imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Tell the NSA: StopWatching.US

Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - json version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles
link:

Public Terror: Escalating the War on Migrants

by Juan Santos and Leslie Radford Sunday, May. 13, 2007 at 1:15 PM

The mass public assault on the May 1st rally and a public raid on migrants at a shopping mall in Chicago shortly before May 1st mark a brutal and highly public escalation in the ruling class's war on migrants. Increased resistance like the upcoming May 17th march to MacArthur Park is exactly what the situation calls for.

 

"War is nothing but a continuation of politics by other means."von Clausewitz

_______________

"Politics is war without bloodshed, while war is politics with bloodshed."Mao

_______________

(LOS ANGELES) Immigration activist Roberto Lovato was there when the Los Angeles Police Department launched its brutal assault on a park full of migrant families with children last week in LA, and this is what he saw and understood. "I saw the LAPD," he wrote "dragging the immigrants and the entire country into dangerous terrain, a new threshold in the immigration war raging around the country."

What he saw was more than an Iraq-style surge; this was an all out escalation, a new strategic plateau in the U.S. government’s War on Migrants.

Javier Rodriguez, an immigration activist with L.A’s March 25th Coalition, called it a "political decision" to "dismantle this [immigrant rights] movement."

Last year, in 2006, millions of migrant and their allies – their familia – took the streets, giving birth to the most powerful mass movement in the U.S. since the Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the 1960s and 70s.

The new movement stunned the US ruling class, drove the deepest of wedges straight into the heart of a seemingly unstoppable neo–con drive toward fascism, exposed the essential brutality and racism at the core of the Republican, neo–con agenda, began the public unraveling of the Bush regime, and opened the door to the stunning exposure, repudiation and defeat of the neo-cons in the House and Senate, who had led the racist charge to make felons of all undocumented migrants – and of anyone who so much as gave a ride to someone undocumented.

And like their counterparts in the 60s era, the reactionaries of today saw the unmistakable outlines of the threat presented by brown resistance to their power and their drive toward a fascistic state. Like the reactionaries of that era, they moved to kill the movement with mass arrests and state intimidation. Only this time, it wasn’t the FBI, COINTELPRO, the murders or imprisonment of Black leaders, or the mass incarceration of Black and other peoples of color that the State relied on. This time, it was the department of Homeland Security, ICE, and a strategy of direct vengeance – the deliberate terrorization of the millions who had taken the streets and who had precipitated the collapse of the neo-fascist juggernaut.

The methodology was not the one the reactionaries used to crush AIM on the Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation in the 70s, or in Guatemala and El Salvador, nations from which many of today’s migrants fled – no death squads yet this year.

Now, rather, the weapons include mass raids on meat packing plants, pre-dawn raids by ICE agents on people’s homes, incarceration in prisons thousands of miles away from lawyers, families and friends, and the terrorization of small children whose parents had been locked away, or who were themselves taken into custody and locked up like felons in federal prisons with their mothers and fathers.

That this year’s pro-migrant demonstrations were dramatically smaller than those last year came as no surprise to the movement’s leadership.  Shortly before the pro-migrant demonstrations on May Day this year, Panama Alba, an immigrants’ rights activist with New York’s May 1st Coalition, spoke plainly of the impact of the government’s effort to crush the new movement.  "In light of the raids, any migrant who steps into the streets is a hero or heroine," he said.

But the signal-sending, intimidation and terrorization didn’t stop with secretive raids on people’s homes in the dead of night or on isolated factories and packing plants.  Chicago, the city that set the pace for last year’s massive protests, faced a new reality this year, when, a week before the scheduled mass protests of May 1, ICE carried out its first mass raid in a public place, a shopping mall  in the heart of the Mexican American district La Villita, marching into the mall with bullet proof vests and carrying M-16 military assault rifles, shutting down the mall, and holding brown employees and customers alike for questioning at gunpoint, while letting whites go free. A Chicago immigrants rights activist said, "They sat people down on the ground and busted down bathroom doors . . . Only 12 people were arrested in Chicago, but there were 250 people being held. But people didn’t run away. They were furious and we started protesting immediately.'

And, in Los Angeles, the storm center of the national struggle for migrant’s rights, the LAPD, under the leadership of the nation’s "top cop," Republican police chief William Bratton, made another strategic intervention aimed at nationwide intimidation of the new movement; a brutal, no holds barred,  clearly premeditated, tight and highly disciplined police assault on an entirely peaceful gathering of migrant families with children – hundreds of children – in MacArthur Park – an assault involving some 600 cops who struck pedestrians with moving motorcycles, and who, while marching in close formation, fired uncounted volumes of tear gas and volley after volley of rubber bullets from "less lethal weapons," shooting indiscriminately into the crowd, waiting on cue and in unison for the crowd before them to retreat, while viciously clubbing journalists, smashing cameras, and striking anyone else they could strike with repeated blows from batons. Seventy people were injured and sent to hospitals. Despite LAPD claims that the attack was in reaction to having been pelted with plastic water bottles and rocks by young "agitators", and despite the hundreds of police present, not a single arrest was made. While the young people did, very bravely, hold a protective line between the cops and the families under attack – taking the brunt of police violence on their own bodies, the assault on the migrant families was in no way "provoked," any more than the ICE raid in the Chicago mall was provoked.

