already established in the United States;|
* Renew our Democracy by clearing the path to citizenship and full political participation for our newest Americans;
* Restore labor protections so thatr all workers, including immigrant workers, have the right to fair treatment on the job;
*. Reunite families in a timely fashion by streamlining our outdated immigration policies;
* Respect the civil rights and civil liberties of us all so that immigrants are treated equally under the law, the federal government remains subject to checks and balances and civil laws are meaningful enforced.
Unions and organizations represented there, those that I was able to identify from banners, etc. were:
Hotel Employees Restaurant Employess, Local 9;
SEIU, Local 49;
United Food and Commerial Workers, Local 55;
This is a 10 minute audio file of three short presentations made at that rally, in English and translated into Spanish. First was a speaker who spoke to why this Freedom Ride is necessary. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to catch his name. Next was Jeff Richardson of the Hotel Employees Restaurant Employees Union, Local 9, followed by Ramon Rameriz of PCUN, which is the Pineros Y Campesinos Unidos Del Noroeste, Northwest Treeplanters and Farm Workers United.
For more information about the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride contact the Portland IWFR Committee at: Jeff Richardson, HERE @503/230-2304; Judy O'Connor, NWLC @ 503/235-9444; or Samuel Davila, CAUSA at 503/763-1694; Ramon Rameriz at 503-989-0073.
Freedom Riders Rally