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Portland blissfully oblivious! LA Gran Marcha draws record 500,000-1,000,000 marchers!

As Portland IMC blissfully is oblivious to (and disturbingly silent about!) the fascist-racist legislation now in Congress, marchers in Los Angeles, Chicago and Phoenix draw the largest demonstrations in their respective histories.
Read this first: "Brown skin, yellow star: Why you must join the March 25 demo"  http://la.indymedia.org/news/2006/03/150816.php
The US Senate debates legislation this coming week that would make migrants an openly felonized, legally scapegoated racial and cultural under-caste, with deeply dangerous implications for us all. Almost a million marched Saturday, March 25th, in downtown Los Angeles, making it the largest mass demonstration in California's history. This is the new civil rights movement; the momentum must be built all over the USA for the National Day of Action, April 10.


Pictures of the Gran Marcha 2006
 http://la.indymedia.org/news/2006/03/151386.php
 http://www.erasetheborder.org/

Information
 http://www.immigrantsolidarity.org/
 http://www.rightsworkinggroup.org/
 http://www.nclr.org/
 http://www.immigrationforum.org/

milwaukee too 26.Mar.2006 05:41

marco

Thursday Milwaukee had it's largest protest of any kind in perhaps its 150 or so year history.

At least the largest one ever photographed, to be sure.

 https://prod.milwaukee.indymedia.org/en/2006/03/205158.shtml

April 10, 2006 26.Mar.2006 10:46

the personal is political

si, se puede!

Portland's Immigrants' Rights March 26.Mar.2006 13:20

Lucy Parsons

Strangely absent from this page is any mention of Portland's Immigrants' Rights March a few weeks ago. I went, and it was awesome: fun, racially/ethnically diverse, with a wide range of ages and abilities represented in the crowd.

I *know* I wasn't the only person who went to both the Immigrants' Rights March and also the Anti-War March. Yes, there is crossover. No, not everyone can attend every march, and of course folks will prioritize based on how closely an issue touches their lives.

They'll also prioritize based on how easy it is to attend a gathering. If you want to see more farmworkers at Portland demonstrations, find some money or time to give to PCUN or CAUSA, so that folks have free transportation into the city for a big event. If you don't have $20 to give, maybe you'll put out a donations jar at your next party, or maybe you'll call up an organization and offer to phone bank to raise some money.

And, lastly, to those who think that the interests of the white-skinned working class are opposed to those of immigrants: Protecting the rights of *all* workers in the U.S. is going to raise the bar accross the board. Fighting for the most vulnerable can have a ripple effect -- if the boss doesn't see someone as easily abused and disposed of (by a simple call to the cops or the feds), they get treated better. If you and your white, working-class friends recognize your opportunity, you then have a bigger, stronger working class with which to organize. (That is, if you don't allow the bosses to play the race card: that way just continues the race to the bottom.)

I went to a rally yesterday 26.Mar.2006 13:47

Jody Paulson

I hadn't even heard about it, but it was close enough to where I lived that I could hear them through my window. They sounded so spirited that I thought maybe it was the spontaneous demonstration I've been waiting so long for! When I got there, I immediately recognized the "World Can't Wait/Drive out the Bush Regime" signs, though they were in Spanish. There were a lot of people there, and though I couldn't understand her language, one lady gave an profoundly emotional speech -- most white bread Americans just don't have that kind of stake in what's going on, but when some kids came up and talked about how their Dad, who'd been working here for 18 years suddenly got deported to Mexico I started crying -- it was heartbreaking to hear those devestated kids.

These people have a motivation, drive and spirit that make most Americans seem like a bunch of apathetic sheep. Yet their message was totally anti-hate. (They were connected to other demonstrations via radio, and everything was translated into English). I had no idea they had hunger strikers camping out. (If the rest of America doesn't have the word about what has been going with these people, whose fault is that? Don't assume it's because we don't care!) Thank you for posting, BTW.

No human being is illegal. Solidarity!

Street Roots has some coverage 26.Mar.2006 17:42

hmm...

