This article was first posted by Waging Nonviolence.
When 26-year-old Catalina Adorno hit the road on March 28, she knew it would be at least six weeks before she’d sleep again in her own bed. Since that day, Adorno, a Mexican-born New Jersey resident with a strong voice and bright laugh, has criss-crossed from Pennsylvania to Maine as part of a regional support team for Movimento Cosecha, a national immigrant rights coalition. Her stops have included major cities and small towns, as she and her three teammates work to mobilize Cosecha’s vast network of “local circles” ahead of a massive day of coordinated action slated for May 1.
On April 3, Adorno’s team stopped off in Washington, D.C. to hear Cosecha spokesperson Maria Fernanda Cabello make the formal call for a May 1 nationwide strike. The planned action, billed as “A Day Without an Immigrant,” is set to be the largest immigrant rights action for at least a decade, with hundreds of thousands already pledging to stay home from work for a day in protest of systemic discrimination towards the immigrant and undocumented communities. At the press conference, Cabello pointed to the massive labor and capital power represented by the immigrant community, including 11 million undocumented residents. The May 1 protest, asserted Cabello, would be the next step in a strategy of harnessing this power to “change the conversation on immigration in the United States.”
It’s a lofty goal for an organization that formed less than two years ago, but Cosecha has a strong track record already. Drawing inspiration from farmworkers and their leaders—Dolores Huerta, Larry Itliong and Cesar Chavez—as well as “the thousands of African-Americans who stood up to the racist Jim Crow system,” Cosecha is an energetic movement that has grown quickly. Its ranks include a national team and hundreds of part-time volunteers across the country, which enabled Cosecha to play major role in several waves of direct action, including scores of campus walkouts and multiple protests outside Trump Towers.
In spite of the economic boon for the wealthy, working
people in the U.S. have yet to receive a significant improvement in their
standard of living for over 30 years.At
the same time, democratic forces are once again confronted with anti immigrant
campaigns- this time fostered and promoted by a President of the U.S.
As socialists, we stand with and among the US working class
in opposition to the rule of the transnational corporations and their
exploitation of the economy and their despoliation of our lives, our society
and our environment.
We are currently experiencing a
major restructuring of the global economy directed by the transnational
corporations to produce profits for their corporate owners.The impoverishment of the vast majority of
people in pursuit of profits for a small minority has pushed millions to
migrant in search of food, jobs, and security.Global capitalism produces global migration.Along with wars NAFTAand other “Free Trade” deals each produce a
new waves of migration.
Socialists support the rights of working people to organize,
to form unions, and to protect their rights and to advance their interests.
Unions have always been an important part of how socialists seek to make our
economic justice principles come alive.Working people- gathered together and exploited in the capitalist
workplace-are well positioned to fight their common exploitation.
Current immigration laws and practices, imposed upon us all by
the corporations and their control of our government, often prevent working
class unity by dividing workers against each other and by creating categories of workers with few
rights to organize andthus to protect their own interests.
The neoliberal capitalist
economic system now being created by the relentless merging of the world'smarkets also impoverishes the majority of U.S.
average U.S. worker has experienced a decline in their real wages since
1979.Quality industrial jobs have moved
to low wage, anti union areas in the U.S. and to Mexico, China, Singapore,
Vietnam,India and other nations. At
present the U.S. has no significant controls on capital flight. Indeed, the US government subsidizes some corporations to
move jobs to Honduras, El Salvador, andthe
I have been a teacher in the Sacramento City Unified School District for 10 years. I am also the parent of two young students in the district.
This year I wanted to become part of our union’s bargaining team because the district was in such a strong financial position, contrary to the lean years of the Great Recession of 2008 and its aftermath.
Those lean years have passed. Voter approval of Propositions 30 and 55 have greatly improved school financing in California.
Our union expanded our bargaining team to include a wide variety of certificated staff. Many have never been involved in bargaining. Our goal was to work with district administrators to “Make Sac City the Destination District for California.”
But the district didn’t really want our involvement. Our first bargaining session was Oct. 11, 2016, at 4 p.m. Rather than welcome me and my co-workers who were there on our time after a full day of teaching, the district’s negotiating team fought unsuccessfully to keep us out.
After 17 bargaining sessions, I now understand why. What we have seen over the past six months at the bargaining table has been startling.