The LAPD assault has been compared to the infamous and racist repression unleashed by police chief Bull Conner of Birmingham, Alabama against the Civil Rights movement when the Old South was still the Old South.  African American writer Anthony Abdullah Samad says of Bratton, "He'll never be able to explain away the rubber bullets hitting women and children. No more than Bull Connor could justify turning fire hoses and dogs on women and children in Birmingham in 1963."

But the whole point was to incite widespread terror and intimidation - that’s precisely why no one – not children, not journalists, not pregnant women, was spared from the onslaught. Far from the LAPD being once again "exposed" as the nation’s most brutal pigs, the worldwide media coverage, especially and intensely concentrated on Spanish language TV in the U.S., was a public relations coup of a high order for those bent on striking fear and crushing any further resistance to pre-dawn raids, the plans for massive construction of new immigration prisons, the further incarceration of children in a Texas-style Guantanamo, or the even more massive raids and mass deportations to come.

The powers that be could not have picked a more chilling place from which to have signaled their brutal message to the pro migrant movement.  LA has the largest population of migrants in the nation, and a Chican@ mayor and political establishment with a level of power unrivalled by Brown people anywhere in the nation – no where else in the U.S. can migrant populations expect the kind of sympathy and support that is ostensibly available in LA. But LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a "rising star" of the Democratic Party, rode last year in a Pacific Palisades parade that included in its official entourage a contingent from the "Minuteman Project," and kept his political distance as police stormed the South Central Farm, brutally uprooting supporters of the many migrant families who had grown their food there until faced with eviction in a shady deal that involved secret deals and City Council improprieties.

The Mayor, after facing intense criticism for his appearance at last year’s million- plus march in downtown LA, arranged to be out of town for this year’s march.

This year, it was only after criticism of the LAPD reached a red hot crescendo that the Mayor returned from a trip abroad on "city business" to denounce the LAPD attack as a human rights violation, and to attempt to quell any mass "unrest" that might be brewing.

LAPD Chief Bill Bratton, in the meantime, is having none of the Mayor's human rights rhetoric. Two high ranking LAPD officers have been reassigned, while Bratton has pointed to "tactical errors," falsely implying the cops were "out of control" rather than fulfilling a strategic political imperative of the Bush regime. But the cops were not out of control, this was no police riot; the police were acting with discipline on direct orders from Bratton’s Deputy Chiefs, making it clear that the planning for the police assault occurred at the highest levels, in all probability in meetings with Bratton himself, who has strong ties to the Department of "Homeland Security," and who has been mentioned as a potential candidate to head the DHS under George W. Bush.

Were Bratton to land that post, he would not only head up the government’s internal spying program, but would be the ultimate head of ICE, and responsible for carrying out Homeland Security’s "Operation Endgame," with its objective of raiding, rounding up, imprisoning and deporting millions of migrants.

On May 1, at MacArthur Park, Bratton may have proven himself "fit" for just such a vile job.

In the meantime, if legislation now before Congress is approved, local police, including the LAPD, would have the authority, and funding from the Department of Homeland Security to carry out public raids in areas where migrants concentrate; to act as local enforcers of national laws on immigration, to help carry out the mass deportations of brown people that Operation Endgame implies. That’s the plan. That’s the trajectory. Conversely, if no legislation is passed this year, and no moratorium on raids is declared, Operation Endgame remains the official policy of the DHS and ICE. In the absence of any other plan, Bush’s raids can only intensify, and do so with the aim of fulfilling the goals of Endgame; it will be the only policy on the books.

The attacks in LA and Chicago were by no means random, and by no means local in their meaning or impact. The neo-con powers that be brought forth their latest "surge" in the War on Migrants and the Chican@ community, and signaled with unmistakable clarity their intent to crush the movement that has cost them so much and that has threatened the stability of their rule.

The Bush escalation of the War on Migrants, and the plan to bring police into the battle at a national level – a move backed by Republicans and Democrats alike – means that from the standpoint of the white power elite of the U.S. – despite the rhetoric of one wing of the pro migrant movement – "we are not America – que "NO somos America." It means that the white power elite views migrants as a dangerous force for political instability and for undermining the white cultural dominance of the U.S.. It means that migrants and the pro migrant movement are the targets of America, no matter how many US flags are waved, how much English is spoken, or how much profit is provided for the exploiters.

And the vulnerability of the system – its open embarrassment at being  exposed for it brutal machinations, its efforts to cover its tracks, means that it is only resistance and exposure that the system fears, and that only resistance and exposure will cause it to back down from draconian measures, just as it sought to distance itself from the openly fascistic Sensenbrenner bill in 2006.

