Tuesday, May 02, 2006

May Day Protests

May 01, 2006

The largest demonstration in Sacramento history.
I have been to many demonstration in Sacramento reaching back to the 60’s. I have marched with the UFW when they brought 15,000 to the state capitol.
Today’s march for immigrant rights in Sacramento was the largest demonstration I have ever seen. The crowds not only filled the capitol grounds, they extended over 8 blocks down the capitol mall. And from there, since the mall was full, marchers had to move over to N street to approach the capitol from the South Side. Early news reports say there were tens of thousands. Based upon prior demonstrations, there must have been at least 30,000 people here.
The entire world is experiencing a major restructuring of the global economy, directed by transnational corporations and the institutions which these corporations control (NAFTA, WTO, FTAA,GATT).
Economic policy; free trade and globalism produces massive immigration in many parts of the world. As a direct result of NAFTA , over 3 million small Mexican farmers were driven from their lands. Not surprisingly, some of them, and their children, came to the U.S. looking for work to feed their families.
While transnational capitalism produces migration, democracies need policies to respond. HR 4437 is a Republican proposal to militarize the border and to build a 700 mile wall. We have already increased border enforcement by over 800% since 1986. Militarizing the border will not work.
Neither employer sanctions, border walls, nor Minutemen will stop this migration.
A fair and just immigration policy would recognize and protect the dignity of all working people.
We need to address the economic policies which produce immigration and defeat HR 4437.
From D. Weintraub's blog the following:

A protest inside, too
One of the few public events in the Capitol today was the Senate budget subcommittee that handles education issues. The committee, like its counterpart in the Assembly, voted to eliminate funding for staff and support of the state Board of Education. The action came in response to the board's recent vote on the language curriculum guidelines, and its refusal to allow more flexibility in the teaching of reading and writing to English learners. Few expect this retaliation to stick. The money will eventually be restored. It is just the Democrats' way of sending a message that they don't like the board's current guidelines for teaching language arts to kids who are not yet fluent in English.
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