The curret edition of Street Roots has some local coverage of what's happening on the immigration front, etc...

Borrowed this beatiful photo... 27.Mar.2006 01:02

troublemaker

Thanks to Lucy Parsons and others who have done a much better job than I would have responding to the comments of George Bender, "maybe the same thing", and others. I expect the same old shit from George Bender and others about "illegals" stealing our jobs, but this frustration that these folks are not protesting against the war is just nuts. A community is under attack, and they mobilize--big fucking time--and they get called "ignorant" because other, whiter, activists have done a shitty job organizing a movement against Bush's war? It's this kind of ignorance, and self-righteous bullshit that is really hurting the peace movement.

Anyway, here's a photo of what the peace movement should be able to pull off, but hasn't--a million people hitting the streets yesterday in LA.
the police said 500,000, organizers said 1,000,000, some media said 2,000,000!
the police said 500,000, organizers said 1,000,000, some media said 2,000,000!

Just because it's not here, doesn't mean that it's not happening 27.Mar.2006 18:18

troublemaker

One more thing: Prophet writes that "Portland IMC blissfully is oblivious to (and disturbingly silent about) the fascist-racist legislation now in Congress". It's partly true, there is not much about immigrant rights here on Portland IMC. I was one of the organizers of the recent immigrant rights march. We decided to focus our outreach efforts in other places, and I think there may have been nothing about it posted here. I felt like posting here would be a waste of time, since posts about immigrant rights pretty much always elicit negative responses from George Bender and other folks, and often these responses are pretty racist. Unfortunately, it seems like many of these posts are not challenged by other readers, or IMC editors. I would love to debate this issue with liberals (or right-wingers), but not on these pages.

Anyway, my point is that this is not the place to get all your news. If you want to find out about what's going on with immigrant rights, you should look elsewhere--the Spanish newspapers in town have decent coverage (both in Spanish and English), as does the Catholic Sentinel. Today the Senate debated these issues, and advanced a guest-worker program, but you will have to look elsewhere for news on it. Portland IMC seems to be the best place to find out about a few, select progressive issues, but not all.

indy could mean something more productive 27.Mar.2006 20:42

feminista

this is a great thread-- but of course began not from a tone of openess, but know-it-all posturing. Indymedia is depressing. The immigration march here was not only a good size, it was led and organized by people of color, which is incredibly uncommon in this town. Maybe a better question is why arent communities of color using pdx indymedia--a question I think the prior post partly answers. LA is a different universe. Whites are the minority there. Race relations in this country are incredibly complicated and varied from place to place.

"to strive for a 'structureless' group is as useful and as deceptive, as to aim at an 'objective' news story, 'value-free' social science or a 'free' economy. A 'laissez-faire' group is about as realistic as a 'laissez-faire' society; the idea becomes a smokescreen for the strong or the lucky to establish unquestioned hegemony over others. This hegemony can easily be established because the idea of 'structurelessness' does not prevent the formation of informal structures, but only formal ones."

Indymedia is "laissez fair" counter culture, and it often breeds exactly what it was meant to counter-- opressive misinformation. I mean, at least I know who owns fox news. I am all for diversity, but have no time or interest in sifting through the reactionary and useless crap that so often fills this site. Why not post something informative about the legislation? Or mention the fact that there are actually two pieces of legislation-- one that is outright racist and part of the border security anti-terrorist bill, and one that is being promoted by democrats and supported by liberals. Both contain guest worker programs, which as far as I know still tear apart families and tie workers rights to an employer.

