Mayday - call for US general strike in defence of immigrants

The organisers of one of the largest national demonstrations the US has ever seen have called for a Mayday general strike.

Submitted by Freedom on April 28, 2006

The Los Angeles-based No hr4437 network said: “We are calling No Work, No School, No Sales, and No Buying, and also to have rallies around symbols of economic trade in your areas (stock exchanges, anti-immigrant corporations, etc.) to protest the anti-immigrant movements across the country.

“We will settle for nothing less than full amnesty and dignity for the millions of undocumented workers presently in the U.S. We believe that increased enforcement is a step in the wrong direction and will only serve to facilitate more tragedies along the Mexican-U.S. border in terms of deaths and family separation.” They have been supported in the call by the syndicalist IWW.

The call follows a major success on April 9th and 10th, when nearly two million people across the US demonstrated in major cities in every state, including a massive 500,000 in Dallas alone.

Students all over the country ditched school to attend the rally, with some subsequently suspended.

Protesters say they seek real immigration reform that is comprehensive, respects civil rights, reunites families, protects workers, and offers a path to citizenship for the current undocumented and future immigrants to the US.

According to the New American Opportunity Campaign: “People trying to come here to work or join family find themselves caught in a hodge-podge of outdated immigration laws and a famously inept and unpredictable immigration bureaucracy.”

The large demonstrations, which took organisers by surprise, follow the introduction of the hr4437 bill, a Republican-backed attempt to criminalise ‘illegal’ immigration into the country.

The bill would specifically hurt the 300,000 people who each year cross the border, primarily from Mexico, to find work. Latinos are the largest minority group in America, making up 1/3 of the population, and have been the driving force behind the protests.

The US Senate has continued to point fingers at each other over the issue of the hr4437 bill, while failing to agree to protesters’ demands.

The ruling party, which forced through a bill making it a criminal offence to be on the US side of the border without permission, has attempted to blame the Democrats for allowing them to do so after hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers took to the streets in protest.

However the issue appears to have subsequently split the Republicans themselves, as Bush has distanced himself from the bill, proposing instead a ‘guest worker’ system designed to semi-legitimise immigrant workers.
However human-rights advocates have pointed out that such a measure would serve only to create an official underclass workforce with no rights, as opposed to the current unofficial one.

Aproximately 12 million people in the US are thought to be unregistered immigrants.

- Rob Ray -