The resistance can take many forms – barrio Migra Watch/ Ojo a la Migra committees, the continuing establishment of Sanctuary cities and Sanctuary churches, the planning of escape routes and the setting up of defense committees in factories and other workplaces – and marches, many more marches, to demand the end of raids and deportations, the firing of LAPD Chief Bratton, full legalization of all, and the end to the exploitation of Latin American and other third world economies by US finance capital. Without such open and defiant resistance, the system will concede nothing, and the future will hold nothing other than more brutality, more raids, more vigilantes like the Minutemen, more destroyed families, and a more openly racist culture ruled with the iron fist from the Right.

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 14 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Immigrants are our main defense against fascism Rogue Gringo Monday, May. 14, 2007 at 12:00 AM
re: Immigrants are our main defense against fascism Rogue Gringa Monday, May. 14, 2007 at 2:59 PM
Married to the Revolution Rogue Gringo Tuesday, May. 15, 2007 at 9:13 PM
mictlan89 mictlan89 Thursday, May. 17, 2007 at 3:02 PM
"Conspiracy" watchale Friday, May. 18, 2007 at 10:16 PM
IF NO LAPD HEADS ROLL, THEN YOU KNOW THE LAPD MAY 1ST POLICE RIOT WAS PRE-PLANNED. IF NO LAPD HEADS ROLL, U KNOW IT WAS PLANNED Saturday, May. 19, 2007 at 2:54 PM
Another Public ICE Raid watchale Monday, May. 21, 2007 at 6:44 AM
window shopping Respect my Athorita! Wednesday, Jun. 27, 2007 at 3:30 AM

Freenet/Sone comments box:

This is a comment system called babcom, which is a decentralized, anonymous, encrypted, troll-resistant, comment system that runs atop Freenet. These comments are not stored on this IMC server - they exist in the Freenet cloud, and you must be running Freenet and Sone to see the comments. Install Freenet and try it out.

Use Node:

⚙ Babcom is trying to load the comments ⚙

This textbox will disappear when the comments have been loaded.

If the box below shows an error-page, you need to install Freenet with the Sone-Plugin or set the node-path to your freenet node and click the Reload Comments button (or return).

If you see something like Invalid key: java.net.MalformedURLException: There is no @ in that URI! (Sone/search.html), you need to setup Sone and the Web of Trust

If you had Javascript enabled, you would see comments for this page instead of the Sone page of the sites author.

Note: To make a comment which isn’t a reply visible to others here, include the red link below somewhere in the comment text.

Add this link to the comment:

Local News

New ID Verification Feature on this Site O21 1:06AM

Sierra Club endorses activists for Water Board O20 2:02PM

INDY has been hijacked or sold? to commentators ? O17 9:58AM

Columbus Day Protest, Downtown L.A. O14 4:44PM

Demonstration in Los Angeles: In Solidarity with Kobani O11 12:23PM

Voters Rally Against Proposition 1 Outside the Beverly Hills Mansion of Water Barons O03 5:35AM

The Uber-fication of the Democratic Party O01 2:16AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

The Shortwave Report 12/24/14 Listen Globally! O23 4:40PM

What is the American Left? O23 11:50AM

Ebola Seen In Light Of 1976 Swine Flu Hoax O23 7:09AM

Paraphysique du fait divers O23 12:09AM

US Army Withheld Promise From Germany Not To Weaponize Ebola Samples O22 2:18PM

Beware The Twilight O21 3:18PM

Turkey Murders Press TV Reporter Serena Shim O21 12:57PM

Stop Circus Animal Suffering – Protestors Urge Audiences to Shun the Wild Animal Circus O21 12:13PM

Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel Invested 47 Million In Israel Bonds Without Permission of O21 6:40AM

Fatal encounter: Jennifer Laude meets US Marine Corps O21 4:32AM

Kiev War Crimes O21 3:51AM

S&P 500 Companies Spend 95% of Profits on Buybacks and Payouts O20 6:09PM

Sahaja Samadhi Avastha O20 4:50PM

Sino/Russian Alliance Challenges West O20 1:54PM

Stop Circus Animal Suffering – Protestors Urge Audiences to Shun the Wild Animal Circus O20 12:30PM

Whitewashing Kiev Mass Murder O20 9:36AM

Chief Justice Nathan Hecht, Texecutioner, Is Facing The Voters O20 9:25AM

A Planner Of Saddam Hussein's Illegal Execution Running For North Carolina Supreme Court O20 8:17AM

No Redistribution Without the Social State O20 4:37AM

Ukrainian-Style Democracy O20 3:42AM

L'humain et les artilects O20 2:19AM

Dead-End US/Russian Relations O19 1:21PM

Killers, torturers and the new recommended registry for them O19 12:54PM

The Mysterious Plane Crashes Of Opponents Of Unregulated Capitalism & Republic Candidates O19 11:14AM

We're All Palestinians O19 9:01AM

Russia: On the Right Side of History O19 4:20AM

Shoot the Messenger: Blame the Victim O18 3:19PM

Israel's Bloodstained Hands O18 1:25PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy