Monday, August 30, 2010

Jesse Jackson, UAW President Bob King organize Detroit March for Jobs

 By David Green
Over 10, 000 Detroiters marched down Washington Boulevard from the UAW-Ford National Programs Center to Grand Circus Park on Saturday, August 28th to demand jobs, peace, and justice. The march was organized by United Auto Workers (UAW) President Bob King and Operation PUSH founder and director Reverend Jesse Jackson. It commemorated the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s March on Washington.
The dais at Grand Circus Park was teeming with dignitaries—politicians, clergy of every denomination, and union leaders. Among the elected officials present were Representatives John Conyers, Jr., John Dingell, Maxine Waters, and Marcy Kaptur and Senator Debbie Stabenow. Michigan Democratic Party gubernatorial nominee Virg Bernero briefly addressed the audience and committed himself to placing the interests of Main Street over those of Wall Street. Among the union leaders who spoke were UAW President Bob King, newly-elected President of the Service Employees International Union Mary Kay Henry, Farm Laborers Organizing Committee President Baldemar Velasquez, and American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 25 President Al Garrett.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Immigration control policy

Border Security+Immigration Policing = Humanitarian Crisis
President Obama's signing into law the "Southwest Border Security Bill" last week signaled the beginning of the latest phase of U.S. militarization of immigration control and border communities. The new bill provides an additional $600 million to deploy 1,500 new Border Patrol agents and law enforcement officials along the border, as well as two aerial surveillance drones. President Obama is also sending 1200 National Guard troops to patrol the border.
View the Democracy Now! interview with Arnoldo Garcia, director of NNIRR's Immigrant Justice & Rights Program, on the Southwest Border Security bill and the devastating impacts of border militarization 
As President Obama signed the bill, Janet Napolitano, head of the Department of Homeland Security, announced the extension of "Secure Communities," the federal immigration-police collaboration program, into the the entire U.S. Southwest.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Meet Eliseo Medina

by Harold Myerson. The American Prospect.

In the wake of the resignation last week of Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger, Mary Kay Henry, the new president of the Service Employees International Union, sent a memo last Friday to members of SEIU's International Executive Board announcing that she intends to nominate Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina to Burger's former post, the second highest in the union, at SEIU's board meeting in Los Angeles next month. It is a certainty that the board will ratify Henry's choice.
An SEIU executive vice president since 1996, Medina is the labor movement's foremost champion of immigrant rights. In 1999, he spearheaded the successful campaign to get the AFL-CIO to reverse its longtime opposition to immigrant workers. Over the past 15 years, he has also conceived and coordinated SEIU's efforts to naturalize, register, and turn out the votes of new immigrants in California -- a campaign that helped turn America's largest state solidly Democratic -- and has recently been involved in similar campaigns in Southwestern states. He played a leading role in the unionization and contract victories of immigrant janitors in California, and in SEIU's groundbreaking unionization of janitors in Houston. Medina also was a key negotiator on behalf of labor in the immigration-reform deliberations with the Bush administration, a leader in Hispanic voter mobilization efforts for Barack Obama in 2008, and one of the foremost advocates for comprehensive immigration reform -- and against the Obama administration's stepped-up deportations of immigrants -- during the past two years.
As a union that represents the largely immigrant janitors in the downtowns in many of the nation's largest cities, SEIU has played an outsize role in the immigration battles of the past 15 years. Medina has functioned externally as the union's leading public spokesperson on the issue and internally as its chief strategist and advocate for stepped-up involvement. At the board meeting this June where Henry was elected president following the resignation of longtime President Andy Stern, the union, at Medina's behest, committed itself to fund and wage the kind of registration and get-out-the-vote campaign in Arizona that Medina had headed up in California. The campaign that Medina has put together in Arizona mobilizes SEIU and eight other groups, employing 40 full-time canvassers, to turn out roughly 120,000 Hispanic infrequent voters this November.
In her memo to the board, Henry highlighted Medina's previous work with her in unionizing Southern California hospitals and his ability to wage fast-moving campaigns and to plan long-term campaigns as well.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Service Employees International  Vice President, Eliseo Medina, speaks to  a crowd of over 100 on the Capitol Steps in Sacramento  on August 17, 2010, as they complete phase I of the campaign,  For our Families: Todas A Votar.
The campaign organized by several unions including SEIU, the California Teachers Association, and others  traveled to by bus to some 9 cities in the state,  from San Diego to Sacramento to initiate a the voter registration  campaign in each of these areas.    
   In Sacramento Assembly Speaker Perez and some 8 members of the Latino caucus joined labor and religious groups to welcome the caravan to the state capitol. 
 In cooperation with unions and community groups, the campaign will be  providing offices and registration efforts  in each of the 9 cities in targeting thousands of new Latino voters.
"For Latinos, the election of 2010 is more than just  choose one candidate or another, it's about taking a role  active, more than ever, in decisions that affect  our families and create a better future for our
children and grandchildren, "said Eliseo Medina, vice president
of SEIU. "We have the potential to influence the elections and  Now this is where our voices must be heard.”

Friday, August 13, 2010

More deaths on the border

NNIRR Statement on "Southwest Border Security Bill"

Obama and Congress increase border militarization, ensuring more migrant deaths and rights abuses

(Oakland, CA) Earlier today President Obama signed a new bill authorizing an additional $600 million to increase border security, strengthening a deadly border militarization strategy. Tragically, this move will surely increase the number of migrants who perish at the U.S.-Mexico border and teh bill contributes nothing to ensuring the safety and rights of migrants and border communities.
The new bill promises to enhance controversial immigration-police collaboration and places more military technology, including surveillance drones, on the border. An additional 1,000 Border Patrol officers, 250 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and 250 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents will be hired. These increments do not include Obama's recent announcement of the deployment of another 1200 National Guard troops to patrol the border in Arizona.
The Coalicion de Derechos Humanos (CDH), based in Tucson, AZ, reports that the remains of 214 migrantshave been recovered as of July 31, 2010, on the Arizona stretch of the border alone, more than was recorded last year. Two months remain in this fiscal year before the final tally of migrant deaths is complete.
As many as 8,000 migrant dead have been recovered on the U.S.-Mexico border since the U.S. government's current "prevention through deterrence" strategy was implemented in 1994. Human rights groups working to prevent migrant deaths and abuses on the border believe that for every migrant dead found at least ten others are missing in the desert.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Haiti: Job offer

2010 July Haiti Journal #10
Sweat Shops at 200g a day ($5US)

July 28, 2010 (delayed)

Job Offer In Haiti: Must be a highly motivated woman to assemble electronic components, able to read and write, and pass a logic/math test. You will arrive at 6:45am check in with fingerprint ID. You will work 8 hours and clock out for lunch. You will be handed a food coupon that is good on only the day of issue (value is 8g or four cents US). You may use the coupon toward your purchase of lunch at the company lunch counter. However the cheapest meal there is 23g, without any meat of course…that would be extra.

The cheapest form of public transportation will take you at least one hour to get to work, and two hours going home. That will cost you 5g to 7g depending on the price of gas (each way).

The net result is that you will be at work 9 hours (with no talking) and spend three hours in transportation. Since you are a woman, after being gone those 12 hours, you will shop each day (no electricity for refrigeration) and cook breakfast and dinner for your family over an open charcoal stove. You will do all the family laundry, kill, pluck and dress the chicken, haul water and purify it, while making sure your children are freshly scrubbed twice a day.

For this work you will bring home 1000g salary each week, less the 50g for the taptap (an overcrowded bed of an open truck), then deduct 75g for lunch. This means you will bring home 875g a week, or a little less than $90US a month.

Since you will also have to buy food, work clothes, laundry soap and charcoal as well as the $100US for your four room unfurnished house…you must also sell small candies on the street after dark and take in the neighbor’s wash.

Then, since you will still don’t have enough money for utilities, you send your oldest son out to climb the telephone pole and cut into the high voltage wire.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Arizona students to be deported

Please spread this to supporters.

Saludos Companer@s,

The last five months have been intense. Along with working collaboratively with you on the resistance against racism we have created and continue to develop on the ground grassroots organizing with families in the barrio and we continue to develop protection networks for undocumented families. There is more work to do and we welcome that challenge because we know we stand side by side with you. For now TYLO is sharpening our focus, stepping back for reflection after the last months and evaluating for our future work. This week we are doing internal work to prepare for the future and supporting one of our youth members through our protection network.

As you all know on of our community members Nancy family members is in ICE detention. He was handed over to Border Patrol and then ICE after a minor traffic stop by Pima County Sheriffs. He is currently in a CCA/ICE prison in Florence. The family is in grief but standing strong. Many of you know Nancy and her family is protected under our protection network. TYLO is supporting Nancy's family with immediate economic help as well as mobilizing for bail.

The bail hearing with the ICE judge is Wednesday, August 12 in the morning. We need to raise $5,000 in bail. We have raised $2,000 dollars already and we are working on raising the rest.

We need your help! Can you donate? Mobilize others to donate? Organize a fundraising dinner? Or hold another creative fundraising event please do. Everything will help. We have to raise the remaining 3,000 dollars by Tuesday, August 10. We really need your help!

Mailing Info:
Checks can be written to: Barrio Sustainability Project – TYLO
They can be mailed to: Centro Tierra Y Libertad, 3649 S. 7th Ave. Tucson, AZ 85713

Deposit Info:
Chase Bank
Account Name: Barrio Sustainability Project - TYLO
Bank Account Number: 2940170679

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Phoenix Rising- Resistance

I've written a lot about Arizona since the national controversy over SB 1070 took hold, and in particular during recent weeks as the struggle over the bill's implications and ultimate fate began to reach a fever pitch. This focus is not accidental by any means; I've lived in Arizona for fifteen years, and I care deeply about the causes of social justice reflected in the debate over immigration. What I've seen here during this time, and especially over the past few days, indicates to me that we are on the cusp of something truly extraordinary. As the creeping fascism of immigrant-bashing becomes starkly evident, people are starting to move from protest to solidarity, and from fear to determination.
Obviously the immigration issue is one that arouses people's passions, sometimes leading to intense vitriol being displayed on both sides, but in particular by those who recite paradoxical slogans like "What part of illegal don't you understand?" Folks in this camp take great pains to assert that "it's not about race," and that people like myself are advocating an "open borders" philosophy that will lead the nation to ruin. Proponents of Arizona's "attrition through enforcement" approach to the issue (as epitomized by SB 1070) often argue that illegal immigrants are taking American jobs, draining social services, and causing violent crime to rise. They assert, in short, that we need to build a wall and build it high, with "us" firmly on this side of it and all of "them" shipped back to the other side where they belong.
Lo siento, amigos. Your arguments are nonsensical, and are missing the larger point. People will come here no matter how high you build that wall, because we've dumped our toxic corporations and immiserating economic policies on the other side, from which most of us would flee as well. People will come here because they have family members here (legally) and want to be united with them. People will come because these are, in many cases, their ancestral homelands and part of their cultural heritage. People will come for the same reasons that our ancestors came, legally or otherwise.