Arts & Video
News Archives
About LaborNet

On May Day Stand With The Immigrants

ON MAY DAY, LET'S march with the immigrants. Standing together brings hope and works to overcome the very real distrust and fears that exist. To stand aside means helping our common enemy deepen our divisions, weakening us all- immigrant and native born alike. Let's bring union solidarity banners and signs from our many organizations.

Solidarity is not support or sympathy. Solidarity is action based on having a common enemy and common interests among us. Immigrant workers are only guilty of wanting the same things most people want everywhere- a decent life, fair treatment with respect, and a future for our children. They don't cause low paying jobs here or expensive health care or endless war; Corporate America does.

Capitalism increasingly makes a decent life for most almost impossible in many countries, so many come where a better life seems possible, with or without papers. Did the Pilgrims have papers from the Iroquois Nation? Did the N. Americans have papers for Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, California, etc?

Some elements of the corporate ruling class and their opportunist politicians are seizing the opportunity to play on the very real fears of millions here who have no decent jobs, pay or benefits themselves. This anti-immigrant move is to make immigrants without papers seem like the enemy- the reason people here face low-paying jobs, no benefits, no health care, no pension, and endless war.

As many such hardships grow here, this move to victimize illegal immigrants is dangerous. It's just like the German Nazis making the Jews and communists the scapegoat, the target, hiding the capitalist system as the real cause of growing hardship and a bleak future. This is deadly serious for us all.

It's the employers who benefit from immigrants without papers. They make extra profits from low pay/no benefits and leverage immigrants being vulnerable and desperate in order to lower pay and benefits for many born here. In fact, it's their system that creates these problems in the first place. Let's unite against their system, in solidarity with our sisters and brothers, and for our common future. Solidarity means hope for us all.

Let's come with banners and fliers that take this up: Legal rights for immigrants. Living wages for All- minimum wage of $12/hour! Universal Health Care- take the profits out of our health care! Get out of Iraq Now- Not one penny for military bases overseas!

How about planning meetings along these lines? If any are up and running, please send out notice. If not, suggestions for such meetings, asap. Others in different locations, working along such lines, please respond and let's all hook up, share ideas, resources and a common outlook. If such a center exists, please let me know so I can pass the word.

in solidarity, Earl Silbar
AFSCME 3506, executive board at large,
* ID purposes only

contact LaborNet

copyright 2006 © LaborNet