Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Making Changes

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WHAT COMES NEXT?
From Unión del Barrio :
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The People Will Answer This Important Question
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None of us would have ever imagined that in a matter of six weeks millions of our people from every community across the US would be in the streets protesting. Hundreds of thousands of our young people walking out into political struggle was an action very few of us have seen with our own eyes.
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Nonetheless, this is what we have lived through in the span of less than two months. The last six weeks have politically transformed our reality as a people, not only within the United States but also throughout Latin America. Nothing will ever go back to how it was before the week of March 20, 2006.
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It is essential now to do a basic assessment of what has been done and what is to come, otherwise the popular momentum will decline (as is inevitable with any spontaneous struggle) and there will be very little permanent qualitative progress for the movement as a whole.
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BEFORE THE PROTESTS
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This movement did not begin six weeks ago, nor was it created by the Democratic Party, the labor unions, the churches, social service agencies, radio and TV personalities. This movement has its origins dating back to1492 and the conquest of these lands by European powers. This movement has been sustained by innumerable leaders, movements and popular organizations ever since.
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This so-called immigration crisis must be looked at historically first and foremost. As stated, this whole contradiction started in 1492, with the 1848 war against Mexico with the theft of half of Mexican national territory asanother historically relevant episode.
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The current 2006 immigration crisis is based on the presence of 15 to 20 million people (primarily from Mexico/Latin America) living within the political borders of the United States illegally, i.e. without permission from the US government. What continental forces are capable of provoking the movement of millions of people out of their home countries into the foreign and hostile country in the north? It is an undeniable fact that the only political, economic and military force capable of producing such a massmovement of people is US imperialism/capitalism.
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Through political interventions the US government has subverted political change in Latin America, sponsored undemocratic, violent, corrupt regimes and undermined popular governments throughout the continent. The result has been terrible poverty, generalized political instability, and popular discontent in every Latin American country.
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Imposing an economic hegemony over Latin America, the US government has promoted generations of self-serving economic policies (most recently with NAFTA and CAFTA). The result has been generalized extreme poverty for hundreds of millions of people.
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With over 60 direct military interventions into Latin America from 1823 to 2004 including coup de etas, blockades, right wing conspiracies, invasions, occupations, and the promotion of civil wars, it is the government of the United States that macro-imposed the Push factors driving millions of people to go north in search of a better life.
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Once inside the US, our labor is exploited directly, while we are blamed for depressing the wages of US citizens. This is by design, as it is US imperialism abroad in conjunction with anti-labor laws domestically that has driven down wages within the US, to the benefit of US corporations and their stockholders. It is no secret that as unemployment goes up, so goes thes tock market, the minimum wage has not been raised in three generations, and that more anti-worker legislation has been passed in the last twenty years than in the previous 200 years.
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The only force capable of producing a mass migration of people from Latin America and maximizing profits by coordinating it domestically with anti-worker domestic policies is US imperialism/US capitalism. USimperialism/capitalism bear primary responsibility for the current immigration crisis.
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THE BACKLASH
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Even if 10 million of us march bowing and shuffling our feet, carrying 50 American flags each, singing the national anthem until our eyes pop out,they will hate us anyway. None of that will win the US population to respecting our humanity. On the contrary, we should expect nothing less than a storm of repression, from the state and from racists in general. In Houston the attack on a Latino youth beaten and sodomized for trying to kiss a white girl, the firebombing of a Mexican restaurant in Jamul, California, the death threats against Villaraigosa and Bustamante, and the Migra raids across the country are all recent examples of what inevitably will occur more often. In addition, there are the innumerable individual reprisals from job dismissals and verbal and physical confrontations that don't receive media attention We should expect nothing less than more frequent BorderPatrol sweeps, home raids, mass deportations, increasing impunity for agents of the federal government, fostering of vigilante paramilitary organizations and checkpoints surrounding our neighborhoods.
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Right wing critics, minutemen and radio/TV personalities will always find some way to attack our movement. What we have to do is organize ourselves until they become irrelevant. Let them rant and rave, build fences and find offense as they watch our people lose our fear of struggle. They are dishonest buffoons who sooner or later will be exposed for what they are.The day they become honest with their audiences is the day they explain how gas prices, the war in Iraq, low wages, and the immigration crisis are all connected as direct consequences of capitalism. When that day comes, then Lou Dobbs will no longer blame our people for the world the capitalist class created.
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