The quote above was written in 1970 by Jo Freeman. The rest of the article, The Tyranny of Structurelessness, can be found here, as well as many other places:

 http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/hist_texts/structurelessness.html

legislation 27.Mar.2006 22:54

ms

Sensenbrenner is easy to be against, and mostly what everyone is protesting. But I think the kennedy/ mccain bill is basically a glorified version of a previous guest worker program from a few years back. The time frame for the visa is longer, and it supposedly has more of a track to citizenship. But summaries I have read still say that the work visas are tied to income, and an employer sponsor. It does allow immediate family of workers to get visas as well, which is a big improvement. But all of the language of enforcement of penalties to employers who violate the rights of guest workers seems a little bit like pure politicking, since many of our present labor laws prescribe protections for workers and penalties for employers, but judges dont like to punish the Wal-Marts in any way that will actually de-incentivize abuse of immigrants rights, documented or otherwise. It sounds good to liberals though, but employers know it wont keep them from silencing these workers.

The question for those who consider themselves radical and anti-racist: Is there such a thing as incremental labor/ immigration law reform that will lead to broader civil rights and open borders for workers? I have my doubts. Incremental might be best when it implies local versus national. Once liberal orgs give their support to a guest worker program, it muddies an already incredible compicated issue. Right wingers blab about nationalism, stealing jobs, terrorism, while the capitalists reap the benefits of cheap labor, and the pols talk condescendingly about people "earning" their right to citizenship (as if current undocumented workers havent earned a social security check many times over). I think it is important for activists to have a rap on this as this kennedy/ mccain bill, or some form of it might get passed. Free trade is an oxymoron, it functions by REGULATING the economy in ways that benefit capital. This means the free flow of goods without tariffs, taxes, safety laws, etc., and the UNFREE flow of people across borders. Slavery and patriarchy built capitalism, and it continues in many forms... I am amazed when I read so-called liberal commentary in support of legalization (on certian terms) that talks about immigrants as if they were children, as if they needed to prove themselves worthy of being "american." Why should anyones civil rights be tied to a job? Why should it cost $500 (much more in pesos) to apply for the guest worker visa, while we give corporations tax breaks?

reply 28.Mar.2006 02:57

indy geek

Here is the feature from March 4th

Report Back From No Human Being Is Illegal Rally
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/03/335033.shtml

Hi Troublemaker. It is easy enough to post your press release and background info to the site. Please do it. The site depends on people in the community and focused on various issues to get their news out. And please do debate these issues on these pages. They are very important. Critical, I would say!

Thousands of people read this site, most of whom do not post. Also, features from this site, go up on the US indymedia and on the Global indymedia featurewire. They reach a wider audience than most people realize.

You are right, there have been posts with a racist flavor regarding immigration. So far, only the blatant ones have been hidden, with the others left up to be rebutted. These ideas are around, and ideally having them be addressed is best. However, if it would mean you, as an organizer, would post good reporting and news about immigrant issues, I will certainly bring it up with other volunteers to take a stronger position on it.

First and foremost this site is for news and reporting. To be a vehicle for different movements to express themselves through. Over the last few years, millions of people have read, listened to, or seen content from Portland Indymedia and its various projects. All from some volunteers on a tiny budget. This is a success.

To keep progressing it needs organizers and serious people to make use of it, to contribute to it, and if there are changes you think would make it more effective, please suggest them. The folks who volunteer their time are thoughtful and interested in site improvement. This is not easy task.

Feminista

Yes, why not post something about the legislation? The content on indymedia is what people like you, who care, make of it. Please (re)post good information about the legislation, about its effects. It is needed. It is up to a wide range of people who are involved with and informed about different social/environmental movements to make use of the site.

portland indymedia cannot be all things to all people. It can however, be a better version of what it is. Specific suggestions are always welcome.

GranMarcha.org 16.Apr.2006 06:41

Xavier Rodriguez, Xcano Films

The web site www.granmarcha.org is a good place to get photographs from this historic event. Also, it turns out that this was the largest civil/human rights gathering in U.S. history!!
La Gran Marcha - downtown Los Angeles, CA (569x375)
La Gran Marcha - downtown Los Angeles, CA (569x375)
La Gran Marcha - downtown Los Angeles, CA (569x375)
La Gran Marcha - downtown Los Angeles, CA (569x375)
La Gran Marcha - downtown Los Angeles, CA (570x375)
La Gran Marcha - downtown Los Angeles, CA (570x375)