Twice in the last two days, Black leaders in the Los Angeles Area have stood side by side with brown people to raise the call for unity between the two peoples and in support of the activities on May 1, El Gran Boicot – the general strike.
On Friday, African American religious leaders, led by Minister Tony Muhammad of the Nation of Islam and Pastor Lewis Logan, of South Central’s Bethel AME Church timed their press conference at noon – a time that had also been set by Black Republican Ted Hayes for an anti-migrant rally a short distance away.
Surrounded by cameras from 9 media outlets, some 120 people turned out in support of the migrants, aligning themselves, Black and Brown, behind a banner that read “We are South Los Angeles.” Meanwhile, Hayes drew less than 20, about half of them white members of the racist hate group Save Our State.
Black and Brown leaders met afterward to forge the basis for a “public covenant” to confirm their mutual fight for immigrant rights, and to address the issues plaguing both communities.
Minister Tony Muhammad said – “Don’t just boycott – Shut it Down!” Another speaker said “Sensenbrenner did us a favor – he brought us together!”
At Saturday’s press conference Black leaders were joined by members of the March 25th Coalition, those sponsoring the Gran Boicot. Speaking of the upcoming May Day Boicot John Parker of the IAC said "This right here is today's Montgomery bus boycott."
People spoke sharply and clearly to the shared history of colonial oppression, genocide and slavery.
Muhammad said that people of color from around the world will look to the Boicot in LA as a model for the pursuit of "freedom, justice and equality." He denounced efforts to divide Black and Brown communities, "We will not allow no one to pit us one against another, no brown against black, no black against brown," he said.
"We share the same history of slavery," said Gloria Saucedo, director of Hermandad Mexicana in the San Fernando Valley and called for people to uphold every aspect of the Gran Boicot – no selling, buying, work, or school.